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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 51,419 posts (53,797 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Did you watch The Conjuring 2? If yes what did you think of it?, what did you like about it? and what did you not like about it?

I just saw it this weekend.

I LIKED: That it's an R-rated horror movie that isn't all gore that still made a huge pile of money, which means that studios will continue to release more and more horror movies, which means that even if most of them are no good, there'll still be more good ones overall.

I DID NOT LIKE: The noisy audience.

OVERALL: It was mostly underwhelming and disappointing to me. Not TERRIBLE but not spectacular, like the first one.

Really? From what I heard is was better than the first movie. What was underwhelming and disappointment to you? And what were you expecting when you went to watch this movie?

What was underwhelming was it seemed to rely more on jump scares than dread. And the general storyline was less interesting than the first one, perhaps because I was more familiar with Amityville and Einfield than with the cases in the first movie. And beyond that, knowing that Amityville was a hoax and other information about the Warrens in real life kinda tainted the depiction of them as heroes a little. I did very much like the actual direction of the movie though, and the design of the you-know-what at the end was great. And I did like the twist about the ghost's reason for haunting, but wish it had explored that more. Also it felt like the characters made less logical choices in this movie than in the first one, which was distracting and annoying.

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AlgaeNymph wrote:
Do you think the wizard class needs an "unchained" version? If so, what would the changes be? (I'm not asking for a detailed writeup, just a general summary.) If you're not the person to ask, who would be?

I don't think so.

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Cole Deschain wrote:

1. What was your favorite segment?

2. Favorite non-zombie apocalyptic hazard explored by the book?

3. Any parts that make you tear up? ('Cause I have at least five...)

1) The segment set in the high-rise apartment building in Japan.

2) The disease spreading vector tracking stuff.

3) Not that I remember.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Is Lovecraft's mentions of whippoorwills in The Dunwich Horror as psychopomps the reason they're Pharasma's sacred animal?

Yes.

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Simeon wrote:
I'm trying to retrofit a forest drake into a plains/prairie drake, any suggest for what the breath weapon damage could be changed to and what I could replace aquatic adaption with?

I'd make up an entirely new drake if it were me, rather than retrofit one. But that'd be starting from ground zero. And THAT said, I'm not really a fan of every terrain getting its own drake. How about just using a forest drake that wandered out of the woods, maybe with a simple template on it? If you wanna throw off the players, describe it as being light green in color and with fire that's also green... cosmetic monster changes go a long way with players!

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
*wonders James Jacobs can travel back and forth through time*

Just forward, alas. Otherwise I would have fixed a lot of bad decisions I've made over the years.

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Cole Deschain wrote:

On the subject of marine undead...

Have you read World War Z?

Of course I have! That book's a big part of my "Undead walking along the ocean floor is creepy and cool" inspiration.

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This is in fact one of the central plot elements for...

Spoiler:
...the Second Darkness Adventure Path.

1) It absolutely can occur.

2) It's super rare. In order for it to occur, the elf must be chaotic evil, must worship a corrupting influence (traditionally a demon lord or Rovagug, but any chaotic evil deity will, in theory, do), and must commit an atrocity above and beyond the norm for a chaotic evil person. Even then, it's not always going to happen. Essentially, when it happens is when you the GM decide it does, and it should be a MAJOR plot point to the story you're telling. The vast, vast, vast majority of drow come to be by being born to drow parents.

3) Nope; doesn't work on half-elves.

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Mythraine wrote:
James, with your discussion here on this particular product page, will you be involved in the writing or design/development of Paths of the Righteous? Will your preferred method of prestige classes as options for multiple base classes be showcased in this product?

That's precisely the reason I'm here. After finishing my work on Curse of the Crimson Throne, I was asked by THEM to come in and take up development work on several Campaign Setting and Player Companion volumes to help get things back on schedule. I developed Haunted Heroes Handbook and Divine Anthology, but Paths of the Righteous is the only one of the Player Companions I've actually concepted from the outset—it's the only one that I've outlined, assigned, and developed from start to finish.

So... yeah. The whole point of Paths of the Righteous is that each of the 14 prestige classes should be viable for multiple classes. The theme that ties them all together is that each one is focused on a specific deity, so that's the one shared characteristic—they all have "DEITY: Must worship this deity" as a prerequisite. But beyond that, options are pretty wide open.

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Protoman wrote:

James, you're pretty much the only Paizo staff member that I can find that's made any reference to deep water pressure damage in my search of the forum (this is searching "water pressure damage" under "Everything" of the Paizo site) so I hope I can trouble you with a quick question:

Are objects and constructs susceptible to underwater pressure damage? Constructs are immune to any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless the effect also works on objects, and the deep water pressure rules only say "creature" and "diver" and doesn't specify object (like effects setting objects on fire would), but I figured I'd maybe check with you for your input?

Sorry if this is against the spirit of the "Ask *James Jacobs* ALL your Questions Here!" thread if we're supposed to keep rules stuff outside of it.

