The world of Alvena has recently emerged from what could have been considered an apocalypse; and after the Demon Wars which brought the world to the brink of destruction, the greatest magics and technologies of the ancient ages have been lost. Much of the world has returned to overgrown wilderness; and scholars, explorers, and adventurers pioneer and reclaim the ancient relics of the world. Technology and knowledge is precious, and a valuable commodity.
Most "civilized" communities enjoy many conveniences that are often taken for granted. Most towns and larger communities enjoy conveniences such as running water, books, and artificial illumination. Virtually every town has at least one or two magical adepts or professional magicians who tend to the needs of their communities, providing minor potions and healing. Magic is a natural part of life in Alvena, and its practitioners are generally respected; and many families scrape by money to pay for their children to attend arcane academies or to apprentice with a teacher of magical arts.
Rural communities however tend to be less advanced; though most have running water. The investment in minor magic items such as a Decanter of Water make it possible for communities to exist in even mostly barren conditions; and are staples of desert dwelling communities.
The invention of the printing press has revolutionized Alvena. Many cheap books are printed on parchment and bound with leather straps and sold in a variety of shops and stocked in libraries throughout large cities; while more valuable books are printed on thick paper and bound for durability and beauty. The written word is both widespread and powerful in Alvena; and stories of adventures or discoveries of lost knowledge or locations are in high demand by Alvena's populace. Some adventurers become famous by selling logs of their adventures, or writing stories based on their deeds and experiences.
The average printing press weighs roughly 500lbs, and are constructed out of wood and metal. They cost roughly fifteen thousand silver pieces, and can produce roughly 3,600 pages per workday. Most common books are fifty to one hundred pages in length, with larger stories being produced in increments, creating a series of books.
Steam Power and Airships
One of the most modern advances in technology is through using heat as a driving force. By utilizing rudimentary magic, blacksmiths and alchemists have developed a number of odd inventions which are currently being perfected. The current most impressive is the airship, which by the large is very similar to a dirigible; with the second being horseless carts. The technology is in its infancy however, as with the exception of the flying ships, steam power is widely considered too expensive to be practical when compared to traditional magic means.
The nation of Ironclave developed the first line of firearms shortly after the Demon Wars as an answer to the diminishing strength of its military arcanists; but the technology never really caught on, and while basic cannons and firearms were developed quickly, they never matched the power of magic or psionics; resulting in the fall of the Ironclave nation after only about ten years to to rivals and insurgencies. However, several design plans as well as some of the firearms made it outside of Ironclave where alchemists and inventors tinkered with them.
Now in the modern day, firearms are seen as an exotic or showman's weapon. They're favored by a few wandering warriors or special groups, and have been refined to use shell-based ammunition; which is expensive for its size and weight. Such weapons will likely never be considered for mass production for armies or the like; being too expensive for what is viewed as only a marginal gain in ability. However, a few can usually be found in any major city.
The firearms rules can be found here: Expanded Classes page under Gunslinger.
Core Equipment Revisions
A lot of the weapons from core Pathfinder have been revised and rebalanced. Many weapons have been adjusted to include multiple damage types, as well as options for specialization in certain mundane weapons. For sake of organization, the equipment list and changes have been given their own page. See below.
Magic Item Revisions
Some formulas for magic items have changed in HoA from the standard.
- Spell Resistance: Spell resistance magic items have been deemed too expensive for their worth by standard Pathfinder/3.5 rules. So instead a tiered calculation has been added to adjust for spell resistance. All spell resistance items begin at SR 11, and cost 25 gold multiplied by the SR squared. For every 5 points above SR 11, the gold piece factor doubles. The table can be found below. The base CL for a spell-resistance item is SR-10.