Monthly Archives: June 2015

Campaign World Design Philosophy: Kesperex

As you may or may not remember, I am currently working on finishing up the first of a line of supplement books that will eventually fit together and flesh out an entire campaign setting. Each of the supplements will bring forth the beginnings of the details of a region, which are designed to be portable– you can drop any one region into any other world and use all the goodies it has to offer, or piece them together into the grand vision of the planet Kesperex.

I’ve been listening to a lot of the seminars from Paizocon, thanks to the team at Know Direction on their podcast feed. This has started me thinking on the design philosophy that guides the writing of this setting– the things that make Kesperex what it is (or will be).

I thought I’d share a few of these guiding principles here, to set them up and put them in stone. Each of these is a guiding principle for Kesperex, a mission statement of a sorts for the realm.

1. Kesperex is fun. This one is so easy to lose track of. I want the setting to be a place where any kind of story can be told, but that is at its core light-hearted and where everyone can have fun with the story. That’s not to say there aren’t darker/serious/gritty themes, but I don’t mean to dwell on those too much.

2. Kesperex is a little wacky. This goes hand and hand with point one, but it stands on its own. When I am designing Kesperex anytime I hit a spot where I am questioning whether something makes sense, I need to remember that this is a world where a city can be ruled by a council of 12 chosen by a cross between street warfare and musical chairs, where the Crofter’s Guild (and the Merchant’s Guild, and the Banker’s Guild) can all also be thieves guild’s and rule their own city, and a world where the ancient defeated dragon god’s name literally contains the entire alphabet because, why not?

3. Kesperex is a world defined by its Gods and its history. In the beginning there was one god, The Father. Then he got tired of it all and left. In the second age, that Father’s brides ruled– The Warrior Woman, the Dark Mother, The Mystic Mother, Mother Earth– they bred the races of mortal-kind, cast out the outsiders and the Fey and then birthed the young Gods till they too grew tired and gave up ruling. Fifteen young gods ruled the Third Age, striking out the Dragons, suppressing the Bloodline of Ogres, fighting and forming alliances and building churches and sects and cults and religions that shape the nations of the world down to the end of the Third Age.

4. On Kesperex law versus chaos is as important or more than good versus evil. Alignment isn’t linear on Kesperex. In the King lands, a lawful good and chaotic good nation are locked in a Holy war against each other. In the Old Empire, chaotic good and chaotic evil War deities are worshiped together. In the North and in the East, the Children of Mother Earth are worshiped as nature deities of truest balance– good, evil, law, chaos all given their due so long as none get too powerful.

5. Kesperex is a world of mystery. Why do Tengu travel the world asking so many questions? And where did they come from, and how do they all seem to know so much? What is it that lurks in the depths of the deep wells that makes the Elders so afraid? Where did the dragons go when they left a thousand years ago, and why have they returned now?

6. On Kesperex, either its a PC race or its not. No races with crippling triple mental stat losses, or bonuses that stack up to steep net negatives– all humanoids were created by the Mothers on relatively equal grounds, from humans, to Tower and Pixie Elves, Fire and Cloud Dwarves, to Mobgoblins, Bobgoblins, and Lobgoblins, to Draconic Scaled Kobolds, Caste-Lizardfolk, Cuthian Ogres, and War Orcs– you can play what you want without being hindered (or overpowered).

7. Kesperex is a world on the brink of great discoveries. This is an early Renaissance campaign world at the end of the Third Age. Firearms are just starting to be invented, but you won’t find lasers or machine guns. The world is being explored, its edges pushed, and the previously unknown wilds outside the great cities and the empires of the south filled in, new continents have been spotted by the most daring of sailors, and the race is on for a new trade route to the Plateau Lands that by-passes Riverport’s monopoly on the river passes through the mountains that have controlled trade throughout the world the last 900 years.

I am sure that I will revise some of these, add to and take away, clarify as I go on, but I wanted to put this in writing so I can hold myself to it as I go. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this design philosophy, or what you’ve done as guiding principles when building your own campaign worlds!  Comments always welcome, or contact me directly!

Characters of the Old Empire: Dean Brim Saloman

I’ve been working a lot on my Kesperex campaign world, and specifically on the Old Empire area which I am publishing eventually once I can get this finished– I am down to three more sections to write, plus lay out so it is coming along, but publishing a book completely on one’s own while still fulfilling other commitments has proven to be a massive undertaking.

