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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 40,870 posts (42,701 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


I'm not the one who assigns all the projects or develops all the books, so they're not all my writers.

To be quite fair, Kyonin does not come off to me as a Tolkien clone, It does however make sense in the context of their history that they are as isolationist as they are. If you allow Humans free settlement, they'd have done to Kyonin what the Texan settlers did to Mexico.

And they're not nearly as isolationist as any of the Tolkien elven kingdoms, or even as much as Evermeet. It's a bit unfair to call out the authors for a charge they're hardly guilty of.

1. There actually IS a city for half-elves in Erages.

2. And the port city of Greengold does allow non-elves to enter. And even has a Human for mayor. Even if it's as far allowed as they can go, that makes it far more open than the Tolkien Elves, the Greyhawk Elves, or the Evermeet elves.

If the situation is a copy of anything it's more closer to Arcanis than any of the other three as Greengold is more like Seremas than any other elven kingdom. It does lack that faction of elves that are out to murder any human they run across though. (Although if one knew the history of Man-Ellori relations on Arcanis, you'd understand why the Malfelan ellori feel the way they do.)

Not seeing a question there, so I'm not sure what the post was for...

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eldergod0515 wrote:
Q: Is there a way (i.e., a Knowledge skill check) to determine the age of a set of bones?

I'd say that'd be a Heal check.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

brad2411 wrote:
How was Aroden able to get around the divine mandates to interact with demigods and other beings? Such as killing demon lords.

The "divine mandate" you speak of is deliberately NOT revealed to us mortals, so we don't have to track complex rules. Gods get to do what they want, and what they don't do is for reasons often inscrutable to us.

Chalk it up to "just one more Aroden mystery" if you want, but there's plenty of other deities out there who kill demon lords and demigods (Achaekek, Desna, Lamashtu, Nocticula, etc.).

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Omians wrote:

James got a few questions for you

1. What make a synthesist Summoner not able to use Mage armor, or wearing Bracers of armor While Merged?

2. How would you do the Archetype differently? or the class if you want to say

3.can an Inquisitor be Human and be a worshiper of Apsu and would it let him use the Dragon Domain?

1) Balance reasons.

2) I would not have done it in the first place. I'm not fond of the concept for a player character. It works better as a monster.

3) A human inquisitor of Apsu is permitted, but if you did so in my game, you'd need to justify that choice with cool character history. And Apsu grants the Dragon subdomain normally, right? So why would that change?

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
So what you're saying is that the cleric is the only divine spellcasting class that explicitly HAS to have a deity?

On Golarion? Yes, that is correct.

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Alexander Augunas wrote:
Have you tried Hearthstone yet? If not, is it on your list of games to try?

I've been playing it for several months now. It's quite fun!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Luthorne wrote:

1) One of the variant tiefling abilities listed in Blood of Fiends is the ability to see creatures on the ethereal plane. Out of curiosity, while the specifics would obviously be up to a DM, how populated is the ethereal plane, and how strange and disturbing are its inhabitants?

2) If you had the ability to use plane shift pretty much at-will, as well as planar adaptation automatically adjusting for any plane you went to, but the planes nevertheless contained all their usual dangers, with you not having any particular abilities beyond what you currently have beyond the plane-hopping, what would be some of the top extraplanar places you would want to visit?

3) ...and conversely, what would be some of the top extraplanar places you would want to avoid ever visiting if you could possibly help it?

1) It's relatively underpopulated, but since phase spiders and xills are two benchmark ethereal races... the things that live there are NOT pleasant to look upon...

2) Elysium. Not sure there'd be much point to go anywhere after that.

3) Hell. For obvious reasons.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:

James, can you have Inquisitors that don't follow a single deity or follow a concept? Like a Inquisitor of the Galt Revolution or the God Claw?

Also, what would a Inquisitor of Cayden Cailean be like?

Yes, you can. There are inquisitors of House Thrune for example.

An inquisitor of Cayden would be someone who helps to fight against oppression and censorship and fights for the freedom to adventure and party.

I thought that House Thrune "Inquisitors" were just members of other classes acting in an inquisitorial nature, like rogues or bards. How does an Inquisitor of an organization or concept get their domain/inquisition?

Besides, the Gray Gardener in the Inner Sea NPC Codex, who'd probably be a better candidate than anyone to be an inquisitor of the Galt Revolution, is listed as an Inquisitor of Norgorber (which leads me to suspect that his cultists may be a major contributing factor to that nation's current state and that the Final Blades are actually a way for Norgorber to steal souls for his own purposes, and the Gray Gardeners purposefully keep Galt unstable so they are constantly fed, but I digress).

And I thought I read somewhere (Faiths of Purity, I think), that chaotic deities like Desna and Cayden Cailean didn't HAVE inquisitors in their faiths, as their very nature was that every individual lives their own life and finds their own path (so long as it doesn't harm others or infringe on the free will of others), and that the enforcement of doctrinal purity the inquisitor class represents was antithetical to that.

