Nu_Fenix
 member, 119 posts
Sun 1 Jan 2017
at 19:26
Pathfinder wizard academy game
For some reason, I was thinking about a Pathfinder campaign set in Golarion, where all the players are wizards, and it starts with several years at a wizard academy.

Obviously the comparison is Harry Potter, though strangely enough I'm not a fan...

I'm thinking that the game starts at level 1, representing the players as newly initiated at the school. Then at the end of each year the players gain a level, until they reach level 4, and the game then switches to them leaving the academy and being sent on adventures to reclaim lost items, hunt monsters or anything else that feels fitting.
Additionally, I'm thinking each year the players get to choose classes which will give them additional benefits, such as making a skill a class skill, a bonus to a skill, weapon proficiency, a new spell, and so on. But as each player will be able to select from an option, it adds further variety.

So, would such a game be of interest?
And if so, what would players expect from it? What would make it 'Pathfinder' in terms of what you can do? Assorted skill checks to pass classes? Wizarding duels? Fighting summoned monsters for combat training?
jkeogh
 member, 41 posts
Sun 1 Jan 2017
at 20:37
Pathfinder wizard academy game
What about other arcane classes? is it a magic academy or a wizard's only academy?

I have seen other attempts of this in 3.5 but I like pathfinder a bit more and would love to give this a go.
StarMaster
 member, 246 posts
Sun 1 Jan 2017
at 20:44
Pathfinder wizard academy game
So it doesn't sound like you want to start the characters/students at 0-level and let the first year be their apprentice year where they learn their first spell and all the other benefits that come with being a 1st-level Wizard.

You could, though, have them be 1st-levels for hit points, and maybe skill points, but take classes to learn the rest of the benefits.

It also sounds like you don't want it to be Harry Potter-like in terms of the school and such. I don't know if there have been any other movies that dealt with it, but there have been a number of fantasy books that did.


I guess the real issue is how much do you want them to gain through their classes? Will they be better 4th-levels than normal 4th-leve wizards? It sounds like if you want to keep the game interesting, the characters need to be able to go a bit beyond the normal rules. For instance, if a PC chooses to study combat a bit more (or does better at it), his BAB might increase. This could produce a sort of hybrid class.

I'd rather see them start as apprentices... with no spells, no spell book, no weapon proficiencies, no feats, no relevant skills, no familiar. Let them pick these up through classes.


Next question: is it only for wizards? Or can Sorcerers and other spell-casters go to this school?

What about Alternate Favored Class Bonuses? Taught here?

What about Archetypes? Taught here?

What about Alternate Class Features? Taught here?


Also, there is a module from Drop Dead Games that features a Wizard's Academy; it's called Here There Be Monsters.
lensman
 member, 163 posts
 Crestline, CA, -8 GMT
Sun 1 Jan 2017
at 20:44
Pathfinder wizard academy game
Questions I have:
How is this different from HP? What are you not a fan of in HP series?

I would expect
Specialized Traits, specialized Feats, specialized Skill use to 'customize uses of spells, specialized metamagic, specialized Prestige classes, specialized Class Archetypes.
StarMaster
 member, 247 posts
Sun 1 Jan 2017
at 20:48
Pathfinder wizard academy game
I like lensman's idea about the Specialized aspects but would rather see these developed by the individual players rather than expect the GM to spend his time and efforts working these out. If he did that, it could be a year before the game gets started!
lensman
 member, 164 posts
 Crestline, CA, -8 GMT
Sun 1 Jan 2017
at 20:52
Pathfinder wizard academy game
Yep, the specialized creation load can be shared, just some GMs like to make those sort of things.
rlovie
 member, 57 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 01:51
Pathfinder wizard academy game
I would be interested in this game:)
GammaBear
 member, 695 posts
 Gaymer
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 02:01
Pathfinder wizard academy game
I love the concept, but Mathfinder is such a broken system. If it was 5e, I would be down in a heartbeat. Still, I would love to be a lurker, if you were to accept lurkers. Depending on what you allow, or more importantly, restrict, my interest for Pathfinder might be rekindled.
Nu_Fenix
 member, 120 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 13:32
Pathfinder wizard academy game
@jkeogh
Initially I am thinking only of wizards to make it less demanding for me, as there is a large amount they can do already. Looking at the other spellcasters, and Magus would probably fit (never played one myself however), with Alchemist as a maybe, but I'm unsure if the spontaneous casters would even want to go to an academy. They can't learn new spells in the same way as a prepared caster, and they always seem likely to be the ones going out and learning first-hand, then studying somewhere.

