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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 52,621 posts (55,010 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Jose Suarez 310 wrote:

Hello James

We are having a bit of a hard time to figure out the Kinetic blade infusion ...

it says ''You can use this form infusion once as part of an attack action, a charge action, or a full-attack action in order to make melee attacks with your kinetic blade. Since it's part of another action (and isn't an action itself), using this wild talent doesn't provoke any additional attacks of opportunity.''

This means that if I have 2 attacks from my base attack and 1 from haste, this means that I can make all 3 attacks has my full attack action under the effects of Kinetic blade? have you ever played one or seen someone playing a kineticist with kinetic blade?

You can use it once as part of a (whatever) action, and therefore no matter how many actual attack rolls you make, it applies to only one of those attacks.

That's how I read it, in any event, based purely on the words you put into your post since I'm not sure where the Kinetic Blade infusion comes from or exactly what it is (I assume it has something to do with a kineticist since you mention them).

I've not only never played a kineticist or seen one played, but I've actually never even read the class rules and have had nothing to do with them from the start. If, some day, some one plays one in a game I'm running or an author puts one into an adventure I'm developing, I'll read the rules then.

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Ectar wrote:

Are Apostate Devils (Deimavigga) supposed to have regeneration that isn't overcome by anything?

Most of the evil outsider bunch that have regeneration and DR are overcome by the same things. The Deimavigga has DR/10 good and silver, but regeneration with nothing after it.
You could still end it with a death effect, flesh to stone, and some others, but never from pure damage.

That sounds like a typo to me, but I've never really looked into them. I suspect that the designer/developer/editor combo just missed it and it crept into print that way, and that it should have its regeneration turned off by something akin to what turns of the regeneration for other devils.

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Therrux wrote:

So this is this question is gonna take a bit of explaining and it's a little scary, so bare with me. So it's thought that our roughly 14 billion year old universe is in fact quite young. With the knowledge that we live in a universe that is ever expanding at a increased rate, (based on the current scientific model of the universe) there are some things we can project to happen. The first is that over the course of 200 billion years we wont be able to see light from distant galaxies any more. Over 100 trillion years the last stars will go out and no new stars will form. In the next 10^40 years matter will decay and become energy. And finally over the next 10^100 years even black holes will evaporate and it's thought that the universe will finally be done.

So my question is this, do you like the idea that this is the long term plan of the Great Old Ones and Elder Gods? That they are the one responsible for the for an ever expanding universe so they might bring it to its end?

Or if not, do you think that being responsible for an increasingly expanding universe might be beyond even their power?

I apologize if this question might have made you feel small. It can be a little intimidating to learn about this stuff sometimes.

Finally as a more light question. Do you watch the show South Park, and if so what did you think about the last season?

I see the universe's life cycle as being something beyond even the control of the Great Old Ones, but that some of the Outer Gods will survive its death to go on in whatever comes after, and that perhaps some of the Outer Gods have already gone through universe cycles like this. I don't see them as being responsible for it, because the idea of ANYTHING being responsible for the creation of the universe implies something CARED to create it, and that kind of goes against the concept of the mythos to a certain extent. AKA: I think it's bleaker and more grim if the universe just happened and even the outer gods aren't responsible for it, and thus that fits with the mythos themes better.

This question doesn't make me feel small at all, after having spent 30 some years realizing that this is the way things are in the first place it's hardly news to me. :P

I don't watch South Park. The animation style is not for me.

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Delightful wrote:
If Sera from the Dragon Age series were in Golarion, which God would she worship? My bets on either Cayden Cailean or Calistria.

Cayden Cailean, for sure. Calistria is way too elfy-elfy for Sera.

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Roycilo wrote:

J.J. A few easy questions.

My gaming group and I are in Humboldt, and one of my players is from the town of Mendocino. We're about to start the Anniversary edition of Rise of the Runelords, and it is the first time in this AP for the whole group (with my exception). I'm the GM.

1. Was the Lost Coast Road named for the Lost Coast of Northern California? I see some similarities (and a few differences) in the surrounding flora and fauna to our area. Was that also an inspiration? Obviously Sandpoint has a lot of forestland nearby, as does Point Arena.

2. We're considering taking a "Pilgrimage to Sandpoint" to visit Point Arena. Any time of year in particular we should go; places we should visit?

3. Is there anything else that someone so geographically close to Mendocino might recognize that was inspiration for Sandpoint, or anywhere else in Golarian for that matter?

4. For the matter, are any of the Golarian Gods/major NPCs based on people you knew growing up?

PS. If you're ever visiting home, and want to crash a Pathfinder game, we're only a few hours away!

YAY HUMBOLDT!!!! YAY MENDOCINO!!!! YAY LOST COAST!!!!

Neat!

1) The Lost Cost is indeed named for the Lost Coast of Northern California. Since I grew up in Point Arena, I really wanted to bring that whole region to life in Golarion. Not EXACTLY, and the exceptions you see are generally things that were introduced by other writers who helped develop the region initially (particularly Richard Pett, Wes Schneider, Nick Logue, and James Sutter).

2) HA! Pilgramage to Sandpoint! Hmmm... I'd suggest going to Point Arena during the 4th of July weekend, since traditionally there's a big fireworks display down at the pier (the biggest in the region, in fact... it's a REALLY impressive display, with the fireworks going off shockingly close and echoing impressively off the cliffs that surround the cove), along with a cute little quaint parade down the town's main street on the 4th itself. The exact dates of the parade and fireworks vary. But going down there in the Summer is better too because the weather in the winter can get pretty rainy, and if the wetlands just north of Point Arena flood, the journey from the north gets a 4 hour detour added to the trip when instead of taking highway 1 south to Point Arena you have to take 101 through Ukiah, down to Santa Rosa, and then cross to the coast there and head back up the coast for 2 hours. As for places to go and see... the pier and the lighthouse come to mind immediately. There's also a wildlife preserve right outside of town where you can check out zebras and giraffes and antelopes and stuff. And then there's the public access lands that were recently made national parklands between the pier and the lighthouse where you can go for a really beautiful walk along the tops of the coastal cliffs. And there's a real Schooner Gulch Road that winds through the mountains between the coast and the ridge road just south of Point Arena.

