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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 42,639 posts (44,542 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Secane wrote:

If a player or players in a campaign you are GMing is having jealousy issues with the class/es another player/s is playing, how would you try to resolve it?

Example, the rogue and wizard players calling out that the summoner/warpriest/arcanist/barb, etc character another player is playing is too "over-powered".

Would you try to get them to understand each other?

Draw up situations in the campaign that highlighting each class benefits to the party?

Facepalm yourself and remembered that you should have restrict certain classes in the first place? :P

That's a hard thing to solve. It'd depend on the situation. I've been in games before where this has happened, in large part because the underpowered player is just not into optimizing and wants to roleplay, and the optimizer super numbercrunches a badass character. I tried to skew the game to feature more roleplay to appeal to the first player, and did, but even then he remained frustrated that when combat did happen, the optimized character dominated. I talked to the optimizer and even had him change characters in one game... but in the end, the player who wasn't into the rules left the campaign and, indeed, left Pathfinder.

Which is really too bad. Sometimes, optimizers can be bad for the game in that way.

Optimizers have caused me to remove from play a fair amount of options in this way over the years.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic Villain wrote:

Hey James, I have some questions about Lirgen:

-Prior to the whole drowning-in-a-hurricane thing, what were the dominant languages spoken there? If adventurers were to plunder the depths of a Lirgen observatory, what would the journal of a Saoc Brethren be written in? I know Saoc himself came from Rahadoum, but I don't know how much of that culture he brought with him.

-What was the nation of Lirgen's alignment?

-Lastly, it is noted in a few sources that aberrations are dangerously common in the modern Sodden Lands. What kind of aberrations are we talking? I know skum inhabit some of the drowned cities, but that was all I could find.

Thanks!

Polyglot and Osiriani and Common for the most part.

Not sure, but I'd guess probably lawful neutral.

All sorts, from skum on up to aboleths on up to froghemoths back down to chuuls and cloakers and more.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Neongelion wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
equinoxmaster wrote:
Hi, me again. I am a big carrion crown fan (even though I never played it yet, only bought the AP), do you think you might make another AP in Ustalav or make a AP that is full lovecraft (not just a bit of lovecraft like Carrion crown)???????????(

Yes.

I've wanted to a big full-on Lovecraft AP ever since the first one.

And one day it will happen.

Ustalav is a natural location to set some, if not all, of such an AP. I suspect if I do a Lovecraft AP it'll not stay in Ustalav—Lovecraft's stories had lots of travel to exotic locations in them after all.

What are the chances that this theoretical AP would travel to R'lyeh?

Also: how exactly are changelings different from humans? Say they didn't have mismatched eye color; what exactly about them could people tell they are not entirely human?

Those chances are very small. I have other mythos cities I'm more eager to explore than R'lyeh.

You could look at her hands and note that her nails were strong and sharp enough to rip a hole in your belly, for one...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lou Diamond wrote:

James could you comment on this homebrew team work feat.

New Feat
Side by Side
Category Team Work
You and your partner or animal companion have mastered the art of Side by Side fighting.
Benefit: when you and your partner who also as this feat [this would also include your animal companion] are Side by side facing an opponent. The Opponent gains the Flanked condition.
You gain +2 to hit vs. your opponent +4 if you have the Out flank feat. Whenever you or your companion score a critical hit against the flanked target the other gains an opportunity attack vs. the flanked target.

Prerequsites: +4 BAB, Out Flank

I could... but I won't. I prefer not to provide feedback to design work, both for time-management reasons and legal reasons. Might I suggest posting the feat to one of the rules forums for feedback?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

MMCJawa wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

I like them both, frankly. They're both really compelling and interesting ways to explore the unknown. And for what it's worth...
** spoiler omitted **

Thing with "At the Mountains of Madness" is that it is very much NOT a subtle story. It's DEEPLY rooted in the physical. It's my...

So a question regarding True Detective:

Spoiler:
Do you have an opinion on the theory that Detective Hart's wife and family were in the Hastur Cult? That his daughter was sexually abused as part of the rituals, and that his wife slept with his partner basically to just break up the "team", preventing the investigation to go further? Hart of course never caught on because he never really payed much attention to his family.

Well... first off...

Spoiler:
The word "Hastur" never comes up in True Detective, so calling it all a "Hastur Cult" is not quite accurate. It's more of a "Carcosa" cult. Which, if you approach it from a Call of Cthulhu RPG standpoint, is sort of the same thing... but if you go with the original texts, is not exactly. It's kinda murky. Myself, I prefer to think of Carcosa and Hastur and the King in Yellow as being all inexorably twined, and I love the fact that even though the writer of True Detective didn't actually use the word "Hastur," neither did they put anything into the show that would rule Hastur's involvement out... and in fact, left in plenty to suggest Hastur WAS involved... which is pretty brilliant, seeing as how what exactly Hastur is varies from story to story—he/she/it really is one of the least defined parts of the extended Lovecraft mythos, considering how popular he/she/it is.

ANYway.