Could you please clarify? I'm confused.

You can have both. The presence of an inquisitor with class levels does not mean you can't have an inquisitor in name only without actual inquisitor class levels working for the same organization. And vice versa.

An inquisitor of an organization gets their powers the same way a paladin or ranger or oracle or any other non-cleric divine spellcaster who worships a non-deity religion gets them.

And you can have an inquisitor of a faith without having an organized inquisition. Desna doesn't have an organized group of inquisitors following her, but that doesn't mean there might not be one or two inquisitors who worship her out there.

There's a lot of inherent options built in. Rules are meant to be broken. Usually by PCs. Rarely but not never by NPCs.

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Jessica Price wrote:

Huh, I went through the Iomedae article during development, and looks like that sentence got imported unchanged from the original article in Council of Thieves. Sorry about that -- I really should have made sure to clarify.

My understanding (of course, James can confirm or correct), is that while Iomedae doesn't have the same focus on redemption as Sarenrae (who, I think, is pretty delighted whenever anyone whose heritage or other factors predisposes them toward evil decides to serve her or other good deities), that doesn't mean that she doesn't believe in it.

As there's been more tiefling material, "spawn" has come to have a more precise meaning (the oni-spawn, etc. tiefling subtypes in Blood of Fiends), whereas I suspect that, back in 2009, it was a badass-sounding way to say "fiends and similar creatures."

I can't imagine that Iomedae would reject a tiefling paladin.

So, that sentence should probably read, "She loathes incorrigible evil, fiends, traitors, and those who abuse good in the name of “greater” good."

I'll check in with James on Monday to make sure that usage of "spawn" wasn't intentional in the original article.

She would absolutely not reject a tiefling paladin.

And yeah, I suspect that the original use of the word "spawn" was just flavor meant to refer to fiends in general.

It's not meant to mean that she is intolerant of all tieflings at all, but neither should one assume that tiefling worshipers of Iomedae are common. They aren't. They do exist though.

And remember, in pretty much ALL CASES where we present something about a religion or organization or race that approaches hyperbole, that's usually meant to refer to NPCs. PCs break rules. That's part of what makes them, in-world, unique characters.

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Illius wrote:

Are there any specific cults of empyreal lords that have a significant presence in the crusades against the Worldwound?

Do the cults of empyreal lords or even worshipers of other good deities ever get overzealous?

Pulura's cult is the strongest of the Empyreal Lords in the Worldwound. Others exist as well, but they're minor compared to hers.

And yes. All cults have the potential to get overzealous. Some more than others.

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)I noticed that Brigh only has four domains so does this mean she is only a demi-god or is this a misprint?

2)I see that Iomedae doesn't like any fiend-spawn so does this mean she will not allow Tieflings as her worshippers?

3)Will we ever find out what Desna's original form was before she took humanoid form?

4)If Pharasma is older then most other beings then is it safe to assume that her original form was not even humanoid?

5)Since the Peacock spirit is dead, Is the only reason you haven't revealed who or what it was is because it may still be around as some undead creature or something else?

6)Has it ever been said if any of the non-evil core deities have any children? children with mortals? children with other gods?

7)Will Rovagug ever release a new (major) spawn ever again?

1) Brigh is and always has been a demigod. It's not a misprint.

2) There are always exceptions. She allows tieflings as worshipers, but they're very rare, and they have to be EXTRA devout and serious about their faith, pretty much. All that means that there's no reason a PC can't do this, but don't expect to see many NPC tiefling worshipers of Iomedae show up in print ever.

3) Maybe.

4) Not necessarily. Taken another way... If she's that old, and she's humanoid, wouldn't that explain a lot as to why that shape is so common in the multiverse?

5) Nope. I have very specific plans for what it/he/she is and those plans are still far from being ready to be revealed.

6) If not in print, it's certainly implied.

7) Depends on if we want to tell that story. At this point, we have no public plans to do so.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Icyshadow wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kairos Dawnfury wrote:

Excuse me if this is confusing, I'm trying to figure the best way to phrase it.

If an AP was made of Game of Thrones, would the AP last only as long as a story arc, an entire season, or the entire series?

The events in Game of Thrones are much larger than could be contained in a single adventure path.
Wouldn't the way power scales up with levels make such an AP a bit difficult to run anyway?

Not if you make adjustments to the game. As written, the game assumes a Golarion-like setting. That's NOT the Game of Thrones setting. For a setting like that, I suspect we'd come up with new classes and all sorts of things, or at the very least limit character choices to human and classes to things like rogue, fighter, barbarian, and the like. No spellcasters, in other words. And then we'd adjust how the adventure is written so that it doesn't assume that. It'd be a very different game, overall.

