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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 46,032 posts (48,160 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Jessica Price wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Darius Darrenbar wrote:

James

Have you ever thought about bringing back a villain from a previous adventure path and reusing them for future one? If so what character(s) would you like to bring back?

Yes. And I'm not gonna say who, cause I'm gonna do it.

Nice.

Oh, crap. Rules of the thread... a question...

Isn't coffee better black?

It is better black.

And I believe I told you who I'm gonna bring back, didn't I? It's TWO villains, in fact. I'll tellya on Monday.

Oooh! Oooh! Me too!

Oh crap, it's supposed to be a question...

What's your favorite tea?

HA! Monday!!!

For the revelation, not the tea.

My favorite tea is probably something with raspberry in it, and it's probably sold at Teavana. And that mystery tea whose name I forgot already is pretty good too!

NO WAIT. My favorite tea is the "T" that starts the word Tyrannosaurus.

HA.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The first two plots have been translated into Pathfinder APs already—Curse of the Crimson Throne and Serpent's Skull. I've not yet translated the third into one yet, because I don't think management will let me kill off Irori with a transplanar supernatural immense faith parasite monster that siphons belief and digests it into anti-belief and then shoots it across the planes to kill a god.
What about Abadar?
Did you really just ask me if I thought it was a good idea to propose an AP where I kill off the deity whose image is used by one of the owners of the company as an avatar on these very boards?
I don't see why he gets special privileges just because he happens to look like Vic...

People who more or less sign my paycheck have plenty of reasons to have influence on what I do to earn said paycheck.

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Generic GM wrote:

Hello!

Thank you for your answer about the dreaded Queen Ileosa. The thought of her at a national level of power is pretty scary.

Could you talk about this a bit more, "transplanar supernatural immense faith parasite monster that siphons belief and digests it into anti-belief and then shoots it across the planes to kill a god.", Because frankly that sounds amazing!

Also, what have/are the aboleth up to in your homebrewed game?

Hope you have a great weekend!

I might talk more about it some day... but for now, I kinda don't wanna say much more. I like to keep things from my setting close to the chest until I decide if I want to keep them for my own use or sell them, basically.

As for the aboleth goals in my homebrew... I pretty much wrote that entirely up for D&D's Lords of Madness hardcover. That.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Adam Daigle wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Darius Darrenbar wrote:

James

Have you ever thought about bringing back a villain from a previous adventure path and reusing them for future one? If so what character(s) would you like to bring back?

Yes. And I'm not gonna say who, cause I'm gonna do it.

Nice.

Oh, crap. Rules of the thread... a question...

Isn't coffee better black?

It is better black.

And I believe I told you who I'm gonna bring back, didn't I? It's TWO villains, in fact. I'll tellya on Monday.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kerney wrote:

What would you do if you had an Eidolon?

If there any hope for a type of Eidolon that is smarter or more charismatic than most NPCs in anything coming out?

Thinking of setting a campaign in the fantasy equivilent of the American Southwest (i.e. home, only about 700 years ago). How would you approach an area like this which is not your usual fantasy setting?

Thanks for your answers in advance.

I'd retrain to bard if I had an eidolon.

An American Southwest campaign? I would approach it with caution and tons of respect for the indigenous cultures.

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Samy wrote:

Hello James,

will we find out the AP after Hell's Rebels at PaizoCon, even though PaizoCon is so relatively early this year?

Will there be any hardcovers announced at PaizoCon?

The timing of when Paizocon happens does not mean we won't use Paizocon to announce things. We will indeed announce the next AP there, as well as a hardcover or few.

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The Golux wrote:

James,

is the Cult of the Dawnflower problem with insufficiently good and merciful followers an issue in kelesh as a whole, or is it mostly a Qadiran-and-Avistani thing?

It's pretty much a localized Qadira thing. Pretty much everywhere else, Sarenrae's faith isn't warmongery like it has been portrayed in Qadira.

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Where did Lini find Droogami?

In the Land of the Linnorm Knigs.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Roshan wrote:
When you summon a creature using summon monster or summon natures ally, how does it work? Does it conjure a likeness of that creature to fight for you or does it bring a real creature from somewhere?

It summons a "copy" of an idealized incarnation of the creature. A summoned creature doesn't exist before you cast the spell, nor does it exist once the spell expires.

That's the difference between summoning spells and calling spells. Calling spells DO conjure a real creature.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The first two plots have been translated into Pathfinder APs already—Curse of the Crimson Throne and Serpent's Skull. I've not yet translated the third into one yet, because I don't think management will let me kill off Irori with a transplanar supernatural immense faith parasite monster that siphons belief and digests it into anti-belief and then shoots it across the planes to kill a god.
What about Abadar?

Did you really just ask me if I thought it was a good idea to propose an AP where I kill off the deity whose image is used by one of the owners of the company as an avatar on these very boards?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
James, are you looking forward to Witcher 3?

