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James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

When you play, gm, or develop adventures, do you like to call attention to how far beyond mortals the PCs achieve?

(Sheriff hemlock says, "six months ago we could have rounded you four up. Now you can slaughter the whole town. Is that nuts or what?)

Or do you prefer to leave it unstated?

If the world doesn't react to the PCs' growing power and fame, then I'm doing my job wrong as a GM.

A fair amount of people have problems with the implications of the sheer amount of power characters gain in the game.

There isn't a question here and I don't have answers. These things were so much easier when I was 14.


When you play, gm, or develop adventures, do you like to call attention to how far beyond mortals the PCs achieve?

(Sheriff hemlock says, "six months ago we could have rounded you four up. Now you can slaughter the whole town. Is that nuts or what?)

Or do you prefer to leave it unstated?


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I was watching the Star Trek episode "paradise syndrome" today. That is the one where native Americans think Kirk is a god because he performed CPR. That led me to googling and finding out resuscitation research is only a couple hundred years old and CPR is from 1960.

Do people on Golarion know CPR?


Sir,

When you run a game, what does it mean to be a "god of X?" (Sun, farming, assassination, dwarves). I'm having trouble coming up with a good way to present a god like sarenrae who is concerned with the sun, but doesn't appear to affect the sun.


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At the end of book 4 of rise of the runelords, I took 30 minutes for a quick scene of the church of abadar, calistria, and the Lord mayor making the transfer of funds and church/government purchase of an army's worth of loot taken in jorgenfist.

How do you like to handle this aspect of higher level adventuring? Do you make it no big deal in the world? Say it happens off screen? Provide a justification?

As an aside, it feels like RPGs get less leeway on suspension of disbelief than other media.


On know direction awhile back James Jacobs discussed always wanting to do a golarian almanac. I wonder if this represents a development of more projects like that.


Baron Iveagh wrote:
Cpt_kirstov wrote:


no, the statement is self-fulfilling. If the soul is not destined to be raised, then she judges it, and even if you try it won't come back.

But those Fate and Destiny words keep coming up, and the setting almost expressly throws them out the window.

Cpt_kirstov wrote:


Based on the scene from Lord of Runes, its more the soul itself decides when it it ready to stay in the aferlife (I believe there is an entire article in one of the adventure paths on this by the way, so I could be totally wrong)
That sounds like something I'd like to read, if you remember where you read it, please share. However, I'll point out that becoming undead after hundreds, or even thousands, of years dead would seem to toss that right out the window too.

Prophecy doesn't work for mortals/outsiders. If aroden knew he was going to die, and neither him nor any other god told anyone, it doesn't change that prophecy failed.


Tunnels. Earthnavel doesn't descend all the way to orv. It is described as tunnels once you get to the bottom. It is probably smaller than Bingham canyon mine...Earth's biggest man made pit.


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James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:
It seems like they announced your book of the damned product the same week that you announced you wrapped primary development on it. Did the crimson throne and book of the damned development overlap or was it more like completing one then starting the other?

I didn't announce my finishing development until after it was announced, not the other way around.

Crimson Throne and Book of the Damned didn't overlap. Adventurer's Guide was in between them.

Curse of the crimson throne, adventurer's guide, book of the damned, and bestiary 6 all in a row? That is a hefty set of hardcovers.


It seems like they announced your book of the damned product the same week that you announced you wrapped primary development on it. Did the crimson throne and book of the damned development overlap or was it more like completing one then starting the other?


Mr. James Jacobs,

Along with expanding material, did you take this opportunity to recast things we knew in a different light?


John Mechalas wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:
Do you have a layer of the high definition map "below" that you are using to trace this out? If a person has a copy of their own map, is there a procedure that can be used to add that back in?

What you describe here is georeferencing. For images, there's no way to generically provide georeferencing parameters because they are are only valid for that exact instance of an image (it's size/resolution and of course the contents). If my map image is cropped differently than yours, for example, then the two won't line up if you try and use the same parameters and the scaling in one direction will also be wrong. If my map is at a different resolution than yours, then the whole image scale will definitely be wrong.

