Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Erik Mona

Erik Mona's page

Publisher, Chief Creative Officer. Pathfinder Society Member. 6,398 posts. 3 reviews. 1 list. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character.


1 to 50 of 722 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Darrell Impey UK wrote:
Way back when a certain company was putting miniatures for creatures smaller than Small on to 1/2" bases, so that more than one could be fitted into a square. Is this no longer possible?

It might be possible. I dunno. I haven't tried.

As much as I liked being able to put multiple Tiny figures in one square, I really did not like how often they seemed to tip over. The Quasit, for example, would never stand up.

So I decided to put them on Small bases to help with balance issues, and figure the trade-off is worth it.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cat-thulhu wrote:
I am a bit saddened by the inclusion of another identical creature in the lines but they do cater for two different audiences apparently, personally I just use the one I like the most whether it's the official one for my game or not.

I am sorry to disappoint you, but I have absolutely no control (or knowledge) about that other miniatures WizKids makes for their other partners, and there is no way for me to incorporate that information into the set lists I create for Pathfinder Battles.

Every so often, I might say something like (and this is a random example, so don't read into it) "I'm thinking of doing a big Darklands/dark elf theme" and someone over there might say something like "for reasons we can't quite tell you, we'd prefer that you focus on a different theme in that timeframe," but that's about it.

Cat-thulhu wrote:


I'm assuming wizkids do it at the request of the parent company, each still requires a new sculpt, so why not add to the variety of what's out there. Rather than ask me to choose between two invisible stalkers, why not give me one, and a myconid and increase the chances I'll buy both minis?

This is not within my power to do.

Cat-thulhu wrote:


On that note can you shed any insight behind the choice of these two reveals? Like the incentives did wizkids choose them from a large bundle of art you sent? Did you request these particular ones? If so why? I'm genuinely curious as the what goes on in the background of these sets.

I built the setlist, and sent it to WizKids based on what miniatures I want and which pieces of art we have that I think will translate well to minis. I have a big list of figures we have not yet done (or that no one has done), which is where the Invisible Guardian comes from. I was also surprised to see a similar creature in an upcoming non-Pathfinder set, but as the sculpts are very different I am not really worrying about it.

The Hellcat is just a sweet picture that I've always wanted to see in mini form, and I knew WizKids would do a great job on it (which they have).

The original setlist for this set was a bit more heavily themed, with a larger number of devils and angels, specifically. WizKids asked me to tone down the theme a little bit, so I swapped out about a dozen figures to make it more of a generally themed set than something specific. If you look really close (once the full list is out), you'll see some of the DNA of that original set list in there, but it's now a more general set, and I agree with WizKids that it will likely sell better because of it.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
H2Osw wrote:
what determines the rarity of a particular piece?

A combination of sculpt and paint complexity mixed with frequency of use at the table. A simple orc with a bow or sword would likely be slated in the common rarity, whereas a powerful orc king with a colorful outfit is more likely to be the type of figure that requires a detailed sculpt and lots of paint steps, and that would likely appear only once in a campaign, so I'd make him rare.

That said, sometimes unanticipated complexities (or efficiencies) come up in the production process, and a figure gets moved to a different rarity than we'd originally planned for. This is pretty rare, but it does happen.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cat-thulhu wrote:


I'm really looking forward to seeing the hobgoblins. The inclusion of themes has been a little hit and miss, although much more hit than miss - guards, ghouls, bugbears where all good for me. The gnolls were disappointing, awesome sculpts but the size was a little too much on the small size, a bit larger than a standard adventurer and they would have been the best gnolls available.

Incidentally, for the first time in this set (Deadly Foes), I've received a sort of "line-up" of all of the figures together, so I can judge their size not just in an abstract way, but also against each other. I'm not saying I definitely would have made the gnolls taller with this resource, but it seems likely. I'm very pleased with this development, which is just another example of why WizKids's digital sculpting methods are far superior to the old way of doing things.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:

There is a picture from the ICv2 article where HARSK the dwarf ranger, the human hunter and SEELAH the human paladin are shown in the same look as the 2 VALEROS minis.

These are the exact same sculpts as the ones from the ICONIC HEROES NOXED SETS, only unpainted/orange-brown.