I have also recently been reading up on some of the Unchained rules sets. One that I like quit a bit is the “Variant Multi-Classing”. While its not a true substitute for multi-classing or prestige classes, its an interesting system that opens up lots of extra avenues for character customization. It is somewhat taxing on the feats, but I can live with that for the secondary classes where I’m getting a real mechanical or flavorful benefit.

It got me thinking on just how far from core I could take a character. I decided to try out a build where I gave the character both the Eldritch Heritage chain of feats and a secondary class, and throw in an archetype for good measure.

When researching for this character I remembered a Bard-clergy member I had recently mentioned in my Old Empire region– a member of the Church of the Three that worships the three chaotic war deities as a pantheon, I had basically just mentioned that this guy was a bard and a member of the Church Hierarchy.

I looked at it, and eventually settled on giving him the Liberation Domain and the Celestial Bloodline as his options, then fleshed him out into a full stat block.

Would love to hear from you guys what you think of this kind of character customization, but without further ado here is Dean Brim Saloman the Bard-Clergy.

Dean Brim Saloman

Dean Brim is a Bard clergyman of the Church of the Three. Hailing from Xerxis, a third son standing to inherit no lands he joined the Chruch of the Three at an early age, but always exhibited a love in equal measures for song, dance, and burning things. Quick witted and quick tempered, Saloman is known as a prodigy in many circles, rising quickly through the hierarchy of the Church, but making enemies in equal measure as he earned allies.

Recently shuffled off to the Dean position in charge of the tiny area of Primal lands that are nearly surrounded by the Dread of the Dragon. Dean Saloman tried to convince the Primate to ally with Xerxis, eventually earning political disrepute for his divided loyalties. Dean Brim loves flames, seeing their power as the cleansing flames of the Three. Though nearly exiled, Dean Brim has been consolidating what supporters he has into his territory and still schemes to regain glory, playing a long game since his short term aims have been stymied to date.

Dean Brim gives sermons once a week in the Cathedral of the Three that is his current stronghold. He is known to give masterful performances on the ancient masterwork pipe organ which fills the entire Cathedral with glorious anthems of war.

Clergy bard                                                                                 CR 12

XP 19,200

Gnome bard (Flame Dancer, Variant Multi-class Cleric) 13

CG Small humanoid (Gnome)

Init +0; Senses Low Light Vision; Perception +17

DEFENSE

AC 19 Touch 11, flat footed 19 (+1 Size, +6 Armor, +3 Shield)

hp 94 (13d8+36)

Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +7; +4 vs. bardic performance, language-dependent, and sonic

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft.

Melee +11/+6 +1 Longsword (1d6+1)

Ranged +11/+6 +1 Short Bow (1d4)

Special Attacks bardic performance 33 rounds/day (swift action; distraction, fascinate, fire break, fire dance, inspire competence +4, inspire courage +3, inspire greatness, song of the fiery gaze,  soothing performance), channel positive energy 6/day (DC 19, 5d6)

Domain Spell Like Ability Freedom of Movement 13 rounds/day

Sorcerer Bloodline Abilities Holy Fire 1d4+5 9/day; Wings of Heaven 9 minutes/day

Bard Spells Known (CL 13th; concentration +17)

5th (2/day)— Cure Light Wounds, mass; Summon Monster V

4th (4/day)— Cure Critical Wounds, Dimension Door, Dominate Person (DC 19), Shout (DC 19)

3rd (5/day)—Charm Monster (DC 18), Confusion (DC 18), Cure Serious Wounds, Fireball (DC 18), Haste, Witness

2nd (6/day)— Cat’s Grace, Cure Moderate Wounds, Eagle’s Splendor, Flaming Sphere (DC 17), Locate Object, Tongues

1st (7/day)— Burning Hands (DC 16), Charm Person DC 16), Comprehend Languages, Cure Light Wounds, Feather Fall, Remove Fear, Silent Image

0 (at will)— Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Know Direction, Light, Read Magic, Summon Instrument

TACTICS

Before Combat Dean Brim prefers to activate his Wings of Heaven class feature, flying out of melee range above the fray to avoid the worst attacks from his enemies. If he has time he will activate buffing spell like Cat’s Grace and Eagle’s Splendor.

During Combat The first round of combat Brim will activate his Inspire Courage abilities to buff any allies he has present. Next he will use Summon Monster V to summon a Bralani Azata.Thereafter, he will attack with spells—preferring to use Fireballs first, followed by flaming spheres. He will heal allies when injured using his Holy Fire ability and Cure spells.

