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Starships, spellcasters, mystery, and intrigue! The Aethera Campaign Setting is a Pathfinder RPG compatible science-fantasy experience!
Starships, spellcasters, mystery, and intrigue! The Aethera Campaign Setting is a Pathfinder RPG compatible science-fantasy experience!
660 backers pledged $52,209 to help bring this project to life.

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In the Aethera Campaign Setting, you'll soar to asteroid outposts and ancient high-tech ruins on a ship powered by crystallized magic, journey to worlds populated by intelligent plant bio-engineers, musically prophetic technocrats, human-souled robotic war veterans, and alien shamans, all suddenly threatened by interstellar raiders. Aethera is a Pathfinder RPG compatible science -fantasy setting.

The Aethera Campaign Setting brings space opera to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. You'll be able to experience the unique biomes of six totally new alien worlds, each with their own highly detailed histories, cultures, conflicts, and threats. Aethera is being designed with a distinct 1920s-1930s retro-futuristic art style, tempered by the presence of magic. Its diesel-punk meets magical technology, meets elements of traditional fantasy. You'll have paladins, sorcerers, and wizards working as a team to explore asteroid dungeons where they'll encounter lost technology from before the collapse of stellar civilization. Or maybe you'd like to explore the tense post-war political environment of the human mega-city arcologies on the barren world of Akasaat, where you'll stalk the shadows of mile-high cities uncovering a vast conspiracy surrounding an ancient prophetic song broadcast by one of the Aethera system's dying stars.

In the Aethera Campaign Setting you can battle kytons that live in the shadowy spaces-between-spaces, live in terror of raids by the enigmatic taur: spacefaring minotaur in planetoid-sized maze ships, survive in the lightless realm of the Darkwild deep below the canopy of the forest world of Kir-Sharaat, brave the icy tundra of the dust-shrouded world of Orbis-Aurea and unearth mysteries of the long-lost Progenitors, or race into the heart of the Amrita Asteroid Belt to run a smuggling operation with the other scoundrels and rabble rousers living beyond the reach of the Hierarchy!

There's so much to see and experience in the Aethera Campaign Setting that we have to create a whopping 400-page hardcover in order to contain it all!

The Aethera Campaign Setting will include the following content:  

Chapter 1: Races 14 pages of content for Aethera's core races; human, erahthi (plant-like creatures), phalanx (bio-mechanical constructs), okanta (giant-blooded), and the infused (victims of magical experimentation with latent telekinetic powers) as well as information on how other races fit into the Aethera Campaign Setting.

Chapter 2: Classes 100 pages of content! We introduce the cantor, a divine spellcasting bard-like class. We also discuss how the core, base, hybrid, and occult classes fit into the setting. Then we provide you with 4 pages of new archetypes for the cantor, and 65 pages of new archetypes for nearly every existing class!

Chapter 3: Cosmology 128 pages of setting lore about the six worlds of the Aethera Campaign Setting, from its twin stars Ashra and Aethera, to the human homeworld of Akasaat, the forest world of Kir-Sharaat, the lawless Amrita Asteroid Belt, the ruin-shrouded gas giant Seraos, the frozen wastes of Orbis Aurea, and a detailed look at Aethera's outer planes.

Chapter 4: Feats & Skills 32 pages of new skill unlocks that enhance the new aethership combat rules and other unique aspects of the Aethera Campaign Setting. 15 pages of feats bring new ideas and concepts to the table, like growing plant symbiotes or crafting automata prosthetics!

Chapter 5: Gear & Magic 76 pages of new mundane and magic items, a new classification of item called aethertech (technology fueled by crystallized magic), aetherships (magic-technology hybrid starships) and the rules for aethership combat in space and in-atmosphere, artifacts, and new spells including the warping subschool of transmutation!

Chapter 6: Bestiary 45 pages of the most unusual, horrific, and fascinating monsters that inhabit the Aethera Campaign Setting. From the cannibal taur, to the psychic flesh-warping Azaka, to the terrifying kytons of the Machine Choir, and much, much more! 

The Aethera Campaign Setting is being designed by industry professionals with a standard you've come to expect from top-of-the-line publishers. Take a look at some samples of the art and layout quality you can expect to see in the Aethera Campaign Setting!

Core Development

The core team represents Encounter Table Publishing, a New England-based 3rd-party publisher. 

Robert Brookes is a former finalist in Paizo Inc's RPG Superstar competition, regular contributing author to the Pathfinder RPG (Occult Adventures, Occult Realms, Occult Mysteries, Bestiary 5, Ultimate Intrigue, and more!) as well as an author of 3rd-party published Pathfinder products like Legendary Games' Mythic Mania series and Treasury of the Machine. He's also designed the well-reviewed Hjalward and Wolfsbane Hollow in Raging Swan Press' Village Backdrop series. Robert brings a background in video game design to Aethera, leading a team of diverse freelancers in a collaborative development of the Aethera Campaign Setting.