Still, i think the detail is so good that for the low price of $3-4 i will buy ALL 150 minis (in 1, 2 or 3 packs) IF THEY ARE NOT IN BLIND BOOSTERS!

Eric, do you yet know if they are in blind boosters or not?

Thank you.

Don't read too much into those other images. My understanding is that they were there to show off some of the detail and the materials used, but they are not going to be in the line in those poses.

There is nothing "blind" about this line. What you see is what you get.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cleanthes wrote:
That's all well and good, but when's the last time that we saw a normal set with Huges? And when are we likely to see one again? The fact is, there are certain Huges that are going to be in high demand *in multiples* -- elementals at the top of the list -- and I honestly don't understand the thinking that says "stay away from the minis for which there's the highest demand". If the goal is the sustainability of the line and of its ability to deliver Huges, it seems obvious to me that you go where the market is. But hey, I'll be thrilled to get these minis, I'm entirely on board, I hope they're very popular, and I'm confident that Paizo (and expect that Wizkids) know what they're doing.

I don't want to psychoanalyze WizKids, and we haven't discussed this issue in particular in regards to why they chose the ones they chose, but I suspect they wanted to do a test balloon on a 2-Huge pack to see if the pricing and sales worked before biting off the elementals. It doesn't make sense to do two elementals and then not follow up with the other two, only to be hounded to the end of time about when they are coming out.

Incidentally, the two Huges I suggested were _not_ elementals either. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

We're working on it.

Also, a quick update. The PowerPoint slide photo that's floating around does have one mistake on it. The price of the Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover will be $59.99.

Thanks, and sorry about the mix-up!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Pocket Editions are the same page count, layout, and content as the most recent printings of the Bestiary and Core Rulebook. They are smaller in dimensions and have soft covers, but everything else is exactly the same.

Curse of the Crimson Throne HC is scheduled for a September release.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
DropBearHunter wrote:

while I like the idea of huge minis, why send out the test baloon with rather exotic choices?

well, at least the dragon can double for any other huge dragon.

I sent WizKids a ton of images, and these were the two that they picked. I think they thought "Hey, dragon! People love dragons" and "Hey, Cthulhu! People love cthulhu." I suspect they are correct.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

That would be a copyright infringement sort of thing.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

9 people marked this as a favorite.
alakor wrote:


on that note either they didn't expect any where near this amount of traffic, or their admins are paid in left over tacos.

Definitely the former. This bundle has pretty much shattered any previous book bundle, so I think it has taken everyone by surprise, to a certain extent.

We VERY MUCH appreciate your patience as our site deals with the increased load. I understand how frustrating it can be to have to wait in situations like this, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

7 people marked this as a favorite.

The flier idea is a GREAT one. I'll see about putting something together.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Seraphmoon wrote:

This isn't my groups cup of tea, too evil for our taste. That is fine that they made an adventure path for this, I am sure most people will like it, I just wish it wasn't RIGHT after another hell themed adventure path. For our group it is an entire year of wasted adventure paths, in the future I wish you would spread out similarly themed adventure paths, because if it is a theme someone doesn't enjoy it is a year before they have something to look forward too again.

If you don't agree that is fine, enjoy the path!

This is a unique circumstance brought on by the "two sides of the same coin" approach we're taking to these two campaigns. Expect a return to the standard "each AP is very different" approach.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like the way you're thinking, but you need to scale down a little bit. Producing Baba Yaga's Hut as a case incentive was not deemed affordable, and that would be less complicated than what you are proposing here. While a modular Wizard's Tower is a SWEET idea, it's not currently something Pathfinder Battles is able to do. Jason brought a really neat Dwarven Forge building set to work the other day, and that might be the best solution for now.

When it comes to scenery, I think it's better to think of a sort of "playset" that is made up of items similar in scale to what we already produce in the main range, only along a very specific theme. The Rusty Dragon Inn bar is a good example of this, though I could see pitching something a little more elaborate.

Think furniture and modest bits of terrain more than giant buildings. Also think extremely high utility locations.

Every campaign has a tavern.

What location also features heavily in most campaigns?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
drumlord wrote:
Quote:
...both versions of the vigilante class from Ultimate Intrigue...
Wait, did I miss something? I thought there were 4 versions of vigilante (in the playtest at least). Is it narrowed down for the final version?