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Paladinosaur wrote:

James, can you have Inquisitors that don't follow a single deity or follow a concept? Like a Inquisitor of the Galt Revolution or the God Claw?

Also, what would a Inquisitor of Cayden Cailean be like?

Yes, you can. There are inquisitors of House Thrune for example.

An inquisitor of Cayden would be someone who helps to fight against oppression and censorship and fights for the freedom to adventure and party.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Diego Rossi wrote:

James, a question about the Inner Sea Gods (BTW, a spammer has placed a fake review in that product page to advertise some chiromancer, as there is no button to report spam in reviews, could you alert Gary or Jessica about that?).

I have skimmed my PDF of the book and it seem very good. I have some doubt about the Obediences. I have read Abadar, Cayden, Desna and Shelyn.
All very appropriate, but I fear that, if the group play them keeping the role playing aspect of the obedience in mind and not only "an hour pass, I have done my obedience" the difficulty and ddanger in eprforming them is very different.

Abadar obedience is very easy to do as long as you aren't broke. You can do it in your room behind a closed door if you want.

Cayden is slightly more difficult as you need some form of alcohol based drink and you must sing a song that can be heard by friends or foes, but you can still do that in a relatively safe location, if you are a spellcaster you can get some spell to create the drinks and the creative part of the obedience isn't particularly difficult (you can start with any drinking song and modify it almost forever without the need of a great creativity)

Desna seem more dangerous. You need to dance under the starry sky wandering randomly (I hope you have to dance only for a few minutes, not the full hour of the obedience, too) or sing the names of the stars you know while dancing if in a location where stars can't bee seen.
Dancing around by night don't seem so conductive to your health.
(to put that in a better reference frame: currently I am playing a druid of Desna in the Reign of winter AP and I would like to take that feat very much, but dancing in the snow, by night, in that AP, at least from what we have seen so far, isn't a good move)

Shelyn isn't dangerous, but I have trouble believing that someone can create a new piece of music or a new piece of poetry every day of his life.
The only way in which I see that as feasible is he was to take painting as his art form and he was making charcoal sketches of what he see as his obedience.

What do you think?

Even with the above problem, the Exalted prestige class is so close to my idea of my druid that I will take it, if the GM allow it. Give my thanks to all the people that worked on the book.

Well... In truth, I was involved VERY little in Inner Sea Gods, so I don't have much of an insight into the book's nitty gritty as far as from a writing or development side of things.

The obediences, though, are not meant to all be equally easy to accomplish in every game. In fact, in some games, ones that are easy to do in other games will be hard, and vice versa. That's more or less by design and unavoidable, given the huge variance in house rules and game play style and all of that.

And keep in mind that if you miss an obeciance, you don't forever lose its benefits. You can skip a day, in other words. If you do it the next day or the day after or whenever, it comes back with no penalty. It's not like becoming an ex-cleric or ex-paladin.

And as for Shelyn... I don't have trouble believing it at all. Writing music or creating poetry or the like is something that an artist does every day anyway. Writing, for example, is an art form, and I do that daily. I'm doing it right now, in fact. It's not something that needs to be a masterpiece that is preserved for all time, after all. In fact, you can just make up a new song that you sing and then never sing it again and it should count.

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Kevin Mack wrote:

Been reading the new Inner sea gods book and noticed that apparently now Saranae worship is accepted in Taldor (Never one to turn their back on a good deity, the nation of Taldor supports a number of temples

devoted to Sarenrae) being the specific line.

Also the dawnflower cult in Quadria seems to be being presented as more neutral than evil (Despite being accepting of slavery having very warlike ways being merciless in battle against enemies etc.)

Was just wondering if all the older elements have been retconed out (Much like a certain deity having Paladins?)

Yup; the ban on Sarenite worship in Taldor was always something of an unfortunate result of earlier authors and developers not understanding the implications of that; we've been rolling that back for some time.

There are other adjustments, but they're best let found naturally.

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Generic Villain wrote:
If 4th Edition never happened and Dungeon Magazine had continued printing under Paizo, were you planning on doing an Adventure Path focusing on spell weavers? There were some awesome hints about a spell weaver meta-plot in the first two APs that, alas, will go forever unrealized.

We actually did a not inconsiderable amount of stuff with them in Shackled City and in Age of Worms. There could well have been more stouff to do with them in time, for sure!

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Atrocious wrote:
James, is there any chance we will see a book or an adventure path that deals with Nethys? Specifically with his mortal life, he did after all manage to catapult himself to godhood through sheer mastery of the arcane, with no starstone involved, so I imagine there is a good story there.

There's some Nethys stuff in Mummy's Mask, in fact. Not a LOT... but it's there. So... sort of. Not a LOT.

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Steelfiredragon wrote:

Hey Mr. Jacobs, I ahve a traits question for you.

the two traits Alluring and Charming, If I was to say make a character that took both of them, I know full well that the diplomacy thing will not stack, thus the larger one would be the one that was used. My question is, would I get both traits second abilities, namely the daze and hte language thing?

