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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 52,248 posts (54,634 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Lou Diamond wrote:

James, sorry about my last post, when I read about he change to the item it kind of threw the crazy switch in my brain and the post followed.

I am glad that you are so good at responding to my posts even if they are wacky some times.

Who on the rules team would you suggest that I ask about how magic item changes are made?

Anyone on the design team, but they're not super active on the boards because they're really busy. Furthermore, I really really REALLY suggest that if you DO ask about why magic items are made, you wait a half hour before sending the post, and before you do that, re-read it. Make sure you're not coming across as insulting or abusive. Because that doesn't help ever, and in fact, these boards have so much of that type of "entitled gamer rage" that it's kinda no wonder some folks here at Paizo or in other game companies are so hesitant to engage on messageboards.

Be nice.

Be polite.

Be open-minded.

And be patient.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Nightterror wrote:
With 100 less monsters or so than last book, I hope too see more new monsters and few ap-bestiary re-uses

At this point, the mix is about the same as in previous Bestiaries—about 1/3 of the book are updated/reprinted monsters that have appeared in softcover format (some as far back as Second Darkness' era).

So, about 2/3 of the monsters are new.

The primary reason there's fewer monsters overall is that I'm skewing things more toward 2-page monsters—both becuase there's more high-CR monsters and they're more complex and thus benefit from having 2 pages, but also because I've always felt that we didn't leave enough space for flavor text for the monsters.

Also hoping that since this IS the sixth Bestiary that fans and customers will be a bit more accepting of the fact that there are fewer monsters than previous ones, since there ARE previous ones.

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Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope the Yaddithian will be an aberration, it would be nice to have at least one aberration 0HD race.

Agreed.....just not impressed with the existing visual. I hope they are far more "human" looking.....

I go the other way on this one. I think the game has more than enough "human-but-not-quite" races, I'd much rather see a full on inhuman weirdo. I really dug that picture (with its weird toothy snout and funny legs!)

The nature of this creature, as set out several decades ago in Lovecraft's story, is that they CAN pass for human if they wear baggy clothing and a mask and other elements. So don't expect something full-on-inhuman.

I haven't provided the art team with ANY reference for this critter other than the description pulled directly from Lovecraft's texts, so whatever we come up with for their illustration will be recognizably a yaddithian (the tapir snout and its semi-insectile elements for sure, but also the fact that it's got a basically human shape). It's not one of Lovecraft's better-known critters, in any event—mostly because it never really played a big role in the Call of Cthulhu game, which is where most gamers cut their teeth on Lovecraft stuff these days.

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David Schwartz wrote:
LittleMissNaga wrote:
Hopefully we'll see better this time than another reiteration of 'just compare your end result to other monsters and adjust it if the power seems off'.
That is literally how the professionals do it.

Absolutely correct.

Game design is as much art as it is science. There's not a set of immutable always-right rules that you use to make a perfect element of game design each time. If there were, then there wouldn't need to be game designers—just a recipe book for anyone to follow that would churn out perfect rules each and every time.

It doesn't work that way. And any game designer who says that artistry isn't a part of designing a game is lying. :-P

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Marco Massoudi wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
So hastur is really an outer God, not a great old one?
No, an Abberation of the creature group known as the Great Old Ones.
Yeah but isn't that creature just an avatar of Hastur?

Some scholars believe that the creature known as Hastur, the King in Yellow, is just the physical manifestation of an Outer God.

The rules say it's a CR 29 Abberation.

In fact, as it will become clear after reading all six parts of Strange Aeons...

Spoiler:
It's a little of both—exactly WHAT Hastur is, be it the CR 29 Aberration or be that merely the King in Yellow avatar is part of the mystery explored in Strange Aeons and in its Continuing The Campaign article and in the Hastur article.

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Cole Deschain wrote:
Assuming one wanted a semi-blasphemous and irreverent name for a pirate vessel on Golarion, would "Pharasma's Laughter" be a solid choice? She doesn't seem to be the sort to engage in such displays.

I wouldn't call that a blasphemous name, but it's certainly irreverent. It's like calling a ship "Death's Laughter" which is kinda intimidating too.

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Isabelle Lee wrote:

Did the Androffans aboard Divinity have any awareness of magic as a "real" thing, or was it just something from stories and such for them (much like Earth)? I've always gotten the impression that they were 100% mundane and relied on technology, but I'm not sure if that's confirmed anywhere in text.

(There are some magic weapons in The Divinity Drive, but those are explicitly called out as being acquired by the crew rather than created. That's the closest thing to them using magic that I know of.)

Thank you! ^_^

Androffa wasn't 100% mundane. It had magic, but at the time Divinty launched, magic was in the background and behind the scenes and dormant. It was slumbering. It woke up BIG shortly after Divinity fled the Dominion to Golarion, though. And certainly by the time the Divinity encoutnered the Dominion they'd re-introduced themselves to magic here and there.
Presumably because by that time, they'd lost all their super tech and mot of their history as a highly developed civilization? If I remember, Divinity was constructed at the height of that civilization's power and things went rapidly downhill afterwards.

Nope. There was an end-of-the-world event as a result of a sudden return of divine magic—Androffans weren't ready to embrace faith and as a result bitter demigods (who then were themselves banished by the actual gods who were aghast at how things worked out) destroyed civilization. The world went post-apocalyptic, and during that era arcane magic was also re-introduced (via the Necronomicon and meddling from Nyarlathotep) that saw the rise of a ruling caste of necromancers who ruled the world for a while until they were finally overthrown, and now thousands of years later Androffa is a lot like Golarion.

One of the big themes of that pre-fall era of Androffa was humanity's hubris and arrogance—they thought they were gods. Hence the name of the ship, Divinity.

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IDTheftVictim wrote:
How would you stat up a character based on a Witcher?

Levels in alchemist. Since the Witcher is what inspired me to create the first draft of the alchemist in the first place, after all.

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Isabelle Lee wrote:

Did the Androffans aboard Divinity have any awareness of magic as a "real" thing, or was it just something from stories and such for them (much like Earth)? I've always gotten the impression that they were 100% mundane and relied on technology, but I'm not sure if that's confirmed anywhere in text.

(There are some magic weapons in The Divinity Drive, but those are explicitly called out as being acquired by the crew rather than created. That's the closest thing to them using magic that I know of.)

Thank you! ^_^

Androffa wasn't 100% mundane. It had magic, but at the time Divinty launched, magic was in the background and behind the scenes and dormant. It was slumbering. It woke up BIG shortly after Divinity fled the Dominion to Golarion, though. And certainly by the time the Divinity encoutnered the Dominion they'd re-introduced themselves to magic here and there.

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Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:

1. In Bestiary 6, about how many obscure mythological and folkloric creatures from the B6 wish list have been featured? More than 30? Less than 30?