Of course I am. I hope I've got time to finish Legend of Grimrock II, the Dragon Age DLC, Pillars of Eternity, and Bloodborne first though...

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Kalindlara wrote:

Hey, I couldn't find this in a thread search, so I decided to ask. Sorry if this has been asked before. (It's about Mythic, too. Sorry.)

One of my Wrath of the Righteous players is taking the full Divine Source series for his paladin. One of the (sub)domains he wants is Resurrection, which would give the character raise dead, resurrection, and true resurrection as spell-like abilities (removing the gp cost). Which way of handling this do you think would be best?

1) Allow the full use of these abilities, with no gp cost, just as written. Free resurrections!

2) Allow the use of the spell-like abilities, but require the player to provide material components.

3) Deny the subdomain entirely. I'd rather avoid this option, though...

For context, I'm planning for the campaign to go to 20th level and 10 tiers, just as written. Also, the party has no cleric, just an inquisitor and a bloodrager.

Thank you! :)

1) Allow full use. Mythic is mythic, after all. Frankly, I think that the GP cost for resurrections is kinda lame. It's already bad enough if your character dies since you have to sit quietly at the game table and not play and watch while everyone else has fun and you get to stew in the humiliation of being dead. Having to spend money to fix that is kinda kicking someone when they're down.

I would MUCH rather have an in-world reason why not everyone gets raised than "only the rich get it."

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Darius Darrenbar wrote:

James

Have you ever thought about bringing back a villain from a previous adventure path and reusing them for future one? If so what character(s) would you like to bring back?

Yes. And I'm not gonna say who, cause I'm gonna do it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

A while ago I asked you about paladins and The Green Faith, noting its emphasis on cycles and natural laws and stuff. Your response made sense: Paladins are all about doing what's right and honorable, and the Green Faith is about nature, which ISN'T right and ISN'T honorable.

I'm curious now about on the other end. Followers of the Green Faith can be any Neutral, including LN and NG. I'm wondering how "paladin-like" a NG druid of the Green Faith could get away with being. Working to venerate and protect nature, destroy those who despoil it, maintain the balance of it, etc. seems pretty straightforward, but how much leeway does such a person get before their alignment is essentially LG and nature ceases to empower them? I suppose the root of the question is that I have a hard time understanding how to separate the various Good alignments from one another in terms of behavior, especially if such a character believes in things like maintaining or restoring the balance and cycles of the world where they've been damaged (like in the Worldwound for example).

What separates a NG person from a LG person?

Lawful neutral is not paladin-like at all.

What separates neutral good from lawful good is that the neutral good person is willing to give up more to do good. They aren't going to be shackled by tradition or laws. Neutral good is, in a lot of ways, the most "pure" form of good.

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Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Since the Hellknight prestige class is a prestige class... no. You don't have to have levels in the class to be in a Hellknight order. Most folks who don't are known as armigers, but there are some non-Hellknights in the group as well. You can likely earn the right to wear the armor in some rare situations (and of course anyone who wants to wear it can anyway, which isn't as big a problem in regions the Hellknights don't patrol)... but you have to have levels in the class to gain those special Hellknight armor perks of course.

Okay, yeah cause I have a character I really want to be a hellknight "profession" wise, but the class itself doesn't interest me nearly as much as (Un)Holy Vindicator... bleeding stigmata in the name of the Godclaw... She's a LE antipaladin (Fire Mountain's Way of the Wicked archetype)

On a side note based on that, I know you have disavowed the Paladins of Asmodeus (and I agree) but what is your current stance on Paladins being Hellknights of the Order of the Godclaw? One of the current leaders is like a level 5 paladin or something. Is she in imminent danger of falling from grace?

James Jacobs wrote:
The average gillman knows nothing about them. Other than PERHAPS some "boogeyman" stories.

Okay, that does make some sense, but then what about the language they speak? They automatically get Aboleth and Common then can learn Aklo and a few others as bonus languages. Do they just know their language is called Aboleth? Or, better question, if I was playing a gillman with a +8 Dungeoneering in your game*, what info would I know about the aboleth?

(I tried for fun "rolling" and got a 19 total, but then I decided to consolidate the two posts I had made, and ended up with a 10 lol so I just deleted the roll.)

*Italicized to make it very clear to everyone that might try to use whatever you say in a "omg James Jacobs said it, it's law" claim, I am merely asking for your opinion as the GM who created much of the...

Paladins in the order of the Godclaw seem weird, but possible. Still, weird.

Oh... hmm. Nevermind. If they automatically start with Aboleth, then I think perhaps that they DO know about them a bit more, but still think of them as boogyemen. (Honestly, I've not yet really done a LOT of thinking about gillmen.)

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Haladir wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
Have you ever been to New England?

Nope.

Furthest east I've been is somewhere in Atlanta, at the airport, which was a long complicated flight to Gen Con. The furthest east I've been OUTSIDE of an airport is Indianapolis, for Gen Con. Not counting trips to Gen Con... I've never left the Washington/California (and thus Oregon) side of things.