I suppose so.

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Cr500cricket wrote:

1.What do you think of people publishing other worlds for pathfinder? This is just something I heard a couple of my friends talking about it.

2.Why is item creation so worthless in APs, I mean once you get to a high enough level that item creation is very useful, the APs just don't give you time

1) I hope they do! And continue to do so!

2) Item creation is only as worthless in an AP as your GM makes it. Each Adventure Path is built so that it's events are NOT on an overall timer, and there are opportunities in every Adventure Path for characters to stop and catch their breath and do things like item creation. It's when a GM overlooks that fundamental fact and gets all caught up in the story and neglects to realize his or her players want to create item that that becomes a problem.

In fact, in many of our Adventure Paths, we specifically include areas where downtime can happen so that player characters can create items. But as a general rule, the instances where there's no time to take a few weeks or months or even years off between adventures (or, at times, DURING an adventure), are there every single volume.

If you feel item creation is worthless in your campaign, you need to talk to your GM, in other words, because that's something your GM is causing to happen, not the Adventure Path itself.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cr500cricket wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cr500cricket wrote:
Will Iron Gods have easier rules for using advanced technology?
Easier than what?
well, not exactly easier, but more explanations, unless I missed something, all we have are the 3 robots in the inner sea bestiary, and the (no offence intended) pretty pathetic blurb on pg.257 of the inner sea guide

The Technology Guide will spend 64 pages covering how advanced technology works. And each Iron Gods installment will build off of that book's foundation.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Which of the deities that sponsor paladins (Abadar, Erastil, Iomedae, Sarenrae, Shelyn and Torag, specifically) would you feel this quote resembles best?

"Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

Probably Iomedae.

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Tels wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I've been trying to steer our employees and authors away from making Kyonin a Tolkien clone and super isolationist, but it's hard to fight that fight and I'm more or less about to give up and just throw my hands in the air, frankly.
Wow, that's sad. Is there anything we can do to help you? I'm not too keen on Tolkien clones either.
Nothing comes to mind.

Not even giving support on the forums? You did say that our feedback guides Paizo's decisions.

By the way, why do employees and authors want to make Kyonin a super-isolationist Tolkien rip-off?

Do you think they dislike elves? If so, why?

It's likely becasue too many authors are too comfortable with the status quo and/or don't realize that we're trying to change them. I don't think they dislike elves. I think that my opinions on the matter have either been forgotten or ignored or (more likely) I just haven't been loud enough about them.

Whatever.

Have you tried sending out a mass email to all of your writers saying, "KYONIN IS NOT ISONLATIONIST!" and nothing else?

I'm not the one who assigns all the projects or develops all the books, so they're not all my writers.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ulgulanoth wrote:
James when do you think we'll see another AP or module based in Cheliax?

Maybe some day, but the outside world won't know about it until we announce it 6 to 12 months in advance.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
In Golarion can N gods such as Nethys and Pharasma have divine class followers of the extreme alignments (CE, CG, LE, LG)?

No.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I've been trying to steer our employees and authors away from making Kyonin a Tolkien clone and super isolationist, but it's hard to fight that fight and I'm more or less about to give up and just throw my hands in the air, frankly.
Wow, that's sad. Is there anything we can do to help you? I'm not too keen on Tolkien clones either.
Nothing comes to mind.

Not even giving support on the forums? You did say that our feedback guides Paizo's decisions.

By the way, why do employees and authors want to make Kyonin a super-isolationist Tolkien rip-off?

Do you think they dislike elves? If so, why?

It's likely becasue too many authors are too comfortable with the status quo and/or don't realize that we're trying to change them. I don't think they dislike elves. I think that my opinions on the matter have either been forgotten or ignored or (more likely) I just haven't been loud enough about them.

Whatever.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic Villain wrote:

-1: How homogenous is the modern aboleth civilization? Especially compared to how homogenous it was pre-Earthfall. Is it like a world-spanning empire? Multiple kingdoms with differing goals? Entirely isolated pockets of aboleth society working largely independently?

-2: You've mentioned in this thread that there are no rogue veiled masters. There has been, however, at least one semi-rogue normal aboleth featured in the final chapter of Second Darkness. Ndtiktia is mentioned as being "...feared and loathed even by its brethren within the Caltherium for its unpredictable moods." So the question: how common are semi-rogue aboleth outliers? The rebels who, while still lawful evil, just don't jive with their kin? (This is sort of a continuation of the last question about homogeneity).

-3: When an aboleth allies with a non-aboleth, is it always as a manipulator or would-be puppet master? In other words, would an aboleth ever willfully submit to a superior being without attempting to subvert his/her/its desires? As a lieutenant, advisor, etc.?

