The Zenáthras campaign is a Pathfinder campaign, but with some modifications.
The first and largest change is that we will be using a system called 'Epic 12' or E12 for short. This is similar to the E6 system proposed elsewhere and, in short, means that characters will only increase in class level until they reach Level 12. After this point, a character cannot increase in class level any more; they cannot multiclass, they do not gain any higher-level benefits of their class, and they cannot qualify for feats that require a character level or class ability earned at a level higher than 12th.
However, they will continue to gain a small modicum of power. Every time a character earns 30,000 additional experience points, they will also earn an additional feat. This can be spent on any feat for which a character qualifies. In addition to these feats, there will be a small number of quasi-feats which can be taken by characters using these beyond-12th-level feats (but not with regular feats before the character reaches the 12th level limit).
The 12th-level limit was selected for several reasons. The first is that I feel that, by 12th level, characters have a good selection of powers and abilities; classes are distinct from one another and capable of major feats of fantasy: they can raise the dead, attack up to three times in a round, produce most standard magic items (including weapons and armor with up to a +4 enhancement bonus), and more. They're also strong enough to fight interesting monsters and engage in heroic deeds without necessarily eclipsing everything in the world with their might. That last is important because I'm trying to avoid some of the problems that plagued Faengleis, with the competing power scales that ended up with some battles taking multiple sessions to complete. Another reason I settled on 12th level is that it is the highest level allowed in official Pathfinder Society play; it's an upper limit that has received a lot of playtesting as a result.
Characters for this campaign buy their ability scores out of a pool of 81 points. Each of your ability scores starts at 0 and is paid for on a one-for-one basis from this pool. After this stage, no ability score can be lower than a 3 or higher than an 18. This can be modified by racial adjustments to be as low as 1 (rather unadvisable) or as high as 20 (nigh unto superhuman).
Characters receive maximum hit points at first level and every time they level up.
Classes and Races
Characters can select any Core Class or any Base Class except the Gunslinger. Characters can also select the Dragon Shaman, Healer, and Marshal classes from D&D 3.5. Speak with me before selecting a class which casts arcane magic, however, which includes Alchemists, Bards, Magi, Summoners, Sorcerers, Witches, and Wizards. These classes are not necessarily forbidden, but we will need to work out a reason why your character is using arcane magic.
As for races, any of the following are permissible (along with the regions they are likely to originate):
- Human (Barren Haven, Council of Wyrms, Estruaza, Imbara, Jyvestra, Marukeem, Skunting, Tide Princes)
- Dwarf (Council of Wyrms, Tythald Gate, Zharad Gruene)
- Elf (Council of Wyrms, Idyle, Marukeem, Tide Princes)
- Halfling (Council of Wyrms, Gevan, Skunting)
- Half-Elf (Council of Wyrms, Kyth, Marukeem, Tide Princes)
- Half-Orc (Barren Haven, Council of Wyrms, Imbara, Tyrancy of Geddephron)
- Half-Giant [Ignore all abilities related to psionics] (Council of Wyrms, Dwallutham, Voad)
- Aasimar (Council of Wyrms, Estruaza)
- Tiefling (Barren Haven, Council of Wyrms, Skunting, Tyrancy of Geddephron)
- Gyrfolk [see Tengu] (Council of Wyrms)
- Hobgoblin (Council of Wyrms, Jyvestra, Möth Unvidia, Voad)
- Orc (Barren Haven, Council of Wyrms, Möth Unvidia, Tyrancy of Geddephron)
- Nagaji (Council of Wyrms, Skunting, L'r Tost)
- Lizardfolk (Council of Wyrms, Tholaqua, Tyrancy of Geddephron)
- Centaur [Experience Penalty] (Council of Wyrms, Estruaza)
- Ogre [Experience Penalty] (Council of Wyrms, Dwallutham, Tyrancy of Geddephron)
- Half-Dragon [Major Experience Penalty] (Council of Wyrms)
- Half-Celestial [Major Experience Penalty] (Council of Wyrms, Estruaza)
- Half-Fiend [Major Experience Penalty] (Council of Wyrms, Tyrancy of Geddephron)
Unlike the Faengleis campaign, we will be trying out the normal Pathfinder experience chart. We will be using the fast experience track to see how it plays out.
This setting is slightly less magic-intensive when compared to most other Pathfinder settings (and especially Faengleis). Divine magic is almost as common as normal Pathfinder, gained through a partnership with or worship of the so-called Great Beasts. Mechanically, divine magic functions just as it always has, while story-wise you are simply selecting a suitably powerful creature (dragons, titans, or any other suitably powerful creature of the Aberration, Dragon, Fey, Magical Beast, Monstrous Humanoid, Ooze, or Plant type; Construct, Humanoid, Outsider, and Undead types cannot share their power with followers; finally, certain Animal and Vermin types can share their power in special cases, but most cannot).
Arcane magic, on the other hand, requires energy taken forcibly from these creatures. While certain rare cases exist amongst humanoids (such as half-dragons), it is generally impossible for anyone but the Great Beasts themselves to naturally use arcane magic. Instead, humanoid races can use blood, bone, and flesh from Great Beasts to empower their spellcasting, replacing the usual material components with these grisly reagents. In keeping with this, the feat Eschew Materials does not work with arcane magic and even spells that normally do not require material components requires a small amount of some sacrificial fetish.
During creation, each character can select two traits from the following list.