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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 44,699 posts (46,750 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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thegreenteagamer wrote:

1. Can you sum up what makes:

A. A good GM? B. A good player?

2. Will the Pathfinder MMO use the rules set from the tabletop game for character generatioon and play, similar to how NWN2 used 3.5?

If so, do you plan to start core only?

A) A good GM = a good combination of creativity, ability to improv, and being open to learning and improving the skills.

A good player = someone who respects the game the GM is running, respects the other players, and doesn't surf on his/her phone/tablet during the game.

2) Nope. It's using its own rules. Partially because of complications with the rules and OGL and how that interfaces with video games, but also because Pathfinder MMO is focusing on different things and game play elements than the RPG does.

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The smitter wrote:

What is the drug that is made out of ground up mummies and what book is that in? I think it is mumra but that might be the villain from Thundercats.

EDIT: See above.

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eldergod0515 wrote:
James, what's your favorite cantrip and why? Have you used it in a novel creative way?

Prestidigitation, because it's very open to application, but mostly because you can use it to clean up after things get messy. I've used it to clean off hazardous spores and slimes. Very handy.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

Sorry, more dragon questions. You shouldn't have made Dragons Revisited such an interesting read if you didn't want them. :-P

So, since dragons can reproduce with almost anything, it seems reasonable that they can with each other outside of their type, no?

Given their similarities in so many means, their unified interests, and their long-term relationships as mentor-protoge, are silver-gold unions a frequent, or even somewhat common thing? If not...really?! They're more apt to mate with a totally different base-species than someone with slightly different color scales? It's the hot-cold thing, isn't it?

What's the progeny of such a union? Flip a coin, or a hybrid of some kind that you're never going to stat up?

Oh, and I forgot in my earlier "what's your favorite dragon" set of questions...What's your favorite non-true dragon?

This is one of the things the half-dragon template is for.

My favorite non-true dragon is the pseudodragon.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
4. Is pimpin' easy?

4) Lame question.

1. I'm taking it you were not a Chappelle Show fan? (Note - I almost went with "Is Rick James right vis a vis cocaine and it's drug status?" instead.)

2. Do you lament the loss of Futurama, and the fact that you will never join it's list of prestigious guest stars, such as Gary Gygax? (Gary Gygax - "I am..." *rolls a d20, looks at the results* "PLEASED to meet you." Al Gore - "Gary, put the dice away, or I'm taking them away!")

3. Your favorite dragon? Type? Oh, type within specific subtype (i.e. favorite metallic, favorite chromatic, etc) And specifically, your favorite named dragon from lore (your own lore counts)?

4. I have read you guys don't wanna do an anniversary edition of all the APs, cause you're concerned people will wait and not buy the originals. Makes total sense. But what about an updated, Pathfinder-RPG-ized version of the first few APs that were created for 3.5? Or the super old-schools, like Age of Worms and Savage Tide? You guys own that stuff, right? I'm sure there's a lot of us that would love to play that quality product without having to do a ton of conversions. Can we at least get an update of the 3.5 stuff to PF?

1) Nope; I'm not a fan of the Chappelle Show, but knowing that you're quoting that makes me MUCH less annoyed than me thinking you were just implying I was a pimp of anything.

2) Futurama had a GREAT run... and I'd rather see it end strong than linger for ages and become irrelevant or self-mocking or tired. I never even considered the idea or possibility of being a guest star on the show, in any event.

3) Chromatic: Red
Metallic: Bronze
Primal: Brine
Imperial: Forest
Outer: Void

4) The concern of folks not buying the APs as they come out because they choose to wait for a compilation is a significant one... but so is the fact that compiling an AP is NOT an easy task. It's not something we can really do every year anyway, and as a result, since we do two APs a year, the laws of time and space pretty much make it a truth that we'll never do compilations of all our APs. We may do a compilation again... time will tell... but we haven't announced any plans to do so yet.

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alexd1976 wrote:
I always thought the less common TYPE of damage (Cold) might have been a factor as well. I mean, LOTS of things are immune to fire/lightning, less stuff has resistance to cold I think... No real direct mechanical benefit per se, but a potential tactical advantage. Plus, you can make snow in July, just point it up. Fun times.

I've never assumed that. If that were the case, why is there a cold damage cantrip and not a fire damage cantrip? I don't think the energy type matters at all, other than to give the spell one more way to feel different from other area effect damage spells.

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ShadowFighter88 wrote:

Have you ever been in a game (as a player or GM) where the players decide to deal with a group of bad guys with careful espionage and manipulation rather than just killing them all?

Idly got to wondering if you could deal with the Bastards of Erebus in Council of Thieves by tracking down their fences and getting them put away, allowing one of the PCs to infiltrate the Bastards as a new, high-end fence for them, able to safely move stuff too distinctive for their normal contacts to risk. Sure; it's not as quick and efficient as what the book assumes (a straight-out attack on their hideout, either stealthily or kicking in the front door), but it would be a hell of a lot more satisfying to lure them into a dotarii trap.