(As an aside, I know we'll be learning more about aboleths with the release of Occult Mysteries, so some or all of these questions may already be answered to some extend in a month.)

-4: If you were going to stat up a sorcerer descended somehow from aboleths, which bloodline would you go with - aberrant or aquatic?

-5: What would your average aboleth think about such a sorcerer? Especially if s/he was particularly powerful, maybe even mythic?

1) Unrevealed. We've been pretty deliberately quiet about those details.

2) Those plot threads are perhaps building toward something... something I'm not ready to explore in public yet.

3) Never say never... but an aboleth willingly serving another without having an ulterior motive or hidden agenda would be INCREDIBLY rare.

4) Either works. As would destined or deep earth or starsoul or stormborn or accursed or arcane.

5) An interesting specimen pre-indoctrinated to a certain extent for service to the race.

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Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
And personally, after two EXCEPTIONALLY DIFFICULT Adventure Paths in a row for me, I'm eager to do something more classic and less "INVENT A NEW RULES SET LIKE MYTHIC OR TECHNOLOGY FOR THIS AP" type of campaign... ;-)
So Casmaron seems like a good plan then. ;)
No.
Abaddon?

One word does not a question make.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Justin Franklin wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
And personally, after two EXCEPTIONALLY DIFFICULT Adventure Paths in a row for me, I'm eager to do something more classic and less "INVENT A NEW RULES SET LIKE MYTHIC OR TECHNOLOGY FOR THIS AP" type of campaign... ;-)
So Casmaron seems like a good plan then. ;)

No.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I've been trying to steer our employees and authors away from making Kyonin a Tolkien clone and super isolationist, but it's hard to fight that fight and I'm more or less about to give up and just throw my hands in the air, frankly.
Wow, that's sad. Is there anything we can do to help you? I'm not too keen on Tolkien clones either.

Nothing comes to mind.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

KetchupKing wrote:

1. Any creatures from bestiaries 1-3 you feel should have waited for mythic rules?

2. Ever read 'The Ruins' by Scott Smith? Not to spoil anything, but the baddie in the book would be an interesting pathfinder foe.
3. I was looking into the Xtabay the other day, and I was curious how you guys came up with the monster that's in the Bestiary 2. With the legend it's based on (according to wikipedia anyway) a plant creature isn't what immediately came to mind, for me at least.
4. What culture's creatures do you think have the most untapped RPG potential?
5. Which dragons would adapt best to modern day earth?
6. Assuming Queen Vorgozen is still an ooze by the time she sees a canon stat block, how does Jubilex feel towards her? She's probably the only other ooze in existence with a similar power level (CR 26+ in this case), so would he feel threatened by her? Or, like most things, does Jubilex simply not notice or care?
7. On the subject of The Faceless Lord, why the name change from d&d? Is the name Juiblex copyrighted?
8. Lastly, what's your favorite movie sound effect?

Thanks for your time!

1) Not really.

2) Yes, great book!

3) I wasn't involved in that creature's development or design; that's a good question for Wes.

4) At this point, I'd say aboriginal Australia.

5) None of them. AKA: All of them would adapt equally well.

6) Unrevealed at this time.

7) My best guess: Because when Necromancer Games put that guy into the Tome of Horrors, they mispelled his name on accident. I suspect that's the same reason the word "Nabasu" is different from original D&D (where it had 2 s's.... "Nabassu.") And since it's the open content version, that typo became the correct spelling for all of us non-WotC folks.

8) Godzilla's roar.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Axial wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Axial wrote:


1) Does the church of Asmodeus try to appeal to the common people and convince them that they are "Good"?

2) If so, what methods do they use?

3) How does the church of Asmodeus portray/villify celestials in it's sermons and teachings in a way that would make it's followers not want to venerate them?

4) Does the average citizen of Cheliax hate House Thrune, or do they support it?

1) No.

2) Friendly threats, extortion, protection rackets, and outright threats. Depending on the situation. They don't try to pretend to be anything other than they are (that is HARDLY lawful, after all), and more rely upon appealing to the inner evil they believe exists in every person and capitalize on free will's ability to let a person justify to themselves that doing bad things is the best option. They're a little like the classic movie version of organized crime in that regard, I suppose.

3) This question kinda doesn't make sense; please rephrase.

4) It's not that simple. Most of the average folks of Cheliax fear Thrune, but whether that fear begets hate or respect or what depends on the citizen, and that citizens' proximity to the nation's government.

1 and 2 kind of answer question 3. I was trying to ask how the religion of Asmodeus turns people away from celestials and archons.

I guess I find it strange that the church of Asmodeus doesn't bother with PR and just acts as evil as possible. But then again, I always thought that bad guys who refer to themselves as bad guys in fiction are kind of dumb.

Which leads me to my other question...are people in Golarion aware of their own alignment? Do followers of Asmodeus, Lamashtu, and Zon-Kuthon actually call themselves "evil"?