I'd say that as a general rule, objects (and thus constructs) are not subject to pressure damage. I'd go further to say that incorporeal creatures or most undead would be immune as well. I'd ACTUALLY like to classify pressure damage as "bludgeoning damage that affects living creatures or objects with enclosed hollow spaces." But in the interim, it's best to simply use common sense on a case by case basis. After all, it's not like we made up the concept of pressure damage from deep water. It's a real-world thing. A rock dropped into the ocean won't get crushed. And there's plenty of real-world examples of deep-sea robots that work down there—so constructs being immune to it is neat too. And furthermore, the idea that a zombie or other undead could just walk down to the bottom of the ocean and not worry too much about it makes undead more interesting as well.

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Hayato Ken wrote:

I can see that. I´m afraid you lost me there - logicwise - though.

Did only the PrCs in Paths of Prestige have the design goal to be flexible and an option for multiple classes or points of entry?
And other PrC´s then have different design goals?
What were the goals for Lion Blade and Enchanting Courtesan then if i may ask?

And how might this be with future PrCs?

Not everyone at Paizo has the same design goals and philosophies when it comes to Prestige Classes. For me, I see them as options that should appeal to multiple characters, allowing for multiple entry points. For example, the Hellknight prestige class is a good option for fighters and paladins and cavaliers, but isn't an impossible option for other classes. An archetype, on the other hand, ONLY works with one class. Prestige classes are more versatile.

The prestige classes in Paths of Prestige were also initially intended to follow that maxim as well, and they do relatively well there I think. Some, like the Winter Witch, are specifically for a specific class, but most are more versatile. The tattooed mystic, for example, works for any spellcaster.

I wasn't involved with the Lion Blade and the Enchanting Courtesan, so I can't really say much about their goals, other than that I think one of the Lion Blade goals was that someone here wanted to update/fix that prestige class to address concerns from PFS. I could be wrong there.

If I have my way, the "should work well for multiple classes" theory will be adopted for all future prestige classes, but as Paizo has grown my direct influence over our products has started to diminish.

And of course, my design philosophy for prestige classes is somewhat different from the design team's preference that prestige classes help to enable specific multiclass combinations (as seen in classes like the arcane trickster or the eldritch knight). I'm not as big a fan of that philosophy, and instead prefer prestige classes to be tied to the world's flavor and serve to expand and grow organization roles. Like the Hellknights, the Red Mantis assassin, or the prophet of Kalistrade.

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From where I'm sitting, the largest part of the problem with Wrath of the Righteous is that I as the developer of the AP didn't have enough experience with Mythic when it combines with high level play to do a great job developing the encounters, in part because we didn't really have solid playtest data for how a high level campaign worked with mythic in play. I learned a LOT from that and from looking at the feedback. If I were to do Wrath of the Righteous today, I'd probably not change much about the actual adventure other than perhaps cutting in half the rate at which folks gained mythic tiers... perhaps more. Having the AP end with 20th level tier 4 or tier 5 PCs would probably work better. Maybe even lower tier.

Of course, player skill and GM skill are a HUGE element for all of this. For all the hullabaloo about Wrath, there were plenty of folks who had a fine time with the AP. But with Mythic in particular, adding all the new rules on to high level play makes for a lot of places where players and GMs alike can misinterpret the rules. It was sort of a perfect storm in that regard, from the design and development through to the actual game play at tables itself.

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Lem the Halfling wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Snowsarn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Voyd211 wrote:
Who's your favorite iconic character, other than Merisiel?
Probably Kyra. With Jirelle third and Lini fourth and either Seoni or Feiya fifth.

Do you like any of the male Iconics?

Do you prefer female characters in general?

Lem is my favorite of the male iconics (he probably pops in at about 9 or 10 in the top ten iconics list), but in general I do prefer female characters to male characters.
Thanks, boss!

No problem! Keep being rad!

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It's certainly strange how often experienced gamers prefer to play the game on "easy" mode (higher point buy) rather than test their skills and try for the challenge of "hard" mode (lower point buy).

You say that like the GM doesn't up the challenge of higher point buy games.

It's also certainly strange that you use disparaging language about such games.

Upping the challenge of a game when upping a point buy doesn't create a "hard mode." It preserves the status quo.

And what's strange about me having passionate opinions about gaming? That's like 50% of what gaming is, it seems! :-P

What's MORE frustrating is that I can't post things in jest, apparently, without folks taking them as personal attacks. So, if anyone did take that as a personal attack, I apologize. I just get frustrated seeing so many complaints that "Pathfinder is broken!" followed immediately by something I interpret as "I build overpowered characters!"

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The Doomkitten wrote:

Looking at your recent post, I had an idea.

Would a group of Desnan faithful who venture into the Dreamscape to hunt down and banish nightmares be considered heretical, as her faithful are supposed to embrace all dreams? I'm sorry, it's just reading that gave me a GREAT concept for a campaign wherein the PCs do exactly that.

Not heretical at all. I could see Desnans getting into exploring dreams and fighting nightmares like that.