Unless you are willing to dive into something like QGIS and do the georeferencing (which is not hard, but it can be tedious, and there's a learning curve to GIS applications), you are probably better off lining up the map images with the data layers after-the-fact in something like Photoshop.

If I used georeferencing in qgis, is that information that can be saved as a kml file? I'm willing to learn that if it would then be easy to look at it in something more friendly.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

This is cool! Now you just need to get it to give you a Google Maps style zoom-in from views like that to overhead views of the cities at sub-block resolution, and in the far future have the street view option . . . .

Wait a minute . . . do either of you happen to actually work for Google?

Speaking of which, that is something you can do in Google Earth right now. You can't really do a region map (too much stretching), but you can make image overlays of the city maps and scale them on there after loading the kmz files.


Do you have a layer of the high definition map "below" that you are using to trace this out? If a person has a copy of their own map, is there a procedure that can be used to add that back in?


James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:
I have a hellknight/cheliax question and the creative process. In the fiction, they existed before cheliax became a devil worshipping nation. Was there an earlier iteration in the creative process where that was switched?

Nope.

Cheliax's association with devils didn't just suddenly manifest when Thrune took over. Thrune was a powerful family in the nation for centuries before and their influence (and some others) had long associated Asmodeus with Cheliax... it wasn't in a state & church sort of way, but it was still there.

I was wondering more in the writer's room sense. Did it start with someone saying the devil nation should have knights from hell? Are the knights as a concept older than the idea of cheliax? We're they two independent ideas brought together?

My favorite part of threads like this are the insights into the creative process.


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This thread is keeping my attention until more campaign setting line books are announced. Not as many campaign setting lovers as rule lovers out there.


I have a hellknight/cheliax question and the creative process. In the fiction, they existed before cheliax became a devil worshipping nation. Was there an earlier iteration in the creative process where that was switched?


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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

I have been mulling over a question about strange aeons art in general then I saw your 1930s iconics in the blog post.

How do you approach art for a project like that? Flipping through them, the art is the the most "modern" looking dress and design of the golarian setting. How do you push the fantasy tradition while still maintaining the feel?

Hi Bob, I didn't work on any of the imagery for Strange Aeons. The "1930s" versions of the Iconics were beautifully rendered by a different artist. (Miguel Regodón Harkness)

Ugh. I can never read artist signatures.


James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

Absalom has always struck me as a little strange among first/primary cities (is there a term for fantasy metropolis settings are interwoven around). A few of the stranger ideas are the puddles, statue street (weird for lawful neutral), and the 12 magic cornucopias. It seems like the hobby traditionally skews more conventional for the prime city.

What are your thoughts on prime cities in general and Absalom specifically?

Strange = interesting.

I think Absalom deserves a $300.00 box set.

Did you design anything for Absalom?

I will stop there. I can pontificate about Absalom all day.


Absalom has always struck me as a little strange among first/primary cities (is there a term for fantasy metropolis settings are interwoven around). A few of the stranger ideas are the puddles, statue street (weird for lawful neutral), and the 12 magic cornucopias. It seems like the hobby traditionally skews more conventional for the prime city.

What are your thoughts on prime cities in general and Absalom specifically?


I have been mulling over a question about strange aeons art in general then I saw your 1930s iconics in the blog post.

How do you approach art for a project like that? Flipping through them, the art is the the most "modern" looking dress and design of the golarian setting. How do you push the fantasy tradition while still maintaining the feel?


You are right that chaotic is not a good fit for the elder mythos. But that makes sense. Chaos as only bound by whim is an aspect of the outer planes (Elysium, Maelstrom, and abyss). The elder mythos are Gods of the material plane and do not seem to form connections with the outer planes. So the alignment system doesn't reflect their soul or cosmic ideology, they don't have one, but their consequences of destruction and madness.