They can if you want, but if you'd rather not, they don't have to.

Certainly, with spells like detect good or detect evil in the game, you can quantify if anyone, including yourself, is of a particular alignment.

We don't push that level of self awareness in our NPCs as a general rule though.

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3 people marked this as a favorite.

I call upon the internet to photoshop Sutter's beard on to that grippli!!!

GO, INTERNET! GO!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lord Fyre wrote:

What happens if the PCs (who have a thriving business in Riddleport) tell Kwava "No"? (This is a reference his plea on page 8-9.)

Given the likely "neutral" alignments of characters from Riddleport (remember the campaign traits), the adventure has neither "pull" (inducement to go) nor "push" (compulsion to go) to get them to leave for Crying Leaf.

You either end the campaign there and start something new, or you keep going and build an entirely different adventure for the PCs. Hopefully, by the time you get tot he end of the 2nd adventure, you know your players well enough to know how they'll take that answer and be ready for it.

Or even better, you adjust and sculpt and manage expectations during those 1st 2 adventures so that the PCs end up WANTING to help in book 3.

It's certainly an awkward transition, and one that if I had a time machine I'd go back and fix... but I don't so I can't so that falls to the individual GM to tackle.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
And personally, after two EXCEPTIONALLY DIFFICULT Adventure Paths in a row for me, I'm eager to do something more classic and less "INVENT A NEW RULES SET LIKE MYTHIC OR TECHNOLOGY FOR THIS AP" type of campaign... ;-)
So you're saying that the Psychic Magic AP is unlikely to be next?

Your words, not mine.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alex Smith 908 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
So did D&D. So did a lot of games. Pathfinder is a more complex game than most of those though, and it doesn't really help me if a system exists for a different rules set.
What do you think of the troop creature type from Rasputin Must Die? A follow up question would be how do you feel about a mass combat system built around it.

Having seen it in play against my characters, I think it's under CRed for what it does. That said, I think it's a really cool solution (Based vaguely on simliar rules I came up with a decade ago for mobs back in Shackled City, in fact, so I'm kind of partial toward this solution). That said, troops don't work well for mass combats where there's thousands or tens of thousands of foes on the field, any more than using the current core rules to run a battle against two groups of 50 combatants works well.

Pathfinder is, at its core, a game about small numbers clashing against small numbers. Individual-scale battles. Shifting that to cover mass combat is a HUGE alteration to the fundamental nature and structure of the rules, and since there's not really much built into the rules from the ground up in the Core Rulebook to support going in that direction... it's really tricky and complicated to make happen.

I do not expect to find the solution to it anytime soon, having been thinking about it for a decade or so.

(It's worth pointing out too that mass combat shifts the game away from the game that many people want to play... so that's a huge hurdle as well.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
Since you have said that the current mass combat rules aren't as detailed as you would like. What would you want to do there?

Figure out a way to build robust rules that don't shunt your character sheet to the side. I want a mass combat game in Pathfinder to be one where you NEED your character sheet to play, because that's the game Pathfinder is. Subsystems that don't really involve your PC are less satisfying to me.

The mass combat system should be easy to learn but difficult to master, and should have a wealth of expansion and customization without being overwhelming and impossible to learn.

I'm not sure it's something that can exist, in other words.

Have you ever played the Kingdom Under Fire games? They are Real-Time Strategy games where you control the commander and it drops into 3rd person combat whenever your commanded formation goes into melee.

I really enjoyed how your character was clearly more capable and could more easily topple formations without commanders.

Does that mesh with what you would like to see from Mass Combat?

I have not. Starcraft pretty much cured me of having any interest in Real-Time Strategy games. They're no fun to me as a result.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cblome59 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Xeriar wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Figure out a way to build robust rules that don't shunt your character sheet to the side. I want a mass combat game in Pathfinder to be one where you NEED your character sheet to play, because that's the game Pathfinder is. Subsystems that don't really involve your PC are less satisfying to me.

The mass combat system should be easy to learn but difficult to master, and should have a wealth of expansion and customization without being overwhelming and impossible to learn.

I'm not sure it's something that can exist, in other words.

Legend of the Five Rings did this a decade and a half ago.

So did D&D. So did a lot of games. Pathfinder is a more complex game than most of those though, and it doesn't really help me if a system exists for a different rules set.

The way L5R did this was to have a skill (called Battle) which was used for possibly determining ambushes and battle conditions and also for thier mass combat system.

You would choose how deeply involved you wanted your character to be in the fight and then roll percentile on a chart to see what sort of encounter you would get (that roll being influenced by said Battle skill). You then had the character(s) take part in that little vignette until the battle was over (usually a number of rolls on said chart).

I suppose something like this could work for Pathfinder, but it's not really Mass Battle as many people are thinking. It's just participating in a mass battle. I think what James is speaking of when discussing the topic is controlling the army as a whole.