2. About how many mythical creatures that were not mentioned in the thread were featured? More than ten?

3. Has the website A Book of Creatures been an influence on the selection of mythical creatures for the book? Have you included creatures featured there?

4. Are there any mythical creatures from the Americas in the book, besides the Rougarou?

5. Would you be willing to name drop one or two mythological creatures featured in the book that are too esoteric to be product description worthy, but would appeal to folklore enthusiasts?

6. I've noticed that in the APs, while mythical creatures are certainly still present, they've been decreasing somewhat in number. Is this because most of the best creatures that haven't been statted are from regions of the world other than Europe and would best be used outside the Inner Sea, or come from areas of Europe with specific equivalents in the Inner Sea that are not the subject of the current APs?

7. Which mythical creatures, as far as you're concerned, have little to no chance of ever appearing in the game?

8. Any cultures or categories of mythical monsters that will receive a fair amount of focus in the Bestiary? I noticed South America was something of a sub-theme in B5, and there were also more B and C list classical creatures than I would have predicted. Anything like that?

1) Dunno off the top of my head. More than 1, less than 200. For the final number, you'll need to wait for the book to be in print. :-)

2) See #1 above.

3) I'm not familiar with that website, but assuming it's drawing from real-world legend and myth... there will naturally be some crossovers.

4) Of course; there have been in pretty much all the Bestiaries. This will be no different.

5) Nope; not now. Maybe later, when we're closer to the book's release and are looking to drum up more excitement, and when I'm 100% sure of the book's contents rather than 98% sure.

6) It's because of shifting interests among those who build the bestiaries of the APs and of shifting needs for the APs themselves. It's not a conscious decision.

7) The goofy ones. (Drop bear and hoop snake, I'm looking at YOU!)

8) Not consciously. We've got monsters from, off the top of my head... North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the oceans... Not sure if there's any Australian critters in this one but there certainly were in the outline... can't remember off the top of my head if they stayed in or got pushed out thanks to alphabet cruelties...

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Dragon78 wrote:

The Conqueror Worm is from a poem of the same name written by Edger Alan Po. I am not really sure what direction they will take this one but the worms from Dune come to mind;)

"Strangely sentient oozes" sounds, well strange to me, we have had plenty of oozes that are sentient before.

Any chance of seeing the Gigas make it into a hardcover bestiary?

Poe is very much in my mind when I think of "Conqueror Worm." Dune is nowhere close to it.

No gigas in this book.

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Snowsarn wrote:

Hi James

Given your love of the horror genre, why did you end up working for gaming companies who are more famous for fantasy games (WOTC and Paizo), and not a more horror oriented system?

As I understand it, physics work the same way on Golarion as on Earth. If that is correct, why is the Roc an animal, and not a magical beast? No bird that big could fly on Earth, as I understand it.

Cheers

I ended up working at WotC because I knew people there and got hired during the first big Pokemon boom to help in the sales department. Once there, working on D&D was DESTINY more or less, but a large amount of the work I've done with D&D and now with Pathfinder could well be categorized in the Horror category. I did take a few stabs at writing for Chaosium, but never managed to get my foot in the door, and never really had an interest in working for any other horror RPG companies because in my opinion Chaosium was the only one that mattered to me growing up. In other words, I ended up working at WotC/Paizo because they wanted to work with me—as in I had my work published regularly by them (starting way back with TSR in fact in issue #12 of Dungeon Magazine).

Physics MOSTLY work the same way, but when they get in the way of cool, we fire physics. A roc is an animal becasue it doesn't have any overt supernatural powers, and because we wanted a higher CR animal in the game.

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Kalindlara wrote:

On the subject of Lovecraftian entities: I noticed that a couple of memorable ones were missing from the Strange Aeons article...

1) Is there a reason why Glaaki, the Inhabitant of the Lake, wasn't included? I always thought its appearance was fascinating, and it made it into the old d20 version. Copyright issues?

2) Is there a reason Nodens wasn't included? It seems odd that he didn't even receive a mention, even if he isn't Great Old One/Outer God material.

As always, thank you! ^_^

1) Glaaki, like Y'Golonac, is the creation of Ramsey Campbell, who's still alive and writing and kicking ass in the horror novelist realm. He recently just wrote a new novel about Glaaki in fact. For Strange Aeons, I deliberately chose to focus on the older creations of the mythos from Lovecraft's era, focusing on the creations of his contemporaries like Clark Ashton Smith, August Derleth, etc. We might try to do something with the Campbell mythos (which also includes other entities like Byatis, Daoloth, and Eihort) and if we do, I'd like to arrange permission directly with him, but at this point that's not on an agenda. But, given that Ramsey Campbell is my favorite living author... well, we'll see!

2) Nodens isn't a creation of Lovecraft's. Nodens is from celtic mythology. His inclusion in Lovecraft's earlier stories is something of an anomaly, in my opinion, and I don't consider Nodens as part of the mythos. When sources DO include Nodens in the mythos, they generally lump him into the category of "Elder God." He's not an Outer God OR a Great Old One. In Pathfinder, we don't have a category of "Elder God" in that way... or to be more precise, ALL of the gods outside of the categories of "Great Old One/Outer God" are technically "Elder Gods." We don't NEED Nodens, because we have the core 20, and beyond them hundreds of other options.

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TwiceGreat wrote:

Hey James! Thanks for the earlier reply. A few more questions. Also, apologies for the confusion about your part in Strange Aeons. I think I just assumed, knowing your love for HPL.

1) What would the Denizens of Leng take as common classes or archetypes? Same with the Moonbeasts?

2) Glad you liked Stranger Things - so did I. I thought the
** spoiler omitted **. What do you think?

3) Was the Winterwight (B2) inspired by the Others from A Song of Ice and Fire?

4) Do you remember what Lovecraft story pulled you into his literary world the most, or which one you found the most horrifying?

5) If Randolph Carter found his way into a Pathfinder story, what level do you think he'd be by the end of Dream-quest?

6) Have you read the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman?

7) Any plans to feature Ithaqua, Y'Golonac, or Mordiggian in PF, or are they legally off limits? Either way, what do you think their CRs would be?

8) How do 'normal' ghouls interact, feel about or view 'Leng' ghouls in the rare instances they show up in Golarion (or vice versa)?

9) This might come up in game for me via Commune, and I'm curious: What is Desnas opinion/story with individual Outer Gods? Azathoth? Nyarlathotep? Yog-Sothoth?

Thanks for taking your time to answer these things, :)

1) They likely wouldn't bother with archetypes. Denizens of Leng work best with rogue levels, or any class that grants sneak attack. They also do well as fighters of course, and thematically do VERY well as clerics of the elder mythos, or as sorcerers. Moon beasts I see advancing via Hit Dice, not class levels, but if they did, I guess I'd suggest rogue, fighter, or sorcerer.

2) I don't think intentionally; there wasn't much other direct Lovecraft stuff in the show.