The iconic vigilante has two guises, a "costumed" guise and a "secret identity" guise. Wayne Reynolds has illustrated both, and they are awesome.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

One of the funniest aspects of this thread, to me, is that even a lot of Paizo employees probably don't know the correct answer(s).

I hope I'm not one of those who don't know those answers!!!

That remains to be seen.

How cooperative are you feeling these days? ;)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

12 people marked this as a favorite.

One of the funniest aspects of this thread, to me, is that even a lot of Paizo employees probably don't know the correct answer(s).

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

The PFS Field Guide is the correct map. I revised it myself to solve various issues like the size of the Ivy District, and in doing so I decided to consolidate the city's districts to make it a little easier to wrap your head around the scope of it.

The Merchant's Quarter and the Coins are now the same thing.

Green Ridge is now a neighborhood within Eastgate.

Fort Tempest is not labeled because it is a location within the city, not a district in and of itself (at least not in the version of the city presented in the Field Guide).

The Guide to Absalom is a well-written book, but after setting my own campaign in the city and trying to get a sense of the whole place, I think the way the city is presented in that book is extremely scatter-shot, and not particularly helpful to running a campaign set there.

One way to make it easier to understand is to consolidate the districts, so I did so.

Eventually we will do a great big Absalom book along these simpler district divisions, and give this place the attention it deserves.

64 pages ain't enough.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

14 people marked this as a favorite.

Get ready for Pathfinder Monopoly with game pieces Valeros, Ezren, Karzoug and Karzoug, Jr!

#wheresseoni

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

22 people marked this as a favorite.
Liz Courts wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
JJ moves to Hollywood to head up Paizo Productions a la Gygax in the 1980s.
That...didn't turn out so well for Gygax, so let's hope not.

Besides, if anyone at Paizo is going to shift to a lifestyle of Hollywood drug parties and playmates in hot tubs, I'm afraid to say it's going to be me, not Jacobs.

I mean, I think that much is clear.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

We're all looking forward to seeing you folks at this year's show!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yes, this is the Gen Con release.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cat-thulhu wrote:

1 in 10 so far, I could go 1 in 5 sets. I agree with you Steve there are way too many gargantuans that need doing, I could list 15-20 I desperately want to see in plastic without resorting to books.

PLEASE DO.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:


When can we expect the 2016 Paizo product catalogue now that it comes out twice a year?

When I get around to doing it, probably appearing in a couple of months.

Thanks for the idea of small dragons. I'll see what I can do.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

My problem with Laori Vaus as far as minis are concerned is that I feel that the artistic style of her illustration doesn't quite match the Pathfinder aesthetic. Accordingly, I think she'd make for a pretty boring miniature. Flat color, very difficult to sculpt spikes, and a goofy face is a good recipe for a bad miniature.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Berk the Black wrote:


I'd sure like to see an alchemist lab in the future. Potion apparatus, bookcases, and a desk.

THAT is a very sexy idea.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Duncan7291 wrote:

My case had at least one of every mini. Here was the breakdown of the case:

1 super box with Feiya and King Irovetti in it.
1 cart, wagon, bed, barrel.
2 tables, crate

I cracked my personal case last night, and got a somewhat different mix of dungeon dressing:

1 cart, wagon, barrel, table
2 beds, crates

--Erik

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:


Is the number of minis and set list for the next set (#11) already fixed and how many dungeon dressing pieces will it contain?

Same number of figures. Same amount of dungeon dressing. Same distribution method.

(So far as I'm aware. I haven't seen digital sculpts yet, so we're in the early stages of production when things still have plenty of time to change, but that's what I know at the moment.)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Duncan7291 wrote:
Erik, have yall thought about a dungeon dressing mini set along same lines of undead and goblin packs?

Yes.

WizKids did not sell enough of the goblin or undead sets to continue with this format, though I do think it's probably the most appropriate for a dungeon dressing set. It's something I will continue to discuss with them. I know we're all pleased with how well the dungeon dressing singles have been selling.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Couple things.

1) The singles for this set are moving fast. That is strong encouragement to bust some more cases. So in a strange way, the faster these things disappear, the more likely we are to restock them. I understand the subscriber concerns, which is even more encouragement for us to dive back into the cases. I hear you.