Wow! Knowing that you're such a Lovecraft fan, I find that surprising!

Any place in New England you'd like to visit some day?

Providence, Rhode Island.

The Smithsonian.
Point Pleasant, VA.
New York.

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LazarX wrote:

If you're savvy enough to take down a runelord, you're going to do your dammedest to make sure he or she stays out of the picture. Soul Bind in particular, is a great way to make sure someone would have to go to extreme lengths to bring that person back.

I think it can be safely said that there were a lot more than seven, and many of those who only held the title briefly were not necessarily very competent mages. Some may have been been puppets and not wizards at all, or not much of one. Their title as merely titular as many Emperors were in our real history

Sure... but for story purposes... being "savvy enough" to take down a runelord is a role I'm restricting to two types of characters:

PCs, and NPCs who end up replacing the runelord they took out.

That's a VERY small number. There's plenty of other would-be assassins who aren't savvy enough, because that's good story to have a runelord that keeps coming back despite the fact that he's been killed multiple times.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Which AP villain would you say would be the best disposed to do an evil laugh about their plans and stuff? I know usually the protagonists aren't present in the exposition scenes those laughs normally accompany so the odds of the villain doing so in front of the PCs is slim, but I'm curious all the same.
Karzoug. He kinda does this already a few times during the AP; once at the end of part 4 and again at the end of part 5.

What's his evil laugh like? Subtle chuckling? Loud and bombastic "MOO-HA-HAing?" Insane cackling of the variety that Mark Hammill built his post-Star-Wars career on? I'm curious and if I ever run this AP myself I wanna do it justice.

I suppose the Runelords ARE Golarion's supervillains.

Vincent Price of course.

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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Apologies if this has been answered: Oracles can wear armor - so why doesn't the Iconic Oracle?
I seem to recall that armour wasn't mentioned in the art description for the Oracle.

We intentionally chose not to request armor for the oracle, because while they CAN wear armor, many oracle mysteries grant a pretty good armor bonus perk that wouldn't stack with armor. Furhtermore, since we wanted our oracle to come from the desert... full-on armor felt weird to put on her.

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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

James, thanks for the excellent list. Your inclusion of Alien, the Thing, and especially 2001 (with caveat) was all I needed to convince my girlfriend to watch everything on it we haven't seen yet.

You may have missed this question because you compiled that excellent list, but:

If you were to try and capture the horror in Absentia as a Pathfinder module, what kind of beastie would you use? Where would you set it?

Of course, perhaps you declined to answer because it's such a cool idea that you might actually want to publish it some day, in which case feel free to ignore me.

Hmmmmm. Phase spider, probably. Maybe a xill. I would set it in Ustalav, in one of the cities.

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Zelda Marie Lupescu wrote:
How much does the average Gillman know about the aboleth? Assuming I was a slimehunter variant (reminder: they trade the usual magic +2 magic resistance/ -2 penalty vs. aboleth magic penalty for just a straight +2 vs. aboleth magic) and an Eldritch Raider rogue archetype with ranks in Dungeoneering and the Scholar feat tied to dungeoneering... a GM I threw a concept to still thinks I shouldn't be able to say I 'hate aboleth' because I don't know what they are. My main reason for asking this is to get some input from the creative director might help since most of what he knows about the gillmen is just what's on the IP-stripped d20pfsrd. Part of the reason he's so critical is he's had issues in the past with players who equate I am an elf with I am an expert on elves and elven history, what's this silly knowledge skill crap? and while I'm not looking to be an expert on aboleth, it seems to me a gillman should know the basics about their ancestral enemy, especially one that is from a family that has broken the chains in active defiance (that's how I see the slimehunter variant)

The average gillman knows nothing about them. Other than PERHAPS some "boogeyman" stories.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Which AP villain would you say would be the best disposed to do an evil laugh about their plans and stuff? I know usually the protagonists aren't present in the exposition scenes those laughs normally accompany so the odds of the villain doing so in front of the PCs is slim, but I'm curious all the same.

Karzoug. He kinda does this already a few times during the AP; once at the end of part 4 and again at the end of part 5.

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Oncoming_Storm wrote:

Hey James, I'm hoping you could help me with some rules questions I have about the Monk of The Empty Hand.

Let's say my character has a +1 quarterstaff, and Weapon Focus: Quarterstaff. Since I am now treating the +1 Quarterstaff as a improvised weapon that acts as itself.. do those bonuses still apply to attack and damage rolls?

Nope. You have weapon focus with the quarterstaff, not with an improvised weapon.

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Darius Darrenbar wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Darius Darrenbar wrote:

For the most part they see it as they were drugged and press ganged against their will in an area where that sort of behavior (and worse) is apparently acceptable, so by that logic any country invading to try and end piracy in the Shackles and bring some sense of order and stability can’t be all that bad. Doesn’t help we started watching Black Sails on Showtime not too long ago so you might have an general idea how they’re handling going about the situation.

