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Characters in a Pathfinder Landfall-Era Campaign

by Giampaolo Agosta

I'm not familiar with Pathfinder, so here are some notes for class/race availability in a Landfall-era campaign, assuming characters that arrived in Mystara as kids or where born there -- thus experiencing effects of the loss of magic potential.

Character Classes
All original Alphatians were Sorcerers, or at most hybrid Sorcerers -- a scholar could be a Sorcerer|Wizard, while a craftsman would be a Sorcerer|Artificer, a soldier would be Sorcerer|Swordmage and an artist would be a Sorcerer|Bard.
As the percentage of Sorcerous talent decreased, Alphatians turned to the other arcane classes, especially Wizard and Warlock.
The Sorcerer and Warlock classes are the most common at the time of the campaign. Both will dwindle in popularity in the following years, after a further reduction of the magical potential of the Alphatians and the discovery of clerical magic.

A typical Alphatian party may feature a Wizard, Mage or Binder; a Bard or Artificer; a Swordmage or Bladesinger; and one or more Sorcerers and Warlocks.

Sorcerers are the elite of Alphatians, having the most magical talent.
Since all Alphatians with enough talent are trained as Sorcerers or hybrid Sorcerers, the Initiate feats for the Sorcerer class are not available in the campaign to Alphatian characters.

"Dragon" souls are known as Elemental souls in Old Alphatia, and there is no special connection with Dragons.

Fire Fire
Earth Acid
Water Cold
Air Lightning or Thunder

Cosmic soul Sorcerers were also popular in Old Alphatia, but less so than Elemental souls.
Storm soul Sorcerers are considered simply a variant of the Air Elemental soul.

Wild Magic is an effect of the Landfall -- some Alphatians, while still able to manifest sorcerous powers, have not the degree of control of it that was common in Old Alphatia. This is believed to be an effect of the scarcity of magic energies in Mystara -- where in Old Alphatia the Sorcerer could easily draw on such energies, in Mystara it is easy to draw from unwanted or unexpected sources, as the familiar ones are not sufficient to power the Sorcerer's magic.

Since Sorcerer souls are inborn, they have no necessary impact on the character's philosophy, though many Fire Elemental sorcerers are Followers of Fire.
No Storm Sorcerer or Thunder/Lightning Elemental Sorcerer is accepted by the Followers of Fire, on the other hand.

The Sorcerer class should be reserved to Alphatians, as native Mystarans have only minimal magical potential.

Since wizardly magic is more based on study than talent, it is the primary choice for Alphatians who have only limited talent.
Originally, it was developed by scholarly Old Alphatians, but became popular only after Landfall.

Mage: no difference; Pyromancers are only common as Followers of Fire
Bladesinger: similar to Swordmage

This is considered a variant of the Wizard, suitable for military wizards. People with good physical abilities, but not able to manifest Dragon or Cosmic sorcery are considered for this training.

Variant on the Wizard theme, but favored by certain Followers of Air.
One of the classes imported from Old Alphatia, where it was only popular as a hybrid or multiclass option.

This class existed already in Old Alphatia, though usually as a hybrid Sorcerer|Artificer, as a caste of craftsmen. It becomes more important after Landfall, as those left with no magic ability need magic items to compensate.

Pacts with entities able to restore, at least to some extent, the ability of the Alphatians to wield magic were sought soon after Landfall -- the class did not exist in Old Alphatia.
Few Alphatians, at this time, understand the risks of the Pacts.

Infernal Alphaks
Fey The Fey Court of Alphatia
Star The Outer Beings
Vestige Remains of Old Alphatia

Hexblade: follows the same pattern as the Warlock, playing a role similar to the Swordmage with respect to the Wizard.
Binder: developed after the first Warlocks were corrupted, by Alphatians who did not want to play a subservient role to the entities they made pacts with.

Character Races

Most Alphatians are normal Humans.
There are no demihumans among the Alphatians at the time of Landfall.

However, some Alphatians spent too much time in the Elemental Planes before Landfall, giving their descendants special resistances and powers. The Genasi race can be used for these characters. Alphatian Genasi usually have normal, human hair, though it might take unusual colorings.

Finally, the descendants of the first Infernal Warlocks are often altered by the effects of their ancestors' Pacts, manifesting the racial characteristics of Tieflings (but not the physical aspects -- no tails or horns, at most reddish eyes or slightly pointed teeth).