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For the rest of us without any skills, I cannot understate how great these look when loaded into Google Earth.


John Mechalas wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

I understand that Absalom is on the prime meridian, but that is all relative. Maybe shift everything about 1200 miles to the East so it is mostly over Europe and Africa? That way we can look at the underlying countries. Since most players are in the US, maybe a new world version over the US and Mexico would also work.

Have you considered adding a darklands layer? I think"into the darklands" is still the main source for those maps.

I was using earth's continents as a reference when I was just getting started just to see how the two lined up. Once I get all the vector layers in place I may generate a couple of maps overlaid this way just for fun.

I don't have any of the Darklands supplements, but it's a good idea to get a Darklands layer. I assume the right one would be Darklands Revisited since it's PFRPG instead of 3.5. Anyone own this? Are there enough maps to make it worth the purchase price?

Nasif is right that into the darklands is the best source. If you like maps, I think it is a great book.

I also like maps and have been hesitant to pick up the new qadira book. It looks like it adds about 100 miles east into casmaron?


John Mechalas wrote:
Just a quick update for those following at home. I am getting closer to releasing my GIS data layers as ESRI shapefiles and KML. Progress has been a little slow this week in part because my employer expects me to work (the horror!) but it's coming along. However, I can share a little teaser: a vector map of the Inner Sea region. This map image is a week old (the river layer has made a lot of progress since it was generated) but that should show you where things are headed.

I was playing with the KML files in Google Earth (I have one of the free GIS programs to teach my dumb self how to load these in there).

The new protection of the inner sea looks beautiful and indirectly duplicates the historical event it is based on....The linnorm kings are significantly closer to Arcadia.

I understand that Absalom is on the prime meridian, but that is all relative. Maybe shift everything about 1200 miles to the East so it is mostly over Europe and Africa? That way we can look at the underlying countries. Since most players are in the US, maybe a new world version over the US and Mexico would also work.

Have you considered adding a darklands layer? I think"into the darklands" is still the main source for those maps.


WormysQueue wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
If anything, I wish there were a few more 'sacrosanct mysteries' in the setting, that I'd know wouldn't get touched in print. But that's just the canon-nut in me

I guess my main problem is that I can't be sure that it will ever stay this way. Opinions can change over time, as can the necessities of business. I fully believe that Erik, James and Co. mean what they say when they say they won't solve this particular mystery. But I also fully believe that they (or whoever might be in power some years in the future) might one day change their mind about it for whatever (most probably good) reasons.

But more importantly, it's a matter of time and energy. I've been struggling for years now with my homebrew because I don't have time and energy enough to make substantial progress on it. That's one of the more important reasons why I use published settings at all. But if there's a mystery in that setting for which I know there will never be a canonical solution, the fact that I would have to do the solving myself is exactly why I don't even touch it (again, lack of time and energy).

The good thing about it is, that there's a lot of awesome stuff that Paizo actually describes via setting books and adventures, so as far as I'm concerned the lack of a distinct answer regarding the death of Aroden is a problem that is nice to have.

*goes back to memorize all the goodness that is the Qadira setting book*

Why would you have to solve it?


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Herald wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

Have you read the huge article I wrote about that stuff in Pathfinder #100?

I did, and while I liked it, it felt like I was looking through a knot hole in a fence.

I know more about how the Runelords effected Golarion than I do about what Aroden and his church created.

Just read that and it sounds harsh, I don't mean it that way. But Aroden actually wanted to advance Humanity and yet very little stands as a testament to his work. Yet the Runelords have dams and crumbling bridges and arcs that still stand.

It would seem to me that someone who stood for the advancement of humanity would stand as an example of what it could become and inspire humanity to do great works.

I don't see a whole lot of that. I used to think that it was sort of implied at the beginning of the campaign that was the case, but after reading more of the material I feel like I was mistaken and so that's on me.