2) We'll sell the promo beds until we run out, even if that is longer than a month.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Awesome! Congratulations to you and your team, Brother Willi!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
I'm curious about the design decision to have Aroden die. What was the reason for choosing this event as THE event to shape the campaign setting. Was there something in particular that you wanted to do with his death? Was it just a cool idea that everyone liked so you stuck with it?
Lots of reasons, but mostly to start the setting off on a dramatic note, where heroes are very much needed. It's a humanocentric setting, and having the god of humanity die off is a huge kick into uncharted territory for the future.

Since this was my character and my idea, please allow me to also add that I specifically HATE the use of prophecy as a cliché in fantasy gaming (or fantasy in general). Killing the god of humanity and screwing up prophecy in one shot was a way to put the onus of heroism directly on the player characters. They aren't heroes because some forgotten book or poem said they would become heroes, but because of their own actions.

I remember spending a lot of time thinking about what to call the current "age" in the world, and this dovetailed with "Age of Lost Omens," which everyone on the staff sounded cool. Everything else we considered was kind of lame, as I remember.

So that's the origin of killing off the god of humanity. :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Announcement soon. Hayato soon.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Zhangar wrote:

My understanding was that Aroden was a straight-up wizard that fought with a sword. His sword was probably even his arcane-bond item.

Keep in mind that Aroden was mythic, (Mr. Jacobs has mentioend he'd even make Aroden a Champion), and so Aroden had a lot of options that a normal wizard wouldn't have.

Aroden was immortal even before he was a god, so he had lots of levels in lots of different stuff. He certainly had wizard levels, but my personal opinion is that he also had fighter levels, as he started as a common swordsmith, not some kind of archmage.

When we later released the magus, I thought that fit too, so if you want to go that way it certainly works from my perspective.

Since you can't really fight him, I honestly didn't put a ton of time into thinking about Aroden's stats beyond what I've stated above. A little from column A.....

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
He was slain, and it took awhile, coinciding with the Chelish civil war (coincidence?).

Aroden's disappearance coincides with the beginning of the Chelish Civil War.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
I'm a big fan of almost everything James Jacobs and Erik Mona have done

Thanks, Kirth! That means a lot, especially from someone named after a Jack Vance character! :)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

We've considered doing short videos covering certain parts of the setting, with visuals provided by some sort of interesting montage of art from our books.

Oh, to have more time and budget for a video/streaming RPG employee.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Azten wrote:
Kinda sad we might find out what happened to Aroden now. Where will the fun be, the conspiracy theories?

Ha.

I just wrote thousands of words on Aroden for Pathfinder #100.

"What happened to Aroden" is exactly none of them. ;)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

It didn't take much pressure, honestly. I think Vic or Mike (or both) suggested it, and I said "GREAT IDEA," and in he went. ;)

Any other requests from the card game side? I've been trying to sneak in several of the class deck characters in the last few sets, and will continue to do so as we move forward.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

And that particular section of that comic was co-written by me (Aroden's creator) and James, so I'd say it's about as official a statement on Aroden as you're likely to get.

Until Pathfinder #100...

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CBDunkerson wrote:
I can see where keeping extra minis around for years wouldn't be cost effective for Paizo, but 'two weeks after release' seems too short. It takes that long for me to just GET my subscription package... on a good month. That'd make it pretty difficult to wait to see what you got in your set and then order appropriate singles separately.

I can appreciate that being a bummer. :/

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Joana wrote:
I second Steve's question. Since one of the benefits of the Battles subscription is a discount on purchasing singles, it's a bit disconcerting to hear that there will be less of an opportunity to use the discount in the future.

We will continue to sell singles of sets as they release, and future restocks are likely, but it is more likely to be a "here and there" sort of thing where we pop a few cases if we have any left, and we hope to eventually run out. With many of the earlier sets we took a "let's stock this forever" sort of approach that is not really feasible after 10 sets for a variety of reasons.

We'll also still sell promo minis and (I hope) other special stuff.

I appreciate that the policy change could be construed as a reduction in the value of a subscription, and I do apologize.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Warning: I cannot for the life of me convince WizKids to make chairs at the moment, so I strongly suggest using alternative methods if chairs are important to you. There will be _no_ chairs in Pathfinder Battles for the foreseeable future.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Rarity on these items is not up to me. I know the current model is meant to be a tentative "toe in the water" test in case people didn't like these items.