I don't think that his daughter and wife were in on the cult at all. If anything, the influence of Carcosa as Hart and Rust got more and more involved in it started to seep into their lives and influence those they loved... more like you'd see a disease work than an actual cult.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

MMCJawa wrote:
Hah! Have you been over to Schooner Gulch to look around? Some of the seal fossils I have studied are from there. I think some good marine mammal fossil have come from Point Arena and environs.

Cool!

Schooner Gulch road connects the coast to the ridge road up on the mountain where I grew up, actually; the road connects up to the main ridge road about a mile from where my parents house is. I've been down and up the road a lot in my time, and have visited the beach at the bottom plenty (and got to see a friend of my friend's brother start a stupid big driftwood fire on the beach during a party one night that resulted in the fire department talking to us all...). Never went looking for fossils there, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Coridan wrote:
Burnt othur fumes are an awesome poison. What's othur though? Is it a plant, a creature? Googling has helped me naught and the books don't actually describe any of the poisons fluff-wise.

They're poison, that's what! Don't breathe that!

One of the design philosophies of the original 3rd edition rules, and one I very much did not agree with and argued against during the alpha for 3rd edition (but obviously lost said argument) was the decision that "D&D is set in a fantasy setting and as such the diseases and poisons should be fantasy diseases and fantasy poisons." Which on one layer is fine, but when you're presenting sample diseases and poisons without any flavor text whatsoever as raw rules is really pretty dull.

But that's why in 3rd edition all the diseases have made up names like "slimy doom" and "filth fever" and aren't real-world diseases like "bubonic plague" or "leprosy." The same thing went with poisons.

So... just as there was never really any description of what the actual symptoms of diseases like filth fever or slimy doom were, we never got descriptions of what othur is and why when you burn it, it gets poison.

The fact that we didn't fix this problem when we were pulling the poisons and diseases into the Core Rulebook is unfortunate, but they were among the last parts of the book that went in and by that point we were running short on both time and space. The idea was that at some point we'd clarify them in a campaign setting book... but since these things have been a part of the game for over a decade now, they've kinda slipped again and again through the cracks.

For what it's worth, I've always thought of othur as a powder distilled from numerous different poisonous plants and ground together that remains inert until it is burnt.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Lissa ninja'd me on this, but yeah... I'm not only the creator of Shardra, I'm also a fan.
*Spams "favorite" button*

That's cool... but the Godzilla Crystal drew for me is still better. ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Thierry wrote:

Hello Mr. Jacobs,

I am Thierry du Château, reporter from Absalom's Newscroll. I was told to say that i am from a Parallel Golarion where all adventure paths happen in the same time when they are published in your world. Our pricey oracle says that your point of view of the events to come can shine some light in our immediate future, for our readers convenience. So here i come.

1. Do you think the lack of psionic rules affected Iron Gods over the story meant to be told ?

2. How do you feel about the end result with current ruleset and what you would want to add if you have to revisit the scifi theme ?

3. Being Numeria so close to the Worldwound makes you feel that players who played Wraith of the Righteous should improvise something over the status quo post WotR ?

4. Do you foresee status quo of the setting changes as much as WotR after Iron Gods ? (Like Numeria borders openning more, or Silver Mount exploding taking the Countryside with it)

5. Something for ours readers. Any plans for some Absalom action ?

Thanks for the interview. Hope for more scoops in the future.

1) No.

2) I think it worked out pretty well.

3) No. The themes of those two APs don't really mesh all that well.

4) No.

5) Not anytime soon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

equinoxmaster wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
equinoxmaster wrote:
Hi, me again. I am a big carrion crown fan (even though I never played it yet, only bought the AP), do you think you might make another AP in Ustalav or make a AP that is full lovecraft (not just a bit of lovecraft like Carrion crown)???????????(

Yes.

I've wanted to a big full-on Lovecraft AP ever since the first one.

And one day it will happen.

Ustalav is a natural location to set some, if not all, of such an AP. I suspect if I do a Lovecraft AP it'll not stay in Ustalav—Lovecraft's stories had lots of travel to exotic locations in them after all.

YAY!!!!!!

Will it include going to regular earth (as Rasputin must die did) and will it have palmar travel (to the dream lands/leng) and planetary travel (to yuggoth)
I hope it will

Doubtful. There's plenty of Lovecraft going on already on Golarion that I want to cover.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kanebaenre wrote:

Hi, James!

I'm dying to know the next AP after Giantslayer.

But my question today is another.

How are your campaigns? The last time I asked you were running the Serpent Skull AP, and one in Osirion. And you were playing Skull & shakles and Way of the wicked with a tiefling rogue.

How are your characters? And your players PCs?

Only about 2 weeks to wait for the next AP.

Serpent's Skull AP got cancelled. We were about half-way through book 4. I just ran out of time and energy to run a long Saturday game, alas.

I also cancelled one of the two Osirion games after Sean left and another player in the same group had to bail.

The other Osirion game is still going, although I've not been able to really run it in the last few months at all due to convention stuff taking away my time.

I'm also running a Temple of Elemental Evil game that's just about to reach the actual temple—that game's going strong too.

The Skull & Shackle game ended a few months ago with a TPK (Total Pirate Kill) on the harpoon of Whalebone Pilk. That game has since been replaced by a Mummy's Mask game, wherein I am playing an elven fighter.