So while I don't advocate for Aroden to return or his murder to be solved, I do think that for a god that influenced the world like he did I'd like to some evidence of it where it seems suitable.

Arch of aroden, the taldor expeditions, gallowspire, pushing a demon in a lake, and Absalom are all part of it. I was looking at River kingdom stuff and taldor/aroden influence is there.


Sundakan wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:


The interesting thing to me is more in the "what now" aspect of what happens to the campaign world when "God" dies. What happens to institutions, to culture, etc. Add to that the idea that this also casts prophecy in doubt, and you've got a bunch of inherent questions that are more interesting to me than "who did it."

So why haven't you actually done anything with that concept?

Every adventure path. Aroden's death was the end of prophecy. So, events that were foretold (rising runelords, second earthfall, a genie returning to summon a monster, armag in the river kingdoms) are not being stopped by God intervention or prophecied rescuers. It is up to players/heroes.


I'm working on an alternative and learning a lot in the process. If you try stretching the longitude based on latitude in GIMP or Google earth, it tries which is attempting to maintain parallel lines distorting vertically. I'm trying a script that stretches like a trapazoid to keep distance but distorts what is "north" anywhere on the map.

The most interesting issue is that at 59 degrees latitude, the inner sea takes up 20% of the circumference of the latitude line.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

And we can say, "Oh, but the Golarion cultures aren't carbon copies of the Earth cultures", and that's true, but the parallels are arguably too obvious (and deliberately employed) to just ignore them when they get inconvenient.

I just did. BOOM!


Point out to them that if they need to do that to beat the villain, then the b
Villain would have great odds on the starstone test and have taken it themselves.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:
So the top of the inner sea map is only 62% of the bottom in terms of width? Those poor ulfen.

Honestly, being from Scandinavia I've always felt the Linnorm Lands has a bit much non-coastal land for a sea raider culture.

#WhereAreTheFjords

I'm sorry you're pining for them.

My thinking is they just didn't want to draw them. On the map you can see the elevated coast.


Steve Geddes wrote:
So in the spirit of entitled-internet-user-wanting-everything-now... How long will it take for you guys to add the new Qadira map into the equation. :)

I have not seen it. How far east Des it go?


Zaister wrote:

Awesome work!

I'm still a bit confused on how there is such a huge stretch of land between the Avistan map and the Crown of the World map that you traveling through in Jade Regent, but which is completely unmapped.

Also, I'm wondering if it is realistic to have nothing but water on the south pole. Wouldn't it freeze over somehow, even without a continent?

In the section that describes the crown of the world in the book it actually says the mountains at the top of the inner sea map, and the mountains on the crown map are not the same. There is a stretch of land between the two that is a taiga biome.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiga


So the top of the inner sea map is only 62% of the bottom in terms of width? Those poor ulfen.


Garrett Guillotte wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

This is awesome.

I know almost nothing about maps. Have you considered a non Mercator projection on the inner sea map? I think area preserving ones might be a cool alternative.

I was playing around with this website projectionwizard.org and for a map about the size of the inner sea, it proposed using things such as oblique Lambert azimuthal equal area and others.

If you check the interactive map-to-globe links I post (John's map with overlaid region maps, my bare vector map), you can use the map projections tab to transform the map into lots of other projections. You can also grab the equirectangular map from there to plug into something like NASA's G.Projector and transform into even more projection types.

(Edit: Naturally as soon as I post this, map-to-globe starts to glitch. Here are direct links to John's map and mine in equirectangular projections.)

What I meant was instead of assuming the inner sea poster map is a Mercator projection from the globe and attaching it based on that, interpret the map as a different projection from the globe and attaching based on that.

So, it would "stretch" the top of the inner sea map. We think of the longitude lines on the inner sea map as being parallel. If we draw them more "conical" and converging near the top, we preserve the area of each nation relative to eachother.