3) No; it was taken from the PRD—it originally showed up in the boxed set expansion for Tomb of Horrors back in 2nd edition D&D, and was picked up in 3rd edition for the Epic Level Handbook. Bruce Cordell is the one who invented them, as far as I know.

4) The first one I read and that really hooked me was "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward." "At the Mountains of Madness" is my favorite. As for what one I found the most horrifying? Probably "The Thing on the Doorstep."

5) Characters in pathfinder stories don't really have levels. HA! Question dodged!

6) Nope.

7) Ithaqua is out now; check out his stats in the first volume of Strange Aeons. Mordiggian will be in the 2nd volume of Strange Aeons. We have an agreement with Chaosium to use some of the mythos stuff they've a license for, particularly the works of earlier writers like Clark Ashton Smith, August Derleth, and Frank Belknap Long. Y'Golonac was created by Ramsey Campbell, who is still alive and working and writing today; we haven't yet approached him about using his content in Pathfinder, but maybe we will some day.

8) Subservient and docile and respectful.

9) Among the core 20 deities, Desna is the one who fights against/opposes the Elder Mythos the most.

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Rob C wrote:

Oh wise and wondrous Creative Director, I call on thy wisdom :)

Overrun, Trip and Bull Rush all make mention that you can't make the maneuver against anyone "who is no more than one size category larger than you."

Grapple used to have such a rule in 3E ("You automatically lose an attempt to hold if the target is two or more size categories larger than you are.") but that rule has gone walkabout.

Can tiny creatures grapple huge creatures in Pathfinder, giving them all the penalties that the grapple condition bestows?

They can, but they suck at it usually.

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Xaimum Mafire wrote:

1. Is there any reason why the Dispelling Weapon property works for the Magus Dispelling Strike and the Barbarian Spell Sunder/Sunder Enchantment, but not for the Rogue's Dispelling Attack?

2. How do you feel about the Pathfinder Comics series?

1) I have no idea. You'd have to ask the design team.

2) Jealous that I haven't been able to write one yet.

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Nexor02 wrote:

First of all thanks for all of the time you take answering questions for the community. I've been reading for a few years now and must say I'm impressed with the consistency in this thread. You've been answering on nearly a daily basis whenever you can including holidays and times that you're away from work!

I've been a big fan of the information about Golarion and other subjects you've discussed, in particular topics regarding the Dominion of the Black. I've picked up several books and subscribed to Iron Gods and Strange Aeons APs due to your involvement (even if mainly forwards and outlines in the case of Strange Aeons) so thanks again for everything and for introducing these subjects to readers that would otherwise be unfamiliar or oblivious to the depth of the setting!

I was wondering a few things:

1. You've talked about world building some and your home brew setting. For others attempting to keep organized with their introductuce/created themes in their own games how do you keep track of the details personally? Especially in the early days pre-Golarian. I assume some form of a journal or massive word doc equivalent?

2. Is there any Paizo product that lists the revealed races and structure of the Dominion of the Black? I've looked around but suspect we need to scour vast libraries of material like a true cultist to glean this forbidden knowledge... Now that I ask it may be more fun that way anyway.

3. What are the odds of Aboleths being featured in some books in the near (1-2 year) future? I realize you can't talk much about unrevealed product but just thought I'd ask as I hope I'm not the only one eager to see more!

1) When I started working on my homebrew, I didn't own a computer. I used a manual typewriter and hand-wrote things at first, and kept the notes organized in manilla envelopes or in 3 ring binders. Eventually, I upgraded to an electric typewriter, and then to a word processor, and finally to an actual computer, at which point I kept the files electronically and in print. I've lost a fair amount of it along the way, and tended to rebuild/recreate the setting whenver D&D did a new edition anyway. Today, I keep all my homebrew stuff electronically, but haven't actually expanded upon it since I started working on Golarion.

2) Nope. We've said a little bit about the Dominion of the Black in "Occult Mysteries" and in a few adventures, particularly "Doom Comes to Dustpawn" and "Dragon's Demand." The best place to get info about the Dominion currently is in part 4 of Iron Gods, which features a Dominion-themed adventure and also includes an article about them. Beyond that, we haven't said much more. Deliberately. The more we explain about them, I think the less interesting they get, so it's sort of a catch-22 situation.

3) Very very very good odds. By this time next year, those odds will be 100%.

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AlgaeNymph wrote:

James, how many empyreal lords will Bestiary 6 have?

Also, should we capitalize "empyreal lords" or not? I'm guessing no since it's lower-case in the supplements.

Empyreal lord is not capitalized; neither is demon lord or archdevil, etc.

Not ready yet to reveal numbers though.

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Aenigma wrote:

8. Spawn of Rovagug are magical beasts. But shouldn't they be qlippoth? Their father is a qlippoth, anyway.

9. In this page you implied that Rovagug killed Ra with only two normal attacks. How can this be possible? Ra is not a random minor god. He is the supreme god of Osirian Pantheon! Even if Rovagug is the most powerful god, how can he kill Ra that easily?
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1086?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Q uestions-Here#54262

10. And you said that "two of Rovagug's tentacles extended out of the Dead vault..." But in many illustrations, Rovagug is described as a big spider, which has no tentacles. Does he have tentacles?
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1085?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Q uestions-Here#54250

11. In this page you said that Azathoth is more powerful than Rovagug. Really? I thought that in Golarion universe, Pharasma is definitely the most powerful, Rovagug is the second, the unnamed god of the Dominion of the Black is the third, and Azathoth would be the fourth. Is Azathoth really that powerful?
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1285?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Q uestions-Here#64203

12. In this page you said that even the great evils cannot be a match for the outer horrors. Then what if a gate is opened at the center of Azathoth's court that connects to the Boneyard? Will Azathoth still win? Pharasma is the most powerful in the world, anyway.
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1284?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Q uestions-Here#64166

13. It's surprising that Rovagug and Nethys have no access to Madness domain. An omnicidal Maniac? Definitely mad. Nethys has dual personality. Which menas he is insane. They seem to deserve Madness domain. In other words, if a deity can have six domains, would Rovagug's and Nethys' sixth domain naturally be Madness?

8) Nope. They're Material Plane creatures, not outsiders. A deity doesn't need to be the same "type" as the things it creates. They break rules.

9) That's part of my home campaign, first of all, and shouldn't be taken as "Golarion canon." But that said, it's possible because deities don't follow rules, and because in the story I was telling, I wanted to shock and surprise my players by having Rovagug murder a well-known mythological entity that the players knew about. When you have a deity take part in your game, you get to let them do ANYTHING you want them to do.

10) Yes, he has tentacles.