Way of the Wicked is going strong too. Just hit 8th level and played last night, in fact. The character there is actually a tiefling bard, not a rogue.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Major_Blackhart wrote:
Gravity hammers away!!!

No gravity hammers, per se...

...but there are gravity clips, with which you can turn any hammer (or any weapon) into one. Sorta.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ross Byers wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

Shardra is now my favorite Iconic! Great job, Crystal!

Crystal Frasier wrote:
Fun side note: We determined that Kolo is a Deep Crag Tuatara, an offshoot of reptiles separate from snakes and lizards and looking distinctively more primordial. On the surface they're fairly rare, but in the darklands there are several species that have adapted and flourished. Deep Crag Tuataras are camouflaged to blend in with their rocky environments, making Kolo look like it's made of stone.
So... will we get stats for tuatara familiars soon-ish?
Bestairy 4. Also available here.
Huh. Darkvision.

Yup. 'Cause they kinda have darkvision in real life. With what is sort of a third eye. Just one of the many reasons tuataras are one of my favorite animals.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Torbyne wrote:
Maybe i have a power gaming problem... is there a way to be genderless (Maybe an Android character?) and split it as a -1 to pass as either gender? Could actually be a fun character to play though, just not getting the concept of multiple genders being in the same species.

You might have a problem, yes.

I would rule that a truly genderless character (note, androids are not genderless) would suffer a –2 penalty to disguise itself as male OR female. Your GM might rule differently, of course.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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A Foolish Moon wrote:

James,

How do you feel about individual bonus role-playing experience? XP bonuses for "good role-playing." In a lot of games my friends run (and previously my own) we gave these out. I stopped when we began inducting new players that hadn't roleplayed before.

We found the veterans tended to scoop up big RP bonuses, while the less-confident, newer players didn't get as many; often due to their reluctance to open-up and talk to NPCs. While the bonuses motivated them to contribute more, it also felt like it was generating this "elite circle" that always had more experience than the new guys. There was also a little animosity towards players that were ahead in levels.

On a related note; How do you feel about level gaps in reoccurring games (like in an Adventure Path)? What's the maximum gap you'd allow at your table (if any)?

PS - You talking about Ameiko being based on an old Planescape character of yours reminded me of my old Sensate bard who founded an inn in Sigil. I feel like I understand Ameiko better now :P

If I give out bonus XP to a person in a group for roleplaying, I give it out to the entire party. In the same way if a person one-shots a monster with a critical hit, I give those XP out to the entire party.

Characters who roleplay should be rewarded for getting to roleplay well. And the other players in the group should benefit in the same way that other players who number crunch badass combat machines get them XP for killing monsters fast.

That way, the non-roleplayers come to value the roleplayers in the group the same way the roleplayers value the optimized combat machines.

Individual XP awards are not really a great idea for any game that assumes teamwork.

I'm not a fan of level gaps because it makes it increasingly difficult to plan encounters. In my most recent game, I divide the XP by the total players in the group, regardless of how many showed up at the table, and then everyone gets the XP regardless of whether they showed up, and it's actually working out REALLY pretty well. That said, only giving XP out to those who come to the game is also a good way to reward and encourage attendance, which is also very important. I try to avoid having level gaps go more than 2.

And yeah, the original character was a sensate as well. Her full name was Lavinia Ameiko. Half of her got turned into Ameiko Kaijitsu, but the other half got turned into Lavinia Vanderboren back in Savage Tide.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rhatahema wrote:
Robert Jordan wrote:
Yeah it took me reading the comments to understand she was a trans character. It just seemed her parents were living in denial in having another daughter and just shunted her into "son" territory to try and not deal with the issue until she finally hit maturity and they couldn't avoid it anymore. I approve of the character, just did not get that it was a trans character until it was talked about in the comments.

I had the same read. The first paragraph is written so that you need to identify gender primarily as a psychological identification rather than a physical one in order for it to read as the author intended. My opinions about that are neither here nor there, but I imagine the ambiguity of it may have been intentional.

Rules question: How does she handle the -2 penalty on disguise checks to be "Disguised as different gender"? Can I powergame my character's gender identity to optimize disguise? (mostly joking here, though it might come up at some tables)

She's a woman, so she would only take the –2 penalty when she's disguising herself as a man.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lissa Guillet wrote:
Rubber Ducky guy wrote:


Please tell me you're writing something soon.
This iconic was really something else.
Trust me when I say she does not lack for writing assignments. ^_^

Heh. What Lissa said.

I'm happy to keep Crystal writing as long as she can. And I'm in a position to make that happen. So... yeah.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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equinoxmaster wrote:
Hi, me again. I am a big carrion crown fan (even though I never played it yet, only bought the AP), do you think you might make another AP in Ustalav or make a AP that is full lovecraft (not just a bit of lovecraft like Carrion crown)???????????(

Yes.

I've wanted to a big full-on Lovecraft AP ever since the first one.

And one day it will happen.