That doesn't appear to be much of a problem, but ultimately it is not up to me.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kajehase wrote:
Which is your favourite Doctor Who serial?

Ha ha ha.

WAY too difficult.

Allow me to do it this way:

ONE: The Dalek Master Plan*
TWO: The War Games
THREE: Inferno
FOUR: City of Death
FIVE: Earthshock**
SIX: The One Doctor***
SEVEN: Battlefield****
EIGHT: Chimes at Midnight*****
NINE: Dalek
TEN: Blink
ELEVEN: Day of the Doctor******
TWELVE: Mummy on the Orient Express*******

* Incomplete, impression based on reconstructions and existing episodes. "An Unearthly Child" is my favorite episode from the Hartnell era, but the rest of that serial is terrible, so I didn't list it. Runners up include The Daleks, The Aztecs, The Edge of Destruction, Marco Polo, The Crusade, and the War Machines. I really like a lot of episodes in this era.

** Or maybe Enlightenment. I liked the Fifth Doctor era a lot more as a kid than I do as an adult. Now I can see that the rot really began to set in in Tom Baker's last season, and while I can watch and enjoy nearly all of Five's episodes, it has a lot of foreshadowing of the decline to come.

*** Look, there are no truly good Colin Baker episodes. I find them all appalling for one reason or another. He had zero good companions, and the worst writing and production values the program ever had. The poor guy never had a chance. Even his Patrick Troughton team-up is terrible. So I picked "The One Doctor," one of my favorite Big Finish audio dramas. Other great ones include Ish, The Holy Terror (with Frobisher!), The Marian Conspiracy... so many. Colin Baker is delightful in audio. Literally any of the 30 or so audio adventures of his I've heard, some of which are not awesome, are better than any of his actual episodes. Poor guy.

**** Maybe? Look, I am not a Sylvester McCoy guy. The show was waaaaay too much a pantomime in this era for my tastes, and the much-lauded "Cartmel Master Plan" reads to me like fanfic that I am glad never happened, even if some of the early set-up was more interesting than what came before. I like Ace as a companion, but Seven is my least favorite Doctor. He doesn't really even work for me in audio.

***** Another audio. In this case, there's not much to choose from in TV. McGann is sometimes great in audio, and sometimes he seems bored out of his skull. This is his best story, and maybe Big Finish's masterpiece in their entire range. A fantastic episode filled with "timey-wimey" goodness.

****** If I'm not allowed to pick a multi-Doctor story, I guess I'll go with "Let's Kill Hitler." The Smith era is also one of my least favorites, for numerous reasons. Plenty of good episodes, but in my view very very few excellent ones. Day of the Doctor was one of the best episodes in the history of the series, though, so credit where credit is due.

******* So far!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Minis Maniac wrote:
Does it pay to bribe the Dev team to get what you want published?

I think you misunderstand how things work. As I am the one who sets the schedule, I am the one who should be bribed. ;)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Luthorne wrote:
The manasaputras are something I am looking forward to from Bestiary 5, thanks to that little snippet from the Esoteric Planes, which, incidentally, was one of my favorite parts of the whole book, so kudos!

Thank you! I've been noodling with a lot of ideas and concepts that went into Occult Adventures for a long, long time--since maybe as early as second edition D&D. "Psionics" never really worked for me, and I always thought that an occult "reskin" of the idea of mental magic opened the door for a lot of cool storytelling possibilities.

The Energy Planes always struck me as kind of the lamest and least usable element of the existing cosmology (also going way, way back), so I wanted to put a marker on that section to make sure I had a chance to make them a little bit more interesting.

Luthorne wrote:
1) What's some of the more interesting pieces of trivia you learned while researching for Occult Adventures?

During the research period and writing of Occult Adventures, I became completely obsessed with the Theosophical Society cult, and now have a pretty encyclopedic knowledge of their organization, history, and beliefs (at least for an outsider).

One of the most interesting sidelines of the cult, to me, comes in the early 20th century, a couple of decades after the death of the Society's founder, H. P. Blavatsky. Blavatsky's successor in the mainline Society (there were by this point already several offshoot organizations) was a woman named Annie Besant, and Besant's most influential guru was a mystic named C. W. Leadbeater. Leadbeater's codification, explanation, and extrapolation of Blavatsky's cosmology in a series of books with titles like "The Astral Plane" and "The Devachanic Plane" heavily informed (though likely indirectly) Gary Gygax's conception of places like the Astral Plane and Ethereal Plane he incorporated into the original AD&D cosmology, so long ago. (The monadic deva, for example, is a theosophical concept, as is the solar angel).

