Choosing Your Vocation
Vocations are Aether’s equivalent to character classes. If you are coming from other fantasy tabletop games, or even video games, these will feel somewhat familiar as each one represents an overall archetype or category of abilities to choose from. There are a few key differences in Aether Vocations however: you spend Experience to gain new Abilities rather than gaining abilities as players level up. Also, Aether abilities are broken into Ability Trees, each of which have Tiers from 1-6. You can take an ability from any Ability Tree in your Vocation, as long as you have at least one ability of the previous Tier.
A Vocation is effectively the way in which an Aetherborn’s soul manifests their powers, therefore the powers grow and change in unique combinations to each individual Aetherborn. Each Vocation has a few things in common: each has a Primary Stat, which determines what stat most of the abilities will function off of and also determines the stat requirement for multiclassing. Additionally, each Vocation has a Core Ability, most of which involve generating a resource the Vocation makes use of, and they all have leading questions that will help you develop how your Aetherborn connects to their Vocation.
Animists are summoners, powerful mages that specialize in calling other creatures to their aid. Many of them study Conjuration in order to improve the quality of their summoned Minions and other creatures. Animists have a variety of abilities that focus on altering and improving the types of creatures they can summon, as well as abilities that let them interact with their own summons for various benefits and effects.
The Animist Vocation focuses on Acuity as its Primary Stat, and they get to summon a Familiar as their core ability.
Conjuration is the study of summoning and improving a summoned creature. Conjuration gives Animists the ability to summon more Minions, lets their Familiar attack and even allows them to summon Elite or Lieutenant type creatures in time.
Naturalism is the study of the natural world, which allows a skilled Animist to summon Beasts and Plants to their aid, and even make Beasts they tame into their Familiar as well. Naturalists also learn to channel the power of growth, conjuring plants to slow enemies, poisoning targets, and eventually even terraforming the landscape.
Animists that study the Occult often do so out of a desire to understand the beings that they’ve sold parts of their own soul too, or promised their soul to upon their deaths. As a result, Occultists gain the power to summon Fiends from different hell-planes, sacrifice them to deal damage to others, and even tear open portals to those hellscapes, allowing floods of minor Fiends into the mortal planes.
Necromancers serve a peculiar duality: they often choose to summon one of two types of Undead: Spirits of the dead that remain in Liminus and aid the living, and Echoes, soul-less husks that attempt to devour the souls of those in the mortal plane. Necromancers specializing in Spirits are often advisers to communities and those that tend the dead, while those that summon Echoes tend to be those that wish to conquer.
Channelers are magical savants who direct, alter and manipulate the various energies of the universe. Each Channeler develops particular abilities regarding what types of energy they can change, such as different elements, aspects of the body and more. They focus on Sigils, magical equations built of different keywords that create a multitude of different powers and effects.
The Channeler Vocation focuses on Acuity as its Primary Stat, and casting Sigils as its Core Ability.
Sygaldry is the study of Sigils, powerful magical equations built of Runes and assembled by the caster to produce a variety of effects. The Sygaldry ability tree also contains abilities that allow one to detect and dispel magical effects, counter Sigils and magical abilities, and even create pocket dimensions .
An elementalist gains abilities to manipulate Fire, Water, Earth and Lightning. This includes using each of these Elements and their respective Status Effects in their Sigils, but goes beyond that into a fundamental understanding of their capabilities. Elementalists can reshape battlefields, create walls of ice and earth, and eventually even transform into an Elemental themselves.
Sangromancy is the study of magic’s impacts on the body, as well as diseases and other mortal afflictions. Sangromancers manifest the powers of their soul through their blood, and can use it to detect heartbeats, create poisons and cures for diseases, and even siphon the life force of their enemies.
A Psion uses the sheer strength of their mind to manifest the power of their soul. They specialize in telepathy, telekinetics, and eventually even ripping holes in reality and teleporting great distances.
Heralds devote themselves to an ideal, cause or entity with such a ferocity that they manage to garner the favor of the representations of their chosen source. Many of them choose to serve deities of various inclinations, however some are so powerful in their devotion to an ideal that the ideal itself becomes the source of their abilities. Heralds revolve around spending Favor they earn through upholding their devotion to power their abilities.
Heralds use Affluence as their Primary Stat, and their core ability allows them to earn Favor whenever they fill one of their Core Value tracks.
Boons are helpful abilities, such as restoring Morale or Conviction, reading people’s souls, and even transforming into a cosmic entity, that are granted to the Herald through their continued devotion. As a result, Boons are often the abilities granted by ideals and entities that focus on aiding others.
An inverse to Boons, Banes are a set of abilities that revolve around interfering with other creatures. Banes can banish creatures from other planes of existence, prevent creatures from rising as Undead, and imbue creatures with fear at the very sight of you.