Lisa Jean Long is an art teacher at a private therapeutic high school, and has been teaching for 6 years. She dabbles in many media (drawing, watercolor, acrylic, college, knitting, crocheting) and has recently become hooked on sewing. Lisa started playing Pathfinder 5 years ago and is in the process of writing her first novel.

Alvin Dixon started playing tabletop RPGs in 1981. Alvin brings decades of experience with numerous game systems (Dungeons & Dragons 1st - 3rd edition, Shadowrun, Star Frontiers, Heroes Unlimited, Rifts, and more) to the Aethera team.

Jacob Thomas' first tabletop experiences were with White Wolf's Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. He has been designing game systems for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition and the Pathfinder RPG as a hobby for ten years. Jacob has also recently written the script for the Aethera promotional comic book: Aethera Spirits!

Freelance Team

Aethera's freelance team consists of the below talented members. Some of our contributing authors are new to tabletop freelancing and are getting their start working with this collaborative and diverse group!

Authors

Todd Stewart (Pathfinder RPG Campaign Setting: The Great Beyond)

Thurston Hillman (Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures, Pathfinder Society Scenario: True Dragons of Absalom)

David N Ross (Pathfinder RPG Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods, Pathfinder RPG Player Companion: Blood of the Moon)

Monica Marlowe (Paizo RPG Superstar Winner 2015)

Sarah Hood (Dark Roads & Golden Hells by Kobold Press)

Nick Hite (Blizzard Entertainment)

Patrick Julius (Master of Arts in Economics, Jukepop's serialized sci-fi novel First Contact)

Andre James (New to freelancing)

Jessica Powell (Long-time tabletop gamer, corporate technical trainer, playtester for Fantasty Flight Games)

Kaelyn Harding (New to freelancing, MFA creative writing)

Joshua Rivera (Graphic designer, copy editor, columnist)

Chris Wasko (RPG Superstar Top 16 2014)

Jesse Benner (Pathfinder RPG Player Companion: Inner Sea Combat, Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Magic, Pathfinder RPG NPC Codex)

Isabelle Lee (Wayfinder #14)

Andrew Fields (Data analyst)

Scott Young (Manager of Science Communications at the Manitoba Museum, Winnepeg CA Pathfinder Society Venture Captain)

Jeff Dahl (1st Edition Werewolf Player's Guide by White Wolf Publishing)

Jeff Swank (Lost Lore: Ecology of the Basilisk by Frog God Games)

Mike Kimmel (RPG Superstar 2014 Finalist)

John Bennett (Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures, Shadows Over Vathak by Fat Goblin Games)

Daniel Hunt (Long-time tabletop gamer new to freelancing!)

Duan Byrd (Fiction author, gamer, new to freelancing!)

Andrew Marlowe (RPG Superstar Top 16 2013 & 2014, Pathfinder RPG Adventure Module: Daughters of Fury)

Layout

Liz Courts (Community Manager at Paizo Inc.)

Editing

Savannah Broadway (Pathfinder RPG Dragons Unleashed, Pathfinder RPG Fey Revisited)

Art

Aethera's team is also joined by professional concept artist Mohammed Z. Mukhtar who brings his amazing talent to deliver a unique visual style for Aethera. You can see more of Mohammed's work at his artstation gallery.

Additionally, Aethera has hired comic book artist Jayd Ait-Kaci (Fox Sister, Sfeer Theory) to produce a 5-page promotional comic book set in the Aethera universe, as well as our 2-page chapter spreads that serve as an in-universe story that prefaces each chapter of the Aethera Campaign Setting.

With our Kickstarter funding we will continue to hire , professional, talented, and diverse artists to bring the most professional and polished tabletop RPG campaign setting to you that we can.

 If we exceed our funding goal, the Aethera team is committed to continue bringing new content to the Aethera Campaign Setting. Take a look at some of our stretch goals below!

A 17-page adventure pack featuring 3 Pathfinder RPG compatible adventures for characters of 1st, 3rd, and 5th level set in the Aethera Campaign Setting.

 If we reach $62,000 we will design and publish a 60-page Races of Aethera PDF, featuring more detail, more content, and more art of Aethera's five core races.

 At $70,000 we will turn Races of Aethera into a print book!

 At $78,000 we will design and publish a 48-page Aethertech Manual detailing hundreds of new pieces of Aethertech: more aetherships, more weapons, more armor, and more artifacts!

 At $86,000 we will make a print version of the Aethertech Manual!

Where is this money going?

Rather than explain, we've created a chart to show what percentage of our funding is going to what portion of the publishing process. On the pie chart below you'll see the estimated costs of printing and shipping the book to retailers, budget for the gorgeous full-color art that will fill the book, budget for paying our writers to design fantastic gameplay and story elements, budget for our editing team to ensure Aethera is glitch-free, and budget for our layout artist to make this book come together beautifully!