Ustalav is a natural location to set some, if not all, of such an AP. I suspect if I do a Lovecraft AP it'll not stay in Ustalav—Lovecraft's stories had lots of travel to exotic locations in them after all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Tels wrote:
James, as I sit outside in Alaska with a fire burning designing some encounters, I have to wonder: What is your favorite 'outdoorsy' activity? I mean, what does the King Lizard like you do when he decides to go outside and have an adventure?
I'd like to get back into fishing, but it's SO COMPLICATED with the rules and regulations and all that, so in the meantime, I guess I'll say hiking. Which is fishing without the fish, I suppose.

Washington has a bunch of rules and regulations on their fishing? That's sad.

Why don't you come up to Alaska to go fishing? My hometown has some of the best fishing in the world.

The sport fishing rules for Washington are in a 142 page booklet, so yeah... there's a bunch. But I suppose I'd rather live in a world where there's a 142 page book about fishing rules than a world where we've fished out our rivers.

Going up to Alaska to go fishing is tempting... but my dad's been fishing his whole life and has a boat and if I'm gonna travel several hundred miles to go fishing, dad's boat has a pretty strong pull. ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Set wrote:

So I just watched True Detective, and was wondering if you had a preference between the more subtle 'questions remain unanswered' nature of that show versus something more in-your-face supernatural like From Beyond or various other Mythos-y shows.

There's a part of me that would love to see a version of At the Mountains of Madness with full-bore del Toro creatures in all their glory (kind of like 1982 version of The Thing, perhaps, which is about as Lovecraftian a non-Lovecraft movie I can think of), and another creepier atmospheric version in which it's not clear even to the viewer (perhaps until the last moment, if ever) how much of what is happening is dark human evil, or something mind-shattering and alien.

Do you have a preference, or do both have their place, if done well?

I like them both, frankly. They're both really compelling and interesting ways to explore the unknown. And for what it's worth...

Spoiler:
... I think that the "vision" Rust had of the galaxy in the last episode was less of a drug flashback and more of an actual vision granted by Carcosa. A galaxy is a spiral, after all, and there are spiral images throughout the show, from the markings drawn on the bodies to the maze-like layout of the ruins that the detectives wind through in the show's climax while chasing the Yellow King. I think that Carcosa revealed itself to Rust by peeling away reality to blast his mind with the truth of the black stars, and in so doing, allowed the Yellow King to come in and very nearly kill him—WOULD have killed him but for his buddy showing up to save him, in fact. The fact that the spirals show up outside of his vision means that other people have seen them, and thus the spirals Rust sees in the show are not just in his head. They are external forces. They are Carcosa reaching out to manipulate the thinking minds of humanity.

Thing with "At the Mountains of Madness" is that it is very much NOT a subtle story. It's DEEPLY rooted in the physical. It's my favorite Lovecraft story to cite when people make the unfounded claim that Lovecraft was a bad writer who couldn't describe things and thus said things were "indescribable." There's a LOT of detail in all his stories, but particularly in AtMoM.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Neongelion wrote:

Hey James,

Generally speaking, how are firearms regarded in Taldor? No different from anywhere else (ie curious oddities) or do they abhor them? I ask because one of my characters for PFS is a gunslinger from Taldor who is in the Taldor faction, something I've been told by a few people is "very very strange".

Generally, as exotic toys for eccentrics, the rich, and adventurers to fool around with.

It's unusual for firearms to be anywhere outside of the Mana Wastes (and Numeria but on the techy side). No more or no less so in Taldor than anywhere else.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alexander Augunas wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
But it's also the stat that affects your awareness and intuition; things like philosophy and faith are matters of the heart, and those are things that Wisdom governs.

This is the best explanation of how cleric spellcasting relates to Wisdom (awareness and intuition) that I have ever seen. +1 for James Jacobs!

Now, how does the Heal skill fit into that equation? I've always felt that knowing how to Heal someone required Intelligence, not intuition or awareness, and assumed that it was only Wisdom because Clerics were all about healing and clerics used Wisdom. Thoughts, oh great and scaly one?

Honeslty, Heal should have probably been an Intelligence skill. It's a Wisdom skill because they wanted clerics to be good at it.

That said, if you look at Sense Motive as the closest analogy to Psychology in the game, it's nice that the health-related skills both use Wisdom.

You could say that Heal is Wisdom for the same reason Perception and Survival are—it's all about being able to sense what's wrong with a situation.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:

1)How do the shaman class's spirit interact with the gods?

2)can a shaman worship a god?

1) Let's wait until the book's out to discuss class features like this.

2) Absolutely. All classes can.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:

1)Are there same-sex arranged marriages on Golarion(Taldor,Cheliax)

2)What does Erastil think of same-sex marriage

3)do you think the cleric needs some class Abilities

1) Yes.

2) He approves. since anything that strengthens the bonds of family is Erastil-friendly.

3) I think it's a shame that the cleric missed out on a capstone ability, but between her domian abilities, channeled energy, and full spellcasting combined with a 3/4 BAB progression, she's doing pretty good as is.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:
What does wisdom have to do with religious beliefs? just asking

Wisdom is the statistic that clerics use, first of all, and that's in and of itself enough to justify it as having something to do with religion.