And there's always the website!

3) The coastline views for sure. Simply driving south on highway 1 gives you an EXCELLENT feel for the terrain of the region; just imagine goblins and the like lurking in the woods and along the river banks, or the Sandpoint devil flapping down from the mountains. The lighthouse for sure as well, although Point Arena's lighthouse is still standing and functional. And redwoods, of course.

4) Ameiko and the Kaijitsu presence in Sandpoint was inspired by the fact that in Point Arena's early days, a sailing ship from Japan made landfal at Point Arena after sailing across the Pacific from Japan, but that's about it for real-world people inspiring deities or NPCs in Golarion for me, although a LOT of the personality types helped me come up with personalities in Sandpoint; many of the NPCs in Sandpoint would fit right in to Point Arena, and vice-versa. (I love taking inspiration from the region, but I've always felt a bit weird putting actual versions of people I know into print.)

PS: Every time I drive south I'm tempted to stop in and check out Lost Coast Games in Eureka; I drive right by it. But alas, usually when I drive by it's late at night or I'm too focused on making the 15 hour drive in one day to want to stop for even a short 15 minute break. Thanks for the invite though!

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Belltrap wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Lich isn't all that appropriate since that's something a wizard should WANT and should be intentional.

Juju zombie is what you're looking for I think.

How does this square with Geb forcing lichdom on Arazni? If you had your druthers, would Arazni instead be a juju zombie or some other type of undead? Or is she an exceptional circumstance?

For every person, there is a single specialized and personalized ritual to transform into a lich. If a person is subjected to this ritual, they become a lich, whether they want it or not, and in so doing become evil, whether or not they were evil before. That's what happened to Arazni. This forced lich transformation is also a plot element key to the Carrion Crown Adventure Path.

And since we've thus had that plot element show up twice, I'm leery about suggesting it happen a third time. It's supposed to be a VERY rare exception to the rule, after all.

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Aenigma wrote:

8. Mythic Realms said that Old-Mage Jatembe rose to prominence in the Age of Anguish. Is it safe to assume that he was born in the Age of Anguish?

9. It is said that Jatembe was the first among humanity to redisover the art of wizardry and written magic, and did much to redeem these arts in the eyes of a superstitious people. I don't understand this clearly. Does that mean, after Azlant destroyed and humanity underwent the Age of Darkness, the wizards on Golarion all died without leaving any apprentice, and Jatembe was the last remaining one who knew the arts of wizardry? Thus if Jatembe died early, there would be no wizard in current Golarion?

10. Who taught Jatembe the wizardry? Maybe an Azlanti wizard?

11. Was Jatembe a Garundi or a Mwangi?

12. Riddleport is located between Bakrakhan and Cyrusian. Exactly to which nation did this city belong? I ask this because I'm not sure if the Cyphergate in Riddleport belonged to Bakrakhan or not.

13. Maybe I misunderstood, but can I assume the Cyphergate as a time machine? And since Paizo said all it wanted to say about the Cyphergate, is it safe to assume that the Cyphergate will not be the center of an adventure path or module anymore?

14. Was Jorgenfist located in Shalast, the realm of Karzoug?

8) I suppose so, but "safe to assume" is not the same as "confirmation."

9) After Azlant was destroyed and Thassilon went dark, the inhabitants of the Inner Sea Region went into a dark age where magic was thought by many to be bad (as magic essentially tried to end the world). It was Old Mage Jatembe who got humanity thinking that magic could be good, and it was his actions that triggered magic's rebirth and recrudescence in the Inner Sea Region as a positive and productive force that was not to be feared. There were VERY few arcane spellcasters in the Inner Sea Region immediately after Earthfall, with those who survived being inhuman or hermits driven into exile for fear of being killed or so on. If Jatembe died before he was able to redeem and reform arcane magic, SOMETHING would have eventually come along to reintroduce magic eventually, but it might have taken years or centeries or longer, and it would likely have been in a different format. Since Jatembe is good, he introduced magic in a positive way, but had the person to reintroduce magic been a force of evil, it could have ended very poorly for the Inner Sea Region. The realm could be, today, a slave nation to arcane overlords, for example... or it could have NEVER recovered from Earthfall and just died out. Jatembe, in many ways, saved the region from death or worse.

10) He was self taught. The idea that he had to be taught magic by someone else is distasteful and weakens him.

11) He's Mwangi.

12) The region that is Riddleport today was once a part of Cyrusian, but it wasn't a city in that time.

13) The Cyphergate is

Spoiler:
a device for looking through time, and the Runelords (Karzoug in particular) were looking for ways to transform it into a portal through time but never quite finished that research.
We haven't yet come close to saying all we have to say about the Cyphergate, so it's absolutely NOT safe to assume we'll never be going back to it in an Adventure Path or module.

14) Jorgenfist was in Shalast, yes.

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Aenigma wrote:

1. Then can I assume aboleths would not particularly hate those adventurers with divine class levels or mythic tiers?

2. Aboleths are huge. But veiled Masters are large. I was curious, because veiled masters, who are the masters of the aboleths, are smaller than aboleths. Is it a typo, and veiled masters should have been huge in the first place?

3. Now I understand it. Aroden's primary focus was the human civilization and the glory of humanity, so other races worshipping him would be weird. But in the case of Calistria, Torag, Apsu and Dahak, although they are clearly elven, dwarven, and draconic gods themselves, their primary focuses are not the glory of their own kind, so other race worshipping them would be appropriate, right?

4. So logically there can be a sizable number of elves that worship Iomedae, right? I thought elves are too proud to worship a goddess who was originally a human.

