Age of Bronze
While Age of Bronze uses the Pathfinder core rules, it does require some tweaking. Pathfinder is made assuming the players want to play a standard medieval fantasy setting. But since Age of Bronze is set in a late Neolithic, early Bronze Age style setting, there need to be some changes to the game in order in lieu of technological or social limitations.
The following is the list of classes that are either allowed or not allowed in Age of Bronze. While normally as a DM I hate to so no to players, some classes must be prohibited simply because they don’t make sense. For example, Paladins and Cavaliers are not allowed because they are based off the knight in shinning armor trope. Neither knights nor shinning steel armor exist in this world, so it wouldn’t make sense for this kind of character to exist. Magic in this world is new and not understood well. An arcane scholar of magic like a Wizard does not fit. Books have not been invented yet and magic has not yet been properly categorized for Wizards to be common place yet.
Antipaladin – No
Alchemist – No
Barbarian – Yes
Bard – Yes
Cavalier – No
Cleric – Yes
Druid – Yes
Fighter – Yes
Inquisitor – No
Monk – Yes
Oracle – Yes
Paladin – No
Ranger – Yes
Rogue – Yes
Summoner – Yes
Sorcerer – Yes
Witch – Yes
Wizard – No
While iron and steel are common place and the standard material used in most mundane martial weapons, such metal has not yet been discovered. Sticking with the setting the most advanced metal is bronze, and anyone who has worked with metal can tell you it’s not as strong as steel. But even then metal weapons and armor would be rare and expensive, so Age of Bronze also introduces stone weapons. Outside of being 10x cheaper and more common place then bronze, stone is weaker. For the most part this doesn’t affect gameplay that much, until hardness comes into effect. Any weapon that strikes an object or creature with hardness must make a percentile roll. Stone weapons have break on a roll of 10 or lower, while bronze break on a roll of a 5 or lower.
Wealth and Prices
Coinage is slightly tweaked in Age of Bronze. As long as players are trading in a city, coins are mechanically the same. But since this is a time were platinum has not been discovered and gold and silver and more valuable then they are in a medieval setting, the value of every type of coin is bumped up, with copper being replaced with ceramic pieces.
New coin values are as such: kp cp sp gp
Ceramic Piece (kp) 1 1/10 1/100 1/1000
Copper Piece (cp) 10 1 1/10 1/100
Silver Piece (sp) 100 10 1 1/10
Gold Piece (gp) 1000 100 10 1
Player starting currency is the same, only replace gp with sp.
Outside of civilization however, players are quickly going to discover that coins mean very little to more primal cultures. Here characters will have to barter and trade for their goods. Instead of trading currency for goods, players will have to exchange goods they want with goods they have, and ensure that the total traded value of the goods are equal. For example a player wants to trade a barbarian hunter for his hide armor. Hide armor is worth 15 sp, so the player exchanges it for some rope and fishing tackle, which have a combined worth of 15 sp. Finally players can attempt to haggle in order to reduce the price, if buying, or raise the price, if selling. Simply roll a Diplomacy check against a DC 20, subtracting or adding one coin value for each value they beat the check by. There are no set prices in this world, and if you’ve seen the Life of Brian, then you know that it’s custom to haggle.
In a normal setting magic is going to be commonplace, even if it’s very low level. Every major settlement is going to have some kind of wizard or artificer who can sell you mundane magical items like sunrods, ever burning torches and alchemist fire. Not so here. Since there are no wizards or alchemists in this world, the knowledge and skills required to make such special items aren’t really that ubiquitous, so it wouldn’t make sense for you to be able to purchase them from a normal store. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist at all, but it’s going to be much harder to come by them. Maybe you discover some in the tomb of a forgotten king, or given to you as gifts by the shores of Lake Shymeral. Standard potions of Cure Wounds or Holy Water are exempt from this, since divine power is better understood in this setting then arcane.