EDIT: Or have I just been watching too much Burn Notice and Leverage lately? :P

Yup... both as a PC and as a GM. My favorite was the game in which my character Shensen managed to convert a Red Wizard of Thay merchant/wizard from serving Thay to being under her thumb, so that she gained control of his enclave. That she later lost control of the enclave when another PC went kill-crazy with fire for no good reason is another (very frustrating) story.

But yes... taking down the enemy in a non combat way is perfectly viable, and the fact that the game isn't hard-wired to assume that's the only option is one of the benefits of having the actual game run by a human capable of rolling with the unexpected punches.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

1. Given that there doesn't seem to be a way to avoid receiving the spell, are Golarion celebrities, political officials, and other important folks constantly inundated by sending spells by casters with a bone to pick, or some fanboy love comments, or whatever else they might want to bother them with?

2. Do you play other systems for fun, or research, or whatever when you're not playing Pathfinder? If so, which ones?

3. How much do you know about the PF MMO? (I have more questions, but if you don't know too much, or don't want to answer for whatever reason, I understand.)

4. Is pimpin' easy?

5. Who was the first person in the company to actually say "So they're discontinuing 3.5...well, what if we just made our own game?" or whatever along those lines?

1) No. Sending is a relatively high level spell, and as such it's not all that commonly cast. And the small subset of spellcasters who CAN cast it who are likely to be celebrity stalkers are even smaller.

2) Yes. I'm currently playing in a D&D Next game, and have always played Call of Cthulhu... but not as often as I want. I play other systems as well, usually as one-shot games.

3) I know quite a lot, but I don't know what is and isn't public knowledge, so I'm not the person to talk to about it.

4) Lame question.

5) Probably the first of us to hear that they were discontinuing 3.5, be it Lisa or Erik, not sure who.

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Dire Mosasaur wrote:

Hi James, here are a few random things I was curious about. Mostly about neutral outsiders this time.

(I'm asking all of these questions in regards to the Inner Sea setting)

1) Is the Boneyard itself a plane (like Elysium or the Abyss), or is it a location in a plane? Inner Sea Gods says it is located above the city of Axis (which is a city-plane, I guess).

2) The PRD usually lists Purgatory as the true neutral plane. Is this because it is setting neutral, or does Purgatory also exist in the Inner Sea setting?

3) Similar to above, what are neutral petitioners in the Inner Sea setting called? The PRD lists them as the "dead" and says they take the form of animated skeletons (outsiders rather than undead though). Is this also true of the Inner Sea?

4) Is there any relationship between Aeons and Psychopomps (for example, are psychopomps a type of aeon?)?

5) Is there a difference between the petitioners that turn into Psychopomps and those that turn into Aeons, or do they both come from the petitioner that is the answer to #3?

6) How devout would one have to be to become a Psychopomp rather than the stuff that makes up the plane? Would a relatively devout commoner follower of Pharasma become one, or would they have to be more noteworthy (like, say, a character with levels in cleric?)? I'm trying to get a rough idea of how populated the Boneyard would be.

7) Pharasma is mentioned as being very neutral in her judgements. Would anything cause her to hold souls back, even temporarily? Like if daemons or qlippoth were threatening to completely mess up the river of souls, would she resort to cutting off their reinforcements?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm trying to make a plane-hopping campaign in the Inner Sea setting and want to remain consistent. I'm rather new to Pathfinder, and have only played in a campaign set in a homebrew setting with few planes other than the material plane.

1) The Boneyard is a plane. It's our Neutral outer plane.

2) That's because "Boneyard" isn't a mythological place and we decided to avoid using any of our non-open proper nouns for the PRD. Boneyard and Purgatory are interchangeable synonyms, in other words... but if you use "Boneyard" in a book you publish, we can sue you. ;-)

3) They are called the dead.

4) No. Just as there are several different types of chaotic evil outsider races (demons, demodands, and qlippoth), there are several types of neutral outsider races (aeon, psychopomp, elemental). They don't have any relationship other than a shared alignment.

5) They'd both come from the same petitioner.

6) We talk about this in the Souls article in the last Mummy's Mask, but there's not an exact measurement of devoutness that you need to achieve. It's deliberately vague. The Boneyard isn't crowded with psychopomps though. Part of what makes it what it is is the fact that it's kinda empty overall, like a quiet spooky cemetery that goes on forever.

7) Nope. She wouldn't cut off "reinforcements" like that. That type of mentality requires someone to have an agenda beyond neutrality.

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Ashram wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Ashram wrote:
<snip>

1) Magic can make things do all sorts of stuff. Including making ice, bone, or even light into a weapon that is very effective.

2) Accident. Alaznist's ranseur has a different Runelord of Wrath's skull on it, not the first. ALTHOUGH... liches rebuild their bodies once killed, so perhaps she killed him at one point and took his skull and let him rebuild!

3)...

On #2, considering by Alaznist's reign Alderpash would have been very (un)comfortably tucked away in the Abyss for at least a couple hundred years by Baphomet, I highly doubt Alaznist would have taken a field trip to the Abyss just to get a neato trophy for the butt end of her ranseur. :P

On #7, I meant the fact that by RAW you can't make a scythe out of bone, since you can't make a two-handed slashing weapon out of bone. Although I guess if you jerry-rig a wood handle and a bone blade like Krune's dragon-tooth longspear, you can get around that. I'll just chalk it up to "10,000-year-old wizards did it." ;)

Two new questions!