So if Cheliax were to succeed what is their overall plan for the Shackles exactly? I don’t think it was really ever established just what they intended for the territory in question outside of it being a stepping stone to reclaiming Sargava and ending piracy in the area. What would be the likely outcome? For that matter what could be in store for Druvalia outside of increasing her rank and standing within House Thrune? Given the pact she and her uncle made how likely is it that Geryon would gain any religious influence within the newly conquered Shackles?
Also what rewards (or punishment) could the PC’s expect for their service to the crown if any?

Look to what they did to Sargava for their goals and plans for the Shackles. Or to Isger, for that matter.

Not gonna go into too much what-if detail here, though, since that turns into design work and I've gotta save all that energy for the 2016 Adventure Path I'm supposed to finish outlining by tomorrow...

My curiosity is peaked, outlining for Hell's Rebels or another AP if you don't mind me asking?

Hell's Rebel's outline has been done for nearly a year now. It's actually done being written, and next week I start developing part 3. Hell's Rebels is the August 2015 AP.

I'm outlining one that comes out next year. We will announce what it is at Gen Con this year.

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DragoDorn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
DragoDorn wrote:
What are the odds of us ever getting an evil player character centered adventure path from Paizo? I would buy it even if it's just the We Be Goblins modules expanded in to a full sized adventure path.
The odds increase with each passing day, I'd say. It's certainly not an impossibility. I know that I would LOVE to do an evil adventure path.
Where on Golarion would be your first choice for the setting for said adventure path?

MY first choice? Probably Five Kings Mountains, where you'd play drow attacking the silly filthy dwarves. But there's plenty of other awesome locations; in fact, ANY region would suggest some neat evil AP ideas. And since there's already a drow vs. dwarf AP in the works from Fire Mountain Games... I wouldn't do that AP anyway.

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The Thing from Beyond the Edge wrote:

Question regarding Arcadia

Are there populations of the typical humanoid races there?
Elves
Orcs
Dwarves
Goblins
etc.

Or is it undefined with the possibility of them being there or is the continent mostly undefined with such populations basically decided to not be present?

Or, whatever/something else...

TIA

Not quite ready to say much more here yet. Humans are definitely the predominant race, and at least one familiar race is relatively common there as well, but it's a different land. Just as Tian Xia has some different common races, so do all the other continents.

We'll have more to say at some point. But not now.

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Joana wrote:

Would you allow a PC casting speak with animals to speak with a familiar? Technically, a familiar loses the animal subtype and becomes a magical beast, but the spell doesn't actually specify animal subtype.

Speak with Animals wrote:
You can ask questions of and receive answers from animals, but the spell doesn't make them any more friendly than normal. Wary and cunning animals are likely to be terse and evasive, while the more stupid ones make inane comments. If an animal is friendly toward you, it may do some favor or service for you.

I absolutely would allow this.

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Generic Villain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


From Beyond

That was my first exposure to Lovecraft! I was a kid and even though I didn't get it entirely, I knew I needed more. Started a lifetime obsession after I saw "based on a story by..." in the credits.

Anyway, question:

There's a decent-sized mountain range in western Garund called the Napsune Mountains. As far as I can tell they haven't been fleshed out at all. What are they likely? Particularly the section that makes up the eastern border of the Sodden Lands - and even more specifically, the region where Lirgeni astronomers once constructed their observatories.

Specifically, what kind of elevation do they reach (roughly)? Are they snow-capped like Africa's Atlas Mountains, or more of a warm, forested sort? There's an illustration of a Lirgeni observatory (the Dim Gate) in Lost Kingdoms that suggests the latter, but maybe that was built on a lower slope...

Thanks as always.

From Beyond is a fun movie. Especially since Lovecraft's story is essentially finished in the pre-credits sequence, which makes the rest of the movie into a sort of sequel to Lovecraft's original. Good times!

We haven't done much at all yet with the Napsume Mountains. They're not SUPER enormous. I hesitate to give them an average elevation, but they're not snow-capped, and are likely pretty barren. Think of the lower elevation mountains in Afghanistan or that region I suppose. Not a lot of jungle stuff, but the parts that DO have jungles are moslty along the Winding Way river side.

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William Ronald wrote:

One factor that would limit the ability to kill Runelords (and keep the list to a manageable level) is that magic can do things that a Roman emperor would have sold his soul to do. Divinations and magic generally will help put down plots.

I am thinking somewhere between twenty and thirty-six runelords could work. Those are manageable numbers for a project.

Perhaps one factor also to consider is that sometimes a Runelord might consider it in his interest to stop a rival to another runelord. (Sometimes the devil might be the one you want to deal with as you are focusing on someone else. Note that this is not to be mistaken for altruism, merely self interest.)

Also keep in mind things like resurrection, clones, wishes, and all sorts of other magic that can help bring a runelord back to life if he/she DOES get killed.