11) I've said many times that Pharasma is the most oldest deity in the campaign, but "oldest" doesn't mean "most powerful." And yes, Azathoth IS very powerful, in part because he was invented by Lovecraft and has existed in the real world as a creature for nearly a century now, and by elevating him to a position of such power in Golarion, I'm paying respect to my favorite author. And again... we don't have rules for what a deity can do, and as such don't have a way to rank them. AND I reserve the right to change my mind when it comes to saying which deity is more powerful than the next, especially when this information has never appeared in print.

12) Depends what story you, I, or whomever wanted to tell when and if Azathoth were to suddenly appear in the Boneyard. Again, deities don't follow rules, so the person telling the story gets to decide what happens.

13) Deities have 5 domains, but in many cases more than 5 domains are appropriate for the deity. That means that once whoever designs the deity picks the deity's 5 domains, some of the ones that would have been appropriate get left out. In this case, Madness. If Rovagug had six domains, I would likely choose one of the following as his sixth domain: Darkness, Death, Earth, Madness, Repose, or Strength. Of those six, I'd probably pick Earth. If he had seven, I'd pick Strength. Madness would be the 8th or 9th choice. For Nethys it might be the 6th or 7th.

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xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Were there other demonic gods before Lamashtu or was she the first? If there were, they're most certainly gone/dead now, but that doesn't really mean the couldn't exist in antiquity.

Lamashtu was the first demon lord to ascend from demigod status to full deity status. No other demon lord has yet made this transition, but Nocticula is the closest and will likely be the next to do so.

Likewise, Asmodeus is the only archdevil to have made this transition, Sarenrae's the only empyreal lord to have done so, and Rovagug the only qlippoth lord to have done so.

Was Asmodeus an empyreal lord before he feel?

No. Not in my opinion, at least.

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Aenigma wrote:

I have some questions about Rovagug.

1. Was Rovagug a deity from the beginning of his life, just like other original gods like Pharasma or Abadar or Groetus? Or was he merely a normal qlippoth, and then gained mythic tier and became a qlippoth lord, and then became a deity? I at first thought that Rovagug and Asmodeus was a deity from the beginning. But in this page it seemed that you said otherwise.
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1124?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Q uestions-Here#56161

2. In this page you said that Rovagug is the first qlippoth. Does that mean he created all other qlippoth?
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1084?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Q uestions-Here#54190

3. Spawn of Rovagug has irrepressible regeneration ability. So to think that their father, Rovagug has the same irrepressible regeneration ability is very logical. Am I right?

4. I thought Rovagug is not that powerful. I mean, "Yeah, surely he is the most powerful god, but not powerful enough to singlehandedly fight all other gods at once. He nearly destroyed the world only because of his unsuppressible regeneration ability. Which means, if he is stripped of the regeneration ability, he still can defeat several(maybe three to five?) deities simultaneously, but cannot defeat all other gods simultaneously." Am I right? In other words:
1)All other gods couldn't kill Rovagug only because of his regeneration power. If he had not that power, surely many deites would have died anyway, but in the end other gods could have killed him once and for all.
2)Even if Rovagug is stripped of that regeneration power, his power is so devastating that he can still destroy all the gods and the entire world easily.
Which opinion is correct?

5. According to your statement in this page, Rovagug wants only to destroy the Material Plane, and does not want to destroy other planes. So after he destroyed the Material Plane, he will go back to the Abyss, exterminate demons, and then will not harass anyone. Am I right?
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1275?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Q uestions-Here#63714

6. Rovagug is imprisoned in the Dead Vault. Is this prison is literally in the planet? So if Rovagug's worshippers dig and dig and dig... would they find out their god's prison?

7. If Golarion is totally devastated by a planet-destroying weapon, would the Dead Vault destroyed and Rovagug be released?

1) Rovagug started as a qlippoth lord, then became a deity. He never started as a qlippoth.

2) Nope; that means he was the first of them. Being first doesn't mean you create anything. It just means you're first.

3) Rovagug is a deity, and thus is beyond rules like "regeneration."

4) Rovagug is among the most powerful of the deities, but since there are no game rules governing what a deity can or can't do, we're free to freely build stories about how they all interact without worrying about whether or not the rules justify what they do in those stories. AKA: Rovagug couldn't be killed by any combination of other deity coalition, but he COULD be "locked up" and thus prevented from directly causing mayhem in reality.

5) What Rovagug might do after he destroys the material plane is not something us mortals could probably comprehend. We won't be here to witness it. What he does could be "exterminate demons" or "Destroy Gods" or merely "go to sleep for an epoch."

6) The dead vault is its own plane. It's metaphorically held within the core of Golarion, and the only portals that exist between it and the Material Plane are deep deep deep in the Darklands somewhere... but physically, the interior of Goalrion is a molten core of iron, like Earth. The Dead Vault is its own plane/dimension, akin to something like the First World or Leng or the like. There MAY be other portals to/from the Dead Vault from elsewhere. Haven't really decided.

7) Nope; the existing portals to/from the Dead Vault would turn off if Golarion were destroyed, but the Dead Vault would persist. And again, there may be portals to/from the Dead Vault from other points in reality than the deep Darklands of Golarion.

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
What templates do you think need to be in a book, if any Mister Jacobs?

Ones that play to the strength of the way templates work. Look to Bestiarys 1–5 for plenty of examples: lich, vampire, broken soul, devilbound creature, worm that walks, half-dragon, half-fiend, skeleton, lycanthrope, etc.

One good way to sum it up is to look at it this way—if the template, when applied to most creatures in most situations, results in a relatively similar looking and acting end result, then it's a good candidate for a template.

A vampire still feels like a vampire whether it's on a human fighter or elven wizard or dwarven rogue. A lich still feels like a lich regardless of the spellcasting class the human was before then. A werewolf still acts like the monster you're familiar with from the movies. There's plenty of potential exceptions, but the classic is there.

Troops and swarms simply don't lend themselves well to a template format, because they're too complex in the way they interact with such a wide range of potential individual powers.

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Marco Massoudi wrote:

Dear James,

will we get a book (Campaign Setting, Hardcover or Players Guide, whatever) full of Cthulhu Mythos creatures in the near future or are they a one time only Strange Aeons deal?

If we WOULD get another HC collection of an AP in the future, which one do you think is most likely - Kingmaker (because if is sold out and a new generation of players will get the chance to play it with the Ultimate Campaign Kingdom Building rules), Legacy of Fire (if enough AP books are sold out by then) or something else?

Thank you for all the great stuff and answering all our questions!

A book about the Elder Mythos on Golarion is certainly something that COULD happen at some point in the future. It won't be a player's guide, though, because that content is better for GMs.

As for another hardcover AP compilation? Ask me again in 4 to 5 years, I guess.

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Courtier of Cheliax wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Hallquist wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Hallquist wrote:
What are typical tactics when two devout, Chelish Asmodeans get into a political knife fight? What are the "gotchas" they can throw at an opponent who's staunchly Lawful and not guilty of any obvious heresies? (E.g. nothing blatant enough to cause a divine spell caster to lose her spell-casting ability.)

