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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 51,806 posts (54,190 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
When an android undergoes "renewal" is it essentially like reincarnation the way samsarans do it, the same soul reincarnating over and over? Or is it like a new soul occupies the android's body and the old soul passes to Pharasma's judgment?
It's a new soul.

So, bearing that in mind, would the idea of an android medium who connects with and draws power from his/her body's previous souls be a viable character concept, kind of like...** spoiler omitted **

Or do android souls not work the way they work for human mediums?

Android souls work exactly the way any other soul works, so that should work fine.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zachary W Anderson wrote:

Regarding the Apocrisiarius:

Was the intention for them to be unable to utter anything untrue, regardless of its own interpretation of the matter, or is it more dependent on the its beliefs?

If an Apocrisiarius has never met Lee before in its life, could it try to tell someone, "Lee hates you."? And then, whether it is able to or not, thereby determine Lee's feeling towards that person?

They can't speak untruths. If they'd never met Lee, it wouldn't say "Lee hates you" because the apocrisiarius doesn't even know about Lee. Likewise, they can't make up entirely fictitious things, since fiction is a lie by definition. If someone were to ask a apocrisiarius "Does Lee hate me?" then the apocrisiarius would reply with the truth, which would likely be "I don't know."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

skizzerz wrote:
My players are going to be making a long trek from Magnimar to Numeria in the coming weeks, and I was trying to figure out what sort of course they would likely take in doing so. Going from Magnimar to Korvosa via ship seems obvious, but from there I'm trying to figure out where they would pass through the mountains. The Bloodsworn Vale looks promising as a means of traversing the mountain range, however I'm having a heck of a time finding more information about it. Could you explain roughly what that area is like or point me towards some books that may have more information on it?

There's basically two "safe" trade routes one could follow (both of which avoid danger zones like Irrisen and Belkzen).

1) Magnimar to Korvosa to Bloodsworn Vale, through Nirmathas and Ustalav to Numeria. (Bloodsworn Vale is the ONLY pass from Varisia to the Encarthan region through those mountains, other than serious mountain climbing or serious Darklanding.)

2) Magnimar to Corentyn to Cassomir, then up the Sellen to Numeria.

Option 1 is the better choice if you want to make the journey a string of mini adventures along the way. Option 2 is the better choice if you want to hand-wave the journey and have the PCs arrive in Numeria without much adventure.

If you want more information about Bloodsworn Vale, it's detailed pretty exhaustively in the second adventure we published for Golarion, Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

captain yesterday wrote:
What's your favorite part of Into the Darklands that Greg added. :-)

Hmmm... a LOT of options to choose from there, and it's been about a decade since we worked on it so I'm not 100% sure what parts were his or mine now. I believe he did the majority of the work on Nar-Voth though, and of those regions, I think I like the Court of Ether the best, since it's new and not a thematic inheritance from D&D.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
When an android undergoes "renewal" is it essentially like reincarnation the way samsarans do it, the same soul reincarnating over and over? Or is it like a new soul occupies the android's body and the old soul passes to Pharasma's judgment?

Follow up: by reading AZ's question I'm going to assume that androids have souls.

Q: With the creeping up of 'immortal' PC races like androids and samsarans, what do good old liches and vampires think of this? i.e. why don't they just transfer their souls into an android/robot body upon death, instead of having to resort to evil necromancy, alignment change, etc. I'm talking about the willing vampires and liches here, not the humanoids that have ended up as undead due to accident or affliction... thanks!

Androids absolutely have souls, and in fact that's a significant part of their lore and part of a plot point in Iron Gods. It's what makes them not robots.

And neither androids nor samsarans are immortal. If they die, you make a new character in the same way you do if a human character dies. It doesn't really impact lich or vampire opinions at all, since it's a non-issue.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
When an android undergoes "renewal" is it essentially like reincarnation the way samsarans do it, the same soul reincarnating over and over? Or is it like a new soul occupies the android's body and the old soul passes to Pharasma's judgment?