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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Romaq wrote:
My favorite Iconic is Seoni, and my favorite character is Darsadi Callinova, loosely based on Seoni. What resources did you draw upon for Seoni's look?
Glad you like Seoni. :) I drew on slightly East Asian / Mongolian influences for her dress. Then created tattoos that looked maybe ancient Egyptian or Mesopotatamium in appearance but were obviously arcane.

Huh. Would it be fair to interpret Seoni's outfit as a Thassilonian dress?

(Thassilonian outfits and architecture often have an East Asian look, which Mr. Jacobs has advised is completely intentional.)

Also, thank you for starting this thread. Your work is fantastic.

Thanks very much.

Seoni was designed a long time ago. At the very early creation of the Pathfinder setting. I didn't know anything about the Thassilonian Empire at the time I illustrated her. So maybe the look of the Thassilionian Empire was decided after Seoni was designed?
I can see what you mean as there does seem to be a similarity but I guess you'd have to ask one of the designers for a definitive answer?

Seoni's attire is, in my mind, more typical of a Varisian outfit than Thassilonian. That said, Varisian history is intermingled with Thassilon, so I'm also sure there's echoes of that in her outfit as well.

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LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
"Words of the Ancients," a recent Pathfinder Society scenario. And I haven't read it through, myself, but the GM assured me that he was reading accurately.
Ah; that'd be an error then. I don't do editorial/development passes on the scenarios and so wouldn't have caught that.
If it's a reading of a legend, I would like to point out that there's a distinction between legend and history. And if you figure a changeover, due to retirement, coup, or outright assasination, on the average of once say every 5-10 years, multiplied by 5, over the history of the empire, that's a LOT of runelords.

Of course when you're talking about legends there's always the possibility of a disconnect between legend and history...

But that's not the way we present material to the GM of a game. As a general rule, when we try to give out information along those lines, we DO try to make sure it's accurate. It's fine to present information in a way to trick or obfuscate the truth as far as the player characters know... but tricking the GM, even accidentally? Not cool.

Especially when you consider that once something is in print, future authors might run with something that is wrong and accidentally treat it as right.

But given how long Thassilon existed, the constant scheming of power, it's history of upsets and betrayals, and the fact that only two runelords held their position from start to finish, couldn't the hundreds figure have been accurate? Even Rome went through a period where a lot of Emperors had very short reigns.

Hundreds COULD be accurate, but some day I do want to list them all, and that means that hundreds would be too complicated.

We'll see!

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LazarX wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Kajehase wrote:

More Lem, and not jokes about him having hat-envy this time. ;-)

What do you see his flute being made of? Depending on who draws him, it looks either like bone or like wood to me.

Lem's flute is actually made out of Silver.
Does he actually bash foes with it?

Yes. It's particularly handy against creatures with damage reduction penetrated by silver.

Creative Director

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Christopholes wrote:
Preferred magical footwear?

Boots of speed. ZOOOOOOOM!


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John Kretzer wrote:
Hey Congrats on your promotion to Creative Director(referring to what appears after your name)...mmm...what did you do to James Jacobs?

Thanks!

He still has is job. I'm creative director of Kyra.

You'd better not tell her I said that though.

I probably shouldn't have written that down.

I definitely shouldn't have hit submit post.

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Buri Reborn wrote:
The NPC wrote:

If this will be how they wanted the Summoner to be, why didn't they do it that way in the first place?

Also, what category of outsider does the Balthazar's super chicken fall into?

It's one particular Paizo employee's vision of what they wanted it to be.

Balazar isn't changing.

And is the Paizo employee is specifically the one Paizo pays for his opinions to shape and grow the game in the first place. THAT SAID... I'm not the one who actually decided to make Balazar's eidolon into a snake chicken. That was Wayne Reynolds. The original art for Balazar had his eidolon looking like a bear. We had Wayne redraw the bear into a monster, and gave him pretty much complete creative freedom to make the monster look like anything he wanted pretty much.

Balazar isn't changing, and his eidolon remains his eidolon and isn't changing appearance regardless of if he's statted up using the APG rules or the Unchained rules. The solution we came up with is really pretty pleasing and deligthful to myself AND to the design team.

I'll have more to say about that later, once the book is out.

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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

Have you seen the film Absentia?

How about The Mist?

Thoughts?

I've seen both of them. And both of them were my favorite movies that released that year.

Absentia, in fact, is one I watched via a rental on Amazon, and as soon as I finished watching it, I immediately bought a copy. Every single person who I've recommended watch it has loved it. No other movie I've seen has managed to pull that stunt off.

Oh, excellent.

So, the commonality between those movies, I think, is that they're both instances of "cosmic horror" done right.

Are there any other movies you'd put in that list?

If you were to try and capture the horror in Absentia as a Pathfinder module, what kind of beastie would you use? Where would you set it?

I would say that they bot do a great job at portraying cosmic horror, yes. "The Mist" is a MUCH bigger movie, of course. But both are very "Lovecraftian" in the cosmic horror sense.