1. How was there an art mix-up for Sorshen's guisarme, considering it's never been depicted in official art?

2. Alaznist has been called an arcane knight before. Was that just for her enjoyment of using evocation, or did she actually wear armor? (You've mentioned before that she would not have levels in Eldritch Knight.)

Doubting what Alaznist would and could do is one of the ways she rose to such power over her contemporaries.

You can make a scythe out of bone in the real world. Therefore you can do the same in Golarion. This is a case where the rules are trumped by reality. A bone scythe might not be the most effective weapon in play, and might break easily or do less damage than a metal one, but once you enhance it with magic all bets are off. And even beyond that, it's a major artifact, like Karzoug's Burning Glaive... so anything is allowed anyway.

1) It has been depicted. Multiple times. It's even in miniature form. We first illustrated it in Inner Sea Magic, where the art for Sorshen came in too late to chagne. We then illustrated her again in Shattered Star #2, and she ended up getting a miniature in the Shattered Star minis set.

2) Unrevealed, but she probably did wear armor, yes. She was pretty militaristic. Probably the MOST military minded of all seven runelords at the time of Thassilon's fall. I doubt she wore heavy armor or even medium armor, but she likely wore light armor. Likely with the feats to help augment her spellcasting in said armor, or perhaps even with armor that was magic and allowed her to cast spells easilly in it.

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Yuugasa wrote:

New to this awesome thread and haven't been able to read all of it yet but a question(sorry if something similar has already been asked).

Let's say after you pass on in this life you find yourself reincarnated in Golarion. What species, class, background etc would you like to be? Where would you like to be born and into what circumstances? Assuming you remember your previous life and the details of Golarion what would you spend your life doing? What would be your goal?

Oooh! Elven bard in western Varisia! My goal would be FAME!

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
How big would the kingdom of a group of PCs get before it could be legitimately called an empire? Let's use the Kingmaker kingdom as an example. Assuming it encompasses the entirety of The Stolen Lands and has annexed Pitax, how much more territory would the PCs have to claim in order for the GM to decide it has grown beyond being a kingdom to become Golarion's newest empire?

That's not something that is really governed by population as much as it is the ruler calling himself an Emperor or herself an Empress, in my opinion. An "empire" of a dozen people has its own amusing and interesting story connotations, after all!

That said, one dictionary definition of "empire" is "a group of nations," so one kingdom in and of itself is not really something that could ever be called an empire, regardless of it's actual population.

But if the ruler decided to call themselves Emperor or Empress... that's all you'd need.

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As the author of the Emerald Root, I can provide answers for these:

Order of the Amber Die wrote:

1) Area P12 has an advanced Stone Golem that is listed as CR 12 (correct), but the title of the area lists the encounter as CR 11.

2) The ledge outside of P9 appears to have different heights on the map, as there is definitely shading around the bright square to the southwest of the "P9" label on the map from p. 142. Nothing is mentioned about varying heights in the text, but on level nine there was also no text to confirm a similar issue with that map, so GMs may want to give thought to this in advance. I ruled that there was a 5ft. difference in height between the top three and one-half squares of the P9 ledge in comparison to the bottom six and one-quarter squares, and the resulting verticality surprised us by adding interesting complexity to the charda battle.
3) The GM may have to prepare a ruling on the master shards found on this level. While they are italicized by Jacobs (suggesting that they are magic items) he might have run too low on word count to allow for a magic item stat block for them, or perhaps figured that his clear description of how they function was enough. Either way, players will likely be inquisitive about the properties or try to identify its attributes with Spellcraft, so it might be wise to choose how you will rule in advance.
4) As a recommendation on how to conduct the earth glide within the Spire tendrils, I can offer that it worked very well for me by describing this in the same way I would walk a PC down a hallway, offering directional choices as they came upon them. For example, a left or right choice when headed toward P5 would allow GMs to definitively place a PC on the map upon arrival.
5) It seemed like some GM-discretion was required with Eriniell in regard to how harshly she attacks PCs who touch the ground, and how strictly she will enforce this rule as they PCs move around the level. I thought it unlikely she would break off from attacking Iluchtewhar or another enemy to go after a PC because they touched the ground during a fight. I played this feature of her personality up as way to provide flavor and even laughter between combats, as PCs would sometimes forget they had to be off the ground--and Eriniell sharply reminded them with her pick. Not wanting to be tied to floating disks for the level, they eventually resorted to fly spells to appease her.

1) Yup; the CR listed in the encounter area name is in error.

2) There is indeed a five-foot high ledge up on area P9.

3) Indeed, space constraints prevented me from doing up the master shards as full magic items. I did indeed figure that the description in the treasure of area P4 was enough to give GMs what they needed to go on. It absolutely should be possible for characters to determine a master shard's qualities by making a Spellcraft check as if they were studying a magic item—you can assume they're CL 7th, like a spire transport token, for those purposes. Especially since using these things is kind of a prerequisite to navigating the level anyway if the PCs don't have their own solutions.

4) I would describe it like swimming in a tunnel filled with green water, more or less.