It's a new soul.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Mogloth wrote:

O Great and Wise T-Rex,

Spoiler:
At the end of book 5, there exists an option for a PC to become the Herald of Iomedae. Is that something that the current herald can pass on? Or does this only come from Iomedae?
This ties into me having the herald grant the PCs a vision for a quest to help close the Worldwound.

Does it make you smile getting a decent amount of questions lately regarding Wrath?

Spoiler:
Only a deity can make someone a herald.

Considering the volume of questions on this thread, I actually hadn't noticed any upsurge in questions about Wrath... but I do appreciate that the relentless crusade a few people in particular waged against the campaign seems to have largely wound up.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The NPC wrote:
There will be an NPC with a Kyton Eidolon. Will that be available as a player option?

The rules for kyton eidolons are in the book's appendix. Whether or not your GM makes those rules available to your PC for this adventure or for any adventure is up to your GM, of course.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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MMCJawa wrote:

1. Speaking of movies, did you hear that the Adam Wingard ("Your Next, etc.) movie "The Woods" was announced at comic con with a new name, "The Blair Witch"?

2. Does this make you more excited or less? I love that director and was excited, but admittedly the idea of an original movie from him is somewhat more appealing than a sequel to a franchise that hasn't had a new entry in quite awhile.

3. Do you have a current favorite "active" director of movies (horror or otherwise), a director that automatically makes you pay attention to their next project?

1) Oh my yes. I was already a fan of Adam Wingard, since the home-invasion sub-genre of horror is one of my LEAST favorite sub-genres of horror, but what he did in "You're Next" blew me away. And Blair Witch Project is one of my favorite movies. And I was already eager to see "The Woods" before I knew the truth. SO... yeah. VERY excited.

2) It makes me more excited. I went from interested to "I might have to see this movie on the VERY first showing, be it the midnight before release or perhaps take the day off to watch it" level of excitement. The advance word I've seen on the movie is VERY encouraging as well.

3) Yup, I've got a few who fall into that category. My "top three" directors of all time are John Carpenter, Akira Kurosawa, Werner Herzog, and Martin Scorsese. Others bounce in and out of the top five, filling that fifth slot—Guillarmo del Toro and Quentin Tarrintino and Ridley Scott and Stephen Spielberg usually fight for that role.

That said. If there's one director who makes me sit up and instantly pay attention to their next project, that'd be Ti West.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The Doomkitten wrote:

Oh Mighty T-Rex,

The group that my friend and I run can only be charitably be called a group. Since we run our game in a public place, and the whole thing is actually a way to get more people interested in RPGs, we have people dropping in and out constantly, and a veritable flood of new players.

Don't get me wrong, I love this! It's fun introducing a bunch of new people to the game, they often come up with fun and interesting ideas that our vets, set in their ways as they are, didn't even think of. But, it's created a bit of a problem for us.

It's rather difficult crafting adventures with how that other than our few vets, different peoples' interests vary wildly as they come to our table, and we often don't know who's coming in advance. In addition, it takes an hour out of our game time to make new characters for the newcomers, and its difficult to explain what already happened in the campaign to new people.

The other DM and I have bounced around a few ideas (creating modular, mostly self-contained adventures with a myth arc, using pregens, perhaps converting a system that's a bit more simple than PF), but what's your take?

The type of game you describe is not really one that works best as a custom campaign with a detailed overarching plot, like you see us do in our Adventure Paths. What it REALLY sounds like you're running is something that is pretty much identical to Pathfinder Society; if you AREN'T actually running the Pathfinder Society organized play game, you should absolutely consider making that change, since it was built specifically for your exact situation—games run in public venues with a constantly rotating cast of players and a relatively thin overall metaplot that focuses on self-contained one-shot adventures.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cole Deschain wrote:
I'm less than enthused by the Urdefahns we've gotten- apart from eyeballs in mouths and self-blindfolding fashion choices, what are the other major differences between PF Urdefahns and the original James Jacobs version?