I would add the following, off the top of my head, to the cosmic horror category. Not all are great, but all of these have element

Alien
John Carpenter's The Thing
John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness
John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness
From Beyond
The Cabin in the Woods
The Call of Cthulhu
Die Farbe
Europa Report
The Last Winter
Picnic at Hanging Rock
The Whisperer in Darkness
Yellowbrickroad
Marebito
Pontypool
Uzumaki
The Quartermass Experiment
Quartermass 2
Quartermass and the Pit
Lifeforce
Horror Express
Knowing
The Last Wave
Last Days on Mars
Monsters
The Gate
Pulse (the original Japanese version, NOT the American remake!)
Forbidden Planet
Toad Road
Lord of Tears
Banshee Chapter
2001*

*This one's not horror, no, but not everything Lovecraft wrote was horror. There are absolutely elements in 2001 that mesh well with Lovecraft's view that the universe is a vast place and that humanity's just a tiny part of it, and not, overall, a very important part of it. 2001's brilliance is that it presents these views in a way that doesn't particularly feel depressing, though.

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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:

And does The Mist depict Leng?

Or is that pretty close to "the Leng experience" anyway?

I don't think so. Leng is scary, but in a different way. Leng is more relatable to humanity, since it springs in some way from our own dreaming minds. The other dimension in the Mist is NOT relatable to humanity.

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The Fox wrote:
James, how would you feel about Gen Con moving to Seattle? Is it feasible? Do you think it would be a good move for Gen Con?

I would LOVE It if Gen Con moved to Seattle... or anywhere on the West Coast, since the West Coast is my favorite part of the world and it's the part of the world I'm the most comfortable with for more or less every reason, and if I'm going to Gen Con, I'm guaranteed to be at a constant level of discomfort due to my mild but real phobia of crowds.

Seattle hosts larger conventions, like PAX, so yes, it's feasible.

Whether or not it would be a good move, I can't say. One reason that they've kept it in the "middle" of the states more or less is to try to standardize as best as possible the travel times from anywhere in the US. Moving to Seattle would make travel from the east coast a lot tougher and more expensive and that might well cause Gen Con to take a significant hit in their attendance numbers. Whether or not that'd be a bigger hit than the money they'd save by being local to the convention, I can't say.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Would you say the average paladin would be regarded by the average commoner as someone they can trust or offer hospitality to? I know in nations with institutionalized evil like Cheliax, Nidal, Irrisen or Geb they'd obviously have to keep a low profile to avoid being lynched or sacrificed in a blood ritual or made into a corpse puppet for a lich-lord's amusement, but in average places like Taldor, Varisia or even greyer areas like Ustalav generally regard a paladin's word as trustworthy and free of ulterior motive? Or does the average person regard paladins as troublemakers whose pursuit of evil kicks hornets' nests better left undisturbed?

This is something I wonder about in Ustalav in particular, as the general attitude of its populace seems to be "don't trust ANYONE or ANYTHING," and so I wonder if they'd give Paladins the cold shoulder anyway despite the reputation for honesty and stuff that saying you're a paladin implies.

Yes. Whether or not the average commoner trusts that someone DRESSED like a paladin actually IS a paladin really depends on where the commoner lives. An Ustalavic commoner knows that there are liars and shapechangers out there, probably just down the street, and so he'd be much less prone to trusting a stranger who claims to be a paladin than, say, a commoner from Andoran.

In most all cases, the average commoner sees a confirmed paladin as a hero and a savior though. It's those other shiftless adventurers who might be kicking hornet's nests better left alone.

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Spook205 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Spook205 wrote:

4.) If Good's only recourse is to storm The Abyss/Hell to presumably liberate these souls stolen from their reward, and Hell/The Abyss remain fully capable of storming Heaven right back, doesn't this denigrate the gods to just nation-states writ large contending over a living natural resource?

5.) Similarly, why don't the qippolth just attack say the positive to stave off soul development and starve their opponents out? Do they fear eradication in response, even though they're naturally spawned from the (presumably) infinite Abyss.

4) It's sort of an arms-race and a cold war, with both sides choosing their battles.

5) Because the qlippoth lack the numbers to pull that off; they know that if they tried something like this, pretty much all of the Great Beyond would rally against them.

Some follow ups.

1.) In your response to four above you mention its an arms race and cold war. I assume from this you agree with my nation-states assessment (please disabuse me of this notion if I'm incorrect). Thusly, what rationale does a person have in Golarian for backing either side?

2.It seems like the cosmos is forcing people towards Neutrality in the hopes of becoming immortal, indestructible Aeons. Is this correct?
2a.)Wouldn't this then make Neutrality the actual Good since this seems to be either the utilitarian option or even the ontological 'best' alternative given that Good (and being good) apparently doesn't assure your soul immortality or even safety?