5. Was mythic power prevalent in Azlant? In other words, were there many mythic characters in Azalnt?

6. What would be the appropriate way used by those few humans who know about the Vault Builders to gain that knowledge? Befriending a good aboleth and pleading ofr ancient secrets? Or excavating the rins of an abandoned aboleth city and finding out sound materials regarding the Vault Builders?

7. You said that Paizo deliberately changed the name 'alternate form' into 'change shape' to standardize a lot of powers. It's a good idea, but I found out in Bestiary 4 that the Colossi have alternate form ability. Is it some kind of typo and they should be changed into change shape?

1) They would hate divine spellcasters more than others, and would consider those with mythic tiers to be more dangerous than others. In both cases, they would focus their violence against either option, but for different reasons.

2) Not a typo. Size doesn't mean that you're better. I made veiled masters Large for several reasons, most of which have nothing to do with game lore. They're large so they'll fit in dungeons or on battlemats better in combat (the bigger a creature is, the harder it is to use in encoutners due to size restraints). As large creatures they're harder to hit than huge creatures, and harder to flank. Since they spend so much time in human form, making their size closer to human size makes for less weird transitions. The idea of them being smaller than their more powerful minions (aboleths, omnipaths, etc.) is a delightful reversal of expectations. As large creatures, we were able to make pre-painted miniatures of them (Huge minis are in a weird size category where we make very very few of them).

3) Correct.

4) Correct. Elves aren't "too proud." That's D&D lore, not Pathfinder lore, and even in D&D elves aren't "too proud" to limit their options in that way.

5) Not prevalent, but more common then than it is in modern Golarion. It was still rare.

6) Magic, exploring Orv, researching ancient texts, interrogating creatures that have had Vault Builder/Keeper contact, traveling to the elemental planes or other worlds where Vault Builders and Keepers are active still. Basically, all the same ways adventurers learn about ANYTHING by going on adventures.

7) It's not a typo. Colossi have the ability to assume one different form, like a transformer. Change shape is not appropriate for them. And since we didn't use "alternate form" already, we got to use it for Colossi where it's more appropriate.

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Hi James, I'm running a Jade Regent campaign (and my players are having a TON of fun!) One of my newer players (joined during the Hungry Storm) is playing a Half-Orc Witch with the Time Patron. She doesn't know who exactly her patron is. I thought one of the Eldest would be good, in particular Shyka who has a vested interest in time.

However, before I reveal that, is there perhaps a powerful Kami or Oni patron I've overlooked who might tie into the Tian cultures more than Shyka?

Would First World figures be known to the Kami, or considered powerful Kami or Oni by such spirits?

She is happy to let me decide who the Patron for her is, and discovering who has been granting her magic is part of her story. I'd really like to tie into both her choice of a Time patron, and where the story is headed (Tian-Xia, Forest of Spirits and Minkai).

The game rules for patrons are frustratingly vague to me. If it IS a creature or entity that actually serves as a patron, what happens if that entity is killed or loses interest in the witch? Does the witch loose her spells? If not, why does she invest any of her time in a patron in the first place, if the patron's support is incidental? My preference is to rename the word "patron" to "Area of study" instead, and keep every rule the same. THis way, a witch isn't so much a "patron of trickery" as she is a "scholar of trickery" and thus doesn't have to worry about the implications of something beyond that. She can still certianly seek out other scholars of trickery to study under and learn spells from, in much the same way a wizard or magus can.

If you want to stick with actual creatures as patrons, then feel free to pick something that you think the player would appreciate, or even better, just let the player decide who her patron is. The rules don't care (unlike with deities and clerics) so pick whoever you want to be the focus of the story and the focus of the witch.

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TrinitysEnd wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Favorite iconic is Merisiel, because she's awesome and probably the closest of all our iconics to the type of character I enjoy playing the most.

Second favorite is Kyra, because clerics have long been one of my favorite classes, and I'm particularly proud of the deities I've helped create for Golarion, among which Sarenrae is one of my favorites.

That makes me happy because those are my two favorite as well! (And also really happy about the two in the comics as well, though I need to get the other comics soon.)

Also, a question! Putting in spoiler just in case.

** spoiler omitted **

I wouldn't count that as a spoiler; Merisiel and Kyra being a thing has been a part of Pathfinder lore for years and years.

Merisiel would probably take her somewhere super pretty but kind of dangerous to get to, like a cliff where the view of the sunrise was super romantic, but getting to the cliff involved fighting through a pack of monsters. Barring that, some sort of fancy tavern/eatery/performance that costs as much gold as she could manage at the time. Fancier the better.

Kyra would probably take Merisiel to a comfy tavern/eatery/performance that was low-key and sort of quiet, or maybe to some lovely park or other public works area, or perhaps a breakfast picnic in the hinterlands.

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Lou Diamond wrote:
James,how does a devil become an infernal duke?

That can vary from devil to devil (as the GM/writer/story demands), but all things being equal it's most likely the result of being rewarded with a "promotion" from an archdevil or Asmodeus.

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Cole Deschain wrote:

Who makes a worse parent, a typical goblin or a typical drow?

EDIT: Allowing that both are fantastically awful, obviously.

A goblin. Drow are, on the whole, MUCH better parents.

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Alundrell wrote:
How long does it take for a petitioner to be come an outsider? Archon spicificly

It varies greatly. It could happen instantaneously, or it could take forever, or anywhere in between. This allows each and all of us to tell different stories as needed, and also speaks to the weirdness of time and space breaking down once death and the like are involved.

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Alundrell wrote:
Who give a newly formed outsider their name?

If someone creates the outsider and they care, they give the outsider their name, similar to a parent giving the outsider a name. Or the outsider names itself. Or in some cases the name appears in the outsider's mind. It can vary.