They'd vary, but it would likely fall into pedantry, strawman traps, baiting, and citing of old written works by both sides.

Kind of like a fiery internet argument. :-P

I'm having a hard time imagining how this works in detail, though. Especially if we're talking not about weaseling out of trouble, but ruining a political opponent? A lot of Pathfinder sourcebooks seem to give an impression of Asmodean law as oddly permissive—Empire of Devils even says "everything which is not forbidden is allowed", which is made to sound like this insidious thing but it's actually a totally normal legal principle in the real world (in common-law countries, anyway).

So are the Asmodean Disciplines full of totally random stuff like the prohibition on mint from Hell's Rebels? A fractally complicated tax code that makes everyone guilty of tax "fraud"? Convoluted official definitions of "disparaging the Church"?

Check out Hell's Rebels, Hell's Vengeance, and the Cheliax book, I suppose, for several in-world examples. But basically, the idea of Asmodeans is that they're icons of law and evil, and in such they LOVE overly complex laws with countless loopholes and variables that allow for rules-lawyering to the extreme degree.

Hell's Vengeance spoiler:

** spoiler omitted **...

Well... check out Hell's Rebels then. I actually wasn't that directly involved in Hell's Vengeance, and the goal there is more to present an "evil" adventure path rather than ONLY a "lawful evil" one, I guess...

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FallenDabus wrote:
Okay, I know you want to save some surprises, but I have to ask... Are Qlippoth Lord in B6?

Stay tuned!

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Kain Darkwind wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Can someone remind me who/what are the 8 arch devils again?

In order, they are: Barbatos, Dispater, Mammon, Belial, Geryon, Moloch, Baalzebul, and Mephistopheles.

Six are definitely devils, albeit of wildly varying forms. Jury's out on Geryon and Barbatos, but I'm guessing they'll have the subtype. ^_^

Jury shouldn't be out. (Pathfinder) Geryon was originally an asura rana. I suspect that you are correct that they will all have the devil subtype though.

Just as all demon lords are demons, all archdevils are devils.

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JiCi wrote:
On a sidenote, is it really that complex to make a template that grants the troop or the swarm subtype? What's actually bothering you guys from make it possible to turn a ratling into a swarm or a human soldier into a troop?

It's pretty complex, yes, but it also opens the door to a design philosophy that I'm not a fan of. For the same reason we don't have a "dire animal" template or a "kaiju" template. A troop, a swarm, or a dire animal, or a kaiju is ALWAYS more interesting when it's hand-crafted as its own thing and not merely a template.

There's nothing bothering me about turning a ratling into a swarm or a human soldier into a troop—it just is more appetizing and interesting to build a ratling swarm or a soldier troop as a monster and not as a template.

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Chris Hallquist wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Hallquist wrote:
What are typical tactics when two devout, Chelish Asmodeans get into a political knife fight? What are the "gotchas" they can throw at an opponent who's staunchly Lawful and not guilty of any obvious heresies? (E.g. nothing blatant enough to cause a divine spell caster to lose her spell-casting ability.)

They'd vary, but it would likely fall into pedantry, strawman traps, baiting, and citing of old written works by both sides.

Kind of like a fiery internet argument. :-P

I'm having a hard time imagining how this works in detail, though. Especially if we're talking not about weaseling out of trouble, but ruining a political opponent? A lot of Pathfinder sourcebooks seem to give an impression of Asmodean law as oddly permissive—Empire of Devils even says "everything which is not forbidden is allowed", which is made to sound like this insidious thing but it's actually a totally normal legal principle in the real world (in common-law countries, anyway).

So are the Asmodean Disciplines full of totally random stuff like the prohibition on mint from Hell's Rebels? A fractally complicated tax code that makes everyone guilty of tax "fraud"? Convoluted official definitions of "disparaging the Church"?

Check out Hell's Rebels, Hell's Vengeance, and the Cheliax book, I suppose, for several in-world examples. But basically, the idea of Asmodeans is that they're icons of law and evil, and in such they LOVE overly complex laws with countless loopholes and variables that allow for rules-lawyering to the extreme degree.

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Therrux wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Therrux wrote:
Which do you think the Upsidedown from Stranger Things is closer to, the Ethereal Plane or the Shadow Plane?
No contest. Shadow Plane.
Does that mean that the Shadow Plane has the buildings of the material plane on it like in the Upside-down?

Nope.

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Acolyte of Mushu wrote:

Hello James! It seems you are more willing to answer questions about Bestiary 6 than I would have assumed, so I guess I'll try my hand at it:

Will there be any new psychopomps in B6?

Yes.

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Nightterror wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope there will be new Kaiju but I doubt it since James Jacobs said he didn't want the rest stated up in a bestiary.
Let's just say James can change his mind, particularly when he's the one who's finally actually IN CHARGE of a bestiary. :-P
Does this mean less normal (so not unique krampus) myth/folklore/cryptid monsters?

Doesn't mean that at all. In fact, I'm one of the reasons Pathfinder DOES focus so much on myth/folklore/and ESPECIALLY Cryptid monsters.

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Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It was a conscious decision, and one that sort of bothers me, frankly. Desna is the obvious choice to be a moon deity, in any event.

Any other gaps in the lineup for similar reasons?

For that matter, are there any deific concepts you chose not to use for stylistic reasons? For example, there's no "god of fire" in the core 20, which I actually quite appreciated, since it's a fairly well-worn fantasy trope.

No gaps, nope. And once we decided to limit the number to 20 deities, that meant that all the other deity concepts couldn't be used for the core. Look to the hundreds of other deities and demigods we've included since then for examples of what we didn't include in the core, I guess.

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Rysky wrote:

Speaking of Acavna, who came up with her and her story?

She's my favourite deity and person Pathfinder has put out ^w^

Yay!

I came up with her and her basic story, but several others who I've lost count of have expanded her lore here and there since then (as is pretty much the case for all of it these days).

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Will there be more 0HD races in B6 then the ones mentioned in the B6 description? Will this number be more or less then 10?

2)Will there be any new simple templates or a reprint of the ones in the monster summoner's handbook?

3)Why a march release for B6? Does it have anything to do with the Starfinder Bestiary?

4)Does this mean that the Encounter Codex has been pushed back?

5)Is there a limit on how many hardcover bestiaries you guys will plan on doing?

6)Any chance of seeing a hardcover bestiary that is nothing but reprints from APs, campaign setting books, etc.?

7)Any chance that B6 will have any of the Hive(new or old)?

8)Any chance that we will see another hardcover campaign setting book in the next couple of years?

9)Can you give any info about the two-headed dragons that are mentioned in the b6 description?

10)See any movies lately? If so what did you think?

1) As it currently stands, all the 0-HD races in B6 are mentioned int he description. Less than 10, in other words.

2) Unknown at this time, but there might be one or two simple templates that haven't been in a hardcover. No reprints from Monster Summoner's Handbook.