3.) Assuming the qlippoth are spawned directly from the very Abyss itself it seems to follow that this would grant them, by default, limitless numbers and ceaseless opportunities for replenishment. What, honestly, would an infinite species, spawned infinitely by the presumably non-sentient action of an infinite plane, have to fear even from a coalition of other outsiders (all of whom are apparently created from mortal souls and thus, finite)?

4.) Are the gods of the golarian setting omniscient? If they are not, is it then possible (albeit spectacularly mythically difficult) to feed Pharasma with misinformation and get yourself intentionally miscategorized?

1) A person in Golarion's rationale for choosing a side is to try to make the world a better place according to their beliefs, and to try to earn a place in the afterlife that aligns to those beliefs.

2) No. Aeons aren't indestructible. If they were, they wouldn't have stats. Furthermore, the emotionless outlook on reality an aeon follows is pretty alien to most mortal life, and wouldn't be an existence to which many mortals would want to aim for. I sure wouldn't.

2a) No, because pure neutrality like what you speak of has no interest in self-beterment or kindness or love or friendship or any of the other good things in life.

3) The idea of infinity is hard for folks to grasp, especially since two different infinite numbers don't have to be equal in number. For example, if you count to infinity by counting 1-2-3-4-5... you'll get to infinity after an infinite amount of time passes. But if you count by counting 10-20-30-40-50, you'll get to where the previous counter has MUCH faster. Both of you are counting to infinity, but one of you has more single digit numbers counted. NOW: That said... in Pathfinder, the Great Beyond is NOT infinite. It's just unimaginably vast and large. There are in fact finite amounts of qlippoth and ALL the outsider races, but those numbers are so immense that for our purposes, they're effectively infinite. But the qlippoth are less fecund than demons, who manifest new ones a LOT faster since all of mortal's existence is so efficient at sinning and dying.

4) They are not, but Pharasma is the closest they get. It's POSSIBLE to trick her, and other creatures have tricked her before (Urgathoa, for example, tricked her and thus became one of the first undead according to some myths).

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Nicos wrote:

Returning to this, What about Asuras? they want to destroy everything in the creation.

And now that we are talking about asuras, how important are them in golarion?

Asuras wouldn't ally with Rovagug either. As I said... with the exception of the qlippoth (since Rovagug IS a qlippoth), outsider races are unlikely to want to try to release him.

Asuras are more important in Vudra and Casmaron than they are in the Inner Sea region. But there, I suspect they're as important as devils and demons are in Avistan/Northern Garund.

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Alan_Beven wrote:
Hi James, I do not recall seeing much mention of spellblight areas (UM) in any Campaign setting books. Are there any such areas in the inner sea region?

No. Spellblights are something the design team came up with that didn't really have a built-in analog in Golarion. I could see spellblights showing up anywhere magic is messed up, like the Mana Wastes or the Eye of Abendego or the Worldwound or Nex or parts of Varisia where Thassilon's influence remains or some of the vaults in Orv or Azlant or Irrisen... but not to an extent that you'd see a whole region on the map.

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
4) Speaking of tv show competitions, why are they and reality tv still going strong? D: When will people stop watching that stuff?..
4) Turns out, the world's big enough for all sorts of different tastes and interests. My advice? Focus on the TV shows you like and ignore the ones you don't. That's how I deal with things like Duck Dynasty or Dr. Who.

Are you saying you focus on Duck Dynasty and ignore Dr. Who? I know before you said you don't watch Dr. Who, but you have never revealed your love of Duck Dynasty before!

What does your cat do that freaks you out the most?

no.

I'm saying that Duck Dynasty and Dr. Who are super popular TV shows that I have no interest in but don't mind that others DO have interest in.

If I sleep with a foot or arm or whatever exposed to the air, at about 6:00 AM when she gets hungry, Shimmy will hop on the bed and meow and meow. If I ignore her... I'll feel a single claw lightly scratch at the exposed limb. That usually gets me out of bed fast, 'cause it's always unexpected to feel a talon caress you.

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Generic GM wrote:

Hello Mr. Jacobs!

How are you today?

I was reading past posts on this thread and noticed that you said Queen Ileosa was an evil NPC from your home game. I was curious to know what she did in your home game. Also, which Ileosa was worse? Pathfinder's version or your homebrewed version?

Hope you have a good rest of the week!

Doing okay today.

What Ileosa did in my home game was pretty much the same as what she did in Crimson Throne... but on a national level, not a city level. Imagine, basically, if instead of taking over Korvosa she took over Taldor and started warring with every nation that surrounded her and was WINNING those wars. The PCs in that campaign started out with a campaign similar to Serpent's Skull, where they were fighting against the cult of Ydersius, but as they finished that plot it blended into a "Against Senulda" war (the nation Ileosa ruled from her capital city of Korvosa), that ended up being a "Invade the Deadlands to fight against the Shoal before they kill more gods!"