STATISTICS

Str 10, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 20

Base Atk +9; CMB +8; CMD 18

Feats Skill Focus (Heal), Secondary Feature (Liberation Domain), Eldritch Heritage, Secondary Class feature (Channel), Improved Eldritch Heritage, Secondary Feature (Improved Channel), Lingering Performance

Skills 91 Heal +16, Knowledge (Arcana) +16, Knowledge (History) +16, Knowledge (Religion) +16, Perception +17, Perform (Dance- use for Acrobatics & Fly) +21, Perform (Keyboard instruments- use for Diplomacy and Intimidate) +21, Perform (Sing- use for bluff and sense motive) +21, Profession (Soldier) +7, Spell craft +7, Use Magic Device +21

Languages Common

SQ bardic knowledge +6, jack-of-all-trades (use any skill), lore master 2/day, versatile performance (dance, keyboard instruments, sing)

Combat Gear +1 Chain Shirt, +1 Long Sword, +1 Animated Heavy Steel Shield, +1 Short Bow, Potions Cure Moderate Wounds (x2), Scroll Other Gear Cassock of the Clergy, Healer’s Gloves, Masterwork Pipe Organ (At Cathedral)

“This post contains Pathfinder Compatible Material”

How did the Cavs get so Bad?

A few weeks ago before the finals started a took a look at how the Warriors got so good. Really, another way of stating what I was examining was how the Warriors got so deep. So today, I want to look at the other team– and while I am not above the sensationalist headline, what I am really examining is how the Cavs got so thin or perhaps a better word even than that, how they got so depleted.

I’m going to break down all the talent that’s missing from this team– either from injuries, trades, bad draft choices, or  poor signings that are clogging cap space and roster spots for players who aren’t getting any minutes.

Kyrie Irving: Picked #1 overall in 2011, Irving quickly earned himself a reputation for his offensive play, garnering Rookie of the Year, All Star appearances (and MVPs), and Team USA invites. This year, playing alongside Lebron he scored 21 with almost 5 assists per game– down just a scotch from his highest career average scoring of 22.5. Through it all, Kyrie battled a litany of nagging and minor injuries, but persevered and overcame. He played well, even when banged up through the playoffs, then stepped wrong, banged his knee off Klay Thompson’s knee and was done– out for the rest of the Finals.

This one hurts a lot, because not only does it take away a second scorer from the Cavaliers, it was also through the time since Lebron’s first departure the only draft pick they had gotten right. This was the only All Star they had chosen with those picks between then and now, and now Kyrie can only watch from the sidelines as others get his minutes.

Kevin Love: Acquired in a three team trade in which the Cavaliers sent out Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggans, and a pick in the upcoming draft for Kevin Love. “My Cousin Kevin” was a monster in Minnesota, averaging 26 and 12 in his best year there, while also anchoring the USA Basketball’s 2012 Olympics run where he lead the team in rebounding, and was 5th in scoring on a crowded roster (behind Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant). When the Cavs acquired him last summer, he looked like a top 10 talent in the League.

Then there were rough patches– he didn’t “fit” in Cleveland (mostly because he, Lebron, and Tristan Thompson all play the same position). Or maybe it was just poor coaching– a lot of people are retroactively making Blatt a genius for figuring out how to win some games in the Finals, but I can’t let the fact that he had three of the 25 most talent players on the planet on his team through the entire season and struggled to find places for them or ways to keep them all involved.

Then of course, int he first round series with Boston, Love was injured– out for the playoffs with a shoulder injury on a dirty play made by Kelly Olynyk.  Lets be clear about a few things–

1. The Olynyk play was a dirty play.

2. The Cavaliers have absolutely nothing to complain about it.

The way in which the Cavaliers empower Matthew Dellavedova to dive for other player’s knee, they cannot complain that one of theirs got injured on a play designed to injure opponents. Leg locking Taj Gibson from the floor isn’t a basketball play— the play is dead, the ball is no where near there, and its only intent is to try to trip Taj Gibson and injure him. Then the Al Horford play– watch the tape on it again. Then watch it a few more times. There’s a clear point where Dellavedova’s momentum is stalling and the play is pretty clearly over and he makes a second effort to dive at Horford’s knee.