3) Has nothing to do with the Starfinder Bestiary, and everything to do with me having the time to work on a book right now and no one else having the time to work on a Spring RPG release and my skillsets and personal interests for RPG book creation fitting a bestiary best.

4) Answering that question is above my pay grade.

5) As soon as we publish a bestiary that no one buys we'll probably stop, I guess.

6) No, because we are opposed to that philosophy; we want ALL buyers of a Bestiary to have the delight of finding something new inside.

7) No.

8) I certainly hope so!

9) They have two heads. With the exception of the tarn linnorm (which is a linnorm first and dragon second), we've never actually done a two-headed dragon, so the time is NOW.

10) Best movie I saw lately was "Hell or High Water." I'm looking forward to seeing "Don't Breathe" tomorrow. And finally started watching "Ash Vs. Evil Dead" and LOOOOOVE it!

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Belltrap wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
3. Golarion has lots of high level characters who can cast Commune. Why didn't they cast Commune to ask their gods why and how and by whom Aroden died?
It's worth noting that you can only ask yes or no questions with Commune. If a yes or no (or "unclear") would be misleading a cleric might get a simple response, but the question itself must still be structured as a yes or no question, instead of how, why, or by whom.

"In cases where a one-word answer would be misleading or contrary to the deity's interests, a short phrase may be given as an answer instead."

AKA: A deity gets to answer to a commune spell however it wants. It prefers yes/no questions though.

In any event, let's keep this thread to questions for me. They don't need to be yes/no questions.

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Which demigods are you statting (or already statted) out for Bestiary 6? (Charon and Mephistopheles are among the ones announced so far; I don't know if you speak about any beyond that?)

Also, yay for more demigods.

Bestiary 6 will have more demigods inside its covers than any other single book we've ever published. Beyond the two I've mentioned, it should come as no surprise we're not stopping at just those two—we're presenting stats for all 8 Archdevils (the 9th being Asmodeus and, at deity level, no stats work for him) and all 4 Horsemen.

There's more, though. Some will be demigods people have heard a lot about. Some will be brand new ones. Now's not the time to reveal that much more information though. Stay tuned, though!

Question: Do you think a party of 20th level adventurers can defeat some of these CR 30 demigods? is Bestiary 6 designed with that in mind, or would you recommend a GM to strongly hint/hook players at acquiring allies (armies and other high level NPCs) before heading out to battle such baddies? Thank you.

A party of 20th level characters absolutely could, particularly if the adventures leading up to that conflict were specifically designed for that plot. Again, as I mentioned upthread, that was PRECISELY the plot of the last few adventures of Savage Tide.

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Any chance of seeing old school monsters like the Ravid, Digester, Arrowhawk, etc. in B6?

2)Are you still choosing monsters from APs(and other products) for B6?

3)If yes to question #2 then will we get any from Jade Regent, Kingmaker, and/or Skull and Shackles?

4)Will there be any alien, psychic, and/or Sci-fi types monsters in B6?

5)Will we see any robots in B6?

6)Will there be any new outsider group(s) in B6?

7)Remind me how monsters were chosen in past bestiaries, wasn't there some kind of voting system?

8)Any new types of giant vermin(especially roaches)?

9)Will there be any CR25+ fey?

10)If there is any reprints from APs, then wich AP is the cut off point of selected APs?

1) There will be a few old-school monsters, but not the ones you mention. To me, the ravid, digester, and arrowhawk are NOT old-school at all (they won't be in B6).

2) Nope; I finished choosing the monster lineup during Gen Con.

3) I'm picking up monsters from across the board in the AP line, from Second Darkness to Hell's Vengeance.

4) Some, yes, but not a lot.

5) No.

6) Sort of, but not really.

7) For many of the bestiaries we had a meeting where the editorial group (editors, developers, and designers, along with their managers) had a big brainstorm where we threw out names of monsters we wanted to see in the book and wrote them on the whiteboard. The person in charge of the book then took that list and picked the ones he wanted in the book, discarded the ones that didn't fit or didn't make sense or were just bad ideas, and then filled up the rest with other necessary monsters. That's how this book went as well, although the fact that this meeting happened in the days leading up to Gen Con meant that the brainstorm meeting was smaller than for previous ones... but everyone had a chance to submit monsters via email to me so no one got left out. Then, in the end, I took all those monsters and made the list, with a heavy dose of my own preferences, influenced by what folks have been asking for or are interested in, be it via recent posts on our boards or via my own experience working in the industry for 17 years.

8) Yes (Roaches were in the first draft, but I cut them due to the cruelties of the alphabet).

9) No.

10) Yes. See #3 above.

BONUS: Although Bestiary 6 is already about 1/4 developed and the monster list is set, a lot can happen between now and print. Usually, there's at least one monster we end up cutting because it doesn't work or the art is wrong or whatever and then we replace it with a last-minute pickup monster, so anything I say about Bestiary 6 here is not legally binding and subject to change at any point.

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GM Rednal wrote:

How literal is Shizuru's "Empress of Heaven" title? Is it just a nice title based on her interests, or is she, y'know, actually kind of ruling the place and guiding the Stewards? Or behaving as an actual empress within her deific realm, but not so much the rest of Heaven?

(Thanks for being so willing to answer all of these questions, by the way!)

Not literal. She doesn't rule Heaven.

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Will B6 have any non-outsider demi-gods?

2)Is it safe to assume there will be no new Kaiju in B6?

3)Will B6 have any proteans, inevitables, kami, and/or aeons?

4)Will B6 have any azura, oni, qlippoth, and/or rakshasa?

5)Will B6 have any celestials(CR bellow 26)?

6)Is Krampus a fey, outsider, or other?

7)When will we find out what the new true dragon group will be called?

8)Will B6 have a decent number of elementals like B5 did?

9)Any chance of seeing the Cheshire Cat, nekomata, or bakeneko?

10)So what turn of events made it so you are the one putting a bestiary together?

1) Yes.

2) No.

3) New proteans. No inevitables, kami, or aeons.

4) New qlippoth. No new azuras, onis, or rakshasas.

5) Yes.

6) Stay tuned! (I don't want to spoil all the surprises at once!)

7) Dunno. At some point between today and next spring, I guess.

8) No.

9) One of those will be in there.

10) Stuff.

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Aenigma wrote:
Wrote a wall of text...

HOLY WALL OF TEXT!

Fortunately, since you're asking about Aroden, most of my answers will be vague, since A) Aroden is intended to be shrouded in mystery and B) Aroden is very much Erik Mona's creation, and if he hasn't revealed something about him in the article he wrote in Pathfinder #100 (which I have NOT read, and thus have no insights into), then he likely DIDN'T want to reveal that thing.