The urdefhans in my setting are surface dwellers, where they rule a mountain realm called Orv. They are masterminds of weapon invention, and particularly enjoy inventing weapons that torture and torment foes during battles.

That said... check out their initial write-up and info in "Into the Darklands." That's the incarnation of the urdefhan that was closest to my homebrew.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

DaemonAngel wrote:
What font do you prefer to write in?

Nexus Serif is what we use at work, and I've grown pretty accustomed to it.

Times New Roman is gross, as are pretty much all the default settings for Word.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Does bustin' make you feel good?

Not particularly.

Spoiler:
Nor does it make me feel bad. I was never what you'd call a "fan" of Ghostbusters, and while I've seen it a few times, it's far from my favorite movie. It's a fun movie, but it's got parts that annoy me, particularly some of the humor and goofy elements. It's not a movie I've ever felt compelled to own, nor is it one I've ever felt compelled to watch on my own. It doesn't really have any inertia at all for me in one way or another.

I haven't seen the new Ghostbusters movie yet. I an DELIGHTED that the ghostbusters this time around are all women; I think that more movies should do stuff like this, and I hope the movie's success in the face of the haters and misogynists is proof to Hollywood and the world at large that we WANT more women in movies, in roles that aren't defined by the woman needing to be a mother or a nurse or a girlfriend or whatever. But beyond this "ABOUT DAMN TIME" element of the movie... there's not much about the movie from it's trailers or from what I've heard that makes me eager to see it.

This is, of course, complicated by the fact that all of my friends who have seen it have LOVED LOVED LOVED it. And that sort of triggers a warning bell in my head. More often than not, when there's a big popcorn/summer movie like this and everyone else seems to love it, I end up watching the movie and either don't like it or simply like it. AKA: If everyone around me gives it an A+, I'd give the movie in question a B or even a B–. Which still means I liked the movie and am glad I saw it, but when other people who LOVE something are confronted with someone who only likes it, they get weirdly defensive and crusade to try to explain to me why I should like it... perhaps not exactly like that, but they start talking about the parts that they felt made it a GREAT movie and I get the vibe that they think that I simply didn't pick up on that and if I learned about it I would suddenly change my mind.

But here's the thing.

I've been watching movies for close to 40 years. I've been reading and writing for about the same amount of time. I do have a pretty good grasp of what makes a story good or bad, particularly what makes one good or bad to me. I also understand that sometimes, what makes a story good for me makes it bad for others–I love Blair Witch Project, for example, but a lot of folks whose movie opinions I trust hate that movie. I get it, and I don't try to convince them to love it, because I respect their opinions.

I don't enjoy when friends don't pay me the same respect.

I've been through this a fair amount... most often, recently, with superhero movies. There's been a few that I've legitimately LOVED, like "Guardians of the Galaxy" and the Nolan Batman movies, but many of them I only enjoy and never feel the need to watch again. I've only seen the Avengers once, and don't feel the urge to see it again. Same goes for the Thor movies, the Iron Man movies, Deadpool, etc. Fun movies, but none of them are "A" movies to me (like Guardians was, and which I've seen more than once as a result). Note that this can also go in reverse. I quite loved "Jurassic World" and the new Godzilla movie was GREAT (as in I saw it twice on opening day great), but when folks I talk to are lukewarm on the movie, I generally just pull back and stop the conversation. No need for me to blather about it and annoy them, and I'm not interested in them trying to tell me why they feel it was a mediocre movie.

So... I've not yet seen the new Ghostbusters, and there's a very good chance I won't see it in theaters. If I do... It'll probably be on my own. More likely, I'll wait to see it on DVD/Netflix/whatever. Instead, I went to see "Lights Out" this weekend, which was a pretty average horror movie with a few nifty elements to it.

Whew... long answer to a short question. I'll spoiler the above to cut down on the wall of text syndrome.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

IDTheftVictim wrote:
How are crimes handled with the existence of magic? Is Diviniation used to get clues, is Speak with Dead used a lot? Is the Suggestion/Dominate person defense viable? Any qualms with using Charm spells to gather information?