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Alundrell wrote:

Hi Jamnes

1: What happens to a demon lords abyssal realm when that demon lord dies for good? Does it just crumble way into the aether of the abyss?
2: if an abyssal realm did crumble away some how what would happen to the demons that inhabit that realm
3: what would happen to a person who was imprisoned by an imprisonment spell deep within that layer of the abyss?

1) Depends on the realm and how the demon lord died, but generally the realm just kinda goes "fallow" and if not claimed and reshaped by another demon lord will go wild and eventually fall into ruin.

2) They'd move on to other realms long before that happened, but "crumbling" isn't the norm so in most cases they'd just go all post-apocalyptic on the realm. Which to the human visitor wouldn't look all that different from before.

3) They're in a bad situation. In that they're imprisoned deep underground in the worst place to be underground.

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Paladinosaur wrote:

James, it seems my questions got caught between a few of your answers, and so you missed them. I'm reposting them, hope that's ok

1) what is Pharasma's views on resurrection, magically extending one's life, and searching for immortality? Does she view this as "stealing" from her, or in the grand scheme of things and the scale of time she operates, it simply doesn't matter?

2) Do you think some gods have some of their roles and portifolios underdeveloped/explored? For example, I find Sarenrae's role as a Sun Goddess is less clear and established as her aspects of Healing and Redemption

3) I'm not looking for a official ruling here, but rather your opinion: In your tables, how do you handle the favored weapon proficiency of a cleric that switches her patron god?

It is indeed ok!

1) She approves of resurrection, and knows that there's no such thing as true immortality—that eventually even long-lived creatures that do not age will die through misadventure or accident or violence or the like. They all stand before her in the end. Her faith isn't this patient or understanding, though, and some of their more zealous adherents might be a bit more intolerant of such goals.

2) In that we can't cover everything equally immediately, perhaps. But in time, we'll get to those. For example, there's more information about Sarenrae's role as a sun goddess in the upcoming Qadira book and the upcoming Paths of the Righteous Player's Companion.

3) The cleric loses the previous weapon proficiency and gains the new one. If the cleric had other feats that built off that proficiency, I'll generally allow the player to adjust those feats as well as part of her character's retraining to be a faithful servant of the new faith.

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Torvald Nom wrote:

Hi James,

Is there any chance of Paizo either reprinting (or re-releasing) out of print flip mats (such as Darklands or Deep Forest) for evergreen scenarios (even in the 'Flip Mat Classics' series)?

Thats' the whole point of the flip-mat classics line—to reprint popular and useful flip mats. I'm not the one who makes the decisions of which ones to reprint or not, nor do I particularly keep an eye on which ones we've done, which ones we've announced, and which ones we haven't announced but will be doing... but I suspect something like caves or woods will be hit soon if they haven't already.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Favorite iconic is Merisiel, because she's awesome and probably the closest of all our iconics to the type of character I enjoy playing the most.

Isn't she also your alter ego on the boards?

One of several.

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thejeff wrote:
137ben wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The person being offended is the one AND THE ONLY ONE who gets to decide if something is offensive.

If I say something that someone else finds offensive, and they tell me that I offended them, I don't get defensive. I apologize and adjust future speaking with the knowledge that the topic that someone just found offensive could be offensive to other people.

It works for me. I wish it worked for everyone.

It might work for you because you have moderator powers. If someone says something that offends you, their post is deleted and they get banned.

If someone says something that offends me, then they might get their post deleted, or they might get 29 favorites, including a favorite from a Paizo employee, and learn that that sort of behavior is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

Frankly, I avoid browsing the forums on my phone largely because I can't use the ignore script on my phone. When I'm away from my computer, I tend to stick to my pbps, and browsing my favorite posts (or occasionally the post history of someone whose posts I enjoy reading).

You might notice that James was talking about what he does when he says something that someone else tells him offends them, not about how he deals with things that offend him.

There's a big difference.

Also this. I'm less worried about being offended than I am about giving offense, I guess.

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137ben wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The person being offended is the one AND THE ONLY ONE who gets to decide if something is offensive.

If I say something that someone else finds offensive, and they tell me that I offended them, I don't get defensive. I apologize and adjust future speaking with the knowledge that the topic that someone just found offensive could be offensive to other people.

It works for me. I wish it worked for everyone.

It might work for you because you have moderator powers. If someone says something that offends you, their post is deleted and they get banned.

If someone says something that offends me, then they might get their post deleted, or they might get 29 favorites, including a favorite from a Paizo employee, and learn that that sort of behavior is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

Frankly, I avoid browsing the forums on my phone largely because I can't use the ignore script on my phone. When I'm away from my computer, I tend to stick to my pbps, and browsing my favorite posts (or occasionally the post history of someone whose posts I enjoy reading).

As a matter of fact, I do not have moderator powers. If someone says something I find offensive, I flag it as offensive and move on, just as the vast majority of the rest of the folks should on these boards.

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ckdragons wrote:

In your opinion, does the haste spell (or effect) grant an enhancement to a character's base speed or their modified speed after armor/encumbrance penalties? A creature with 20 ft base speed in heavy armor has a modified speed of 15 ft. Haste would make that creature's speed 30 ft or 35 ft?

Before.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Why do aboleths do what they do, anyway? What was the point of raising Azlant up in the first place?

Why do kids keep ant farms and torture ants with magnifying glasses? Because they can, Because it makes them feel powerful, Because they're sadistic, Because they're curious.

That, plus aboleths are aberrations and as I've said elsewhere that includes their methods of thought.

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The Doomkitten wrote:
I've actually just noticed that each of the corruptions for the iconics is wonderfully tailored to make it terrifying. Sajan giving in to his basest urges as a ghoul, Merisiel losing her individuality, beauty becoming physically painful to Lem, Seelah becoming that which she fights... kudos to whoever made those decisions. Who should I congratulate?

I have no idea. I wasn't part of that book's creation really. Whoever wrote the art order is probably the one to congratulate, and that person changes from book to book. It was PROBABLY someone on the design team.