If we are compromising between size, shape, and location, I would say cutting g up my inner sea map, placing irrisen right next to osirion, and having size and shape be correct is more important than saying the inner sea map correctly captures that brinewall is due north of the arch of aroden.


There is a reason I only GM. I tried making a character and it was a dwarf sorcerer with the seaborn bloodline. If asked about it he would have said, "I live in the real world, not some fantasy land where we can pick our parentage."


This is awesome.

I know almost nothing about maps. Have you considered a non Mercator projection on the inner sea map? I think area preserving ones might be a cool alternative.

I was playing around with this website projectionwizard.org and for a map about the size of the inner sea, it proposed using things such as oblique Lambert azimuthal equal area and others.


Much earlier in this thread, there was discussion about your interests in historical armor and clothing. Is there any details lost to history that you always wanted to know?


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The average American sees 5 movies in the theater a year. Customers tend to be choosey about their options. All the business heuristics I know would lead to me betting that most their customers don't see bloat because they only purchase the few products that spark their interests.


Wait. Your players don't want a madness?


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The novel death's heretic somewhat addresses the role of inquisitors where clerics can be stripped of their powers by their god.

Stripping power is a brute force tool in a world of free will. Instead, clerics are given enough rope to hang themselves. Inquisitors are the rope.


I take a more author oriented view of the game. For example, my case for 2nd edition is I respect the artistic work of Erik Mona and Jason Buhlmann, and would be excited if they were excited.

I may not support more player companions if it was the same people from six years ago. But there are some cool new voices now like Alex augunus and thurston Hillman (it helps that they are coming out of third parties and blogs). It isn't just minor variations on a theme.

Eta...I didn't mean I had something against the writers six years ago. I'm saying I'm glad we had good writers then and good, different writers now.


FormerFiend wrote:
Lady Bluehawk wrote:

Begging official pardon, it doesn't happen that way in my Golarion universe. "No sir, I [don't] like it," and I don't use that, not even in ** spoiler omitted **

Fortunately, I have players who can keep that knowledge separate from their characters if they happen to read this; we are still playing the campaign. So much for the great secret... :-/

I'm with Bluehawk, here. Evil elves turning into drow ranks pretty high on the (admittedly relatively short) list of things I dislike about PF canon. Was pretty quick to be excised from my home game.

I actually take it a step further and get rid of the notion of drow being a super-well kept secret by the elves. They're by no means super common or well known on the surface, but there isn't an active cover-up of their existence.

What is the objection to the concept (asked by a person with no thoughts on the subject)?


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Mr. Reynolds,

When designing elements in golarion before the age of lost omens, do you use any historical periods as a guide? How strongly do you adhere to these rules? For example, would a Taldan character from that peak of the empire resemble an iron age fighter rather than middle ages knight?


Ogre and Bob Dolon wrote:

Grappling - if you can survive to round 2 its very effective against a single foe. Against groups it becomes more of a hindrance.

A grappling eidolon (where death is irrelevant) is truly broken.

Irrelevant? I'm sure experiencing death on the material plane repeatedly is high on the suck list. We know summoned outsiders still feel pain.


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I think I have some different sort of advice.

Take a deep breath.

Pathfinder is 6 years old. You will notice the forum is not loaded with complaints about detect magic.

I would bet your players are not complaining and having fun. There is still that experience of discovery for them. They are meant to use detect magic a lot. Heck, the spell can be made permanent.

In a lot of ways, if there are no enemies in the room, the players are meant to discover the secrets in the room relatively easily. That really is the jumping off point of the story point. The width of walls will stop through-wall detection. I would recommend giving the impression that while not many people have detect magic, heroes do have detect magic and its use doesn't infuriate you.

The next question is why doesn't it matter if they use detect magic at will? There has been a lot of theory of RPGs since second edition. Discovering a hidden trap in a room doesn't work as well in RPGs as fiction. In fiction, it often serves as a tool to relate how clever the protagonist is or to say something about the character. In an RPG, players may not be able to figure out the "trick" (we as GMs like to think our puzzle is clever logic but it is often a trick), or it is so easy it invites mockery. Or, it involves artificially restricting their powers.