5) Eriniell is crazy, and as such it's absolutely up to the GM to determine how she reacts in any given situation. An adventure author can't possibly anticipate every PC action, after all, so the best we can do is describe the NPC's personality and general goals and quirks so that the GM can make educated decisions on how they react to specific situations. She's very much intended to be a roleplaying enabler and not a combat encounter though, so the more you use her to break up the monotony of dungeon crawl fights, the better! :-)

I'm still kinda surprised no one's called me on the fact that she's cheating with that disk... normally you can't use the spell to sit on, but it's too cool an image to be bound by rules! :-)

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Ashram wrote:

In-depth nerd questions about the Runelords' weapons of rule (And other Runelord-y things) incoming:

1. Krune's dragon-tooth longspear is detailed in "The Waking Rune", which very obviously has bone for the tip of the spear. Normally even magically-strengthened bone takes a damage penalty, but his spear does not. Oversight, or crazy Runelord magic?

2. In "The Dead Heart of Xin", Alaznist's write-up states that her adamantine ranseur has the skull of the first Runelord of Wrath impaled at the butt; "The Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth" states otherwise, saying that the first Runelord of Wrath was whisked away by a demon lord for a foolish promise and resorted to lichdom. Accident, or retcon?

3. Do you have the names of the other four original Runelords, and are they important enough to keep under wraps?

4. Any hints as to what "undocumented" skymetal Xanderghul's lucerne hammer is made of? I've always held that it's horacalcum since the metal is so rare that it was effectively undocumented (And it's technically the metal that embodies his sin.)

5. Sorshen's "double-headed guisarme"... One head at both ends? Wracking my brain on this one.

6. Belimarius' "memory-stealing halberd of gold and mithral"... Solid gold pole with a mithral head, or some weird mixture of the two?

7. Zutha's "life-stealing scythe made of bone": Technically not possible, by RAW. More crazy Runelord magic? :P

8. Earlier in the thread, you mentioned Belimarius was between Krune and Zutha in power. Considering Zutha and Krune are the same level, would Belimarius be a 17th level old female Azlanti abjurer?

And now I'm done. Whew...

1) Magic can make things do all sorts of stuff. Including making ice, bone, or even light into a weapon that is very effective.

2) Accident. Alaznist's ranseur has a different Runelord of Wrath's skull on it, not the first. ALTHOUGH... liches rebuild their bodies once killed, so perhaps she killed him at one point and took his skull and let him rebuild!

3) I do not have the names yet, but will someday.

4) No hints yet.

5) It was originally intended to have two blades at one end, but an artist mix-up turned it into a one blade at each end and made it a double weapon. Which wasn't my intent, but it's the way it is now! ;-)

6) Mix of the two. And magical so that it functions without getting dull.

7) It's absolutely possible. If magic can make all the other things in the game, why cant' it enhance a scythe made of bone? It's not even crazy runelord magic. Just normal magic.

8) She's probably 18th level, but lower CR than Zutha, who's a lich and likely has some other tricks up his sleeve.

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The NPC wrote:

Mr. James Jacobs,

In the Lords of Chaos book there is the set of rituals that allows a mortal to turn into a demon sans the death and larvae part of the process. Could a the process be subverted, in your estimation, to allow a mortal to turn into a qlippoth? Probably not, but I thought I would ask.

There should and would and could be different rituals to allow a mortal to transform into ANY outsider race.

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Will we find out in the last volume of Iron Gods what the planet Androffa is like currently?

2)When will we find out all the 0HD races that will get some love in the Inner Sea Races book?

3)Will we ever see another Inner sea Bestiary or some other softcover bestiary like Tian Xia or Distant Worlds?

4)Will there be any more "revisited" and/or "unleashed" books next year?

5)So what movies have you seen lately?

1) Not in detail, but once the last book is out, I'll explain why it's not in detail if folks want, and can answer more questions about it.

2) Probably not until the book's released.

3) Maybe.

4) We've put the revisited books on pause for now; they're fun to do but sales suggested folks weren't as into them as they were other topics. We may well do more unleashed books but not at the rate we did the revisited books. We might do another revisited book some day in the future, but the more rapid rate of us publishing them is done.

5) The Book of Life (excellent)
Big Hero 6 (above average but not great)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (excellent)
Would You Rather (Surprisingly good!)
Attack on Titan (VERY VERY GOOD... but only 4 episodes in... no spoilers!)
The Damned (Started good but ended up bleh)
Sabotage (bad... one of the worst Arnold movies ever)
Mercy (terrible, despite retaining some but not all of the Lovecraftian elements of King's original story, "Gramma')

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Biztak wrote:
pancakes or waffles?

Pancakes. Absolutely no contest.

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Tels wrote:
What's your opinion on random number generators in video games?

No opinion. They're a tool used to tell a story, and that means they can be good or bad.

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RCM wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

At the time Divinity launched? Not at all. About as magically developed as Earth.

That may have changed significantly in the past 9,000 years, of course!

Will the fate of Androffa be revealed in the last book of the AP?

Somewhat, but not in detail. That said, once the last book's out, I'll be willing to talk a bit more about Androffa here.