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Aenigma wrote:

7. Did the Earthfall somehow weakened the aboleth civilization? I think the deicidal meteorites would be very fatal to the undersea cities as well.

8. You said that Arodenite elves would be considered weird. So, logically, human worshippers of Calistria, Torag, Apsu and Dahak would be considered weird as well? I thought there is a sizable number of humans that worship these non-human deities.

9. To which age does Urgathoa belong? In other words, was Urgathoa an Azlanti before her death?

10. Now I know that humans don't pop like a turkey in the space. But there's still a question that lingers in my head. If a deep one is flung out of an airlock into outer space, would it receive the 3d6 decompression damage(Distant Worlds, page 54)? Or would it not receive it, because its deep dweller ability prevents it from receiving the damage from the difference in pressure?

11. You said that even Azlant and Thasillon didn't know the ancient war between the aboleths and the Vault Builders. Then, does that mean the current humanity don't know the existence of the Vault Builders entirely?

12. Even after the pcs conquered the Emerald Spire, humanity's knowledge about the Vault Builders won't expand significantly because there seems to be no osund materials describing the history of the Vault Builders in the spire? In other words, even after the adventure, the PCs will likely still not know what this dungeon truly is, and which race the last boss(Iluchtewhar) belonged to, unless he is a talkative type and tells every secret to the PCs?

7) The aboleths CAUSED Earthfall. It didn't weaken their civilization. They more or less had control over where those meteors fell, and while some of those "meteors" brought elements to the world they didn't anticipate or intend, and the interference of certain gods caused the whole devastation to be less potent than they intended, they specifically targeted surface regions and not the oceans. There was certainly some collateral damage to their civilization, but not a significant amount.

8) Nope. That's false logic. Aroden is a god of humanity. Calistria is not a goddess of elves. Torag is not a god of dwarves. Humanoid worshipers of Apsu and Dahak ARE weird in the same way that non-human worshipers of Aroden are unusual, but there's nothing in Calistria's areas of concern that says "elves" and nothing in Torag's that says "dwarves."

9) Urgathoa was once a human mortal who rebelled against Pharasma and became the first undead creature, and in so doing became a goddess. That implies that she's from an ancient human culture. I doubt that culture was Azlant or even a human culture on Golarion. We haven't said in print exactly where she lived or what culture she was part of as a human, but it was VERY VERY old, and probably predates humanity on Golarion. But again... it's not yet revealed (and likely won't be).

10) Deep ones are immune to pressure damage from water, not outer space.

11) Nope. There were individuals in Thassilon and Azlant who knew or at least suspected the existence of the Vault Builders, but as a whole those nations didn't really know much about it.

12) Correct. As far as the vault builders/keepers are concerned, Emerald Spire's purpose is to intrigue and pose questions and put those elements in the heads of players as future mysteries, not to answer them. The focus of the Emerald Spire is its actual contents and individual levels, not a revelation about the nature of Orv or the Vault Builders.

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Misroi wrote:
Back when the Divinity was operational, were the Androffans' robots Three Laws compliant?

Some were. Some were not.

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TrinitysEnd wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kyra as a vampire is the most heartbreaking, but Merisiel as a Hive corruption is a close second.

You know, I just kind of realized how evil Kyra becoming a vampire is. With Sarenrae being the sun and all of that. Really neat, but evil. Especially since I really like Kyra.

I am sure you've answered this before, but what is your favorite Iconic, and why? Second favorite?

Favorite iconic is Merisiel, because she's awesome and probably the closest of all our iconics to the type of character I enjoy playing the most.

Second favorite is Kyra, because clerics have long been one of my favorite classes, and I'm particularly proud of the deities I've helped create for Golarion, among which Sarenrae is one of my favorites.

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Varisian Wanderer wrote:

Hey, James Jacobs!

1) If Graz'zt had been included in Pathfinder, what three things do you suspect would be contained in his portfolio?

2) How do you think he and Nocticula would have gotten along?

Thank you again for answering questions in this thread, it's really awesome of you!

1) If Graz'zt had been pulled into Pathfinder, his "three things" would be the same three things he's associated with in D&D because that's part of what makes him Graz'zt. Those things, taken from page 155 of Hordes of the Abyss, would be tyrants/despots (those are kinda the same thing), guile, and debauchery.

2) Poorly. She probably would have assassinated him before he had much of a chance to build up his fame in Golarion.

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Lou Diamond wrote:
James, once a devil is created does he/she age? Are Devils immortal?

My preference is that if outsiders like devils and demons and angels and all the rest AREN'T immortal that they live so long that for the purposes of game play they're essentially immortal. They're certainly not immune to magical aging effects, but on their own I don't think any one outsider would ever age naturally.

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The Doomkitten wrote:

How many non-empowered/non-clerical worshipers of Urgathoa are neutral-aligned? How do the neutral evil clerics and worshipers of Urgathoa view the neutral ones?

What's the coolest "thing" about each of the Occult classes, in your opinion? Like, iconic, general concept, mechanic, class feature, etc.

Likewise, what is your least favorite "thing" about each of the Occult classes?

What is the most heartbreaking, to you at least, of the "iconic" corruptions? (The corruptions inflicted on the eleven core iconics in Horror Adventures.) And why?

Barely any. I'd say that most of Urgathoa's worshipers are neutral evil, with lawful evil and chaotic evil coming in tied for second place. I dobut we'll ever print a neutral worshiper of Urgathoa, and wouldn't mind NEVER doing so, and leaving that role to be served by the outlandish special-snowflake PC that might pop up here and there.

The coolest thing about all the occult classes is that they open up themes and allow stories that were more difficult to pull off than before. My interest in these themes is pretty much entirely inspired by Stephen King stories (many of his characters have psychic powers) or other sci-fi/horror stories that use elements of occultism and psychic power in them. The classes themselves I'm actually not all that familiar with—they're kind of too fiddly and complicated for my tastes to be honest.