It varies by region and by nation. Just as magic is used in ALL sorts of different ways to say, fight monsters, explore ruins, wage wars, get revenge, create treasure, and everything else, how magic is used to handle crimes varies as well. We've LOTS of examples of how this happens in our adventures.

That said... keep in mind that just because you see PCs reach high level often and just because we publish lots of adventures for them doesn't mean every city and town has spellcasters who are available to cast spells or WILLING to cast spells to help with solving crimes. But yes... speak with dead, mind control, and thought reading all happen with relative frequency... but are also NOT used because that requires a LOT of trust in the spellcaster that they're not going to use their magic to further their own agenda, so in just as many regions, magic is used only as an extra tool or even not at all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

IDTheftVictim wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

Art question!

Why are Urdefhan always wearing leather strips over their eyes, is it just because it makes them look cool, or is there a reason behind it. :-)

Have a splendid weekend!

Because that's something that kinda got latched onto, I guess. There's not really any in-world reason for it. And indeed it makes no sense for their stats since they have to be able to see. In my homebrew, where they come from, they have red eyes that look creepy because you can see through the eyelids.

They've proven to be one of the most difficult things to get illustrated "right" for whatever reason, though.

I think it says in Darklands Revisited that they have an eye at the back of their mouths that the Urdefhan believe sees better than their other two,so they tend to cover their eyes and keep their mouths agape. I am curious as to whether this was made to justify the design or if it was predetermined.

It was a decision by the artist that keeps getting picked up and carried through. The "eye at the back of their mouths" is silly, I think... not a direction I would have taken them if I had written that book or developed it. Urdefhans are increasingly becoming an EXCELLENT example of a race that had a huge role to play in my homebrew but the longer they're in Golarion, the more alien to me they become.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
MythicFox wrote:
If someone was making their own fantasy setting purely from scratch and you could only give them three pieces of basic world-building advice, what would they be? (If you'd absolutely have to give more than three, go ahead, three just seems like a good number for keeping it simple)

1. Go Wild

2. Be Inventive.

3. If this world flames out, you can always build another.

Please don't help. This thread is for me to answer questions, not everyone to answer questions.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Axial wrote:

1. What color is Alexeara Cansellarion's hair and eyes?

2. What do you think about the idea of homebrew Glorious Reclamation campaign?

3. What would be a good 1st-level quest for a bunch of Glorious Reclamation PCs; an anti-Thrune mission that some low-level initiates could handle?

1) Have no idea. I've not reached the point where I've encountered her in that campaign (we're still about 1/2 way through the first book). Good question for Rob though, I guess. Or if you have the volume with her npc writeup, her art will help you.

2) Not interesting to me.

3) Anything that starts them down the road toward reclaiming Chelaix, I guess. Dunno. I'm playing in that AP. I didn't write/outline/develop it. AKA: Glorious Reclamation characters are for KILLING!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheAlicornSage wrote:


The creator is bringing out a Goblins game though, so you might look into that when it is ready, maybe you guys can even be a distributor.

As a general rule in that kind of situation, it's the game creator who should come to Paizo to talk about selling on the store or that type of thing. We generally don't look into new games like that. We've got enough going on with our own games. ;-P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheAlicornSage wrote:

Wrong comics.

Try this,
http://www.goblinscomic.org/

This page is Senor Vorpal Kickass'o, a level 1 character that has 1/11 of a level in 11 classes.
http://www.goblinscomic.org/09022005

Never heard of it. Doesn't really look all that interesting to me though... not really a fan of the art style, nor am I a big fan of the "metagame" style of comic like this or what you see in something like Order of the Stick.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheAlicornSage wrote:

Still can't multiclass at 1st level which makes hard to have a character that studies a dual path. Thankfully Pathfinder removed the restriction disallowing a monk to start taking monk levels after taking another class. (gave me lots of trouble in 3.x)

Big question, have you read the comic Goblins? Do you like it?

Ah; I see what you're saying... but the concept of "multiclassing" at first level is nonsensical. Check out the magus or the hybrid classes in Advanced Class Guide for our version of what you're looking for.