You can embrace all dreams while still understanding that some dreams are bad and need to be fought against, in the same way you can be a champion of diversity and inclusivity but still fight against organizations or beliefs that threaten diversity—doing so doesn't make you a traitor to your beliefs, but a defender of them.

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Kryzbyn wrote:
Keeping on topic with Gorum for a bit, in his write up in Inner Sea Gods, it seems that he is more about fighting or battle itself, than the cause that the fight or battle is being fought for. Aside from cowardice, are there any tactics he would find reprehensible? He is CN, so I'd imagine anything overtly evil may be out, but in the heat of battle, is anything out of bounds to Gorum?

Tactics that endorse and promote peace and cooperation between enemies are not beloved by Gorum. He's also not a fan of mindless murder or bullying—to Gorum and his faithful, the person who runs away from a battle out of fear is just as much a coward as the high-level assassin who sneaks into a king's bedroom while he sleeps to kill him with a knife while he's out cold. Poison's a complicated example; his faith is fine with the use of poison on weapons, but not as a REPLACEMENT to weaponplay. Poisoning an arrow or dagger that you then use to nick a foe when not in battle is cowardly. Challenging that foe to battle and then sticking him with a poison blade on round 1 is not cowardly.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

What do you think of bronies*?

*Bronies are the mostly adult male fans of Friendship is Magic, the latest My Little Pony series (significantly different from earlier series)

I know what bronies are.

I think that they're admirable and brave in embracing their fandom—a fandom that often gets them ridiculed, but they remain fans in the face of that ridicule. And I've yet to see a bronie lash out against My Little Pony in the way that, say, fans of Game of Thrones lash out at George R. R. Martin, or fans of Star Wars lash out at the idea of a female lead in a movie, or fans of Pathfinder lashing out at us fixing a broken rule. Maybe it's because I'm not that deeply involved in My Little Pony—maybe there ARE bronies who are toxic to their own fandom—but that's not my perception.

Anyway. My Little Pony isn't my thing, but more power to the bronies for finding something they love. We should all be so lucky, and we should all be so willing to be ourselves. Same goes for ANY fandom or religion or culture or society. It's a hard ideal to live up to—being accepting of all sorts of different interests, and its certainly something even that we here at Paizo need to keep working on. We're getting there, though, thankfully!

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j b 200 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
As for an entirely new adventure? Nothing announced yet, but stay tuned, I guess!
Is this a "things are on the horizon" stay tuned or more of a "I am working on something, it's just not announced yet"?

I don't see how those two options are really any different. But barring unexpected developments, the expansion to "A History Of Ashes" in the Crimson Throne hardcover will not be my last adventure.

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Kryzbyn wrote:

So, we're playing Iron Gods and ** spoiler omitted **

What would Gorum's thoughts on the chain sword as a weapon of war? I'm not asking if he'd accept it as a favored weapon substitute, but would he look down on it's use?
My warpriest has taken the EWP and Weapon Focus for it to be useable as a sacred weapon mechanically, just curious what you'd think Gorum would think :)

Gorum and his faith would absolutely embrace a chainsaw as a weapon of war. In fact, Gorum and the faith do not look down on ANY weapon. He has a single favored weapon, yes, but he's also SPECIFICALLY the god of weapons. As such, any weapon is sacred to him and a viable tool for his faithful. It's no different than Gozereh's faith embracing all forms of nature, or Desna's faith embracing all forms of dreams, or Shelyn's faith embracing all forms of art. Urgathoa doesn't force her clerics to ONLY use the plague in their disease-spreading plots, and Cayden Cailean's faith approves of white wine and red wine and all the rest. Likewise, Gorum's faithful are cool with ANY weapon someone might wish to use.

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Snowsarn wrote:

I can really relate to you feelings about 'toxic masculinity environment'. Something that made me feel out of place growing up and something I've only truly come to terms with after turning 30.

I agree that there is a need for more female and minority characters in fiction, but don't you think it would a good thing to show male characters, who showcase a different kind of masculinity?
I work with children and try to be a different male role model, than what is seen in a lot of fiction.

I've always thought the Paizo boards were very nice, especially compared to the rest of the internet, but maybe I've not been looking in the right (well wrong) places?

Almost forgot my players read the thread occasionally

Spoiler:
I'm intrigued at your idea to try give the players an opportunity to redeem Nualia. I thought that she was too far gone now: After she fled Thistletop she went to Ironbriar who sent her to Xanesha, who eventually sent her to Lucrecia, who gave her a contingent of ogres. Nualia took them on a killing/burning spree and became a half-fiend.
Lamashtu didn't remove her "curse of beauty" though (because Nualia had failed the first time around).
But despite Lamashtu's aid and her new half-fiend powers, Nualia was defeated again, and Sandpoint was saved from the fire.
I guess that could make her start doubting the goddess' power?

I think at least she'll doubt her allies, who care little for her goals, and have only used her as a pawn.

Is there a way to undo the half-fiend transformation? Even if they push her to Chaotic Neutral, she'd still be a half-fiend.
Perhaps something with the Runeforge could help?