Look– if those are the kinds of plays that Cleveland wants to have be allowable in the NBA, then they have to expect that sometimes their players will be the ones injured by them. Personally I think there are too many injuries as it is, and think that Dellevedova should have been suspended 1 game for the first incident and two games for the second– we have to send a clear message to everyone that GOING FOR THE KNEES is NOT AN ACCEPTABLE STRATEGY.

Unless you want more years with more star players sidelined by injuries, some of which are completely preventable by simply making basketball plays instead of wrestling moves on the court.

The Assets Cleveland Gave Up to Get Kevin Love: Look, I know its hard to count these assets against them, but the fact of the matter is– the Cavaliers rolled the dice for a single guaranteed year of Kevin Love and between the playoff ending injury and the all around inability to make line-ups with Love work that move was a whiff. If they can resign Love in the off season this could flip, but as it stands now its not looking like it was a good gamble.

The 2015 pick that they gave up isn’t a high pick, and it has no effect on the team this year. But keep in mind, low first round picks are often how teams generate talent that lets them extend runs. The Heat’s whiffing on theirs lead to the collapse in last year’s Finals. Also, Jimmy Butler was picked 30th overall, Draymond Green was a second round pick. If the Cavs hope to form a dynasty losing this asset may come back to bite them int eh future.

Andrew Wiggins: Could the Cavs use a hyper athletic 6′ 8″ wing capable of scoring 17 per game?  I know this is a false dichotomy because they decided that rather than slot Lebron in for heavy minutes at the power forward (the spot he is best at) they would get Kevin Love and Lebron would go back to being a small forward so they gave up Wiggins to get Love. Also the Rookie of the Year might not have progressed as fast without the opportunity to play as heavy and hold the ball as much with Lebron and Kyrie on the floor.

On the other hand– what is a better way for a young, talented player to cut his teeth in the NBA than playing the starting small forward in a line-up that includes two phenomenal play makers to pass him the ball?

Regardless, this is a piece the Cavsa could have had for these Finals that is missing.

Anthony Bennett: Bennett was basically a throw in alongside Wiggins and the pick in the Love trade, and his play hasn’t justified his being anything more than that. Having Bennett on the bench wouldn’t make the Cavs any better/ deeper in these Finals.  But the Cavs spent a number one overall pick on Bennett just two drafts ago.

Here’s a list of players they could have taken instead: Victor Oladipo, Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, Giannis Antentokounmpo, Dennis Schroder, Rudy Gobert.

Look– none of these guys are world beaters. Had any of them been the #1 overall pick they probably would have been seen as busts. But none of them are so toxic of assets that they would have necessitated being thrown in along with another #1 overall pick, plus a future pick and then not be able to earn playing time there. Bennett is probably the worst #1 overall selection of all time and its not even close.

A lot of these guys weren’t realistic to take that high– Schroder and Gobert went in the 20s. Nerlens had injury questions and also would be a bad fit alongside Tristan Thompson. Carter-Williams is a point guard, and drafting a point guard with the #1 overall pick just two years after drafting Kyrie was probably untenable at the time.  But lets be clear about this– any of these guys would have been better fit and duplication be damned.

Cater-Williams may not be a starting PG in this league– but he’s athletic, he can score if not shoot, and he can defend. On this year’s Cavs roster he would have been a backup and a spark plug off a bench unit that is deeply lacking that. And when Kyrie went down, he’d be far and away better than the other options available to them currently.

Oladipo may not be capable of being the best player on a good team, but he’s a young, tall, athletic shooting guard. He could guard Klay or Steph because he’s fast and a good defender. He’s shooting 43% from the field and 33% from three on an abysmal Magic team where he has to make his own shots constantly– if you don’t think slotting into a starting line-up like what the Cavs would be able to field would improve those percentages you are simply not thinking about this stuff right.

Giannis is one of the craziest athletes in the league. He might be able to carry a team on his own. He’s a building block– and at the time they wasted this pick the Cavs can’t have known they were getting Lebron. Why not roll the dice on a developmental project with infinite upside like the Greek Freak? Pair him with Kyrie?  Imagine being able to turn loose his length and athleticism against the Warriors now?

The hypothetical situations for this pick go on and on, but the fact remains- the Cavs took the best 2013 Draft Asset and turned it into absolutely nothing. Even if they still wanted to do the Love trade, had this been a real player they could have gotten away with not sending him– a future first plus Wiggins would have been enough because lets face it, Minnesota doesn’t value Bennett as anything.