But it's also the stat that affects your awareness and intuition; things like philosophy and faith are matters of the heart, and those are things that Wisdom governs.

Intelligence is more about scientific thought, and Charisma is more about your OWN personality and soul and ability to express yourself. Wisdom is your ability to perceive the world, to empathize and understand things that have no obvious meaning, and to measure your enlightenment and spiritual health (in part from how it affects your Will saves).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Secane wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Secane wrote:

....This question is partly for a PFS character ideal I'm working on, a Druid that also happens to be part of the Sovereign Court pathfinder faction.

It would be nice to know if such a character ideal is feasible for Golarion.

...

Still... it sounds like a lot more feasible for PFS than many of the character builds I hear about! ;-)

So.. What are some PFS legal, but unfeasible for PFS, character builds that you HAD heard about?

...Just curious... :P

AKA: What are some characters that people have built that I think are silly or goofy or disrespectful or inappropriate?

Not gonna say. It's one thing for me to say that not everyone's character building is my cup of tea, but I'm not gonna go out and single out specific builds or choices like that.

The game's big enough for everyone to play, but that means that some of the people playing are gonna play the game in ways you don't like.

Which is fine. Because there's folks out there who, as hard as it is for me to accept, don't like bards/rogues who have religious beliefs but low wisdom scores.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aelryinth wrote:
James, is there anyone in the office whose job IS to read all the pages you produce and stay consistent on continuity? 200 pages a month doesn't sound like much from final products, although reading, re-reading and re-re-reading 200 pages would quickly get very tiresome...

At this point, no. Eventually, we hope to have someone who does this job, but currently, or production schedule is outpacing our ability to have one person read everything we produce, since that theoretical person is being used to develop a lot of material as well.

In the meantime, it's my job as Creative Director to ensure that the vision and philosophy as to what is and isn't appropriate for Golarion is communicated to the developers and editors, so that everyone's on the same page.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Odraude wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Honestly, I can't imagine it would be hard to filing off some serial numbers and make it generic. Especially for things like lasers and AI and vortex guns and such. Little conversion and filing and boom, should be a piece of cake.
You are 100% correct.
Sweet. Am I 100% correct in thinking that this book has rules for a gravity gun? :D

Not 100% correct, no.

Because they're called gravity pistols and gravity rifles. There's other graviton-based devices in the book too—in fact, graviton tech is one of the more powerful types of technological themes in the book, since they do force damage and have force effects.

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I'm just happy we finally have our iconic tuatara! Been pushing for one of these from the start!

Oh, and Shardra is pretty awesome too!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LazarX wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
[Yeah, but in Wrath of the Righteous, the Radiance sword morphs into the favored weapon of whatever deity the paladin worships, and the backgrounds, to me, hint that the PCs are supposed to have patron deities, at least with the Hierophant background one. That's a general assumption that's been with the game since Forgotten Realms at least, and any paladins seen the APs have had patron deities, so that seems to be Golarion's norm..
If you don't have one, then it remains a longsword. Similar thing too, with a piece of armor you may or may not find later.

Which is a STRONG argument in this case to play a paladin who doesn't worship a single god but worships a pantheon or a cause or a philosophy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Nargemn wrote:

Hello James,

I'm not certain if you had a hand in this, but figured I might ask anyway. Why is the class of Antipaladin named in such a way? With most classes, you can say them in game without sounding too weird. "That Wizard is casting a spell!", "I am a holy cleric of Sarenrae..." etc. But to refer to something as an anti-paladin in game is very... Odd.

All of this isn't to say they can't be referred to in game as something else, but even just looking at their name feels very... disconnected somehow. Maybe it's just the tag of 'anti', I don't know.

Why wasn't the class named something else, like perhaps Dark Knight, Desecrator, Fiendish Champion, or something along those lines?

It's called an antipaladin becasue of game tradition. Because of nostalgia. The concept of an antipaladin first came around in the early days of D&D, and we wanted to include it as a nod to the game's 40 year long history and tradition.

Feel free to call them what you want in your game. 3rd edition D&D called them blackguards, for what it's worth.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Secane wrote:

I originally wanted to post this question in the campaign setting general discussion, when I realize it might be better to ask the definitive master on all matters Golarion! :)

Question:
Taldan Nobles or other Nobility that are also Druids, do/could they exist?

I'm reading up on Taldor and one of the things that really interested me is the Treaty of the Wildwood, in which Taldor maintains a peaceful and mutually beneficial relationship with the druids of the Wildwood Lodge to protect the Verduran Forest.

Given that Taldor and many of the countries of the Inner Sea have noble houses and are often ruled by nobility, what are the possibility of nobles that are actively druids as well?

I don't mean nobles that "became" druids, I mean nobles that are actively druids, while retaining their nobility, tittles, land ownership, etc.

Is there the possibility of such noblity-druids existing?

This question is partly for a PFS character ideal I'm working on, a Druid that also happens to be part of the Sovereign Court pathfinder faction.
It would be nice to know if such a character ideal is feasible for Golarion.

