A few short months ago, I released my first book Path of Shadows out to the Pathfinder community (which you can find on DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store, Paizo.com, and the Ascension Games website). The book was a huge undertaking and quite the challenge, but at the end of the day the book has been praised across the board for its design and construction. Now, I want to continue on with the "Path" line of books, aiming to meet and exceed the expectations the community has after Path of Shadows with my newest book, Path of Iron!
Much like my last book, Path of Iron focuses on a specific area of magic, in this case, metal. Now, metal is a bit vague compared to shadows and darkness, which are already clearly defined schools and descriptors in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. So, what exactly is metal magic? In this case, I'm focusing on spells and abilities that utilize physical objects and materials, or more specifically, objects made of metal. Spells that conjure storms of blades, powerful constructs, or turn an opponent's armor to slag are just a sampling of what's in store for Path of Iron. I'll also be including options built around combat and warfare, much like Ultimate Combat does at the moment for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. And just like with Path of Shadows, this book will cover all aspects of Pathfinder: three new base classes, dozens of spells and feats, new magic items, a brand new magic system, plus archetypes and options for plenty of existing classes all will be found within the book.
Of course, the details are what's important, right? Here's an overview of what you can expect in Path of Iron:
- The archivist base class, a scholarly magician who taps into the ancient art of rune magic, a brand new form of magic casting where every spell serves to strengthen the next. Choose from one of six specializations within rune magic, such as Creation and Revelation, to further enhance your powers in a given area.
- The saboteur base class, a roguish-type that blends arcane spells with clever tricks and traps. The saboteur is an expert of trap making, able to create deadly devices nearly instantly while bypassing those laid by foes with ease. Fooling divinations, assasination, and reading people's minds are just a few of the tricks the saboteur can master to take on any job.
- The vanguard base class, a martial-magic hybrid whose innate talent and eldritch power manifests through the animation and control of a powerful construct. Create resonances between your construct's magical power and your own to support your allies or hinder foes, and imbue spells into yourself and your companion to come into effect at a later time.
- Dozens of new archetypes and options for existing classes. Play archetypes like the Zen Marksman monk to flurry with a firearm, or an Arcane Marauder magus to (finally) use spell combat with a two-handed weapon. Options include new ranger combat styles like Quarterstaff, Spear, and Firearm, or choices like the new Metal spirit for shamans.
- Spells for casters of all stripes. Shapeshift your greatsword into a halberd with the alter weapon spell, or steal magical enhancements from your opponent's armor with the siphon enhancement spell. Strike all nearby enemies with a single blade spiral or have your weapons and armor act on their own with the dancing steel spell. Included is an alternate rule for adding the "metal" descriptor to these spells and to existing Pathfinder spells like iron body, heart of the metal, and molten orb, of which archetypes, feats, and magic items within this book will support.
- Feats to support a variety of play styles. Who needs a belt of mighty hurling when you can take the Powerful Throwing feat and use your Strength bonus on attack rolls with thrown weapons? This book will also be introducing new Technique feat chains, which are like Style feats for various weapons and wielding styles. Tear your opponent's armor asunder with the Bebilth Technique, or smash your opponents with a tower shield when using the Archon Technique.
- New magic equipment, weapon and armor properties, and magic items abound. Use the gatecrasher to destroy any barricade, magical or mundane, or create magic items with ease with the aid of the hammer of the forgemaster.
- Rune magic, a new form of magic casting that is pioneered by the archivist base class. Each spell leaves lingering power in the form of intricate runes upon the caster, which the caster can then consume to supercharge his next spell. This isn't just an extra feature placed on top of the already-existing spells, this is an all-new list of spells built for this system, with abilities, feats, and magic items to support it.
Kickstarter and Playtest for Path of Iron
A project of this size is certainly a daunting one considering I'm the only author, but rest assured that I intend to deliver a consistent, balanced, and high-quality product, as anyone that has read through Path of Shadows can attest to. However, unlike with Path of Shadows, I can't do it alone.
A book of this size and scale needs more input and funding than just one guy, and as such I will be launching a Kickstarter two weeks from today to fund the project on July 10th, 2015. Of course, feedback and input is just as important. A public playtest of the material will be made available once the Kickstarter is complete, which will include all three base classes and the new rune magic system so the community can give their opinion on the design, strengths, and flaws of the book.
In the meantime, feel free to ask questions about the book or my previous work. Every few days leading up to the Kickstarter launch date I'll be posting teasers for each section and class within the book, going into more detail on each (along with some sweet art by lead artist Danielle Sands). Check back every once in a while leading up to the Kickstarter to find out more!
Thanks for your support and I hope you are as excited as I am for Path of Iron!
Ascension Games, LLC