Dion Waiters: I’d talk about Waiters here, except this one worked out for the Cavs. True they could have had Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes, or Andre Drummond– but Waiters retained enough value while on the Cavs that they were able to get THREE assets back for him (JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, plus a pick). Lillard would have duplicated Kyrie, Barnes has been above average but not stellar– so Drummond is the only real upgrade they could have had here. I’ll give them a pass on this one.

Mozgov: Amazingly, the Cavs gave up next to nothing to get Mozgov– the free pick they got from OKC for Dion, plus a pick from Memphis they had from a previous trade. They fleeced the Knicks in that Dion trade, and flipped a bad asset into a valuable big. Of course, had they used the Dion pick on Andre Drummond they wouldn’t have needed a Mozgov, but those two trades really are the core of the Cavs line-up right now bringing in 3/7 players who are actually playing minutes for them in this series.

Tristan Thompson: Until literally this playoffs Thompson would be listed as a bust and a missed opportunity (the Cavs could have for instance drafted a Kyrie/Klay Thompson back-court in the same draft). He’s turned out to be a good asset for the Cavs, coming up big in the payoffs and the Finals. But, if the Cavs knew what they had with him, and already being locked into paying him 5 million this year– why did they throw so many resources at the positions he plays?

Even assuming you slot Lebron as a 3, they still signed Anderson Varejao, traded for Love, traded for Mozgov, and took on Brendan Haywood. That’s four guys that the Cavs picked up with Thompson already on the roster, totaling about 32 million in cap space.  That’s a lot of assets to throw at the Front Court– grow to almost 38 million for two spots when you add in Thompson’s deal. And at the end of the day, two of those players are playing (Mozgov and Thompson.)

Anderson Varejao: I know I just ranted about how the Cavs wasted so much on the back court, but I do have to admit part of that was that Varejao (signed to a 9 million dollar multi-year contract this summer) got injured and is out for the season. They don’t trade for Mozgov if Varejao is still playing.

Then again– Varejao has a huge history of injury. When they signed him going into the season everyone couched all the analysis with “if healthy”. And he turned out not to be healthy. Now the Cavs are on the hook for his 9 million, plus Mozgov’s 5 million.  Imagine if they had rolled into the season trusting their roster– trusting that Thompson and Love could handle splitting minutes at the five, or that if they could not they could find an answer in season. They could have still gotten Mozgov in the exact same trade, and would have had another 9 million open to use elsewhere.

Maybe this is just hindsight vision. I know that Lebron’s relationship with Varejao complicates things and pushed them into signing him. But Lebron’s agent also reps Thompson– and the Cavs could have told him, “hey– we trust your guy Tristan to get it done and we are going to give him every chance to succeed” and I think Lebron would have bought in.

Brendan Haywood: Taking on Haywood for 2.5 million is just egregious– his career high in points was 10.6, 8 years ago, and he hadn’t averaged five per game since 09/10, and he plays at a position which you already have Love, Thompson, and Varejao to play.

What other kind of players are making about the same money as Haywood this year?

Ignoring players on Rookie deals (even those coming up for extensions who might have been available to the Cavs for a trade like Reggie Jackson) here are some possibilities:

CJ Watson– a good backup point guard. Maybe they don’t have Delly emerge if he’s here, but this guy has done it on good teams in the past. For such a minimal investment he’d be a big time player in this series now backing Delly up and letting that guy get some rest.

Kent Bazemore– mostly a deep bench guy, but he’d surely be worth a look with the Cavs as thin as they are now he could surely be worth a few minutes?  He played a lot more for the Hawks than Haywood did for the Cavs this year.

If you instead take back the trade to bring him in, plus the Varejao signing you suddenly have 11 million in cap space which is enough to get a real live NBA player.

I’ve ranted for 2,000 words here– I could keep going, harping on signing guys like Shawn Marion (915K), Mike Miller (2.7 mil), and Kendrick Perkins (200K) with no intention of playing them, but the fact remains pretty obvious– if you aren’t using your line-up you are at a disadvantage, which is why the Cavs are having to deal with cramps for two of their current starters.

There is an alternate universe where the Cavs would be rolling out Kyrie Irving, Victor Oladipo, Giannis, Lebron James, and Mozgov as the starters with Tristan Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, JR, and Shumpert off the bench– a rotation that would be 9 deep even after the Kyrie injury (with James Jones, 10 counting Dellavedova, 11 if they spent the 9 million of Varejao money on anyone who could play) instead of barely 7 deep.