I read the scripts for all the comics and have approval over them before they're sent to the artists, but rarely go back and read them in their final form.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Therrux wrote:
Hey James, has something like the Columbian exchange happened yet on Golarion? I am mostly curious if people in the inner sea could buy the fruits and vegetables not native to Europe. (Corn, potato, yam, tomato, tobacco)

No analog to the "Columbian exchange" really happened, but things like that are quite available to folks in the Inner Sea region. Many of these crops are in fact native to the region (particularly potatoes, tomatoes, and tobacco).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheAlicornSage wrote:
Señor Vorpal Kickass'o wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

Lastly, I will make and present to you a goblin named Senior Vorpal Kickasso, or similar, who has 1 level in lots of classes.

You'll do who to the what, now?

Yea, I'll do it, and I can do it without a chicka over the n and without an apostrophe in preposterous places.

:)

On a more serious side, what would you think James of some multiclass rules that allowed you to take multiple classes each lvl? (probably slowing down ability choices or something)

PS do you catch the reference?

You can already multiclass for each level. No need for new rules at all. In fact, I put just such a character into my Magnimar book; Billiver Biliven is a CN male gnome alchemist 2/bard 1/cleric of Sivanah 1/sorcerer 1/wizard 2. He takes a 2nd level in a class now and then because he doesn't want to be predictable.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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MythicFox wrote:
If someone was making their own fantasy setting purely from scratch and you could only give them three pieces of basic world-building advice, what would they be? (If you'd absolutely have to give more than three, go ahead, three just seems like a good number for keeping it simple)

1) Start small. Begin by building a village in a rural area.

2) Read voraciously/game voraciously/watch voraciously for inspiration.

3) Every time you answer a mystery about your world, pose two more new mysteries to replace the one you answered.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheAlicornSage wrote:
Quote:
If the character is an NPC, absolutely. NPCs don't gain experience points. Whether or not an NPC levels up depends ENTIRELY on the GM's whim.

This answer completely discounts any connection between the game world and what the metagame constructions are supposed to represent.

As most people I know think that either the game world evolves from the rules, or the rules represent the game world occasionally imperfectly, and a very few think a mix (most who say a mix upon further investigation actually believe one or the other, usually the latter).

So this leads to my questions, A, how do you view the connection between the rules, the game world, and what the rules mean in the game world? and B, what exactly do you think levels represent in the game world?

Also, what is the yellow sign mentioned earlier?

Lastly, I will make and present to you a goblin named Senior Vorpal Kickasso, or similar, who has 1 level in lots of classes.

It absolutely does. PCs are supposed to be special and unique. They are not NPCs, and they play by different rules. The game world is represented by rules, but the rules should NEVER hamper/hinder stories you want to tell in the game... and in the end, the creator of the story, be it a GM or an author or a developer or whoever... THAT'S the person who makes the decisions about the plot.

Rules exist for two reasons:

1) to support the game world, and if the game world wants to do something different, then the creator of that story gets to bend or break or invent new rules.

2) Because it's a game. Rules exist so that there's an element of challenge to the game, and as a tool for players and the GM to simulate the events that play out in the game. Without the rules, there is no game, but there's still a world that can grow and expand as long as anyone wants to keep telling stories in that world.

In world, character levels represent skill and talent and power and memory and destiny.

The Yellow Sign was invented a century ago in a series of stories by Robert Chambers that has gone on to be adopted by other writers of genre fiction like H. P. Lovecraft or (most recently) the show creators of HBO's "True Detective." It's also going to play a VERY important role in the upcoming Strange Aeons adventure path. Click for more info.

Just because something can be made, doesn't mean it should be made. I could make a milkshake out of grass clippings, tonails, horse-flesh ice cream, rancid rat milk, sardines, spiders, and peanut butter I scraped up from the floor of a movie theater. Doesn't mean I should! :-P

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Dragon78 wrote:
I don't remember seeing any horns on denizens of leng. But he could have a template or even class feature for that anyway.