It'd be possible for a Taldan noble to be a druid, but it would be uncommon at best, and I suspect that such nobles would be black sheep to the rest of their family. Druids, for their own part, are generally less interested in society and more interested in nature anyway, so a druid noble would be rare and unusual anywhere.

Still... it sounds like a lot more feasible for PFS than many of the character builds I hear about! ;-)

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logic_poet wrote:
I wouldn't count on lots of recurring friendly NPCs. This AP sounds like it's built to be well-suited to a wandering band of murderhobos.

Only if that's your preferred gaming style.

We try to ensure our adventures and Adventure Paths have a LOT more to offer than murderhobo play. And I'm pretty proud of the fact that I feel like we do this even in our most dungeoncrawly APs.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

eldergod0515 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Tels wrote:
What about your favorite easter egg hidden in Paizo products?
Sandpoint's rivers.
Q: James, what is the "Sandpoint's rivers" easter egg?

There are 2 waterways in Sandpoint. One's named Boggy Creek, a nod to one of my favorite Bigfoot movies/legends. The other one is the Turandarrok River, which is a portmanteau of the two main characters from one of my favorite comic book series (Turok and Andar from Turok: Son of Stone).

There's several other easter eggs in Sandpoint, in fact, most of which are Point Arena (my hometow) easter eggs. Including:

The name "Schooner Gulch."
The presence of a theater in a small town.
Junk Beach.
The sign with the mirror welcoming folks to Sandpoint but asking visitors to see themself as Sandpoint sees them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lord Snow wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

When you file off the plot, and then file off the actual NPCs, and file off the locations... a LOT of APs start sounding the same, frankly.

There are certainly similarities in some of the creature mix between Runelords and Giantslayer... but they're different stories.

Fair point.

To a different question: will the NPC "method" from WotR continue here? that is, will we have inner covers detailing allies and villains? just generally speaking, how important would the supporting cast be?

No. We make choices for the inside covers based on the nature of the campaign. WotR had a LOT of recurring NPCs, and that was the right choice for that book. Giantslayer will have a different inside cover treatment more appropriate to Giantslayer than to Wrath of the Righteous.
OK, let me rephrase - I care less about the inside covers and more about the number and nature of friendly/ally NPCs in the AP. Will it lean closer to the Curse of the Crimson Throne/Wrath of the righteous end of the spectrum, or to the Shattered Star/Serpent's Skull end? How important are the NPCs to the story?

That's more of a Rob question, but as far as I know, the NPC interaction in this way will be average.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Owning d20 CoC won't help. Mhar is entirely created for Pathfinder, and is not part of the Call of Cthulhu game itself (nor is he mentioned in any Lovecraftian story). He and Xhamen-Dor are Greg Vaughan and James Jacobs additions to the Lovecraft mythos.

I would suggest looking at the stats for Bokrug, Cthulhu, and Hastur in Bestiary 4 as guidelines as to what a Great Old One can do, and look to the stats in the same book for Kaiju to see what really enormous monsters can do.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

HangarFlying wrote:

Question about a feat from RotRL:

** spoiler omitted **

Full character level, as written.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ashiel wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
But ignoring the evil aspects of his church is not following the teachings of his church, don't you see? Ignoring half of Asmodeus's teachings is a chaotic act. By remaining good aligned and trying to worship Asmodeus, you are behaving chaotically. You might still be able to call yourself a worshiper of Asmodeus in this case (and you would likely be consigning yourself to punishment in the afterlife, but that's a different story)... but you would NOT be acting in a lawful manner by doing so, and thus would drift away from lawful good toward neutral good or neutral. And when you did, you wouldn't be a paladin.

By this argument you cannot have chaotic followers of deities, because they either A) aren't actually following them, or B) are lawful. Likewise, you'd not be able to be a member of a church unless you 100% matched up with the deity in question.

Meanwhile, in Wrath of the Righteous pt 4, it mentions Nocticula is often worshiped by heretics who aren't into the whole evil stuff, but worship her more positive aspects such as being a patron of outcasts, artistry, and the glories of midnight; suggesting that they even come into conflict with the more mainstream believers; and they still get spells.

Not everyone is going to have the same outlook on faith, and some people are just strait up blind to certain aspects of it. Asmodeous for example is orderly, assisted in the binding of the god of destruction, and even after his vengeance for what he saw as his brother's betrayal, had sympathy and allowed mortals to remain with free will.

A Paladin could very easily cling to towards the positive aspects of Asmodean faith, such as the strength of order and the consistency that it provides, their activities in caring for orphans, or the fact that for an evil god he certain hands out more healing spells to his clerics than they normally have available. He's a bad guy, but not all of his faith revolves around hurting people.

It would be entirely possible, realistic even, for a...

No... it means you can't have chaotic paladins, or paladin followers of chaotic creatures. My comments are about paladins only.

A non-paladin doesn't factor into my comments at all.

OBVIOUSLY you can have worshipers of chaotic deities. We do it all the time. They are not and can not be paladins though... which is what this thread's supposed to be asking about.

Feel free to rule thigns differently in home games, of course... but posting and asking them here in a context of "what's right" comes with an implied "What's right for the rules as written/what's right for Golarion."