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You should totally ask Wayne Reynolds thoughts on his sticky thread here. He thinks a lot about older era design and what they are like in collation.


Hello,

Earlier I started a thread to get ideas on what a refreshed Valeros Iconic would look like. The reason I thought about refreshing it is the iconics have a lot different meaning for me than when I started with the game. Before they were core-rules demonstration of that class. After 8 years of appearing in art and now having appeared in several issues of comic books, Valeros is his own NPC.

Also in that time, what is available to a human fighter has had a makeover (weapons master, unchained stamina, etc)

So, I set some guidelines on what a new Valeros Iconic could be

-Use any of the Paizo sources (I will make any changes for society if I ever go down that road)

-Reflect the character of Valeros in personality and background (andoran, worships Cayden, left the farm to be a mercenary, etc).

-reflect the fighting style in the art

-Keep it to fighter levels and prestige classes (he is still the iconic fighter)

-After fulfilling the previous three adequately, try and make him "good" at it.

Here is my draft. I got bored at around level 12 because I don't actually like making characters (I GM mostly, but having a good NPC is always cool). I have to thank everyone in the previous thread for helping. Now that I actually have a baseline, I'm hoping there is plenty of room for improvement.

Str 16 +2
Dex 14 +2
Con 14
Wis 8
Int 10
Cha 12

Traits: Mercenary
Andoran Freedom fighter

1 Fighter 1 Two-Weapon Fighting, Double Slice
2 Fighter 2 combat reflexes
3 Fighter 3 courage in a bottle, armor training
4 Fighter 4 improved initiative +1 dexterity
5 Fighter 5 advanced weapons training - armed bravery, weapons training light blades
6 Fighter 6 improved two weapon fighting
7 chevalier 1 hammer the gap
8 chevalier 2 +1 dexterity
9 fighter 7 improved critical, armor training (advanced?)
10 fighter 8 two weapon rend
11 fighter 9 greater two weapon fighting, weapon training (advanced?)
12 chevalier 3 +1 strength
13 fighter 10 (2feat)
14 fighter 11
15 fighter 12(2feat)
16 fighter 13
17 fighter 14(2feat)
18 fighter 15
19 fighter 16(2feat)
20 fighter 17


Atarlost wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:
Do you think designers might like the multi day dungeons design as part of the fantasy rpg aesthetic?

They rarely make sense as multi-day dungeons. They have to be played that way because the rules don't work for long dungeons, but break points and safe retreats are not generally provided and the issue of the denizens reacting is present in almost all dungeons. Only entirely trap and mindless creature inhabited tombs and ruins are reasonable to run as static and a dungeon must be static to be assayed over multiple days.

When there are breakpoints they aren't enclosing single day segments.

Let's take the Emerald Spire cellars. The party should probably be level 2. There's an APL+2 encounter, two APL encounters, an APL+1 encounter, another APL+1 encounter, another APL encounter, an APL+3 encounter, an APL-1 encounter, and an APL+2 encounter. That's nine encounters, five of them CR>APL: more than a day's work for even a moderately optimized party, especially at that point when there are no lower level spell slots and non-renewable resource pools are only 6+stat or 3+stat. You take Kyra, Lem, Ezren, and Valeros in there and they're going to retreat with their tails between their legs halfway through and the level boss will be forewarned and slaughter them on their second foray. That's a fairly typical length for a level and the natural unit of that dungeon is the level.

Designers make large dungeons as part of the fantasy RPG aesthetic, but they usually aren't meant to be multi-day and when they are the days are much longer than spec.

You picked the one by Ed Greenwood. That might be exactly what h was going for .

If we pick a Paizo staffer who is a forum regular who wrote a level that has this issue, we may even get a direct answer.

...or maybe I will hop over to the James Jacobs thread and ask there.

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