They normally hide them under their turbans/headwear, and often aren't so huge... but horns on the denizens of Leng is direct out of Lovecraft...

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Cat-thulhu wrote:
Brilliant cover image. Who's the guy on the front?

You'll find out soon enough who she is!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
*wonders if the Necronomicon will show up in this...*

That's hardly something a player should get to read about.

It also sounds like a great subject for a support article for an adventure path focused on Lovecraftian themes. Hmm! :-P

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The NPC wrote:

Mr. James Jacobs,

If someone was making a class or alternate class that focused on changing the character into one of the outsider types (Angel, Demon, Daemon, etc.) would the spell casing of that class be divine or arcane in your estimation? Also, which class spell list would it use?

I wouldn't make that a spellcasting class at all.

The druid does something similar; it has spellcasting and can change shape. It's an exceptionally powerful class with a lot of versatility AND very complicated.

IF I were to build a class that was about becoming an outsider, it would not cast spells. It would be a full BAB class, most likely, that would gain as its class abilities new powers and themes along the lines of what outsiders get. Among those would be a SMALL number of spell-like abilities.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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RHMG Animator wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
RHMG Animator wrote:
Any chance some Ultimate Intrigue stuff got put in like, a Heist.
There's a Vigilante, but that's about it from Ultimate Intrigue. No heists or anything like that.
Nuts, I felt like there were some ideal spots to put some of that stuff in...

The point of this whole book was to update it to the current rules but to keep the same flavor and experience as closely as possible to the original. It's not really a "remake" at all. As you saw with Runelords, the end result is pretty much the same game, with a few expansions here and there.

Since there was never a heist in the original, there's no heist in it now.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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captain yesterday wrote:

Art question!

Why are Urdefhan always wearing leather strips over their eyes, is it just because it makes them look cool, or is there a reason behind it. :-)

Have a splendid weekend!

Because that's something that kinda got latched onto, I guess. There's not really any in-world reason for it. And indeed it makes no sense for their stats since they have to be able to see. In my homebrew, where they come from, they have red eyes that look creepy because you can see through the eyelids.

They've proven to be one of the most difficult things to get illustrated "right" for whatever reason, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alundrell wrote:

Awesome thanks James that helped a lot!

Did anyone worship iomedae when she was the herald of Aroden and get there spells from her spicificly or did they all pretty much just get there spells from Aroden?

Spoiler:
If the PC who is planing to take the test at the end of the campaign actually redeemed and married Nurah. If he took the test passed ad became iomedaes new herald. Would iomedae allow that character to bring her to the celestial realms with him to live out the rest of her life as a mortal? Would the now Demigod PC have the power to grant her imortality? Or would iomedae grant it to her as a thank you for her part in ending the world wound, or as a favor for her new herald? ( Nurah has been a huge part in the party and was with the party since they took citidel drezen) I don't want to do anything in game that would be out of character for iomedae.

As soon as anyone can grant spells via whatever mechanic, that means there's at least ONE person who worships them. In fact it means that there were people (likely MORE than one, but not necessarily a lot) worshiping that person well before they first became a quasi deity or demigod.

Spoiler:
Once a character becomes a demigod, they pretty much get to make the bulk of their own decisions. What a demigod is able to grant depends on their statistics; they're not full deities and thus can't simply hand wave rules content. A lot of your questions in the spoiler above really come down to options and solutions you as the GM of the story in question get to make based 100% on your desires for what direction you WANT that story to take. And some of them could well be things that require further adventures or quests before they can take place. All up to you. I'm not gonna make your campaign decisions for you! :-P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Paladinosaur wrote:

James, I have some questions about Nocticula

Spoiler:
If Nocticula ascended as a CN goddess, how would that leave her CE followers? How the majority of them would react to this change in her Ethos and what she stands for?
Once she ascended, would she "settle" as CN or would she strive to full redemption to eventually become good aligned?
If or when this history is told, would you like to explore her past and things like her relationship with her brother or the theory that she's a fallen celestial?