Please don't use my words talking about why you can't have a Paladin worshiping an evil deity as anything other than paladins not worshiping evil deities, in other words. ;-)

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Odraude wrote:
Honestly, I can't imagine it would be hard to filing off some serial numbers and make it generic. Especially for things like lasers and AI and vortex guns and such. Little conversion and filing and boom, should be a piece of cake.

You are 100% correct.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:

Or, on the gripping hand, if I worshipped Asmodeus, I'd make the best choice for law, and the best choice for good by simply ignoring the evil aspects of Asmodeus. We've already accepted "cafeteria Sarenraeism," where I get to pick and choose the aspects of the deity I like. Why not cafeteria Asmodeanism?

But ignoring the evil aspects of his church is not following the teachings of his church, don't you see? Ignoring half of Asmodeus's teachings is a chaotic act. By remaining good aligned and trying to worship Asmodeus, you are behaving chaotically. You might still be able to call yourself a worshiper of Asmodeus in this case (and you would likely be consigning yourself to punishment in the afterlife, but that's a different story)... but you would NOT be acting in a lawful manner by doing so, and thus would drift away from lawful good toward neutral good or neutral. And when you did, you wouldn't be a paladin.

"Cafeteria Asmodism" woulud be lawful neutral or neutral evil. That's basically the "one step from your deity" situation. Note that neither of those are lawful good.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

But how do I know if a concept just doesn't work with the canon and the AP in question at all? A lot of the questions I ask you basically stem from one basic character concept: A paladin who blends the beliefs that come inherent with paladinhood with those of a shamanistic or druidic culture that's generally more associated with barbarians. The general vibe I get from responses is that Erastil's really the only way to do this, and Erastil's ethos isn't really compatible with someone who wants to be a warrior or a king, and his favored weapon pigeonholes such characters into archery anyway.

You can't know if a concept doesn't fit canon you don't know about. You either need to be comfortable knowing that there are things you don't know, or comfortable with the fact that you'll never be able to make a character you like because you don't know everything there is.

Remember... we continue publishing content. It's completely plausible that something you build for a character's background today could clash against flavor we publish tomorrow... or something we publish years from now.

If you worry too much about clashing with continuity and canon, you'll never make a character. That's obviously not an option if you want to play a game, so you'll need to find a way to square that circle.

And again... that means working with your GM to make the right choices for that particular game. Unless I'm your GM, I can't answer those questions for you, because if I did, I'd be disrespecting your GM. I don't want to do that.

As a quick aside... a deity's favored weapon is NOT the deity's REQUIRED weapon. We always have worshipers of deities use weapons that aren't the deity's favored one. Hell... we did this in the very first Pathifnder adventure, where a worshiper of Lamashtu fought with a bastard sword and a claw, not a falchion. Just because Erastil favors the longbow does not mean that all of his worshipers only favor longbows.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

JoeJ wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

You're moving the goalposts. This isn't a discussion of how a cleric can be one step away from an alignment and still worship the deity enough to be granted spells. That's a different topic entirely.

If you're a paladin who worships Sarenrae, you're still lawful good, but you're more good than lawful, and you focus primarily on the good in Sarenae's teachings and in the world than on the law. If you have to make a choice, you'd make the best choice for good even if that breaks the law, but you'd try not to do that. On the other hand, if you worshiped Abadar, you'd try to make the best choice for law even if that choice isn't good, but you'd try not to.

But regardless of whether you worship a lawful good, lawful neutral, or neutral good deity, you still have to be lawful good. You don't get the "be within one step of your deity's alignment" because you HAVE to be lawful good.

That sounds pretty awesome. When you're a cleric you have to stay within one alignment step of your deity. When you're a paladin, your deity has to stay within one alignment step of you. ;p

That's certainly one way to look at it I guess!

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Worshiping is itself not an aligned act at all. But when you worship an evil deity, the things you do to honor that worship are evil.

Surely that would depend in part upon the things themselves.

Otherwise how, for example, could a cleric stay one step away from their deity in alignment?

If the things you do to worship Sarenrae are inherently good, where do her neutral worshipers come from?

You're moving the goalposts. This isn't a discussion of how a cleric can be one step away from an alignment and still worship the deity enough to be granted spells. That's a different topic entirely.

If you're a paladin who worships Sarenrae, you're still lawful good, but you're more good than lawful, and you focus primarily on the good in Sarenae's teachings and in the world than on the law. If you have to make a choice, you'd make the best choice for good even if that breaks the law, but you'd try not to do that. On the other hand, if you worshiped Abadar, you'd try to make the best choice for law even if that choice isn't good, but you'd try not to.

But regardless of whether you worship a lawful good, lawful neutral, or neutral good deity, you still have to be lawful good. You don't get the "be within one step of your deity's alignment" because you HAVE to be lawful good.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

blahpers wrote:
FLite wrote:

Actually, the mechanical problem of a paladin serving an evil god is that his power has to come from somewhere.

If his power comes from a good god, then worshiping an evil god will get his power taken away.

If his power comes from an evil god, then that is a problem because he gets positive energy channel, and evil gods can't grant that.