Pathfinder Classes: Caster Design Space Left Untouched

Pathfinder has seen an explosion of new classes in the last few years— 6 in the APG, 10 in the ACG, 6 more coming in Occult Adventures, plus Magus and Gunslinger from Ultimate series books. Added to the original core 11 classes, plus alternate classes—well needless to say it’s a lot.

But anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of logical extensions. It’s why I design things like extra damnation feats and get caught up on making sure there is one for EVERY type of evil outsider, and why I focus on adding ways for Kingdoms to generate technological items.

So, let’s just say I don’t think that this game has had all the logical class design possibilities tapped yet. One area that I think there are a lot of possibilities left to fit into nice design spaces that haven’t been used yet are partial casters.

The Bloodrager is a good example of this—the first ever 4 level casting that is arcane instead of divine. There have been several 9th level casters (Wizard, Sorcerer, Witch), 6th level arcane caster (magus, bard), but now only a single 4th level Arcane caster—seems like there could be plenty of room for more there, right?

Let’s go on one of my patented categorization and classification rants!  I’m going to break down all the spellcasting classes by spell levels (4th, 6th, 9th) and power source (alchemical, arcane, divine, and divine—nature focused). I’m going to leave out Occult for now because I don’t have the book yet. Let’s see where there’s room for more classes guys!

Power Source: Alchemical

4th level casters: none

6th level casters: Alchemist, Investigator

9th level casters: none

Power Source: Arcane

4th level casters: Bloodrager

6th level casters: Bard (Music-themed), Magus (combat-themed, Summoner (Conjuration focused), Skald (music-themed+rage!)

9th level casters: Sorcerer, Wizard, Arcanist, Witch

Power Source: Divine

4th level casters: Paladin, Anti-Paladin

6th level casters: Inquisitor, Warpriest

9th level casters: Cleric, Oracle

Power Source: Divine (Nature Focused)

4th level casters: Ranger

6th level casters: Hunter

9th level casters: Druid, Shaman

 

So what’s missing?

There are some very obvious holes—4th and 9th level Alchemical casters stand out. 4th level will be easy to flesh out—there are any number of additional focuses that can be grafted onto a class that gets 1st-4th level Alchemist spell list and higher BaB. The 9th level version is a lot harder, since we’d have to be inventing the entire range of spells that are added to the list from 7th-9th levels, but it’s not unthinkable. Though of course, since the ALCHEMIST is only a 6th level caster this does feel a bit wrong to add a “Better! Alchemist!”

I already mentioned how I feel there could be more 4th level Arcane Casters—Arcane Archer is a popular Prestige class, what if it was a base 4th level Arcane caster class?  4th level casters get full BaB, so this would be a good fit. Perhaps a Monk with fewer supernatural powers but 4th level casting? A 4th level Arcane caster focused on Invisibility and stealth with some version of Sneak Attack?

Despite already being clustered up, even 6th level Arcane casters still have room for growth—we currently have two music buff focused classes (Bard/Skald), one focused on Conjurations, and one focused on Combat+ buffs. . . so what’s the glaring hole here?

How about a 6th level blaster focused mage?  Evocations are fun, and a master blaster would be well balanced since they would lack the battlefield control and earth shattering powers of 9th level casters—perhaps Master Elementalist or to use a term that’s had at least two different iterations in other editions “War Mage”. I think a Pathfinder compatible style 6th level treatment of this concept would be interesting.

The same could be said for illusions. Illusion spells are powerful, but difficult to GM, and are very flexible, but there are still somewhat underserved—the illusion abilities in the totality of the game don’t really amount to much more than the core rules book.

Then of course, there’s the 6th level Necromancy themed caster that could be slotted in very easily—similar to the Summoner in its “minion” focus, but with a very different minion base and much different spell list to back it up.

I’ve actually been tooling around on this very concept myself—though since it’s not for anything that plans to be published anytime soon, my Necrosvant remains unfinished.

Of course, there are also further afield iterations that could be gotten to if you stretch your mind far enough. Currently, all 4th level Casters get full BaB but limited spell casting. We have fighter/mages (Magus), fighter/cleric (Warpriest) and tons of other hybrid classes from the ACG.

But what’s the classic multi-class that we have absolutely no base class to go for with currently?