My least favorite thing about the occult classes is their complexity.

Kyra as a vampire is the most heartbreaking, but Merisiel as a Hive corruption is a close second.

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Nathan Goodrich wrote:
Could you expand on why you don't like dwarves? Is there a specific complaint you have about them or just personal taste?

All of the character elements that dwarves traditionally personify (hairy, loud, braggarts, heavy drinkers, warmongery, stubbornly traditional, male-dominated, nonmagical, more urban than nature themed, etc.) are characteristics that annoy or bore me in fictional characters. The only classic element of dwarf culture that DOES appeal to me is their strong themes of faith and religion, but that's hardly enough to salvage the rest, especially when most other races have strong themes of faith and religion. AND it surely didn't help that in the first 2 editions of D&D, dwarves were the race that had the narrowest amount of class option choices (a reflection of their themes of stubborn traditionalism and nonmagical nature).

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CorvusMask wrote:
BTW, do you think concept of "faith in humanity" would exist if we had had some other intelligent species we could communicate with that we could compare ourselves to? I'd imagine it would at least make it more clear what traits are specific for humans at least and what is for intelligent life in general I guess

The presence of another intelligent species that's different than humans would change our world view and self-awarenes and culture so much that it's kinda impossible to say HOW we'd react. It'd certainly upend pretty much every major religion, which history shows is not a great way to promote peace, alas...

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There's a large amount of native american inspiration in the Shoanti (I created the Shoanti in my homebrew ages ago in a specific attempt to broaden my game's diversity, and looked to Native American and Inuit traditions to help build them up). It's not the ONLY inspiration, of course, but it's the primary one.

We don't currently have a significant Spanish culture analog in the world. There's some elements of it in Varisians, but not so much that it's obvious. That one's more subtle, and has a fair mix of eastern european in it as well (that element ended up being more obvious in the final product, but there's a fair amount of Spanish inspiration inside Varisans as well if you know where to look).

Arcadia (which we haven't significantly developed yet) has a lot of Native and Meso American culture stuff going on there.

We can't do everything at once, is basically what it comes down to, nor does it make sense to include everything. It's something we'll continue to work toward while simultaneously creating stories for folks to enjoy.

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tremor3258 wrote:

Oh that's very pretty. Really gorgeous action shot.

Isn't the throne room *upstairs* though? :P

It is. The presence of a few steps leading down to help stage a more dramatic presence of the heroes in the art does not magically transform the throne room into the basement.

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Rysky wrote:
To our knowledge, no.

No new player's guide but I'll be working on a larger than normal blog post that will help fill that gap if everything works out the way we're hoping.

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Snowsarn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Snowsarn wrote:

A few follow up questions:

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

Thank you for the quick reply

Cheers

Lich isn't all that appropriate since that's something a wizard should WANT and should be intentional.

Juju zombie is what you're looking for I think.

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Hell's Rebels is essentially a Law vs. Chaos AP.

Although I prefer to think of it as a Chaos vs. Law AP, because Lawful is Awful. HA!

EDIT: Adding a :-) to let the internet know the "lawful = awful" comment is intended to be a joke and not to be taken as "The Creative Director hates paladins and dwarves BURN IT ALL DOWN!"

But really. Paladins and dwarves are kinda awful.

ELVES 4EVER.

And demons too.

On a more serious note, I could very much see us do another AP at some point that even further goes down the law vs chaos theme (from either side). We've done an evil AP, after all, and plenty of good APs. Those limit character options in the same way a law vs. chaos one would limit things. One of the benefits of having done 20 some Adventure Paths is that we CAN afford to get experimental and explore things like this without significant fear of the game crashing and burning, especially since the rate at which we publish these things typically outpaces most groups' capacity to play them.

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I appreciate the enthusiasm folks have for the art. Glad to see it's doing its job and getting people excited. Please don't take this as an excuse to test the limits of the profanity filter we've got here and save the naughty language for the naughty corners of the internet.

Think of the goblins. They hear that kind of talk and who KNOWS what they might do? Poor things!

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Snowsarn wrote:

A few follow up questions:

Spoiler:
1) So a Runeslave can be resurrected again and again. What would you say about a Runeslave that has 'burned out'? (runescars greater than HD causing death?)

If Mokmurian retreats from Jorgenfist and goes to Xin-Shalast:

2) What will the giant army do?

3) Will Karzoug get angry with Mokmurian same as if he tried to escape via teleport, and Karzoug takes over to taunt the PCs?

Spoiler:

1) If you runslave a dead runeslave, it doesn't stack with the previous template if that's what you're asking.

2) Be disbanded and retreat and thus allow the PCs to progress to the 5th adventure as per normal. They didn't kill Mokmurian but they did defeat him by forcing him to flee. The AP plays out the same; they just get to face him again later.

3) Up to you. He might forgive Mokmurian, but he also might do bad things to him so that the next time the PCs encounter him he's an undead or a runeslave or whatever else you want.

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Alex Smith 908 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The "benevolent" entities in the mythos aren't actually benevolent.

Oo, a fun one!

So, Yig is pretty much hands-down the least terrible mythos deity from a human perspective- who, in your opinion, is in second place?

Hmmm... tough question. I think, probably, Azathoth, but mostly because he has no intellect at all and therefore can't really consciously choose to be terrible. He'll still destroy you and your planet if you get too close though.
Are you just counting what's in Pathfinder, or do you consider Nodens non-benevolent or non-canon?

I'm just counting what's in Pathfinder.

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Alayern wrote:

Do you expect you might enjoy a book, set in a Lovecraftian setting, that focused more on interpersonal conflict than the actual horror elements?

Given the importance of character agency in Pathfinder, what is your opinion on Lovecraft's original "humans are irrelevant" motif, both as it applies to storytelling, and as it applies to Golarion-centric philosophy?