Anyway, every good cult needs a mystic with claims of some sort of great power or esoteric insight. While Besant was a skilled writer, orator, and leader, she did not herself claim highly developed psychic powers, at least in comparison to others like Blavatsky or Leadbeater (or a similarly fascinating woman named Katherine Tingley, who at the time ran the biggest American offshoot of the Theosophical Society from a giant commune in southern California). So Besant ended up confiding in Leadbeater and trusting him to an outrageous degree, overlooking multiple charges of inappropriate sexual conduct with young boys because his occult insight (i.e. charlatanism) was so important to the organization and to her personally. Her defense of Leadbeater caused another great rift in the Society, with co-counder Henry Steel Olcott personally voting to ban Leadbeater from the Society, and a bunch of American and British sections breaking away from the mainline Theosophical Society, which was now based at Adyar, India.

About a decade later, Besant found a way to bring Leadbeater back (she frankly needed him), and once again CWL was publishing books about the secret prehistory of humanity, as revealed to him via psychic consultation with the Akashic Record. Leadbeater was the Akashic Record master. His visions focused primarily on the previous incarnations of prominent Theosophists. The Society grew more and more obsessed with reincarnation after the move of their headquarters to India, and Leadbeater's work is emblematic of the apex of this influence. Monthly columns in "The Theosophist" recounted past lives, giving "star names" to the souls of key theosophists like Orion, Sirius, Selene, and hey, even Mona.

At this time, Leadbeater was living with Besant in the headquarters compound in Adyar. One day, while taking a midmorning stroll along the riverside beach, Leadbeater beheld the most beautiful sight he had ever seen: the dripping, nubile, taut young body of a young Indian boy named Jiddu Krishnamurti.

No, I'm sorry. The _AURA_ of young Jiddu Krishnamurti, which Leadbeater later described as "the most wonderful aura I had ever seen, without a particle of selfishness in it." It was definitely the aura that so attracted Leadbeater's attention. The fact that he had constantly surrounded himself with young Indian or Asian boys, keeping them as special occult students and even sometimes sleeping in the same bed as them probably didn't enter into it.

Anyway, Leadbeater was so transfixed by the 14-year-old Krishnamurti's aura that he convinced Besant that the youth could only be the vessel for a great "World Teacher" spirit that would soon emerge and lead the world's intellectual and spiritual development. This concept is known as the "Maitreya," and works hand-in-hand with the Theosophical cosmology of souls on the path of evolution and development from lesser forms to otherworldy intelligences designed to nurture the development of humanity toward enlightenment. (This Celestial Hierarchy goes by a number of names in Theosophical occult teachings, one of which being the manasaputra, which is how I brought them into Pathfinder). So similar to prophecies of the reincarnation of Jesus is the Maitreya/World Teacher theology that the Theosophical Society and aligned organizations began to publish books with titles like "The Coming of the New Christ."

The idea, basically, was that Krishnamurti was not yet the World Teacher, but that he would become inhabited by that spirit at some point. The top level of the Adyar Theosophical Society became almost single-mindedly focused on developing Krishnamurti as an appropriate vessel for this spirit. Members of the society earnestly believed that they were on the precipice of a New Age.

As Besant and Leadbeater toured Krishnamurti around the world, having him speak (particularly to Theosophical youth organizations) on issues of morality and occultism and further spreading his legend. Tales of his travels and speeches appeared regularly in "The Theosophist," often accompanied by florid descriptions of Krishnamurti's past lives in a Leadbeater-penned series originally entitled "Rents in the Veil of Time," but which ultimately became known as "The Lives of Alcyone," citing Krishnamurti's own star name, and focusing solely on him as the primary character. Allegedly mental transcriptions and descriptions of Akashic Records observed by Leadbeater while projecting his consciousness into the Astral Plane, these accounts read like someone's Pathfinder campaign notes, replete with corrupt nobles, descriptions of eldritch ancient civilizations, cities, and rituals, and even, every once in a while, with monsters. They're pretty awesome, and no doubt helped the increase the popularity of the Coming World Teacher. ("Behold," many Krishnamurti book covers say, "he comes quickly."

