Akasha is a type of magic that acts as a natural amplifier for other types of energy, but perhaps this type of magic does not mesh with the campaign you are envisioning.
Perhaps you have sufficient magic sources in your game, but you don’t have enough technological options, or you’d like a better way to play certain concepts right from first level, like a weaponized android or hard-bitten cyborg.
Changing the system of akasha to an alternative system of cybernetics or gadgetry can be as little or as much work as you want it to be. To get you started, presented below is a selection of alternative options for integrating akasha into your campaign as an alternate form of cybertech without changing any of the base mechanics. Note also that this is just a suggestion on how to change the theme, and that you can take these ideas and reinterpret them for your own campaigns, providing a multitude of variations and different themes. Perhaps multiple themes of akasha exist in your campaign, giving you a solid reference in mechanics, but providing a wide variety in how “akasha” appears in your game.
While akasha uses magical constructs called “veils” that are powered by essence, using it as cybernetic and nanotech enhancements requires a few superficial changes, as outlined below:
- Essence: Rename essence as bioenergy, battery points, or even “juice”. For a more steampunk or emerging technology campaign, you can also use kilowatts or steam points.
- Veils: Veils can be renamed as cybernetics, cybertech, or nano-constructs. For a more steampunk or emerging technology campaign, you can also use gadgets or contraptions.
- Chakra Binds: Rename chakra binds as upgrades or enhancements. If using nanite themes, like referring to veils as nano-constructs, innovations could also be appropriate.
Once you’ve changed the terminology for essence and veils, you’ll likely find that the classes require some changes to their theme and nomenclature as well. Some suggested changes for each class are suggested here:
- Daevic: Rename to cyborg or metahuman. Rather than a daeva granting them passions and passion skills, the cyborg or android may have loadouts or programs and .exe files. Passion veils can be implants, and blood veils and binds can be nanite injections. Resist influence is the result of a bioelectric shock system that helps avoid mental domination, rather than the influence of a symbiotic presence. Rather than gaining the outsider (native) subtype, the cyborg could gain the construct type, though retaining only the current advantages.
- Guru: Rename to phantom or arcknight. Gentle touch becomes neural shock. Philosophies become paradigms or interfaces. Chakra disruptions become neural disruptions. Sunder veil becomes disrupt energy. Immortal essence becomes energy conversion.
- Vizier: Rename to scientist or inventor. Eldritch insight can be renamed spectrometer or analytical implant. Mystic attunement can be renamed as field of study or scientific specialty. Crafter, ruler, and seer paths can be renamed engineer, psychologist (or psychiatrist depending on how you envision your abilities working), and sociologist. Veilshifting can be renamed as reconfigure. Chakra rebirth can be renamed to bio-overload, energize, or rapid reconfigure.
Futuristic Veils: In addition to the changes mentioned previously, included below are a selection of new and modified veils that better fit the technological themes suggested. While we have presented alternative names for the akashic classes, veils will still be presented in traditional format, referring to binds, essence, and the base class names (daevic, guru, and vizier) to avoid unnecessary confusion. It’s important to note that the veils presented below are only a fraction of those you may want to utilize in a futuristic or high technology campaign, and you should feel free to convert any veil following the thematic suggestions presented earlier.
These chrome accented boots feature micro propulsion engines that allow you to glide just above the surface of dangerous liquids.
Equipping this veil grants the ability to walk across liquid surfaces as though they were solid ground, traversing water or other liquids as comfortably as solid ground.
Essence: For each point of essence invested in this ability your base speed is increased by an additional 5 feet.
- Chakra Bind (Feet): The power of these boots now lifts you free of the ground. You travel 4 inches above any liquid or solid surface as easily as you would walk on solid ground and you leave no tracks of any kind. In addition, you can even charge across chasms or over large gaps; any time you use the charge, withdraw, or run action in a round, you may move across open space without falling. If you end your movement while still over empty space, you immediately begin to fall as normal.
This cybernetic lens fits securely over the eye, feeding important targeting and location information directly to the wearer.
- Chakra Bind (Head): [D12, V6] By binding this veil to your Head chakra, your senses are sharpened to a preternatural edge and you are nearly impossible to surprise. While this veil is bound you gain the uncanny dodge ability, as the rogue class feature.
Mechanical fingertips launch forth from your cybernetic hand, peppering your foes with painful detonations.
Essence: For each point of essence invested in this ability increase the force damage dealt by 1d4.
- Chakra Bind (Hands): Binding this veil to your Hands chakra allows you to fire an additional missile for each point of essence invested in this veil. Each missile requires its own attack roll; the missile can be aimed individually, but no more than two missiles may target any one creature.
A cloud of tiny nanomachines buzzes through the air around you, making you more difficult to target.
A swarm of mentally controlled nanites provide the wearer with minor concealment (10% concealment) against ranged attacks. The menacing buzz created by these nanites makes the wearer seem far more menacing, increasing the DC of any fear effects the wearer utilizes (including spells, class abilities, etc.) by +1.
Essence: For each point of essence invested in this ability the insight bonus to the DC of fear effects increases by +1. In addition, as essence is invested the insects become more and more solid. When 3 points of essence are invested in this veil, the wearer gains concealment (20% concealment) against both melee and ranged attacks. When 5 points of essence are invested in this ability, it grants concealment (50%) rather than partial concealment.
- Chakra Bind (Feet): As the wearer’s control over the nanites improves, they’re able to lift themselves off the ground with the nanites, gaining a fly speed of 5 feet (clumsy). This fly speed increases by 5 feet per point of essence invested.
- Chakra Bind (Shoulders): Any creature attempting to target the wearer of this veil with a grapple, melee touch, or natural attack must succeed on a Fortitude saving throw or be sickened for as long as they are within 10 feet of the wearer.
The sickened effect continues for one round after the affected creature has left this area for each point of essence invested in this ability. Once a creature has successfully saved against this ability, it cannot be affected again for 1 hour.
Arcforge: Technology Expanded © 2018, Legendary Games; Authors: Matt Daley, Michael Sayre.