Any insight is very much appreciated :-)


Showing male characters in roles other than toxic masculine roles is absolutely important, but it's not NEARLY as important as diversification and making the game welcoming to ALL types, not just white men. In fact, by giving more attention to women or by shaking up the expectation that every character in a fantasy setting is a white dude we DO work against the whole toxic masculinity problem, and in a much more productive and healthy way than devoting yet more space to white male characters.

And I agree that the Paizo boards are a nice and welcoming place compared to much of the rest of the internet, but they're not as nice and welcoming as they have been traditionally. That's an unfortunate side effect of Pathfinder's increasing popularity, and we see a spike of trolling and toxic behavior whenever we do something to significantly increase our visibility in the entertainment industry. So, every one here who can help keep these boards friendly and welcoming is worth their weight in platinum.

As for the spoiler topic...

Spoiler:
Nualia isn't too far gone. After all... we've done redemption arcs for full-on succubi, and have a redemption arc in process for a demon lord, so there's still PLENTY of hope left for Nualia... provided she gets some positive relationship energy rather than just more doses of negativity. Doubting Lamashtu's power is the road to failure and an eternity tormented in the Abyss... it is NOT in and of itself a road to redemption.

There's absolutely methods to undo the half-fiend transformation, but just as that process is a specific ritual, the reversal should be a complex ritual or adventure-based mission as well. And then again, she can be redeemed without being un-fiended as well, but that's probably tougher. Tying her redemption to later events in Runelords is an interesting idea—and in fact tying it to elements of virtues in Runeforge is a great climax to such a goal, assuming she teams up with the PCs a few adventures before then to start that long walk.

Being a game where the PCs are the stars, though, it really should be a PC who starts her on that path by either granting her mercy after she's defeated in battle or otherwise making a personal sacrifice or great step of trust in her.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
And where's Ripdog Alley?
In the sausage district, of course!
Which city's sausage district?!

I never said the sausage district was in a city.

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It's certainly strange how often experienced gamers prefer to play the game on "easy" mode (higher point buy) rather than test their skills and try for the challenge of "hard" mode (lower point buy).

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Hayato Ken wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:

Here´s hope Prestige Classes become a bit more flexible, so they are of use to characters coming from different entry classes, with different main stats, etc.

It´s certainly believable that members of a certain organization share some ideals, goals and also some abilities, but i think it´s totaly unbelievable when a PrC produces nearly 100% similar characters in each case or has one good and one bad entry option.
That doesn´t make sense for those organisations, since they would hinder themselves.

Prestige classes work best when they are flexible and an option for multiple classes or points of entry—in that way, they're kind of the opposite of an archetype, which REQUIRES a specific class and usually requires you to make that choice at 1st level.

In any case, these prestige classes are all designed to be attractive to multiple classes; not always divine spellcaster classes, despite the fact that each one is tied to a specific good-aligned deity.

I´m sorry to say that the New Lion Blade PrC and Enchanting Courtesan didn´t give me this impression.

Those prestige classes aren't part of Paths of the Prestige's design goal of "be attractive to multiple classes," and as such weren't intended to exemplify that design goal at all.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
And where's Ripdog Alley?

In the sausage district, of course!

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Well, as it turns out, the "Betrayed" trait did indeed make it in! WOO! So now all you thugs and criminals can play too!

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

No one's a fan of goblins, not even other goblins! :P

How much blood does the average moroi vampire need, and what happens if they go a long time without feeding? Is it a human-like need where they need three blood meals a night to stay un-alive, or is it more a case where they can go without it for longer periods but their cravings get worse?

Judging by how popular the goblin stuff we produce is, I'm pretty sure goblins have a lot of fans. :-P

The typical vampire would need, I'd say, a person-worth of blood every few nights—at least once a week. How each vampire reacts to not having fed for a long time would vary, but for the most part i suspect that it makes them increasingly violent and cranky and prone to not being able to pass as human. The wide range of vampire myths and stories means that I'd rather not nail it down, though, to allow for all sorts of different vampire plots, so there's certainly a wide range of flexibility there.

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baron arem heshvaun wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
For something like Golarion, which is a shared world that is built by hundreds of different authors and utilized by hundreds of thousands of gamers, it's not really an option.

I see your reasoning there then.

How about this then, what does the typical Orc think of the typical Goblin.

That they're unpredictable dangerous pests that should be squashed as soon as they pop up. Orcs are NOT fans of goblins. They enjoy kicking them. And stabbing them. And if the orc can find bladed boots, stab kicking them.

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MeanDM wrote:

Hi James!

Loved the Zork reference, and it sparked some questions.

What was your favorite early video game? By that I mean from earliest computers and consoles.

What was the 1st published module you played in in AD&D 1st?

As a follow up to some of the questions above, if a GM were to want to add the traditional "high Middle Ages" knights in armor and heraldry feel with the least change from the core Golarian, which places would work best? Taldor? Cheliax? Anywhere else?