Also... the sheer size of your post makes answering the questions painfully awkward on this site, since I have to scroll back and forth through windows to reference them. Please, in the future, keep your questions short. If you're going to ask a list, do so with single sentences and don't go above 10. If you have more than that or your questions each start ballooning... make separate posts for each.

Spoiler:
1) What's in print is correct; what's mentioned on the boards here is often just a spur of the moment opinion and/or idle thought, which is why I generally try to avoid doing design work on the boards.

2) Glory's domain has a lot of good-aligned stuff in it, and Aroden is not a good aligned god. Therefore, Glory isn't something I would have given him; obviously, Erik disagreed. I agree that being about "the glory of humanity" suggests a domain named "glory" would make sense... but since there's so much good spell in Glory, it doesn't make sense that a lawful neutral deity would actually want his worshipers casting those spells.

3) They did and do, and the results of the communes of "How did Aroden die" are always met with lies or, most often, "I don't know." Commune doesn't force a god to answer, and if a god does answer it doesn't have to tell you the truth or what you want to hear. And Golarion's gods are NOT omniscient, and for most of them, how Aroden died is a mystery. And the fact that he DID die makes others nervous, and if they DO know, they don't want that information to spread, since that could potentially come back and threaten them. Eventually, likely within a few years of the event, clerics and spellcasters got the idea and just stopped asking.

4) Gods can't be resurrected in that way. Not the least because they don't have stats, and thus can't really be affected by rules. And as for why other gods haven't resurrected him? That's a deliberate mystery, as much as is what killed him in the first place.

5) Aroden was indeed mythic; my take is that when he raised up the starstone and the isle, he became tier 1 mythic then. He could have become mythic earlier or later; we don't really pin that info down. As for what's special about raising an island? What's NOT special about causing a huge mass of land to rise up from the sea? What's NOT special about reshaping the geography of a planet on your own so quickly. No one in this world can do it. I would say being able to instantly heal a wound with a touch is INCREDIBLY special, but that's just a 1st level divine spell (cure light wounds). Raising an entire island in the way Aroden did is beyond even the power of a wish, so yeah... What's special about it? Pretty much everything.

6) It's a mystery how he raised the island. He's not a PC, and as such he doesn't have to follow the rules. Furthermore, if the method to raise an island like that was something that others could do... it would have happened more than once in the past several thousand years.

7) SOME of Pharasma's clerics went mad, not all. We explore this a bit in "Beyond the Doomsday Door" in Pathfinder #66.

8) Again, we haven't nailed down precisely when Aroden, in his several-thousand-year-existance, went from human to quasi-deity to demigod to deity.

9) Tar-baphon is not CR 30. We statted him up in Mythic Realms. His current CR is 26, and that's the highest it's ever been, so it's pretty likely that it was lower than CR 26 when he first confronted Aroden. Tar-baphon is not a demigod either. Deskari is.

10) The "Deities don't directly interfere" with mortals bit is a rule, but rules get broken often. Deities CAN meddle directly if they so wish; it's not an impossibility. It's just something deities generally understand that they shouldn't do, because it's disruptive to reality. You've cited several examples of when that rule was broken. I'll note that in the case of Aroden AND Ydersius meddling directly... it didn't end up working out particularly well for them in the end, did it?

11) It's unclear.

12) How specific words are interpreted are left to the reader. I'm not gonna confirm anything.

13) Maybe. Maybe not.

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Snowsarn wrote:

Hello James

I hope you are well

All the recent talk of high CR statblocks and Mythic play have sparked a couple of questions in my mind. I apologize if some of this should be common knowledge:

1) Why did Paizo decide to not make high level play with levels above 20th?

2) Without access to Mythic powers can a party of 4 level 20 characters win against CRs 28+? I haven't tried it but an encounter of "epic" difficulty seems to be 6 CR higher than average party level.

3) What do you enjoy about designing statblocks in the late 20'ies range?

4) If I were to run a Wrath of the Righteous campaign, would you then recommend to reduce the amount of Mythic Tiers, or play as is?

Cheers

1) Because the math for things like saving throws, attack rolls, and the like breaks down increasingly fast after 20th level. And because a game is stronger when you have a level cap and thus understand the framework in which you can design content for the game.

Spoiler:
When Epic Level Handbook came out for D&D, they essentially removed level caps entirely, which had a terrible side effect. WotC couldn't reliably design "boss monsters" anymore. It's VERY cool to be able to put things like, say, Demogorgon into a game to serve as a super tough foe—it's been a tradition since the very earliest incarnation of the game, after all. But unless you know the maximum power level a PC can hit, you can't design a Demogorgon to serve as that type of creature. Set its CR at 30, and players will scoff at it being a wimp because Epic Level Handbook lets them level up to level 40. Set its CR at 60, and players will scoff because they can hit level 61, but more to the point RELATIVELY FEW players will ever get close to 20th level so now you've got a CR 60 Demogorgon that only works for a tiny slice of the world's player base.

With a level cap, in this case 20, we can build things that can serve that role, like the tarrasque, as a CR 25 creature. With mythic, we anticipated CR 30 would cover it, but as it played out, CR 35 or CR 40 might have been a better goal...

2) You don't need to fight a monster as-is in an adventure. Those stats can serve merely as entertainment to be read, first and foremost. But they can also serve other ways that aren't just fights against PCs. We cover this a little bit in the "Demon Lords in a Campaign" section in Bestiary 4, page 45.

For an example of how this could all play out in play, check out the last few adventures in the Dungeon Adventures Adventure Path, Savage Tide...

Spoiler:
In that AP, Demogorgon is the main bad guy and the foe you're supposed to fight at the very end, but you can only hit 20th or MAYBE 21st level in that adventure path, and Demogorgon, as statted up in that game, is a CR 33 foe. How that works in Savage Tide is that for the last few adventures in that campaign, the whole metaplot is to prepare yourselves with potent allies and magic, and to whittle away at Demogorgon's power. By recruiting Demogorgon's enemies to aid you, you weaken him. By slaying some of his most powerful minions and a few aspects and avatars, you weaken him. And so forth and so on; these are all goals spread out through the last few adventures. If you ignore those sub-quests, when you confront Demogorgon at the end, you face his full CR 33 version. But the more of those side-quests you accomplish in the build up, the weaker he gets, so that in the final confrontation his stat block is reduced sequentualy by applying negative levels, lowering his AC, and removing an increasing number of his powers and abilities. You still need his full-powered CR 33 stats in order to calculate those effects, though, and you still need those stats in the unfortunate case of the PCs missing quests or foolishly confronting him with a "jump to the end scry-and-fry" type tactic.

That all said, high level PCs are capable of a HUGE number of stunts, both offensive and defensive. Never underestimate what a 20th level party of characters played by a group of skilled players who have honed those skills with those specific characters over the course of many many sessions of play can do to a monster!