 ADD ONS

By popular demand, we are appending an add on to our rewards.

Backers who pledged $25 or more can add a (an additional) print copy of the Aethera Campaign Setting for an additional $50.

To select an add-on, click the “manage your pledge” button on this project's page. Increase your pledge by the amount needed to claim the add-on. Save your pledge. Do not change the tier that you originally pledged at.After the end of the Kickstarter, you will be sent a survey in which you can specify if you wanted an add on.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge the Aethera Campaign Setting faces is the cost of publishing such an enormous book. The cost for authors, artists, editors, layout, and printing all factor in to the goal we've set for ourselves.

Once funded our risk is low as the entire Aethera design team is built on a foundation of professional RPG designers and developers with enormous expertise between us. Quotes for printing and shipping (as well as distribution) have already been made and we take very seriously our commitment to fulfill all of our rewards on time.

We will label all boxes shipped internationally as "Kickstarter Pledge Gift Books and Game Accessories." However, despite this effort, please be aware your customs agency may add fees, tariffs and/or taxes beyond our control.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    (Pioneer) You get a high-res PDF copy of the Aethera Spirits promotional comic book (illustrated by Jayd Ait-Kaci) and an early-access PDF with information to start playing Aethera before the book is out! The preview PDF includes a preview of the new races (erahthi, infused, okanta, and phalanx) as well as the new core class: cantor!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    (Prophesied) Not only do you get the PDF copy of Aethera Spirits and the early-access PDF, but also the full Aethera Campaign Setting PDF (est. delivery of Campaign Setting PDF May 2016) and your name in the book's credits.

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    Pledge $48 or more About $48

    (Illuminated) As the Prophesied reward-level, and you get a limited print-edition of the Aethera Spirits promotional comic book illustrated by Jayd Ait-Kaci (Fox Sister, Sfeer Theory).

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    Pledge $67 or more About $67

    (Vanguard) You get all of the lower-tier rewards (Comic PDF and Print Copy, preview PDF, Aethera Campaign Setting PDF) plus a print copy of the Aethera Campaign Setting.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    (Oracle) You get the Aethera Spirits PDF and print version, the preview PDF, and the campaign setting PDF plus a PDF copy of any unlocked stretch goal!

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    (Cantor) You get your name in the Campaign Setting's credits, the Aethera Spirits PDF and print version, the preview PDF, and the campaign setting PDF, the hardcover print Aethera Campaign Setting, and a PDF copy of any unlocked stretch goal!

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    Pledge $103 or more About $103

    (Marshal) You get all of the rewards from the first 5 backer levels, plus a special Aethera adventure PDF containing a short 1st-level adventure scenario set in the world of Aethera!

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    Pledge $155 or more About $155

    (Paragon) You get all 7 of the lower backer rewards, plus a special-edition Aethera GM screen with easy-to-access rules for space combat and other unique subsystems.

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    Pledge $185 or more About $185

    (Blue Star Consortium) You will get six print copies of the Aethera Campaign Setting, as well as six print copies of the limited-edition Aethera Spirits promotional comic. This level is for retailers only and will require proof of retailer status. This backer level includes *free* basic shipping anywhere in the continental US.

    **This backer reward is not a part of any higher backer reward.**

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    Pledge $240 or more About $240

    (Tritarch) You get all 7 of the lower backer rewards, plus Aethera creator Robert Brookes will GM a session of Aethera using the early-access rules for your gaming group over a digital hangout (Google Hangouts, Roll 20, etc.) Date and time of this session will be determined after the close of the Kickstarter.

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    (World-Eater) You get the backer rewards of all nine of the previous levels, plus you get to design an iconic NPC for the Aethera Campaign Setting and get a special PDF featuring that character's history and in-game stats, as well a high-res copy of their concept art!

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    Pledge $1,350 or more About $1,350

    (Primacy) You get your name in the Campaign Setting's credits, the early-access PDF, the PDF and print copies of the Aethera Spirits promotional comic book, a PDF and print copy of the Aethera Campaign Setting, a special 1st-level introductory adventure PDF, the Aethera GM Screen, you get to design an iconic NPC for the Aethera Campaign Setting and receive the NPC as a special PDF with unique concept art, and Robert Brookes will GM a game for you and 5 friends at Paizocon 2016 using the Aethera early-access rules!

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    (Progenitor) You get your name in the Campaign Setting's credits, the early-access PDF, the PDF and print copies of the Aethera Spirits promotional comic book, a PDF and print copy of the Aethera Campaign Setting, a special 1st-level introductory adventure PDF, the Aethera GM Screen, you get to design an iconic NPC for the Aethera Campaign Setting and receive the NPC as a special PDF with unique concept art, and Robert Brookes will travel anywhere within the continental US to personally GM a session of Aethera for you sometime in 2016! (Exact time and date of gaming session will be negotiated after the Kickstarter's conclusion. You must provide a safe and accessible location for the game to take place.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)