I still remember the excitement I got when I opened the original Greyhawk box set and saw the heraldry of the various kingdoms and duchies. Any similar moments stick out for you from your younger gaming years? (Not necessarily involving heraldry obviously)

Lastly, any chance we'll see a new adventure written by you in the near future? I am a huge fan of your adventure writing, and thought of it as I was reading some of your work the other day.

Thanks for all you do.

My favorite early video game would probably be [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8feIxKDqyTs]Bruce Lee,/url] which I had to play on friends' Atari 800 computers or on one of the computers at school. I didn't own my own computer until 1990; my favorite video game of the early 90s was probably Pools of Darkness. As for early consoles, we had an Atari 2600; we never did have Nintendo in my house. My favorite game from the Atari 2600 was probably ... hmmm... they all kinda sucked actually.

The first published module I played with AD&D was Keep on the Borderlands (even though that adventure was published for the BECMI rules back when there was only BE in that acronym, I used the AD&D monster manual to run it). The first published module for AD&D that I ever bought was (if I remember correctly) Queen of the Demonweb Pits.

The best regions to run with a "high Middle Ages" theme in Golarion would be Taldor, Molthune, Nirmathas, and Lastwall.

Seeing all the monsters in the Monster Manual is what got me hooked on my early gaming years. Monsters have ALWAYS been the most interesting part of RPGs to me.

The last adventure I wrote that's been published was relatively recent: "A Song of Silver" in Pathfinder #100. I've got a short adventure addition in the upcoming Curse of the Crimson Throne (a 20-some dungeon complex addition to "A History of Ashes"), and the entire book of Curse of the Crimson Throne has been developed by me (which includes a LOT of new words spread throughout the book). As for an entirely new adventure? Nothing announced yet, but stay tuned, I guess!

And! Thanks for the kind words! Always nice to know that folks enjoy the adventures I write! :-)

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

It's 9 A.M.

Do you know where your coworkers are?

It's now 11:35 AM, and most of my coworkers are here at the office. Not all. Those who aren't are either out sick or on the way in to work or traveling or being eaten by a grue, I assume.
I hear some bosses have punishments for tardiness, but aren't you supposed to write them up twice before you send the grues on them?

No one controls the grues. They do their thing regardless. Theyr'e kinda self-policing in that way. Bring a light.

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CBDunkerson wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:

You probably don't want to hear this subject from me again, but ... :-)

The English word "armiger" literally means "someone entitled to bear heraldic arms". The use of that word as a translation for the "common" (Taldane) word indicating a Hellknight in training may thus be incorrect. It depends on how, on Golarian, one becomes entitled to bear heraldic arms. So how does that happen?

I know I'm breaking the 'thread rules', but... that is only ONE of the historical definitions of the term. The more appropriate in this context is 'someone who cares for the armor or carries the banner of a knight'. Basically, a squire / knight in training.

Turns out, words can have more than 1 definition, and furthermore, words are flexible and can have their meanings changed or adapted over time by culture. In any event, as my post 2 or so up reveals, I do eventually answer these questions, so as strong as the urge is to jump in and answer for me... that just clutters the thread. I appreciate folks being eager to help, but this isn't the right place to do that.

At the VERY LEAST, if you absolutely cannot resist posting an answer for me, ask a question in your post of me as well so that your post keeps the thread on topic. In fact, I should charge folks like this TWO questions! :-D

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

It's 9 A.M.

Do you know where your coworkers are?

It's now 11:35 AM, and most of my coworkers are here at the office. Not all. Those who aren't are either out sick or on the way in to work or traveling or being eaten by a grue, I assume.

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Ed Reppert wrote:

You probably don't want to hear this subject from me again, but ... :-)

The English word "armiger" literally means "someone entitled to bear heraldic arms". The use of that word as a translation for the "common" (Taldane) word indicating a Hellknight in training may thus be incorrect. It depends on how, on Golarian, one becomes entitled to bear heraldic arms. So how does that happen?

In the case of a Hellknight, their squires and new recruits ARE entitled to bear heraldic arms—in this case, those heraldic arms being the Hellknight's focused weapons and specific armor design. Thus, the term "armiger" is 100% accurate for the Hellknight orders.

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Gorbacz wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Unlike many of the other regions, Taldor doesn't have a "champion" at Paizo. Joshua J. Frost, the author of the original Player Companion, no longer works there. In addition, there's some disagreement over how to proceed with the region.
To be clear, Taldor has two "stewards": James and Rob. The thing is, both gentlemen have wildly different ideas of how Taldor should look like.

To be even MORE clear, Taldor has two champions in Rob and Crystal. My personal take on Taldor is different than Rob's but I don't really have an actual horse in the race, and since I'm not super passionate/interested in Taldor, I'm more than willing to let Rob and/or Crystal take the reigns on the project. That said, they both have a LOT more on their respective plates for the immediate future, and don't currently have time to devote to a Taldor book, and personally, I'm of the opinion that it's better to wait until one or both of them are free to have a lot more input on the project than to push it out without their involvement. In any event, there's no Taldor book on the schedule for this year. Logically speaking, it is the final of the five original PFS region factions to get its own 64 page book... so it might only be a matter of time before it happens. It's certainly something I'd like to see happen at some point.