@StarMaster
Starting as level 0 and building up from there would be too much work for me, and I feel like it would force the characters in certain ways. Whereas having them be built normally with bonuses on top means they can still refer to the normal character rules but just know they know x skill or spell extra, for example.
In terms of what is taught regarding archetypes and alternate class features, depending on what a player wants, it could simply be a trapping of learning there. So if a Human used the bonus for an additional spell of a lower level, it could simply be as a result of them studying or late nights in the library, or a reward from one of their teachers for their work.

@lensman
In regards to what it is about HP I don't like, it's their age. School aged things and YA books just don't grab or appeal to me. A level 1 Human wizard is aged 17-27! So they aren't going to be fresh-faced young teens. They could be coming in late wishing to learn magic much later in life, still being seen as children compared to the longer-lived races.
I am curious what it is would make you expect all of those extra things. As personally, expect is a very strong word, compared to like or hope for.

@rlovie
Thank you for your interest. Have you got anything about it you would care to add?

@GammaBear
Because of PF I've never even looked at 5e, as 4e burned me hard. But the options with how a character can be built is what I love about the system.
As for being a lurker, I've got no problem with that whatsoever.

It's nice to see players are interested in the idea at least!!

Spending more time thinking about it all, these are plans I have for the game:
* Characters have only 1 or 2 adventures per year - RPOL is slow enough with games that anything more and they players will never complete their first year!
* Characters choose from X classes per year to attend (final number to be decided, probably 4), that give them a bonus when progressing to the next level. I'm thinking one class would give them a skill point in a specific skill, such as "Ancient Languages" giving a point in Linguistics that must go in one of the dead languages of Golarion, whilst a class would need to be taken multiple times but give a specific bonus feat such Improved Faimilar.
* I can't decide if I want to allow players to multiclass, though I'm leaning towards not (as rare as it is for full spellcasters). If the game goes on long enough, prestige classes would be fine if they're fitting, though it depends completely on what happens to the game once everyone graduates. If the players want to keep going, they can be sent off on adventures for the academy, or we may all feel that the game has run it's course and be happy for it to stop, perhaps being restarted and with me learning from what happened as the game went on.
* I went it set in Golarion, so all the benefits of the main PF setting can be used, and after some searching the http://pathfinder.wikia.com/wiki/Arcanamirium seems like something that would work. Minimal established details, open to all schools of magic (so I don't have someone feeling they can't use X school of magic).

I also found a setting book "Redhurst Academy of Magic" to help give me ideas and make me think about things I wouldn't have initially done.
jkeogh
 member, 42 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 14:34
Pathfinder wizard academy game
Well I am very interested and would love to RTJ when you are ready
StarMaster
 member, 248 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 17:26
Pathfinder wizard academy game
Personally, I don't think it'd be as much fun as if they started as 0-levels, but I was just tossing out ideas.

Still interested, though.

If they are going to be enhanced wizards, you might want to give some thought as to what their ECL would be, though I don't think I'd wanted to see more than ECL+2.

Almost by definition, students of this academy would already be a Prestige Class--that's what's giving them the extra benefits... sort of like the Red Wizards of Thay, etc. Don't know if Pathfinder has any equivalent, but they probably do.

As for Pathfinder being 'broken', if you leave out 3PP, it isn't. 3PP additions tend to be unbalanced as there is no oversight/edit to them.


Just to be clear, you are talking about 1-2 adventures per game school year, right? Not per Real Time year...

Also, characters can start out with a familiar? So there would be no class for learning how to get a familiar?

It occurs to me, too, that multi-classing should NOT be allowed. What they can do, instead, is make up a prestige class that includes some of the other aspects of another class. For instance, the Magus already has a spellblade, so if that's what someone wanted, there would be a class for that. Same think for a Spell-Thief or a Mystic (magical monk) or whatever.
Nu_Fenix
 member, 121 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 17:38
Pathfinder wizard academy game
@StarMaster
It would indeed be per academic year. Hopefully an academic year doesn't match a real world year however...
Wizards in PF can start with a bonded item or creature, so no, there wouldn't be a class for getting a familiar. But they may be classes on looking after them, improving them, and so forth, leading to ranks in Handle Animal or the Improved Familiar feat.

For example, one class I have in mind is "A History of Fallen Empires: Gain 1 rank in Linguistics that must be used on one of the following languages: Ancient Osiriani, Azlanti, Cyclops, Jistkan, Tekritanin, or Thassilonian".

This afternoon I've been writing out ideas for classes, in regards to their names and benefits, seeing each one class being the equivalent of a trait or favoured class bonus, and I'm thinking there are 3 classes per year, so depending on what the players choose they could be getting 3 extra (but specific) skills/spells, 1 and a specific feat or ability such as an extra once per day use of their 1st level wizard speciality).
StarMaster
 member, 249 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 17:56
Pathfinder wizard academy game
Sounds good.


