Microsetting: Gestalt of the Earth
This microsetting is designed to boost the power of all PCs, and help put them on even footing regardless of playstyle or campaign. A Gestalt of the Earth fighter has the tools to easily hold her own in investigations, political dramas, and high-level planehopping adventures, without removing any of the power of clerics, wizards, and psychics.
Once, titans walked the world. And demigods, and storm speakers, and favored of dragonkind. They built empires, and waged wars that cracked reality, and created artifacts that drew the attention of archangels and fiendish dukes alike. This was the Age of Legends, and in this time nothing was impossible, and heroes and villains commanded power unheard of for mortals before or since.
The Age of Legends ended with the War of the Fivefold Throne, when the most powerful of artifacts, able to command dragons, undead, outsiders, elementals, and fey, was shattered in a battle at the base of the World Oak. Nearly ever Legendary Hero of every origin was present, and as they died, and their pacts and powers unwound, and lesser artifacts shattered, and wishes and miracles flee like swarms of bees, every great empire, might tower, and unending academy in the world shattered. Civilization unwound, the savage hoards rose up, and the Legends ended.
It is not the Age of Blights. City States have reformed, but few command much beyond the range of a bowshot from their highest wall. A few places of learning and houses of devotion have rekindled the guttering fires of knowledge and faith… but for most it is a time of toil and danger.
The Legends are gone… but their legacies are not entirely wiped from the world.
All PCs (and as many NPCs as the GM wants) are Legacies—those who inherited a fraction of the power of past legends. Some are true god-blooded heroes, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of demigods. Others are the last scions of lost imperial lines, keepers of a single symbol of the words of creation, the vestiges of 10th level greater wishes and major miracles made manifest and mortal, or the peasant offspring of porters who just happened to witness the slaying of the last ArchDragon by the Paladin-Mage of Vaelinor, who invoked a retributive strike from the Holy Avenging Staff of the Templar-Magi.
In short, the PCs can’t hold a candle to the Legends… but they have infusions of power that place their potential well above any other mortal.
Each player character gains spells known and spells per day as a sorcerer of a level equal to the PC’s character level. The PC selects any 9-level spell list to draw these spells from (cleric, druid, psychic, shaman, sorcerer/wizard, or witch). The PC casts these spells with a caster level equal to the PC’s character level, and treats all these spells as if they were all cast as Still Spells, with no adjustment to spell level or casting time. The PC selects Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. All calculations made in regards to these spells (bonus spells, save DCs, spells per day, and even things like attack bonus for a spiritual weapon) are calculated using the selected ability score’s modifier.
Additionally each PC gains the fervor warpriest class feature, useable a number of times per day equal to 2 +1/2 the PC’s character level.
For a campaign where the PCs basically also don’t need magic treasure, you can also grant the PCs automatic bonus progressions, from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Unchained.
PCs are much, MUCH tougher and more dangerous in a Gestalt of the Earth setting. Fighters can fly, teleport, and scry. Wizards can raise the dead and heal. Witches can cast fireball.
When preparing adventures for such PCs, the GM can either treat a party’s APL as 30% higher (round up), or give everything in an encounter with a CR based on the group’s actual APL the same spellpower abilities (though based on the creature’s CR for spells/day, spells known, and caster level).