Each Vow is a single declaration that a Herald can make resulting in them taking a third Core Value. Every time a Herald upholds their Vow while under duress, they gain a certain amount of Favor that they can spend on various other abilities from other Herald skill trees. Completing the Value Track for their Vow grants Experience and additional benefits depending on the Vow they take.
Wrath abilities are what allow the Herald to be highly effective in combat, and they revolve around spending Favor to gain advantages in battle, summon weapons forged from their soul, and imbue those weapons with devastating strikes fueled by their devotion.
Rangers are far-travelers, trackers, outsiders and vagabonds that focus on honing their skills with ranged weapons and limited magics. As a result, Rangers are some of the most skilled survivalists across the Aetherscape, with an uncanny knack for tracking prey, finding information and getting themselves out of dangerous situations on their grit alone.
Rangers use Athletics as their Primary Stat and their core ability grants them the Piercing and Volley Runes for their weapon attacks.
First aid, stealthy movement, and the ability to find or create shelter in the most unlikely situations all fall under the purview of the Ranger’s Survival abilities. Basically, if you’re going to wind up in a fight, or you have to make your way through somewhere dangerous, you’ll want a Ranger with some Survival skills.
The Infiltrator uses minor magics to get in and out of dangerous scenarios quickly and without being noticed. Beyond that, they also take and manipulate information to their own ends, building networks of useful informants and using their information to build people up… or tear them down.
Hunters use their skills to find out information about a particular target to gain an edge, track that target down and ultimately remove them in various ways. They are nimble, terrifying, and can be equally effective when hunting people or monsters.
Slingers are flashy combatants often specializing in Light Ranged weapons. They’re the ones that garner reputations for being a bit reckless, but somehow it always works out. Their abilities focus on targeting a creature’s Conviction to end combat more quickly, manipulating their Fate dice and firing from the hip so fast that you could swear they took two turns in a row…
Almost a cousin to Rangers, Scoundrels tend to be more close-quarters and leverage their own reputations to intimidate, manipulate and ultimately eliminate others. They have an uncanny amount of good luck that most assume comes from their wile and charm, to the degree that some Scoundrels are even thought to bend Fate itself.
Scoundrels use Affluence as their Primary Stat, and their Core Ability revolves around them generating Luck that they spend to fuel abilities.
A Scoundrel’s Presence ability tree lets them leverage their social skills more effectively in combat. They become highly effective at distracting, goading and demoralizing enemies that Understand them, as well as avoiding embarrassing social gaffs that would otherwise cause problems.
Mercenaries live by their own code and often work for money or some other form of personal gain. Famous mercenaries include things like bounty hunters, pirates, thieves and bodyguards, but they all have one thing in common: their reputation precedes them, and they use that reputation to their own ends with great effect.
Spies leverage their social skills in order to learn information about others, and use that information to their advantage. They revolve around discovering creature’s Fears, Loves, Motives and Secrets, and using those to gain mechanical advantages or even outright start rumors that can completely ruin a person’s social standing.
Tricksters use various forms of magic in order to make their lives easier. They can magically impersonate others, create illusory copies of themselves, and even manipulate Fate itself to earn some better results in and out of combat. Sometimes, they might even bend Fate for their friends.
Warriors are multi-disciplinary fighters that thrive on the front lines, often choosing their own causes for fighting. No matter what discipline they follow, or what path they choose, all Warriors have one thing in common: an uncanny ability to survive the heat of battle and draw other fighters to them as either challengers or comrades in arms.
Warriors use Athletics as their Primary Stat, and their Core Ability allows them to regain Conviction when they reduce creatures’ Morale to 0.
A Warrior’s Prowess gives them a variety of abilities that improve their attacks in battle, let them regain Morale or Conviction, or even lets them spend their Conviction for certain advantages in combat. Prowess is also where they can choose to break past their limits and achieve what others may consider impossible feats.
Duelists focus on fighting singular opponents, often challenging opponents stronger than themselves and using all of their power to defeat them. Whether for personal honor, glory or some other deeply-held reasons, Duelists become some of the most world renowned fighters for their artful strikes and mastery of their chosen weapons.
Sentinels become revered as guardians, on the battlefield and off. They are known for protecting their comrades, protecting the innocent, and never backing down in a fight when somebody could get hurt. They’re often described as towers of steel, and their abilities revolve around spending Conviction to gain bonuses to defense, to help defend their allies, or to make one last stand against impossible odds.
A Runeguard learns the ways of Enchanting in order to improve their weapons, armor and items, honing them into tools of protection and destruction. They eventually learn to imbue the weapons and items of others with particular Runes to improve their effectiveness, and can even dispel magical effects and create fields of anti-magic.