Lastly, what do you think about the few "benevolent" non-human forces in the Mythos? I haven't actually read much of the Mythos, but it seems like those "benevolent" entities would have their hands full combating the myriad horrors usually associated with the Mythos.

Not so much.

Humans are relevant to humans, and since Goalrion is humanocentric, humans are relevant.

The "benevloent" entities in the mythos aren't actually benevolent. They're merely impartial, and their interests don't coincidentally map to destroying earth or humanity. The further mythos stories diverge into "there's a race of good-guy opposition Great Old Ones out there fighting a "war in heaven" or whatever, the less interested I am in the story.

If I remember correctly all of those "good guy" elder types are not Core Lovecraft mythos but added by Derlyth and others?

It's spelled "Derleth." But the "good guy" types were mostly added by Brian Lumley. Derleth's thing was to shoehorn the mythos into elemental roles (air/earth/fire/water) and to imply the existence of Elder Gods who fought the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods, but it was Lumley who really ran with that idea.

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Alundrell wrote:

Hi James

im a bit confused about the antipaladins favored class bonuses.

PFSRD wrote:
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have fighters as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.
the only listed race under the class is the drow
PFSRD wrote:
Drow: The antipaladin adds +1/4 to the number of cruelties he can inflict.
does that mean that other than the drow all the other races use the fighter favored class options? or do the get the same thing as the drow but only the races who has the fighter as a favored class option? or are the drow the only race with an alternate favored class option at all?

So far, drow is the only race we've given an antipaladin option beyond a skill rank or hit point. If you're a drow antipaladin, you can choose +1 hp, +1 skill rank, or +1/4 cruelties each time you gain a level as antipaladin IF that's your favored class. If you're ANY other race, you only get to choose between the hit point or the skill rank if you're an antipalaidn favored class.

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IDTheftVictim wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Removed a post. Folks, not every question in these "Ask *Person* Anything" threads warrants an answer, please be respectful if the question answerer overlooks or decides not to answer a given question.
Is this the Chris you mentioned that needed hugs?

Yup. 'Cause she's awesome.

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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Lies. I'll pick on one. Dwarves are yucky.

AMAZING anyway. I thought of questions in the shower! where all the best thoughts happen.

1) has a god or demigod ever mated with a mortal in Golarion? is that ever possible? :O

2) Baba yaga, or as I prefer, babs, seems from what I can gather to be collecting a massive coven of her daughters and grand daughters ETC as she keeps taking them back to her dimension thingy wherever she is, given that many of these are 20th level witches and she herself is a mythic 10 20 witch who seems like one the most powerful none gods in existence I can't help but think she might have a plan in mind :P So my question is threefold.
.Do you guys know what she is planning?
.Do you guys ever plan to reveal this knowledge if you do?
.I assume you can't go into detail but I was wondering does she have one big mega spell in mind or just like having a mega cult in her back pocket? - no worries if you can't answer that one.

3) Whats the most exciting encounter you've had playing pathfinder?

EDIT: 4) how do you say Hekatonkh... whatever those titans are called's names?

1) Absolutely. In fact, that's one of the ways a mortal can gain mythic power, to be the son or daughter of a god and a mortal.

2) See the Reign of Winter Adventure Path for all the information about Baba Yaga and her plans we've had to say and likely will ever have to say.

3) The one where the PCs encountered the Sandpoint Devil, probably, or barring that, the mid-campaign climax for Shadows Under Sandpoint perhaps.

4) It's a real-world word, so you can search online to find a pronunciation. I would post a link but I'm too lazy; it's after midnight after all, and it's easy enough for you to do a search at that end on Google.

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Kalindlara wrote:

I agree that Bokrug is the best and kindest and greatest of the Great Old Ones. And I'm not just saying that because I have long dreamt of the sign of DOOM and of the wrath of the great water-lizard.

Have you seen the portents of his coming in your dreams yet?

Nope. Because Yig, who is indeed kinder than Bokrug, has my back. THANKS, YIG! YOU DA BESSSSSSSSSSSST!

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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Yes. I've always liked lillends and couatls and nymphs and faerie dragons and bronze dragons.

LILLENDS! when I first read them I got hysterically happy xD

To take the question in the other direction, are their any creatures you're particularly not fond of?

Honestly their aren't a great deal I can think of, I think the best example I can think of is Hekatonkheires Titan's, one I can't for love nor money figure out how to say that and also their art really makes me itchy for some reason.

There's plenty of monsters I'm not fond of, but I'm not gonna call them out. I'm content not liking them. I don't need to pick on monsters publicly that I know have fans out there.

Lies. I'll pick on one. Dwarves are yucky.

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thejeff wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The person being offended is the one AND THE ONLY ONE who gets to decide if something is offensive.

If I say something that someone else finds offensive, and they tell me that I offended them, I don't get defensive. I apologize and adjust future speaking with the knowledge that the topic that someone just found offensive could be offensive to other people.

It works for me. I wish it worked for everyone.

To a certain point. As long as everyone involved is really playing fair.

Taking that approach too far makes it easy to weaponize offence. Some people find the presence of LGBTQ people in your products offensive. I do not think you should apologize and adjust future products to avoid offending them.

As in all things, tempering yourself and your actions with kindness and inclusivity should go without saying. If someone is offended because of their intolerant or bigoted or misogynistic or homophobic or whatever beliefs... I respect their right to be offended but am not going to apologize for being kind and inclusive.

In a more perfect world, the homophobe (or whomever) would understand that Paizo is inclusive and would take their business elsewhere. I know I've done this very thing, upon learning of a business's homophobic nature—I've voted with my wallet and took my business elsewhere.

In a PERFECT world, of course, there wouldn't be homophobia, and we wouldn't have these conversations in the first place.

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AmbassadoroftheDominion wrote:

I kind of Disagree about Yig being the Least terrible, since I don't know his Alignment, I won't Judge, but Currently, the Chaotic Neutral Bokrug is by far the "nicest".