Am I right in that James?

Still, I think fun things could be done with such a system in a heavily war-based Adventure Path.

Is this kind of thing something we could see if such an AP was designed?

Something like that COULD work for Pathfinder, but adding a new skill to the existing skillset is kinda shabby and sloppy and to be avoided. That type of solution works best at the onset of a game's design, not deep in its continued publication.

What I'm talking about is that when your PC is involved in a mass combat, your PC should feel important to the outcome, but at the same time you should still be able to rely upon your skills and powers and defenses to avoid getting wiped out, while not making the actual tide of battle dramatically shift and change just because you happen to be a PC.

Check out Kingmaker and the 2nd Wrath of the Righteous for my current attempts at mass combat, or the 5th Skull & Shackles for Rob's attempt. We're getting there, but I just don't think we're there yet.

And personally, after two EXCEPTIONALLY DIFFICULT Adventure Paths in a row for me, I'm eager to do something more classic and less "INVENT A NEW RULES SET LIKE MYTHIC OR TECHNOLOGY FOR THIS AP" type of campaign... ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Secane wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Secane wrote:

In Golarion, how would their respective societies view an Elf-Dwarf couple?

Specifically, an Elf from Kyonin and a Dwarf from the Five Kings Mountains.

Would such a couple be considered unusual? Deviants? Hated? Shunted? Made outcasts? Or would they be accepted as an unusual, but acceptable relationship? Or is such a relation ship considered perfectly normal? Or even preferred due to their relative long lives?

And what if both are of noble or royal birth?

I'm trying to make sense of a character backstory in the Golarion setting.

Such a couple would be considered VERY unusual. They would absolutely face hatred, confusion, derision, and difficulty from their nations. The elven side would warm to the relationship faster and more universally, once the shock of the unusual pairing wore off, but the dwarf side might not ever fully accept it.

Thanks for answering!

I fear as much...

From what I have read on the elves of Kyonin, they are extreme isolationist.

1) So would Kyonin accept an adopted Dwarf child of such a union? As in if the Dwarf takes up the family name of the Elf and they choose to live in Kyonin, would the elves even accept it?

2) Especially if both parents, Elf and Dwarf are nobles or even members of the royal family in their respective nations?

3) And how would such a Elvish speaking Dwarf child, growing up in Kyonin,see him or herself and the world?. Would he or she sees herself as a... Dwelf?

I'm assuming adopted elven or half-elven children would have a much easier time then the dwarf child in Kyonin.

Keep in mind that for storytelling purposes, the fact that such a relationship would be looked-down upon and cause problems is an enormous boon. There's a reason, in other words, that after hundreds of years, Romeo and Juliet remains so popular!

I've been trying to steer our employees and authors away from making Kyonin a Tolkien clone and super isolationist, but it's hard to fight that fight and I'm more or less about to give up and just throw my hands in the air, frankly.

1) Kyonin would not immediately accept an adopted dwarf child as a government, but there's plenty of individuals in the nation who would. That dwarf would be beset with lots of bigotry and frustration as he grew up, and depending on the story you wanted to tell, he'd either become a bad guy or he'd start to change Kyonin for the better.

2) That would make the plotline of the story you wanted to tell accelerate. It could still go in any direction.

3) Depends on the character. And the story you want to tell. This is a VERY unusual circumstance, after all, and as such it's pretty impossible to speak about it in averages. It really REALLY depends on the storyline you want to present.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
Would you consider the Souls games from From Software to be Post-Apocalyptic?

Yes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
Don't know if it's really your thing but there's a Dungeon Crawl game on the App Store, Warhammer Quest, and it's free atm. A good way to kill time and it's pretty fun.

I grabbed it but it isn't really appealing to me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shaun Hocking wrote:

Hi James

I'm assuming that the game effects of pesh as found in Dark Markets: A Guide to Katapesh have been overruled by the game effects found in the Gamemastery Guide.

I notice in the recently released Alchemy Guide that two new forms of Pesh are listed: black pesh and golden pesh.

[1] The Inner Sea World Guide describes refined pesh as sticky black blocks. Is that what the stat block for black pesh represents?
[2] What form does golden pesh take?
[3] And what form does the pesh found in the Gamemastery Guide take? Is this raw pesh?

I wasn't involved in Alchemy Guide, so I have no insight into why they split pesh into multiple categories and apparently didn't support the new versions with their own rules. So I can only really answer #3: the pesh in Gamemaster Guide is "baseline" pesh, as described in the Inner Sea World Guide.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Axial wrote:


1) Does the church of Asmodeus try to appeal to the common people and convince them that they are "Good"?

2) If so, what methods do they use?

3) How does the church of Asmodeus portray/villify celestials in it's sermons and teachings in a way that would make it's followers not want to venerate them?

4) Does the average citizen of Cheliax hate House Thrune, or do they support it?