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W E Ray wrote:

Not sure how much a question this is or its importance to anything but,...

Someone started a Thread asking about all the "god" fish or whatever that must've come from the Starstone's influence in the, uh, 5 millenia(!) it rested on the ocean floor.

The thing that immediately jumped in my mind was your 20th Lvl adventure from Dungeon 92, "The Razing of Redshore" and its colossal, Awakened, god-like whale that the PCs have to deal with as they become Epic Level PCs.

So here goes:
Is there any chance at all that there's some "god-like" whale or something that got its spark of divinity from the Starstone ages and ages before Aroden lifted it and founded Absalom?

No.

Part of what made the Starstone Cathedral and the Starstone itself capable of doing what it does is the interaction of magic that resulted when Aroden raised it and the Isle of Kortos from the sea floor. It didn't "activate" until that happened. Until then, it was, essentially, dormant. Powerful magic to be sure, and it could well have caused some nearby denizens of the Darklands or the sea or wherever to perhaps gain the Advanced template or some other boost... but it didn't gain the power to ascend mortals until after it was raised.

There are plenty of other ways for adventures like "Razing of Redshore" to activate, though. And good times! Haven't thought of that adventure for a while! :-)

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Triphoppenskip wrote:
At what age did you start playing table top RPGs and what was the first system you played? Ever play Mordheim?

I started playing RPGs with the 1977 edition of D&D in 5th grade in 1982; I was 10 years old at the time.

I've never played Mordheim.

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Nargemn wrote:

You've mentioned before your reluctance to utilize archetypes on NPCs, citing them as more of a PC only thing, save for some exceptions. I was wondering why this was? Do you feel that giving NPCs archetypes that it creates too much of a burden of knowledge or expectancy that a GM running that AP/Module/scenario has the books that the archetype is presented in?

For my part, I love giving archetypes where it's appropriate, as I think it really adds a lot of flavor and diversity to the base classes, and the archetypes were one of the first mechanical aspects of Pathfinder I fell in love with, rather than having 3.5s massive amount of base classes.

Obviously archetypes don't always fit, because having every single monster in a large encounter be something completely unique can bog down playtime. I'd just love some insight! :D

The main reason is that the GM already has a lot on his/her plate. Adding new archetypes, or feats, or spells, or items to an NPC from different books makes that NPC more difficult to run. By limiting these options for most NPCs, it makes most NPCs easier to run by not only limiting the number of books the GM has to reference, but by increasing the chances that the GM's familiarity with the rules makes it likely that he/she won't need books open all.

FURTHERMORE: Archetypes are great at making a character unusual, but if EVERY NPC has them, then every NPC is different, and since there's no "norm" to base on... they don't feel unusual or notable at all.

While an archetype can certainly add flavor to a stat block... it's NOT necessary for a flavorful character. You can, in other words, make ANY stat block play the role of a pirate in an adventure without it having the pirate archetype. The players don't get to see the stats, so they won't notice either way.

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shintsurugi wrote:

Thanks for all the replies so far!

Another sort of fluff question I have:

In WotR, after the giant pulse sent out by the breaking of the Wardstone in the first part, what are the demonic armies up to? The AP says at certain points that Galfrey is trying to keep their attention to the south, but surely the combined armies of two demon lords could overwhelm whatever forces Galfrey can muster on such short notice?

Or was the recruitment for the Fifth Crusade just that massive?

Just looking for how you'd explain it! Thanks!

The demonic armies are attacking other cities along the border, or expanding into the Mammoth Lords territory. Some of this was covered in the Pathfinder Society adventures that came out at that time.

But again... remember that the demons don't want a quick win. For the demons, the more drawn out their win is, the more suffering they cause their mortal foes to endure, and thus the more chances for sin to enter their lives, and thus the better chances there are of dead mortals turning into new demons.

AKA: It's the same reason lumberjacks don't cut down the entire forest at once.

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Shisumo wrote:
With the errata to memory of function, does that spell now function like a resurrection for androids?

Yes. As will resurrection, of course.

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Yeah. It did indeed sell pretty well. Yay! :-)

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Where is Thalassic Park?

Off the coast of Northern California.

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Thanks for the detailed feedback, magnuskn! There's certainly a lot for us to think about in looking over how Mythic Rules interacts with the game, particularly at high level play. I don't really have much more public to say at this time, but I did want to thank you for the review and impressions you had of the campaign and of the Mythic Rules.

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David Neilson wrote:
Even better. Though for Breath of life I am surprised you do not call it Cure Lethal Wounds.

Cure Mortal Wounds is another option.

But by calling it Cure Deadly Wounds, it abbreviates to CDW. Which doesn't overlap Light, Moderate, Serious, or Critical. (Which both Deadly and Lethal do.)

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David Neilson wrote:
So if we are lucky enough to get the Hollow Mountain done up as a full, all the bells and whistles mega-dungeon. Do you think Lisa Stevens could be convinced to do the first level as in Emerald Spire?

No.

Because Hollow Mountain's one of MY playgrounds. If it happens... it's 'cause I got to write the whole thing.

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ThedreadedSoole wrote:

1. Is there any kind of centralized leadership that oversees and coordinates the activities of the seven major Hellknight Orders?