The first two plots have been translated into Pathfinder APs already—Curse of the Crimson Throne and Serpent's Skull. I've not yet translated the third into one yet, because I don't think management will let me kill off Irori with a transplanar supernatural immense faith parasite monster that siphons belief and digests it into anti-belief and then shoots it across the planes to kill a god.

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Darius Darrenbar wrote:

For the most part they see it as they were drugged and press ganged against their will in an area where that sort of behavior (and worse) is apparently acceptable, so by that logic any country invading to try and end piracy in the Shackles and bring some sense of order and stability can’t be all that bad. Doesn’t help we started watching Black Sails on Showtime not too long ago so you might have an general idea how they’re handling going about the situation.

So if Cheliax were to succeed what is their overall plan for the Shackles exactly? I don’t think it was really ever established just what they intended for the territory in question outside of it being a stepping stone to reclaiming Sargava and ending piracy in the area. What would be the likely outcome? For that matter what could be in store for Druvalia outside of increasing her rank and standing within House Thrune? Given the pact she and her uncle made how likely is it that Geryon would gain any religious influence within the newly conquered Shackles?
Also what rewards (or punishment) could the PC’s expect for their service to the crown if any?

Look to what they did to Sargava for their goals and plans for the Shackles. Or to Isger, for that matter.

Not gonna go into too much what-if detail here, though, since that turns into design work and I've gotta save all that energy for the 2016 Adventure Path I'm supposed to finish outlining by tomorrow...

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John Kretzer wrote:
You have been to Castrovel....did you meet any Lashunta? If so what did you think of them?

I did. They were weird. I like their antennae.

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The NPC wrote:

Merisiel Sillvari,

Have you been to any other worlds besides Golarion and its alternate versions? For example Toril, Athas, or Oerth?

Yes, but not those. I've been to Castrovel though.

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LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
"Words of the Ancients," a recent Pathfinder Society scenario. And I haven't read it through, myself, but the GM assured me that he was reading accurately.
Ah; that'd be an error then. I don't do editorial/development passes on the scenarios and so wouldn't have caught that.
If it's a reading of a legend, I would like to point out that there's a distinction between legend and history. And if you figure a changeover, due to retirement, coup, or outright assasination, on the average of once say every 5-10 years, multiplied by 5, over the history of the empire, that's a LOT of runelords.

Of course when you're talking about legends there's always the possibility of a disconnect between legend and history...

But that's not the way we present material to the GM of a game. As a general rule, when we try to give out information along those lines, we DO try to make sure it's accurate. It's fine to present information in a way to trick or obfuscate the truth as far as the player characters know... but tricking the GM, even accidentally? Not cool.

Especially when you consider that once something is in print, future authors might run with something that is wrong and accidentally treat it as right.

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CorvusMask wrote:
golem101 wrote:

Also the elves are a bunch of xenophobic jerks, they should be portraied as such, and having to cooperate with them is a major social conflict theme of the AP.

Please do not change, Golarion has gone vanilla enough.

Umm, dude, James Jacob has said elves in that AP are out of character since they aren't supposed to be xenophobic snobs in Golarion. Also, what do you mean "has gone vanilla enough"? Elves being xenophobic jerks IS the vanilla nowadays so changing it makes them not standard <_<

True.

The part about it being an error that the elves got portrayed in the wrong way (in part due to a lack of my time and inexperience as a developer, and in part due to the author drawing too much on classic D&D/Tolkein elf lore).

The part where my last name is missing its "s" is not true though.

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Spook205 wrote:

1.) Does Pharsma's mandate for adjudicating the dead extend only to golarian? Are there species or people outside of her mandate? For example, does she get involved when Osiris is weighing hearts?

2.) You mentioned that the forces of evil can send other people's souls to other destinations, this seems a contribution to the theory that Core Pathfinder is a bit on the cosmic horror side of things. How does Asmodeus justify such actions? Lawful being that he is, the innocent are not his lawful prey.

3.) A corollary to 2. If evil cultists, devil worshipers etc, have this capacity, doesn't it intrinsically balance things towards the forces of evil?

4.) If Good's only recourse is to storm The Abyss/Hell to presumably liberate these souls stolen from their reward, and Hell/The Abyss remain fully capable of storming Heaven right back, doesn't this denigrate the gods to just nation-states writ large contending over a living natural resource?

5.) Similarly, why don't the qippolth just attack say the positive to stave off soul development and starve their opponents out? Do they fear eradication in response, even though they're naturally spawned from the (presumably) infinite Abyss.

1) Nope. She judges all the dead in the Great Beyond. Osiris more or less works for her.

2) Lawful does not mean "I won't attempt to capture and torment my enemies." In fact, that's where the evil side of things kicks in. Lawful does not mean "blind adherence to all law everywhere." Otherwise Paladins would not be able to exist.

3) It does, which is why it's important for good guys to not slack.

4) It's sort of an arms-race and a cold war, with both sides choosing their battles.

5) Because the qlippoth lack the numbers to pull that off; they know that if they tried something like this, pretty much all of the Great Beyond would rally against them.

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