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Rysky wrote:

Just got an email update for Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder Kickstarter and was pleasantly surprised to see that you and Liz are working on it!

Gratz Directorsaur! Are you having fun?

Of course!

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Snowsarn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Snowsarn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Voyd211 wrote:
Who's your favorite iconic character, other than Merisiel?
Probably Kyra. With Jirelle third and Lini fourth and either Seoni or Feiya fifth.

Do you like any of the male Iconics?

Do you prefer female characters in general?

Lem is my favorite of the male iconics (he probably pops in at about 9 or 10 in the top ten iconics list), but in general I do prefer female characters to male characters.

Yeah I got that sense. Do you know why you prefer female characters?

Or is it more of an unconscious choice?

In our RotR game I really like the female characters you've made. Ameiko is friendly with the party still, and they loved her bashing her father with a soup ladle.
Shalelu is in a relationship with one of the characters
And Nualia has become something of a nemesis for them. They've faced her twice but haven't managed to kill her, and funnily enough she has lost her bastard sword both times :-) she is getting pissed at them.
After they found her journal in Thistletop they were actually quite sympathetic towards her and resented the people who had driven her to evil and despair.
Is Nualia inspired by something specific?

Nualia was part of the raid on Sandpoint in FotSG but got away. Now I'm debating whether she will go back to Mokmurian or maybe seek out Karzoug.
Do you have any insight to offer?

Cheers :-)

I prefer female characters because they're more interesting. They're still (alas) less common than male characters as well, and I'm trying to do my small part as creative director to fix that disparity. And male characters tend to annoy me on top of that, perhaps because the whole toxic masculinity environment that's infected everything has always kind of ashamed me at being a man myself. So... the more female characters there are out there, the better. It's not unconscious at all, in other words.

Good to hear that your group's having fun with the stuff I've written! :-) Always nice to hear, especially in an environment that has been increasingly overwhelming these boards and the internet in general with more negativity than positivity.

Nualia is inspired by my frustrations at how a male-dominated society has a double standard at how they treat their daughters versus their sons, and how men don't understand women. Had Nualia's adoptive father been less of a failure at being a father, Sandpoint would not have suffered nearly so much. In fact, if I've one regret at her character, it's that I didn't build in a stronger option for her redemption/rescue from the situation she's found herself in.

My insight for her would be to give her a chance at redemption, particularly if the PCs have any interest or willingness to help her along the way. You can keep her backstage in the off chance that the PCs get into a TPK situation as well; have her swoop in at the last minute to rescue the PCs and perhaps that can trigger her redemption.

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Kalindlara wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The kaiju rules would absolutely be useful in statting up Mhar. If I were satting him up, I'd put him at CR 27.
I'm guessing you're focusing more on Mythos/Chaosium content for Strange Aeons, which means no Mhar. A little sad, but when you only have six slots, someone has to be left out.
I absolutely prefer to focus on the established monsters for those six slots, rather than doing up stats for some new one who just got made up. That said, one of the six slots WILL be for a brand new Great Old One. It's not gonna be Mhar though.
Given the deity articles, I'm guessing Xhamen-Dor? ^_^

Correct.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:
James, what is your take on the revolving door of death? Why don't all leaders, kings/queens/emperors, among other powerful individuals remain alive forever with reincarnate or at least until the end of their so-called natural life span with resurrection?

The "revolving door of death" applies ONLY to PCs whose players both want to continue playing the PC after death and who have the resources and allies to bring them back over and over. For most folks, including pretty much ALL NPCs... this doesn't work for three very important reasons:

1) Spells to restore life from death are VERY expensive. Don't forget that PCs are NOT a good metric to use for the average wealth of a typical person, or even a typical noble. The cost for such a spell is enough that relatively few can afford it that often, if even once.

2) Having someone bring you back to life requires that the people who want to do so not only have the funds, but the will and are not opposed. It doesn't matter if your group can afford to resurrect you if they don't want to do so, or if they're more powerful than those who do.

3) And this is the most important one: Most folks aren't destined to be brought back to life. Pharasma (aka your GM) is the one who determines if someone is allowed to come back to life, and if they're not, they get judged and move on to the afterlife before someone can resurrect them. If there IS a reason for a PC or NPC to come back to life, Pharasma knows... even if that resurrection won't happen for years or even decades, and as such the soul lies in wait in the Boneyard until the time is right. For the vast majority of folks, death is final. Again, don't mistake the fact that for a PC, the player gets to make this decision as something NPCs get to do ever. If your GM decides that all leaders get to be resurrected over and over, then that's what Pharasma decides in your game as well... but I could see a nation or region where this happens lots becoming unbalanced as the commonfolk get sick and tired of the rich treating death like an inconvenience when the majority of the populace can't afford the luxury. That actually could make for a cool setting trope—it's not one that happens in Golarion though. At least, not in the Inner Sea or Tian Xia or anywhere we've already published about.