All of this, of course, drove further rents not just in the veil of time, but in the Theosophical Society itself, with more chapters spinning off into their own side-branch organizations (some of which still exist). As a complete aside, some of these organizations focused on the Masters of Ancient Wisdom, the esoteric "Great White Brotherhood" of secretive immortal sages and scholars who first introduced the key concepts of Theosophy to H. P. Blavatsky. These organizations developed, in the mid-20th century, in the the "Ascended Masters" branch of the New Age movement, with prominent branches including Elizabeth Claire Prophet's Church Universal and Triumphant and the "I AM Activity," which swears itself to the Ascended Master St. Germain, one of my personal obsessions and favorite quasi-historical figures.

But back to Leadbeater and Krishnamurti. The Lives of Alcyone grew more and more popular, and soon not-so-prominent Theosophists were paying money to get their own star names, which Leadbeater worked into his monthly column as minor characters. A Theosophist might know that he was really the wife of Krishnamurti's father in ancient Chaldea, for example, and one's closeness in past lives to Alcyone was seen as a measure of status within the Society. While there were certainly skeptics, I cannot emphasize enough how much people believed this stuff.

Anyway, as the 1910s and 1920s went by, a major problem started to develop. Jiddu Krishnamurti just wasn't that into it. Over time he became sullen and unsure of himself in his cause. The death of his beloved brother Nitya in 1925 shook his faith in Theosophy itself. In 1929, at a national convention dedicated to his cult of personality and organized by the leaders of the Theosophical Society, Jiddu Krishnamurti, the World Teacher, finally gave the great religious message he had been born and groomed to deliver:

"I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path. ... This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies."

That message is, to put it lightly, un-Theosophical, and sent shocks through the convention that reverberated in Theosophical lodges all over the world. Krishnamurti dissolved the convention, dissolved the "Order of the Star in the East" that existed to serve him, and basically tore down the idea of organized religion in general, which, probably more than anything else, essentially destroyed the Theosophical Society. The group exists here and there, but ever since this event it has been fading in popularity. You just can't botch a second coming of Christ.

So, to answer your question, THAT's my favorite piece of trivia that I discovered while researching "Occult Adventures." I love the idea that the great religious secret that it took hundreds of thousands of years and numerous almost-perfectly enlightened reincarnations to deliver to us is: "This is all B.S."

Luthorne wrote:
2) Do you have a favorite of the six new classes from Occult Adventures? If so, why?

I really like most of them, but I think my personal favorite at the moment is the mesmerist. I wrote Meligaster's "Meet the Iconics" story, and I've been enjoying writing the character in the Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain comic. I haven't had a chance to play any of the classes yet, but mesmerist is a strong contender for my next character.

Luthorne wrote:
3) What genres of literature are you particularly fond of, and why?

I'm a big pulp magazine collector, so my favorite stuff tends to be early 20th century science fiction, fantasy, and adventure. I'm more interested in the genres earlier in their development, before they became too codified. I tend to prefer fantasy from before J.R.R. Tolkien, so I focus on authors like Robert E. Howard, C. L. Moore, Henry Kuttner, Clark Ashton Smith, and Leigh Brackett. A lot of those authors also wrote horror or science fiction.

Surprise: I like fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

I've recently been reading some late 19th century and early 20th century occult fiction. Most of it is pretty boring, but the language is quite advanced and somewhat florid, which is another characteristic of authors I enjoy, as exemplified by authors like H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, A. Merritt (one of my absolute favorites), William Hope Hodgson, and even more recently Jack Vance, Matthew Huges, and even China Mieville.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:


Is Hollow Mountain a return to a more serial approach?

Yes, very much so. The entire series is a single six-issue narrative almost entirely set within the context of a giant megadungeon.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:

I think you missed this one. ^_^

Kalindlara wrote:
How do you feel about kytons, anyway? (I know that Mr. Schneider is behind most of Pathfinder's kyton content.)

I think it's great. I love the references, and the takes on the various types. I think it's one of the strongest bits of development we've added to something that started as a pretty one-dimensional concept.

1 to 50 of 722 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

©2002–2016 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.