Spoiler:
A few of her chaotic evil followers would remain her worshipers; of those, a set would convert to chaotic neutral. The bulk of her followers would see her ascension to a CN goddess as a betrayal, and they would fracture. Many of them would switch religions to whoever ended up taking her place—most likely Shamira, but some would give up on her entirely and move on to other deities like Lamashtu or demon lords like Mestama or Zura.

She would settle as chaotic neutral. She's not a good person, and her areas of concern as a deity would not engender goodness (nor evil) in her worshipers.

And I wouldn't call it "history" since it hasn't happened. I do very much intend to explore it more at some point, and there would indeed be lots of revelations. I'm 99% sure she's NOT a fallen celestial. It's FAR more interesting if she started as a demon and becomes something else than if this was the third shift she had.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

RHMG Animator wrote:
Any chance some Ultimate Intrigue stuff got put in like, a Heist.

There's a Vigilante, but that's about it from Ultimate Intrigue. No heists or anything like that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Grond wrote:

James,

You mentioned before that you wanted to do the Red Mantis Assassin companion book and I know that I am not the only person that would love to see a book dedicated to Golarion's greatest assassin cult. Is there a chance we could see this book within the next two years or so?

I suppose there's a chance... but not a big one. Not a big one at all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Hayato Ken wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I managed to squeeze in some elements from Occult Adventures here and there into the new book. Not a lot, but the book DOES, for example, give advice on what happens if you bring a spiritualist into Scarwall, or how some occult options might allow for strange new potential interactions with the Harrow deck or other things you find along the way!

That´s pretty cool.

I know quite some people who GM and feel overwhelmed by new options and have problems incorporating them into APs. They will surely appreciate it.

True... but that said, a GM who's overwhelmed by the new options and has problems dealing with them absolutely should NOT allow those new options into his game. That's not the mark of a lazy GM... that's the mark of a skilled GM who knows what his limits are.

Personally, I suspect that many GMs who find their games aren't "challenging" enough when they run a game run into that problem precisely because they allow players carte blanche to build characters from books and options the GM isn't familiar with. In a best-case scenario, the GM is the one with the best rules-fu at the table, and when a player knows the mechanics of a class a lot better than the GM the GM is more often going to be blindsided by things.

And to you players out there... if you DO get to build a class that you think the GM isn't familiar with, don't use this as an opportunity to trick/ambush your poor GM. Work with him to make sure he's aware of your character's options, tactics, and potentials. The whole mindset of "if the GM knows my tricks then he'll use that knowledge to win and kill my character" is toxic to the game. As are GMs who do that, of course... if you have a GM who pulls this kind of stunt, though, chances are good you know that already and the solution there isn't really to build a sneaky character using options that GM isn't familiar with but to either find a new GM or volunteer to be the GM for your group.

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Alundrell wrote:

Hi James

When Iomedae passed the test of the starstone and became a Demi god she got the job of Arodens herald. Did she gain domains and was she able to grant people spells after passing the test? Or did she just become a unique outsider and didn't gain the ability to grant spell until Aroden died and she took over?

Spoiler:
if at the end of wrath one of my Pcs who was a warpriest of iomedae passes teat of the star stone could he become iomedaes herald just like she did for Aroden? And would he become a Demigod or would he be a unique outsider?

Once you gain domains, you can grant spells. Whether or not Iomedae gained this ability as the result of taking the Test of the Starstone and became a demigod OR if she already had it before because she had mythic tiers and had the divine source power is something that I think we've been pretty unclear about.

What I do know is that when she emerged from the Starstone Cathedral, she did so as a unique outsider demigod. Likely a CR 26 one. Who swiftly rose in power to become the full on deity she is today (my preference is that it was Aroden's death and the power vacuum that resulted that allowed her to transcend from demigod to deity, but again, I'm pretty sure we've been unclear/vague about all that).

As for the spoilered part...