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Nightdrifter wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Nightdrifter wrote:
Have you seen Knights of Badassdom (LARPers vs a real demon)?
I haven't. It's been sitting in my Netflix queue for many months, but I can never get up the courage to watch it because I get nervous about it either poking fun at gamers or, on the other side of things, being TOO gamer friendly and being filled with goofy gamer jokes that only gamers will get.
I enjoyed it, but people have different tastes so hard to say if it'll be something you like. It has Peter Dinklage, so how bad can it be? The Gamers trilogy has far more inside jokes that only gamers would get. Since we're supposed to be asking questions: what's your favorite in the Gamers trilogy?

Peter Dinklage was in Pixels, so it can be pretty bad. AKA: He's awesome, but he isn't 100% proof against lameness.

I liked the first Gamers the best, but even then, its sense of humor is exactly the type of humor that kinda rubs me the wrong way.

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Nightdrifter wrote:
Are there inquisitors of Groetus? If so, what would their goals be?

There are but not a lot; his cult isn't that widespread or organized. His inquisitors look to stop and defeat those who would try to prevent apocalyptic events, for the most part—the vast majority of his inquisitors are evil as a result.

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wabbitking wrote:
can goblins hobgoblins and bugbears have children form each other? I was looking through some fluff and there's at least one story of a goblin claiming to be the son of a hobgoblin I would normaly put this up as him trying to look tougher but in rise of the runelords their's that bugbear who is sneaking into the goblin chiefs harem of wives so I know they can find each other attractive,so can they breed/have kids if so whats the result a advanced goblin a slightly quicker or strong hobgoblin a weaker bugbear what?

Yes, but the offspring is always a goblin, hobgoblin, or bugbear. Maybe one that's taller or shorter than expected. There's not a "half-goblin" race or anything like that. But yeah... you can make a goblin/hobgoblin by making an advanced goblin or a hobgoblin who's Small sized or whatever.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

Okay, so I'm considering trying to gm for the next gameday, but aside from still needing to figure out how to get involved, I have gm'd dozens of games, but not a single one where I ran something premade, nor even prepared anything ahead of time. My style is very much building everything on the fly.

So, any advice for a gm like myself on running a premade module/adventure/gameday thing?

Read the module twice. The first time, just read it through like you'd read a book. The second time, make notes in it by using notes in the margins or on post-it notes to call out key elements that you are particularly interested in or want to remember. Then, when it comes to the game, run the game as you normally do, handling things on the fly but referencing the module now and then to refresh your memory. Don't worry too much about making sure everything that's in the module gets translated to the PCs; just make sure it's fun.

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AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I'm pretty sure Chelax suddenly being ruled by a chaotic evil bard worshiper of Nocticula would qualify for villainy, and would not count as a net victory for the good guys.

Ah, so she was chaotic evil all along. I didn't like that alignment requirement in Way of the Wicked either...

That said, how wouldn't a regime change improve the lives of Cheliax's beleaguered people?

The Way of the Wicked version of Bezlarue was neutral evil.

The Hell's Vengeance one is chaotic evil.

And no... if Bezlarue is in charge of Cheliax... it would not get better for the people of Cheliax.

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Bardess wrote:
I think we'll see updated versions of the Spherewalker, Chevalier, and so on...

None of these are updates of old classes.

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BardWannabe wrote:
Will at least one of them support Empyreal Lords? The Mystery Cultist is only worthwhile for full casters.

The 14 prestige classes are each built with the assumption that they support one of several good deities. The deities represented by a prestige class are as follows:

Cayden Cailean
Ragathiel
Kurgess
Sarenrae
Shelyn
Ashava
Iomedae
Erastil
Milani
Soralyon
Torag
Vildeis
Desna
Pulura

And that's probably enough spoilers for now... gotta spread things out between now and the end of the year! ;-)

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Hayato Ken wrote:

Here´s hope Prestige Classes become a bit more flexible, so they are of use to characters coming from different entry classes, with different main stats, etc.

It´s certainly believable that members of a certain organization share some ideals, goals and also some abilities, but i think it´s totaly unbelievable when a PrC produces nearly 100% similar characters in each case or has one good and one bad entry option.
That doesn´t make sense for those organisations, since they would hinder themselves.

Prestige classes work best when they are flexible and an option for multiple classes or points of entry—in that way, they're kind of the opposite of an archetype, which REQUIRES a specific class and usually requires you to make that choice at 1st level.

In any case, these prestige classes are all designed to be attractive to multiple classes; not always divine spellcaster classes, despite the fact that each one is tied to a specific good-aligned deity.

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chopswil wrote:
will there be stat block examples of each?

Oh my no.

Not only is there no room for stat blocks, but there's no real use for sample characters in a player companion.

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AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
So what's your party like? What atrocities have you and your associates committed (besides the usual theft and murder)?