Theoretically, he could get his power from a neutral deity, who grans him positive energy powers yet lets him give his faith and worship to an evil being, but I cant think of any situation in which a (presumably lawful) nuetral deity would find an advantage in doing that. (Some of the chaotic nuetral ones would just do it for laughs I suppose. But they can't grant the Lawful powers of a paladin...

There are no mechanics in the Core Rulebook that state that a paladin's power must come from a deity. Many paladins don't even worship a deity at all.

This is absolutely true. In Golarion, most paladins worship a deity but they don't have to. Their powers are "fueled" by their faith, and that doesn't have to be faith in a deity. It could be faith in an idea, a philosophy, a cause, or whatever. They need something to believe in. And if that belief isn't lawful good, it'd better be lawful neutral for the paladin to focus harder on the law than the good, or neutral good for the paladin to focus harder on the good instead of the law. The paladin herself remains lawful good, so in a way, its her ALIGNMENT that is the source of her power.

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Ashiel wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Worshiping an evil god is a voluntary evil act.

Citation, please?

Evil is hurting, oppressing, or killing. Worship is not any of those things.

No citation should be needed. It should be self-evident that admiring, venerating, following, and indeed worshiping an evil deity is an evil act, just as worshiping a lawful one is a lawful act, worshiping a good one is a good act, and so on.

Worshiping is itself not an aligned act at all. But when you worship an evil deity, the things you do to honor that worship are evil.

Paladins cannot worship an evil deity (or a chaotic one, for that matter) and stay paladins. That's the whole point of being a paladin—that you're lawful and good.

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This is a GREAT way to encourage your players to use the treasure they find rather than just sell it. Unless there's a good story reason for an item to be in an NPC's hands, changing it to fit your PCs is a great idea.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

If you can accept the fact that PFS is its own microcosm of self-contained canon for itself that isn't necessarily part of the world's canon (in the same way that none of the APs are part of the world's canon until they occur), that should hopefully help.

If a random person off the street wanted to know what's canon in Golarion TODAY, he could pick up the Inner Sea World Guide, read it, and go from there. We do not immediately add the adventures (be they Adventure Paths or PFS or anything in between) to the world, since there is NO WAY AT ALL to determine which one group who plays through the events gets to be the one who sets the adventure's result in stone. That ONLY COUNTS for the game it's played in itself.

Sure... there is other information in adventures that expands on existing canon and the like but the plots as they play out in play with characters changing the face of the world (like killing Krune) do not occur until you, the GM, want them to.

So if you want to know all the information... though... your only real choice is to read every single thing we publish. That's not something I think one person can easily do. I know I can't do it. I've not even gotten CLOSE to reading everything we publish.

What if I'm NOT the GM? I just want to write character backgrounds that don't conflict with the established canon so they have stronger narrative connections to the setting, and are thus better PCs.

Then you need to do the best you can, and then submit your PC background to your GM to ensure that the background doesn't conflict with your GM's established canon, which is NOT going to be 100% the same as what we present in our products.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Tels wrote:

James, if you had the opportunity, would you wear a Merisiel Onesie for pajamas?

Would you ever wear a onesie as an adult?

More serious, what is your favorite secret revealed about Golarion at this point?

What about your favorite easter egg hidden in Paizo products?

What is your favorite easter egg/reference that you've ever found in game/book/movie etc?

Maybe.

Maybe.

I guess the Nocticula thing.

Sandpoint's rivers.

The Yellow Sign/King in Yellow stuff in "True Detective,' although that might be too much a core element of the show to qualify as an easter egg...

Wait, what?!?! I need to go watch that show now...

Oh my yes.

The elements from Robert Chambers' stories are, to a certain extent, the primary underlying theme of True Detective. The influence is not over the top, but it's certainly there, and it's certainly awesome.

Come join us in Carcosa, where the black stars shine! Come watch True Detective, and let the Yellow King in!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

JaC381 wrote:
I thought the stories behind some of the harrow cards in The Harrow Handbook were interesting. I think I read somewhere that stories for all of them have been written. Have these other stories been published or posted anywhere?

You might wanna check out the adventure "The Harrowing."

I don't believe we've actually revealed all of the backstories for the cards yet though.

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Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
What JJ said. If you look at the inside covers of all the AP's they have been different every time. Kingmaker & Shattered Star had Mini Quests. Reign of Winter & Mummy's Mask have 'setting color'. I don't have my copies of the original Rise of the Runelords or Second Darkness, but I'm not sure they had anything; of course, both of those were 3.5...

Rise of the Runelords had a big picture of the Sihedron as a decorative element.

Why such a simple thing?

Because we were paying one way or another to have color printing on the inside covers, and if we didn't put something in there, Erik would have had us put advertisements there. I'm still not sure to this day if he was serious, but the idea of advertisements on the inside covers kinda made me feel yucky inside, so we put a decoration on the cover and immediately began planning for something more robust for Curse of the Crimson Throne.

Crimson Throne used that space to present family trees and NPC organization charts for the various NPCs in the campaign, changing the charts as the AP progressed.

Second Darkness used it to show the relationships between the drow noble houses and the demon lords they worshiped.

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