That Said, do the Great Old Ones get along with One another in this Canon? as in, would they legitimately pull strings to further another Great Old One's agenda even if it doesn't coincide with their own?

There are MANY different incarnations of the mythos across the last century. For Pathfinder, I got to basically decide what version of these monsters is "canon" for the game, and the most recent and up-to-date information on that is in Strange Aeons #1's article about the Elder Mythos, which does indeed confirm Yig as the "least terrible" and "most friendly" to humanity. Bokrug devastated an entire city on purpose, even if said city deserved it. Yig hasn't done that.

Some Great Old Ones get along, but some do not. Some don't care about each other. See said article for more info.

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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

In pathfinder with the amount of creatures their are around its easy to only see the evil or chaotic creatures (especially at the higher levels). Do have you any favorites among the neutral or benevolent creatures? I've fallen in love with the Norn :P fudging love em.

Almost as much as Pech

Yes. I've always liked lillends and couatls and nymphs and faerie dragons and bronze dragons.

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Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The "benevolent" entities in the mythos aren't actually benevolent.

Oo, a fun one!

So, Yig is pretty much hands-down the least terrible mythos deity from a human perspective- who, in your opinion, is in second place?

Hmmm... tough question. I think, probably, Azathoth, but mostly because he has no intellect at all and therefore can't really consciously choose to be terrible. He'll still destroy you and your planet if you get too close though.

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Aenigma wrote:

16. Elder deep ones have deific special ability, which enables them to grant divine spells to their worshippers. It seems that giving aboleths(including the veiled masters and the omnipaths) this ability is very appropriate. So, if you published the aboleth, the veiled master, and the omnipath after you published Bestiary 5(which includes the deep one and the deific special ability), you would have given that ability to the aboleths, right?

17. Anyway, if you give aboleths the deific ability, what would be the suitable domains? The elder deep ones grant access to the Chaos, Evil, Madness and Water domains. So, maybe Evil, Law, Water domains would be fine, but I cannot decide the suitable fourth domain, because the Madness domain doesn't suit aboleths well, I guess.

18. Is the present aboleth civilization clearly weaker than when they fought the Vault Builders or they brought down the Starstone? I ask because it seems that there is no significant aboleth presence in current Golarion. So I suspect if they have fallen into a decline significantly since the Earthfall.

19. Aboleths are known for their glyph magic, which brought down the Starstone. Do you think Paizo will eventually say more about this magic? Like, making a rule for this magic for the pcs to use? Even Allevrah in the Second Darkness used the glyph magic to bring down meteorites, so it's not that only aboleths can use it. Because I'm totally about to use it to bring down meteorites on Golarion!

20. You didn't say clearly that weather aboleths in Golarion have genetic memory or not. I'm very sorry, because I was totally about to use your positive answer as a way to reveal the origin of humanity. I mean, if the aboleths claim they created the humans, and if they are the oldest creatures in Golarion, and if they truly have genetic memeory, then determining the origin of humanity would be very easy. We only need a high level mage to catch an aboleth and cast charm monster, dominate monster, detect htought, or seek thought on it and ask how and by whom the humans were created. Then we can ifnd out if the aboleths' claim that they made humans is true or false, and if they know about the origin of humanity or not. Do you think aboleths' genetic memory works like this? In other words, at least in 3.5, can high level mages extract ancient knowledge via charm, odminate or other various mind reading spells from aboleths? Wow, if so, they would be very eager to capture aboleths.

21. Anyway, hearing my devious plan to use the genetic memory as a means to reveal the origin of humanity and many other ancient secrets, are you now inclined to say that the aboleths in Golarion have no genetic memory at all? If not, it would be highly unreasonable that why those high level mages in the history of Golarion didn't try this already.

22. The scheduled adventure path, Ruins of Azlant, fascinates me. The ancient Azlant is ripe with eldritch magic, right? And mythic characters were prevalent in ancient Azlant, right? So, will there be a fount of mythic power that will give the pcs the moment of ascension?

23. Do you think serpentfolks, Azlant and Thasilon knew about the ancient war between the aboleths and the Vault Builders? If so, I'm curious. How can they know that ancient event? The possibility that there was no serpentfolk and human in that age at all is very high, I guess.

16) It's not appropriate because aboleths aren't about faith, and unlike deep ones, they don't use clerics in their plots.

17) I wouldn't. It's nonsense to give a deity-hating, faithless race domain powers.

18) The aboleth empire is not as powerful as it was in the dawn of time when they took out the Vault Builders, no.

19) If and when we do more aboleth stuff, perhaps.

20) You're right, I don't say. And I don't think that it's good for the game to definitively say which creation myth is fact, because that removes it from being a myth and MAKES It fact, and that's bad for the game. Creation myths are interesting because they're different. The mystery of where we all came from is better as a mystery.

21) I am inclined to say that aboleths do not have a genetic memory because that's D&D, not Pathfinder, and I want to give WotC as few reasons as possible to sue me or Paizo. We can use aboleths and the small amount of information that appeared in the D&D Monster Manual about them because that information is part of the OGL. The expanded information in Lords of Madness is NOT part of the OGL and is owned by WotC and therefore it (including aboleth genetic memory) is not part of Pathfinder. You as the private gamer or individual GM should feel free to use it as you wish in your game, but like us, you can't publish that information and make money on it without putting yourself in legal hot water with Wizards of the Coast.

22) Ruins of Azlant will NOT be a mythic adventure path. It MIGHT feature a mythic monster here and there, in the same way mythic monsters sometimes show up in other APs, but the PCs will not be gaining mythic power in this adventure path.

23) Humans did not. Serpentfolk probably did, becuase they were around a long time before humanity AND were "local" in the Darklands. It may well be that some of the serpentfolk prehistory mythology was inspired/influenced by the Vault Builders, and they were certainly contemporaries with aboleths.

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