My character's a demon-blooded tiefling bard, one of two chaotic evil characters (the other is a human barbarian who's also looking to become a cannibal). The other three in the party are a lawful evil human cleric of Asmodeus, a lawful evil antipaladin aimed at becoming a Hellknight, and a lawful evil elf wizard.

We've not done many atrocities yet beyond theft and murder. I'm looking forward to more pickpocket opportunities and big city shenanigans; my character Bezlarue is already kinda sick of the small town stuff and wants more attention and more pockets to pick!

So she wants the Skyrim experience then. ;)

** spoiler omitted **

I wouldn't call it the Skyrim experience at all, since Skyrim doesn't allow you to pursue a seduction of the nation's leader and assume control of it all.

As for the spoiler... we JUST did that last night, so that's ALMOST a spoiler for me as well. That whole situation hasn't 100% resolved yet, since we haven't yet been able to confront the kid (nor did we really get proof that said kid actually did it).

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Razcar wrote:

Dear Mr. Jacobs,

I have some questions mostly to help in painting as a vivid picture of Golarion as I can for my players. I've read some (very entertaining) Pathfinder Tales novels to help with this, as the decisions the authors make when describing Golarion as "real" from their characters' point of view helps me make the world come alive as DM. Thank you for your time!

1. Does the player characters know their own alignments? Since the nine alignments are "real" in Golarion and not just a rules abstraction like e.g. HP - everyone has an alignment and they can be detected and targeted with many spells and abilities - are they something player characters (or maybe even Golarion folk in general) are aware of and might discuss among themselves? Maybe something like our RL star signs? On their third date, might Will the Wizard ask Rosy the Rogue, "So what's your alignment? I'm Lawful Neutral myself. Can't stand those Chaotics, they're so messy"?

2. I'm going to DM Hell's Rebels next for our group (after we'll finish Rise of the Runelords, which we've been having a blast playing). What is the motivation for the common folk in Cheliax to worship Asmodeus? I don't mean those making deals with devils and reaping rewards (in this life) in exchange for their souls (in the next), but the ordinary congregation going to the church services, and not getting any special benefit (afaik) for then having their souls sent to Hell for eternal torment. Usually people hope that their afterlife will be better than their present situation. Does the Asmodean church lie about what will happen to their faithful after death? I.e. does the Asmodeans pose as "good guys" and teach that the horrors of hell are untrue and just propaganda from ""the other side""? I guess I just have a problem understanding the reasoning behind a (sane) person in Golarion worshipping a deity from Hell when, as I understand it, Golarion's Hell is basically the Judeo-Christan deal - a place of punishment and torment for people that are not Good and not a place of reward for people that are Evil.

3. I can see that character levels are an abstraction that adventurers themselves are not aware of, except perhaps like a vague power concept ("he's a better warrior than I am"). But are spell casting characters aware of the spell levels? I.e. do the casters of Golarion divide their arcane and divine spells into nine levels of power, like the rules do? If so, are the spell levels used as a way to measure relative power? Or are they just a Pathfinder rule term? E.g. "My father was a great wizard. They say he mastered spells of even the seventh rank. I'm just a beginner, and have recently learned the arts of the second".

4. Does slaves in Cheliax have some special identifier, i.e. like a collar, tattoo, or some branding on their bodies? How are they otherwise identified as slaves?

5. What happens with the Chelish blockade of Pezzack during the war against the Glorious Reclamation? Are those ships sent to protect the south coast of Cheliax? I was thinking to send the PCs to Pezzack for a mission

1) Alignment is an abstraction, and while players ABSOLUTELY know their own characters' alignments, folks in world don't say "I'm chaotic good." They would instead say something like, "I try to do good deeds, but don't let that get in the way of having fun if I can help it!" or the like; they'd be descriptive. An outsider would say something like "I am a paragon of chaos and good!" or even "I am a champion of entropy and kindness" or whatever. But even they wouldn't refer to a group as a "bunch of chaotics."

2) The general motivation for the commoner to worship Asmodeus in Cheliax is fear. If you don't, you run the risk of attracting the attention of the government, and any tiny infraction could explode into fines, imprisonment, enslavement, torture, or worse. Those who aren't devout and are only paying lip service might indeed be risking damnation in the afterlife, and those who are aware of what goes on after you die would try to temper the evil they do with good as best they could... but the vast majority of folks DON'T know what happens after you die or are misinformed or simply aren't interested because the troubles of life are more important. You should check out the entry on Asmodeus in Inner Sea Gods for more details on his faith, in any event.

3) Folks are aware of spell levels, and one well-versed in magic would indeed refer to fireball as a 3rd level spell.

4) It would vary from collars to bracelets to brands to tattoos to nothing at all—would depend on the masters' preference.

5) The blockade of Pezzack is pretty much handled off-screen in both Hell's Vengeance and Hell's Rebels. My suggestion would be to limit the amount of travel the PCs do in Hell's Rebels—going OUT of Ravounel might frustrate your players, who will be quite likely to want to stay near home to help protect it.

ALSO: Check out the recently released Cheliax book for more details.

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