1) No.

2) Friendly threats, extortion, protection rackets, and outright threats. Depending on the situation. They don't try to pretend to be anything other than they are (that is HARDLY lawful, after all), and more rely upon appealing to the inner evil they believe exists in every person and capitalize on free will's ability to let a person justify to themselves that doing bad things is the best option. They're a little like the classic movie version of organized crime in that regard, I suppose.

3) This question kinda doesn't make sense; please rephrase.

4) It's not that simple. Most of the average folks of Cheliax fear Thrune, but whether that fear begets hate or respect or what depends on the citizen, and that citizens' proximity to the nation's government.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CalebTGordan wrote:

When writing rules in English there isn't a gender neutral pronoun, making it difficult to be inclusive to both genders all of the time.

What does Paizo do to be gender inclusive, and do you feel you have been successful?

I noticed that classes and archetypes follow the gender of the iconic, but many other rules use 2nd person. Why is this and is there a reason behind why some class specific rules, like oracle mysteries, use 2nd person instead of 3rd?

We make sure to have an even gender spread for classes, and when we refer to those classes in text we generally use that class's associated gender. The use of when we use 2nd person and 3rd person is part of our in-house style and isn't really associated with being gender-neutral; it's more of something we inherited from the SRD.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alleran wrote:

In the Inner Sea Combat discussion, you mentioned that you sent advice on which characters should be mythic, and that it must have been lost in the shuffle.

Are you able to say anything about the advice you sent, or give indications on which characters you thought should be mythic in the ISC listings?

Nope. What's in print is the way it is.

And this is an excellent example of why idle comments by me on these boards or in chat rooms should not be taken as official canon, since they might change by the time we cover the topic in print. ESPECIALLY if they go to print in a product I'm not all that involved in as far as development and writing goes... which is an increasing number, as it turns out, since we keep expanding the number of products we do in a year.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Xeriar wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Figure out a way to build robust rules that don't shunt your character sheet to the side. I want a mass combat game in Pathfinder to be one where you NEED your character sheet to play, because that's the game Pathfinder is. Subsystems that don't really involve your PC are less satisfying to me.

The mass combat system should be easy to learn but difficult to master, and should have a wealth of expansion and customization without being overwhelming and impossible to learn.

I'm not sure it's something that can exist, in other words.

Legend of the Five Rings did this a decade and a half ago.

So did D&D. So did a lot of games. Pathfinder is a more complex game than most of those though, and it doesn't really help me if a system exists for a different rules set.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:

My personal weekly award for misuse of language in a fanfic goes to

"He was severely emancipated."

My first coherent thought was is it possible, but would it possibly apply to someone from Galt?

:)

I... suppose?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
James, could you please reinvent the Campaign Setting? ;)
That's one way to induce a panic attack in me.

Time to make an Eric Mona alias. J/K.

Since you have said that the current mass combat rules aren't as detailed as you would like. What would you want to do there?

Figure out a way to build robust rules that don't shunt your character sheet to the side. I want a mass combat game in Pathfinder to be one where you NEED your character sheet to play, because that's the game Pathfinder is. Subsystems that don't really involve your PC are less satisfying to me.

The mass combat system should be easy to learn but difficult to master, and should have a wealth of expansion and customization without being overwhelming and impossible to learn.

I'm not sure it's something that can exist, in other words.

Can we use our *imagination* and pretend one exists?

That's a good question!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Justin Franklin wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
James, could you please reinvent the Campaign Setting? ;)
That's one way to induce a panic attack in me.

Time to make an Eric Mona alias. J/K.

Since you have said that the current mass combat rules aren't as detailed as you would like. What would you want to do there?

Figure out a way to build robust rules that don't shunt your character sheet to the side. I want a mass combat game in Pathfinder to be one where you NEED your character sheet to play, because that's the game Pathfinder is. Subsystems that don't really involve your PC are less satisfying to me.

The mass combat system should be easy to learn but difficult to master, and should have a wealth of expansion and customization without being overwhelming and impossible to learn.

I'm not sure it's something that can exist, in other words.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
What's your stance on vikings vs. skeletons fights?
Skyrim looks better.
I remember an Ars Magica chronicle where at one point the heroes have to recruit the aid of a magical boat.... and the Skeleton Vikings that come with it as crew. Would that be better?
Skyrim's still more fun.
Isn't a bit apples and oranges to compare a video game to a paper and dice rpg?

I like oranges better than apples.

AKA: Both are pastimes. One will be more fun. Which one will vary depending on who you asked.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alleran wrote:

James Jacobs has mentioned him as a mythic rogue... interesting that he's not. I wonder if it's a retcon.

It can't be a retcon if it was never published in the first place.

That said... I wasn't involved much with this book... I'd asked for more mythic characters to be mentioned and had provided advice on which ones should be mythic, but it apparently got lost in the shuffle.

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