2. Which order is your favorite?

3. Is "Hell's Rebels" going to have much hellknight shinanigans (on a scale of 0 [none] to 10 [Council of Thieves])?

1) No. The orders are all pretty self-contained, and they don't have much oversight into each other.

2) At this point, probably the Order of the Rack or the Order of the Torrent.

3) I would actually put Council of Thieves at a 5 on that scale, since the Hellknights are not a major part of the overall story, and only really play roles in a couple of adventures and never get a cover character spot. They're an "average" presence in there as a result. By that measuring stick, Hell's Rebels would get a 7. With a 10 being a theoretical Hellknight AP where you play members of the Hellknights who fight against another order of Hellknights.

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LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


2a) Breath of life is called cure deadly wounds, so that clerics can swap it out.

Do Oracles get that spell as their free known spell as opposed to Mass Cure Light Wounds?

It's never come up in any games I run since I've never had an oracle reach that level in a game I run... but no they wouldn't. They'd have to choose it as a spell they know. I might let the player swap out mass cure light for cure deadly wounds if they asked nicely though.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

Time for some hot-button, forum-dividing issue questions. These are the abortion and gun rights of Pathfinder...they polarize at the core.

1. Alignment...is it necessary?
2. Exp...hand-wave it away and level up when the GM says: good idea?
3. The rogue...outclassed in every way by all the other rogue-esque classes, or she still has something she legitimately does best?

1) Yes.

2) Bad idea.

3) Sudden bursts of high damage is what she does best.

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Aberzombie wrote:

James,

Do you ever worry that, with Bulmahn's love of minotaurs and mazes, he might rearrange the warehouse into a labyrinth and begin stalking the interns?

Nah. That's a lot of work, and Bulmahn also has a love of not engaging in physical labor.

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The Golux wrote:
LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The Golux wrote:

James,

Are Mars and Venus in Golarion's universe like the real Mars and Venus, or are they like Mars and Venus in pulp sci-fi novels?

Much more like the pulp versions. MUCH more. Distant Worlds has more info.

After playing Eyes of Ten Part 3, I can only say this

** spoiler omitted **

Is that a society scenario? And I didn't realize Distant Worlds covered things outside of Golarion's system.

EDIT: To clarify, I know Akiton and Castrovel are based on pulp mars and venus; I'm asking about the actual Mars and Venus in Earth's solar system in Golarion's universe.

OH! That wasn't clear. Mars and Venus are NOT as they are depicted in the pulps, because we're doing that with Akiton and Castrovel. Nor are Mars and Venus 100% scientifically accurate, cause that makes them kinda boring places to adventure.

We haven't actually decided what they're like in the game, and in fact the question has never come up until today. My preference would be for them to be science fictiony in some way, with some sort of something going on there to justify adventures beyond just survival.

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Rysky wrote:

Ooo that gives me a question.

What are your top 10 favourite words?

Huh... the first 10 that come to mind would be:

Recrudescence
Antediluvian
Eidolon
Squamous
Tyrannosaurus
Dinosaur
Cyclopean
Sequoia
Lovecraftian
Thalassic

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

1. As a member of Paizo, I'm sure you are proud of the product you put out, but as a GM, is there anything you wave the ban-stick at for reasons other than story/setting inappropriate/etc?

2. What are your always-on house rules?

3. If the answers to 1 and 2 are not "nothing", do you feel in any way disloyal that you're not using the product you were a part of creating as-is?

4. My search-fu was successful for what would have been this question, and I discovered that you like green tea. As my display name would suggest, I very much approve of this. So instead, I ask, what is your favorite brand of tea? (I warn you, if you say Lipton, I might have to return my copy of the CRB.)

1) I don't allow summoners in my games.

2) I don't have many always-on house rules, on account of the fact that working at Paizo as Creative Director means I tend to get my house rules turned into actual rules... but two that come to mind:
2a) Breath of life is called cure deadly wounds, so that clerics can swap it out.
2b) When a bard gets a new versatile performance he can reallocate ALL of his skill ranks to accommodate the new performance.

3) No.

4) My current favorite brand of tea is Teavana.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Misroi wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Does Golarion have it's own version of the Kama Sutra?
Yes. I suspect that the church of Calistria has one in particular. And no... there are no plans for us to publish much about these books anytime soon.
Any chance the Calistrian church's text would be called The Book of Erotic Fantasies?

It's called The Book of Joy.

And a question for James, since I'm feeling better after that majorly depressive one:

The general rule regarding half-human or human-blooded races intermingling is that any children between them will be human the majority of the time, but that the non-human traits may resurface in future generations, so a family of humans for example might have a half-orc child because one of the parents had a half-orc grandparent or something, is that correct?

Good to hear you're feeling better!

That's more or less correct. That said... this is a GREAT reason to break out Advanced Race Guide and use the race builder to generate any sort of 10 point (or whatever) hybrid race you want.

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Misroi wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Does Golarion have it's own version of the Kama Sutra?
Yes. I suspect that the church of Calistria has one in particular. And no... there are no plans for us to publish much about these books anytime soon.
Any chance the Calistrian church's text would be called The Book of Erotic Fantasies?

