Aether V1.4 Release!
That's right, the most complete, polished an streamlined version of Aether is now available as Aether 1.4. This version has a major focus on trimming down the math so that you can spend less time figuring out mechanics and more time enjoying the story you're telling together. There's also been some big mechanics changes, and a few massive cuts.
The cuts were so big, in fact, that the game has gone from 200 pages to 133! But, that doesn't mean the game has any less great content, it just means I've cut a lot of flack and opened things up to players so that they can craft their play experience to their liking.
There's also a whole brand new layout done by yours truly, and I think it turned out pretty great!
What Was Cut?
- Pre-built character upgrades. Instead of having lists and lists of skill upgrades per skill, now the game just recommends a few mechanics that you can use as a basis for your upgrades and encourages you to go wild tailoring your character to your preferred experience. This opens up a lot of choice and helped achieve a tone for the game I was going for where I didn't want the mechanics to put limits on player choice by accident.
- Player Morale and Conviction. The way of tracking damage and survival has changed entirely now so that your skills are ALSO your health. Instead of subtracting damage from a Morale pool, now whenever you take damage you put a Damage Marker on one of your skills that gives you stacking -1 card penalties. When you have markers equal to your skill level, you can't use that skill. When you can't use any of your skills, you retire your character.
- Flat bonuses were cut in favor of card bonuses because playing more cards is more fun.
- Tactics were cut and changed to creature Roles which tell you part of how they behave.
- The three bonded magic items rule was cut. Now as long as you can keep track of your items you can use whatever you like.
- Cut repeated information and revised Running The Game to make it shorter and more clear.
- Cut Breathers since there's no longer Morale and no longer any restrictions on how many times player can use skill checks to heal.
- Bonus Morale was cut and replaced with Armor. Armor is a point system that soaks a certain number of Damage Markers before players or creatures have to apply them to skills or abilities.
- Damage is still an exchange, but now all damage deals 1 Damage Marker to a player or creature. Healing removes a number of Damage Markers equal to the level of the skill used for the healing.
- Creatures can now take damage markers to their Attacks, Passives and Powers in order to shut down certain abilities. A fight ends when all of their abilities are shut down.
- Cascading on a Triumph deals 2 damage markers as a critical hit. You can still choose other perks for Triumphs.
- Edited encounter planning math to both have monsters scale to be a better challenge for players, and changed the suggested number of creatures of each category per encounter.
- Action economy has changed. Now everyone gets 3 actions on their turn in combat, and can take Reactions outside their turn, however every Reaction they take without a card in hand makes them draw one less action on their next turn.
- Added a For First Timers section to the introduction for first time TTRPG players.
- Added rules for running large creatures.
- Social Encounters are now best of 3 or best of 5 series of skill checks for ease of memory.
- Status effects now have stacks equal to the skill level used to apply them. Players and monsters can use healing skills to reduce the duration of statuses by a number of turns equal to their skill level, or they can spend Potential/Burn cards as part of other skill checks to reduce the duration as well.
- Some status effects were changed in order to cut ableist terms.
- There's one single pool of Potential now, and more ways to gain Potential. Players start with 3 potential each session unless they have more.
- Character sheets have changed to be more clear and easy to use.
- Added Red and Black rule for making luck or 50/50 based checks without using skills whenever players just want to do something for the heck of it, or when people are having trouble deciding things in game.
So yeah, there's the run down of all the changes. As always, thank you for picking up the game and playing it, it's seen a lot of testing so far and a lot of changes for the better as a result.
Get Aether: A Heroic Fantasy RPG
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