If you aren't too thrilled about the Arcanamirium in Absalom, there is also 3 magic academies in Varisia: Arcanae in Khorvosa, Twilight Academy in Galduria, and an unnamed one in Magnimar.

For the most part, there seems to be a magical academy in most major cities. Quantium, for example, is said to have several prestigious arcane academies, but none appear to have been named or otherwise defined yet.

For your game, a field trip to the Bazaar in Quantium might be a fun adventure! Just don't feed the baby dragons!

From this, I gather that magic tends to be rather regional/localized. Wizards aren't traipsing all over the world; they tend to stay close to home.


If you do want to use the Arcanamiriium, there's a campaign book, Inner Sea Magic, that deals with a lot of cool magical stuff from the region.
GammaBear
 member, 696 posts
 Gaymer
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 17:59
Pathfinder wizard academy game
Hell. I think I may just try coming back to Pathfinder. This is sounding really interesting.
Rinandien
 member, 28 posts
 Have fun,
 help others.
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 18:07
Pathfinder wizard academy game
Indeed, I'd like to join as well. Regarding classes, where between mechanics only (enroll and get a bonus) and detailed role play (playing out a lecture or two, essay, final test) would they fall into?
Nu_Fenix
 member, 122 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 18:16
Pathfinder wizard academy game
@StarMaster
All I know about the Arcanamirium is what the wiki tells me. It was when I was Googling about which magical academies exist in Golarion, and the others seem more specialised towards a particular speciality, whereas the Arcanamirium seemed more general, and practical in encouraging it's students to be able to go into the world and survive.

@GammaBear
Glad you're liking the sound of it.

@Rinandien
That is what I need to work out. I want the crunch to have meaning, as otherwise I would simply go for a freeform game. For example, one time in an Exalted campaign I made the players write out scrolls using mops as quills and paper that was several feet long, along with dice rolls to dictate the quality of their writing. I have been thinking that as well as the adventures that the players are on, they would be able to drive things themselves, depending on what they wanted to do. For tests and essays, I was thinking that perhaps each semester as series of skill tests would be needed from the players, and whilst it wouldn't prevent the players from progressing or graduating, it could give some in game benefit, such as items, or purely roleplaying effects such as being given a better room for the following year, or forced to peel 1000 potatoes without using magic.

I'm now worried I might get more interest then I can actually take!!
GammaBear
 member, 697 posts
 Gaymer
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 18:22
Pathfinder wizard academy game
I wouldn't worry about that Nu. As a DM, I always take on a few extra because inevitably at least one or two people are going to drop within the first couple of weeks for various reasons; real life, they find the game boring, they mysteriously leave the site, etc. After about a month, you'll find out who your solid core of players are going to be.
jkeogh
 member, 43 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 18:24
Pathfinder wizard academy game
That is usually the case with a Pathfinder game here!

I think this game has a ton of potential and look forward to it coming to life!
GammaBear
 member, 698 posts
 Gaymer
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 18:31
Pathfinder wizard academy game
*sigh* Okay. You got me. I'm officially hooked. I'm already brainstorming a couple of character concepts. lol So when is this becoming a reality? :P
StarMaster
 member, 250 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 18:54
Pathfinder wizard academy game
Well, it's your campaign/world, so nothing has to be canon... and really isn't.

If you like Absalom, that's great. If you'd rather use some other area of Golarion, that's okay, too. Just create your academy in that location. The Twilight Academy is for misfits... and wild experimentation.

Speaking of which, what if a student's final exam is that he has to create a new spell?

In my homegrown campaign, I'd come up with the idea that when an arcane spellcaster 'graduated' from his apprenticeship (or whatever), he had a unique spell that he created to demonstrate to his master/teachers that he'd learned what they had taught him. So, Biff Bolomine has a spell in his spellbook called Biff's Bludgeoning Baton (or whatever)... a unique, personalized spell. It might even be possible that he's the only one that can cast it, because he's Biff!


As far as too many players, you can always ask for additional GMs (I'm game). Also, what about letting players play the instructors? The archmage Arkus Forge might be known for his boring lectures, and it requires a Concentration/Constitution check to stay awake during them.
Nu_Fenix
 member, 123 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 19:45
Pathfinder wizard academy game
I still have plenty to work out, but here is where the game will live - link to another game

Everyone who has currently shown an interest has priority for the game :)
lensman
 member, 165 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 21:24
Re: Pathfinder wizard academy game

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 22:20, Mon 02 Jan.

StarMaster
 member, 251 posts
Mon 2 Jan 2017
at 22:04
Re: Pathfinder wizard academy game

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 22:22, Mon 02 Jan.