Nope.

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Tacticslion wrote:

1) James, is there any chance that Paizo will produce less ink-intensive city grids? 'Cause I love your city grid/sheets, but man, even on fast quality black-and-white, they eat the ink like mad!

2) Also, I had Chinese last night! Are you jealous?

3) Also, also: my infant son is nearly two months old! My wife and I play "We're too exhausted by constant feeding and no sleep to get up and roll the dice, but go through adventures anyway Pathfinder." while holding him. Are we raising him right?
(Similarly, our three-year-old, only we add "... and while very distracted." to the other sentence when he's with us.)

4) Is sleep necessary for sanity?
(Note: the answer to this one is entirely irrelevant. I'm still not getting any.)

5) Am I a codfish?

EDIT: for clarity.

1) We've no plans to do so, sorry!

2) Depends what kind of food, but probably not.

3) Congrats! I'd say yes you are!

4) Yes, if your next question has anything to say about it.

5) Do you have spines? No? Probably not then.

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Samy wrote:

Any chance that Inner Sea Races, being a setting-non-neutral book, will finally provide an official rule that will allow for different races to pick a regional language as a starting language?

I mean right now, rules as written, an aasimar born and bred and lived all her life in Irrisen, cannot pick Hallit or Skald as starting languages unless she invests in Linguistics.

There's a chance, I suppose... but that's not something they've thought about I believe. I'll run it by the team that's working on the book.

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The Golux wrote:

James,

Are Mars and Venus in Golarion's universe like the real Mars and Venus, or are they like Mars and Venus in pulp sci-fi novels?

Much more like the pulp versions. MUCH more. Distant Worlds has more info.

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Samy wrote:

Are lashunta antennae attached to their foreheads, or to their temples? I've seen both depicted. Or does it depend on the individual?

Can lashunta move their antennae and brush things with them, like rust monsters? (Obviously, without the rust effect...)

Are lashunta antennae sensitive to pain? Can they wear human helmets that will press the antennae against their heads, or would that be like a kick to the groin?

Yeah... their antennae have moved around. I can't remember off the top of my head what way we decided is right... but the upcoming art of a few of them in "The Divinity Drive" is what we decided.

They can move them yes, and brush things with them. They are VERY sensitive, but not kick to the groin level.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

Super pleased to get a reply to both questions. Thought I'd get one, or the other, but now you've just encouraged me, dangit!

What's the deal with the abundance of, how shall I put this, unconventional, ill-suited for defense, yet totally fanservice armor on the females (and heck, some of the males) in so many of the characters published?

I was browsing through a few books the other day with my wife, and I kept stopping to point out bare midriffs, chests, and other vastly uncovered areas of the torso and other vital organs of adventurers. This wasn't totally armorless people, either; they seemed to be wearing piecemeal arm and leg coverings, and the like, just a big "stab-here" opening in the middle.

(I have no moral quandary with this, and am not a prude; I just think it's silly to coat your arms in steel and leave your lungs free-to-puncture)

The deal is that there's a long but not proud tradition among fantasy artists to objectify women in skimpy armor. It's something we try to avoid with Paizo products. That said, sexy characters ARE important as well... we try to have as equal a distribution as possible among genders there, and try to make sure that the ones who ARE depicted as sexy aren't the types of characters who would rely on armor anyway.

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Barathos wrote:
How do you handle conception checks, pregnancy, giving birth, babies, etc, at your home game?

It almost never comes up, so when it DOES come up, I tend to use some sort of house rule for the time. Usually just a percentage chance for conception and then the rest tends to happen during down time.

I've only ever had one of my characters get pregnant once, and that got incorporated into the campaign in a pretty cool way; I ended up playing my character's daughter as a character in a "sequel" campaign set a few decades after the first one came to an end.

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Uwotm8 wrote:

Hi James,

What do you think about the spell sage archetype, theme and mechanics? How might other gods see them accessing cleric spells and resurrecting folks and casting miracles? Would Nethys be particularly pleased?

Gracias!

I don't think about it at all, in that I don't know what a spell sage archetype is.

Archetypes are largely designed by the rules team or the Player Companion author/developer. They're primarily used by people making player characters. They actually don't show up often at all in adventure and world design, which is where I spend 95% of my time. So I've actually not thought much about the majority of the hundreds of archetypes we've published, with a few exceptions being the ones that I"ve used for my own PCs or for NPCs in adventures I've developed or written or in campaign setting books I've written or developed. Which is a small fraction of the total number of archetypes. And as it turns out, the spell sage isn't one of them.

Or if it was... I've forgotten all about it, which tells you what I think of it there and then! :-)

Personally... it sounds like an archetype I wouldn't like. It sounds like you'd be better off playing a cleric than trying to play a wizard that gets all the cleric toys. I am not a fan at all of archetypes giving away class features of other classes. That's kinda lame.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

I noticed via a cursory thread-search (dude, this is WAAAY TL; DR to go through it all at this point) that there's no half-dwarves.

Why not? Not mechanical, but, in-world, why?