3) I enjoy the fact that I get to stretch my creativity when it comes to powers, and I enjoy statting up memorable and recognizable creatures, and I enjoy the challenge of working with the complexities of the rules. And as a GM, these "end boss" creatures are kind of the closest things you have to your OWN characters in a game, so the same sort of thing that appeals to a player designing his/her player character is what appeals to me in designing a powerful, recognizable, significant creature or character in a game setting.

4) I would recommend reducing the Mythic Tiers you give out to 1 per adventure. The PCs should earn a new tier each time you finish an AP installment. If things start feeling scary or tough, you can adjust on the fly either by giving them another tier or by softening the stats.

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Therrux wrote:
Which do you think the Upsidedown from Stranger Things is closer to, the Ethereal Plane or the Shadow Plane?

No contest. Shadow Plane.

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Cole Deschain wrote:

I still maintain that Wrath of the Righteous, rather than any sort of theoretical Starstone module, is the go-to for "so you want to become a god?" adventuring in Pathfinder.

On that note-

The core pathfinder pantheon lacks a lunar deity*- was this a conscious decision, or just something that no deity as planned needed to stick a flag in?

Any "gaps" in the core pantheon that were consciously chosen, deity types/concepts that were explicitly either left vacant or avoided for conceptual purposes?

*Obviously, the Azlanti and Tien pantheons had/have that spot covered, but, you know.

It was a conscious decision, and one that sort of bothers me, frankly. Desna is the obvious choice to be a moon deity, in any event.

As for WHY there's no Moon deity?

Spoiler:
That's simple; because 3.5 D&D didn't have a Moon Domain in the SRD.

When we first started working on Golarion, we used the 3.5 rules, and didn't have a way or a method to introduce new class elements easily. So when it came to picking domains for our core 20 deities, we were limited to the domains that were available to us in the SRD—and there's no Moon domain in there. There IS a Moon Domain in D&D, but it was introduced in the Forgotten Realms rulebook and was never put into the SRD, so we didn't have access to it. So as a result, Desna didn't get the Moon domain and we didn't get a moon deity in the setting.

When we updated to Pathfinder from 3.5, we didn't want to change any deity domains because they were already established. Desna, in particular, was one of the deities we'd already done quite a lot with, and we wanted to preserve that so that, in world, the switch from 3.5 to Pathfinder would be 100% invisible. Furthermore, we simply didn't have any ROOM to add even 1 more domain to that book.

By the time we got around to Azlant and Tian-Xia deities, Pathfinder was firmly standing on its own two feet AND we'd come up with the idea of subdomains, so a Moon domain and thus a moon deity was plausable for that reason.

And that also helped us explain why there's no moon deity in modern Golarion's core 20—the previous moon deity got killed during Earthfall, and no one's stepped into the vacancy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AramilNuren wrote:

So something interesting happened in one of our play sessions recently.

The area the party is investigating has a creature using control weather to make a snowstorm. The druid in the party (it's always the druid isn't it?) used control weather to try and get rid of the snowstorm.

Uh, so what happens when 2 spells that do the same thing come up against each other? And I don't mean just this example. What do you do when 2 different spell casters are both trying to control something with the same spell? Caster level check? Or does control weather, by it's wording, remove the last casting of control weather and replace it?

Also, is it possible to dispel a control weather spell? And if so, how would one do so? Do you simply need to cast dispel within the area of control weather?

Thoughts?

In a few cases, the rules are explicit about how spells interact like this. Light and darkness spells, for example, or consecrate vs. desecrate.

In other cases, it's generally the best bet to say that the most recently cast spell is the one whose effect takes place. In your case, the druid casts control weather and it should function normally... but the creature that uses control weather to manipulate things should more or less notice swiftly and use control weather again to change things back. Which is a great way for the party to learn that there is indeed something actively manipulating the weather as a reward for them being able to do the same.

Control weather has a duration and is a spell, and as such it's absolutely possible to affect it with dispel magic. Provided you can cast the dispel magic into the area affected by control weather.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Chris Hallquist wrote:
What are typical tactics when two devout, Chelish Asmodeans get into a political knife fight? What are the "gotchas" they can throw at an opponent who's staunchly Lawful and not guilty of any obvious heresies? (E.g. nothing blatant enough to cause a divine spell caster to lose her spell-casting ability.)

They'd vary, but it would likely fall into pedantry, strawman traps, baiting, and citing of old written works by both sides.

Kind of like a fiery internet argument. :-P

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A quick note on the Horsemen...

Spoiler:
We've long gone with War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death as the four Horsemen in Golarion, and thus in Pathfinder. For all creatures inspired by mythology, we need to make decisions on what to retain and what not to run with, what to ignore and what to make up brand-new. This is nothing new to RPGs—the gorgon is a great example of something that, back in the early days, the designers decided to NOT go with certain myths for it and to go with others.

I get that some of the choices we make for monsters along these lines won't appeal to some gamers, but that's the great thing about Tabletop RPGs; you can keep what you want and change the rest! So if you like how we statted up, say, the Horsemen of War and Death and Famine, but want to swap out Pestilence for Conquest (or whatever) you can use our design as an inspirational starting point and go from there.

Regardless of that choice, WE had to choose something, and went with our preferences. In the case of the Horsemen, we made that decision nearly 10 years ago during the early production of Curse of the Crimson Throne, and have supported that decision across all lines ever since, so changing it for Bestiary 6 never even crossed my mind.

In ANY event... let's get this thread back to generalized Bestiary 6 talk! The horsemen are a fascinating subject of their own and deserve their own thread. :-D

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Dragon78 wrote:
I hope there will be new Kaiju but I doubt it since James Jacobs said he didn't want the rest stated up in a bestiary.

Let's just say James can change his mind, particularly when he's the one who's finally actually IN CHARGE of a bestiary. :-P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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JiCi wrote:

"troops of goblins"

Please tell me that there's a troop template :D

A troop template isn't really appropriate, any more than a swarm template is.

"Troop" is a monster subtype, like swarm. Troops work best when, like swarms, they're hand-built as monsters.

I'm hoping to include some advice and tips in the book on how to build your own troops though!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Belltrap wrote:

Does your negative perception of how mythic and high level Pathfinder interact extend to your own personal experience adding mythic to Necropolis? Or is the problem a combination of high mythic and high level?

I ask as someone entertaining the possibility of running Necropolis if the module/adventure I'm currently GMing goes well.

It absolutely did not. First off, I threw in Mythic into that campaign well before we had any feedback from customers regarding Wrath of the Righteous, but more to the point perhaps, I gave the party their first mythic tier at level 15 or thereabouts and their 2nd mythic tier at level 17 just before the campaign's final session. It worked quite well in that setup, actually, but also because I was willing and comfortable with adjusting encounters on the fly to keep things fun and interesting and challenging and fast-paced.

The problem is a combination of high-level AND high-tier, combined with a GM style that doesn't allow for fast on-the-fly adjustment to account for unexpected player character power levels.

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