Cleric/Mage! Yes, there’s mythic theurge, but no non-prestige class option. And having to be Just cleric for 3 levels, then go for level 1-3 Wizard, then finally at 7th level start gaining both and giving up basically everything else except spells is kind of brutal.

Why couldn’t there be a 6th level Arcane caster with 1/2 BaB but also 4th level Divine spells, and abilities focused on blending the arcane and divine?  Or the other way around for that matter (6th level Divine/ 4th level Arcane)?

Just a few ruminations I’ve been thinking of when looking at Pathfinder and wondering, “What’s left?” Would love to hear what others think on the topic.

Technological Buildings: Building Kingdoms With the Future

In settings where Technological items are common, Kingdoms may wish to add buildings to their settlements which focus on the scavenging, creation, and sale of such items. From Cyber Soldier Academies, to technologist markets and cybertech hospitals, the building below can add to any Kingdom.

Technological item slots work in the same manner as Magic item slots in the Kingdom Building rules. Since technological items do not have a division between minor, medium, and major any technological item can fill the appropriate slot. The slots available are Pharmaceutical (such as Cureall or Hemochem), Cybertech (such as Dermal Plating or Skillslots), Gear (Anything from batteries to plasma grenades or jetpacks) and of course Technological Arms (Death rays!) and Armor (Spacesuits!).

If you are ready for the challenge of turning the gnomes and goblins of your kingdom loose to build– let your players build the buildings below!

Cyber Soldier Academy 36 BP, 2 Lots

Kingdom Loyalty +2, Stability +1, Fame +1

Discount Barracks

Limit 1 per settlement

Special Armies recruited at the settlement gain the Improved Armor or Improved Weapons resource for free upon recruitment.

Technological Items 2 technological armor or weapons

Settlement Law +1, Lore +1

A institution dedicated to the study of technological warfare and the training of elite cyber soldiers.

Cybertech Clinic 8 BP, 1 Lot

Kingdom Loyalty +1, Stability +1, Unrest -1

Upgrade to Cybertech Hospital

Technological Items 1 pharmaceutical or cybertech

A small clinic specializing in technological medicine and cybertech.

Cybertech Hospital 32 BP, 2 Lots

Kingdom Loyalty +2, Stability +2, Unrest -2

Discount Cybertech Clinic, Pharmacy

Upgrade From Cybertech Clinic

Technological items 2 cybertech

A facility that specializes in creating and installing cybertech

Exotic Technology Artisan 10 BP, 1 Lot

Kingdom Economy +1, Stability +1

Limit Adjacent to 1 House

Technological Items 1 pharmaceutical or technological gear

The shop and home of a pharmacist, technologist, or technological scavenger

Pharmacy 18 BP, 1 Lot

Kingdom Economy +1

Limit Adjacent to 1 House

Special Base value +1,000 gp

Technological Items 1 Pharmaceutical

The laboratory and home of a crafter of pharmaceuticals.

Scavenger’s Store 28 BP, 1 Lot

Kingdom Economy +1

Limit Adjacent to 1 House

Upgrade To Technologist Market Upgrade From Shop

Special Base value +2,000 gp

Technological Items 2 technological gear, pharmaceutical, or cybertech

Technologist Academy 58 BP, 2 Lots

Kingdom Economy +2, Fame +1

Discount Pharmacy, Technologist’s Safe house, or Technologist Market

Technological Items 2 technological gear, 1 pharmaceutical, 1 cybertech

Settlement Lore +2, Society +1, increase Lore bonus by 2 for questions relating to Technology

An institution for training students in using, repairing, and creating technology.

Technologist Market 68 BP, 1 Lot

Kingdom Economy +1

Limit Adjacent to 2 Hourses

Upgrade from Scavenger’s Store

Special Base value +2,000 gp

Technological Items 4 technological gear, 2 pharmaceutical, 2 cybertech

A shop that specializes in technological gear.

Technologist’s Safe house 30 BP, 1 Lot

Kingdom Economy +1, Loyalty +1

Technological Items 3 technological gear, 1 technological armor or weapon

The home and laboratory of a technologist.

Other Buildings:

Black Markets and Waterfronts can substitute a minor item slot for a technological gear or pharmaceutical slot or a medium or major slot for a technological armor or weapon.

Shrines and Temples to deities of high technology can substitute a minor item slot for a technological gear or pharmaceutical slot or a medium or major slot for a technological armor or weapon.

This post contains Pathfinder Compatible material.