With half-elves, half-orcs, aasimars, tieflings, oreads, sylphs, undines, dhampirs, sulis, changelings, fetchlings, and ifrits ALL being descended from humans that banged outside of their species-type (not to mention the myriad of sorcerer and bloodrager bloodlines that result from watered down interbreeding), why is a half-dwarf so hard to believe?

Are we to believe humans, in all their diverse sexual conquests have never done the horizontal mambo with their shorter, broader compatriots? HA!

Or is it that, against all logic, humans are more compatible genetically with, for example, an ambulatory corpse than they are a creature that looks almost just like them but happens to be shorter and more dense? Is that why Dhampir but no Half Dwarf?

(My guess...they're so similar that a dwarf and a human just have either a dwarf or a human baby, kinda like the half-elf or half-orc with human conundrum. Moderate cop-out IMO, but still, it would be nice to know if there's another reason.)

If you want an in game reason: Because dwarf DNA is not compatible by and large with anything but dwarves.

The out of game reason is that there are probably more than enough zero HD races in the game already, and when we DO create more, we prefer to create new ones rather than hybrid races.

If we make half dwarves, why not half gnomes or elf/halflings or every other possible combination between the core races? The answer should be obvious: because that clutters the rules and clutters the niches of the races in the first place. Half elves and half orcs ALREADY kind of suffer for not really having a good in-game role to play; their roles are already dominated by elves or orcs (or humans). Every additional hybrid race makes the game a little more confused and murky.

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My preference is to try to train the players to know that only certain types of regions are likely to be trapped, and then NEVER break that assumption by "cheating" and throwing a trap at them in an area that doesn't seem like it should be trapped unless there's a chance for them to learn of the presence of unusual traps during the course of the adventure.

Once they DO start looking for traps, I'll generally have the searcher roll once for the entire room. Alternately, and if they have time, I allow a take 20 Perception check in the area, and when doing so take distance modifiers into account. AKA: If there's a trapped chest in a room, I let them look into the room and either make their check if they want a "that round" result, or let them take 2 minutes to get a take 20.

Rolling is, of course, always an option. I generally don't roll secretly because that robs the fun of rolling from the PC, and if they're in a situation where they can re-roll obviously bad rolls, they can just take 20 anyway.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I feel frustrated with my life at the moment. I feel like I'm stuck in a rut that's draining the enjoyment of everything from me, leaving me only stress and exhaustion. And the things I used to do for fun just don't feel fun anymore, because I'm either too tired to do them or afraid to invest time in them because I have to be at work in x amount of hours. I feel so hollow and empty, but I feel like I can't talk about it because I'm already too lazy and entitled and alone. What's wrong with me? What should I do?

ooof... Sorry to hear that! :-(

I am not a therapist, but it sounds like you're suffering from depression. My suggestion would be to seek out a therapist to talk about things and see if indeed you're suffering from depression. Taking time off from work to unwind and spend time with friends/family might help if that's an option.

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CanisDirus wrote:

It occurs to me that I never asked my follow-up question to this! (I think I was planning on asking you in person at GenCon 2014 but with the lines so long and GMing 8 PFS slots, I never got to see you...)

Since it's been written out of continuity anyway, would you be willing to share what nexavar was, originally? Or is it in the old campaign setting book (in which case I'll go search that when I get home)?

Nexavar was a kind of lazy made-up material to explain why the demons of the Worldwound stopped at the border and didn't go further. It was kinda poorly thought out (why, if it's something that runs along the river, don't the demons go north or west where there is no river?), was never really given any rules, and as such didn't really follow my design philosophy of "If you make it up, back it up with rules design."

It was never really explained or described, and that's part of the reason I dislike it and excised it from the setting. But more to the point, I'd always had in my mind reasons why the demons don't go further than the Worldwound (those reasons are revealed, finally, in Wrath of the Righteous), and it has more to do with demons being smarter and much more manipulative than humans give them credit and less to do with "lucky that river just HAPPENED to be infused with anti demon stuff!"

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Kelban Alenark wrote:
You've mentioned good orcs and how rare they are but what about animals and magical beasts who are CE naturally. Would a good version of some of these creatures be possible or are they just wired towards maliciousness

Unless a creature has an alignment subtype, their actual individual alignment can be anything; the alignments listed in the book are the most common ones, so if you DO go against those listed alignments, you just need a reason to justify the change, in the same way you'd need to justify a creature having different feats or skills or a template.

If a creature DOES have an alignment subtype, they can STILL be a different alignment than listed, but that's VERY VERY VERY rare.

If the creature is undead, it should be evil. Ghosts are the undead most often not evil. Others can be non-evil, but they need outsider-level justification for it.

Creatures of Intelligence 2 or 1 or less are almost always neutral, save for weird cases where the creature is the product of a powerfully evil effect (such as is the case with skeletons or zombies).

All that said... one of the BEST ways to adapt the game to your world and to make your world different and uniquely yours is to change alignment expectations. But once you set those expectations down, your world deserves the respect of adhering to your choices; that's one way you set your world's "brand" and personality, after all. Changing the alignments of creatures all the time is almost like changing the name of your gods or nations all the time. It wrecks verisimilitude and makes it increasingly tough for the players to identify with and get used to the world, since in a way, your'e remaking the world each time you make such a big change.

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