Spoiler:
How things work out for PCs who take the Test of the Starstone in your game is intentionally left 100% up to you as the GM. My suggestion would be for that PC to indeed become a demigod and thus become a unique outsider, but that would also pretty much force that player to retire the character and hand her over to you as an NPC in your version of Golarion, unless you felt super ambitious and wanted to keep running a game for a player whose character makes up its own rules!

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The NPC wrote:

Mr. James Jacobs,

Between Shackled City, Age or Worms, and Savage Tide, which do you think would be the most readily convertible to Golarion?

Also, which is the best substitute for Demogorgon?

Savage Tide, since it takes place "off the map." I think the Isle of Dread would work well to the southwest of the Shackles. And the other stuff would fit in well there as well. Sasserine would be a city on the mainland coast of the Shackles, while Cauldron would be inland.

Which means Shackled City would fit pretty well in there as well, I guess... but the fact that Shackled City relies so much on a specific D&D only monster means you'd have a bit more work cut out for you to adapt it.

Age of Worms would work the worst, because it's SO heavily invested in Greyhawk lore. I think it's actually a disservice to that AP to set it anywhere but Greyhawk.

The best choice for Demogorgon is to NOT substitute him at all but use Demogorgon. Golarion's Abyss is perfectly capable of having room for Demogorgon as one more demon lord, perhaps one on the same tier as Nocticula or Pazuzu for power. He'd still be under Lamashtu, but that doesn't mean he can't still be the demon lord of demons.

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Rysky wrote:
Also, similar to how Arazni made "the Harlot Queen" title her own rather it remain an insult have the Erinyes Queens done the same, or do they actually have another title other than "Whore Queens"?

The Whore Queens do not have another title. Hell is misogynistic. That's one of the ways hell is such a bastion of evil, and the concept of pure LAWFUL EVIL (aka the concept of traditional evil, or the evil of blind adherence to outdated or destructive traditions set up by ignorant or cruel predecessors) fits misogyny very well in my opinion.

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Kalindlara wrote:

So I stumbled across this post. As someone who ran that adventure, I just want to say that that sounds like an awesome archetype.

If we ever get a Paths of the Profane Player Companion, is there any chance we could get prestige classes for all four whore queens? I've always felt they were rather underserved, and would like to see them get a little more material. (Plus, giving each of them unique content lets you use their collective term a bit less, if that's a factor.)

Short answer: no

Longer answer...

Spoiler:

If a potential "Paths of the Profane" PC were to come out, it would have room for 14 prestige classes. Of those 14, 6 would be focused on the 6 evil deities of the core 20, leaving 8 open slots.

Of those 8 open slots, 5 would be taken up by classes for Achaekek, Ghlaunder, Droskar, Gyronna, and Zyphus, as the most significant other deities of the region, leaving 3 open slots.

Of those three remaining slots, I'd probably assign 1 each to the 3 evil alignments. The chaotic evil one would likely be focused on a demon lord, the neutral evil one on a horseman of the apocalypse (which ones chosen would depend on the ones who thematically allow for the exploration of new ground not already touched upon by the other classes already in play—for example, since there'd be an Urgathoa prestige class, the demon lord chosen would probably not be Zura, since undead and vampire themes would likely already be covered by Urgathoa.

Which leaves 1 "other" category for the last lawful evil one. And I would probably have this one be a prestige class for one of the 8 arch devils.

THAT SAID... not sure if you've checked out Hell's Rebels, but that AP has actually quite a bit of info about one of the whore queens...

And THAT said... a prestige class book isn't really the best place to explore an obscure deity in the first place since the prestige class's powers must take the center stage, which leaves very little room to detail the deity and her faith at all.

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kevin_video wrote:

Hey James. My reading comprehension is pretty abysmal compared to most other people, so I thought I'd double check before I did anything drastic to my players.

Under the gray ooze entry, it says for its CR 6 variant "Id oozes are advanced gray oozes". Now, does that mean literally that it has the Advanced Creature template? That was my interpretation to help explain why it went from CR 4 to CR 6 and has Int 2.

That's precisely what it means. Id oozes are gray oozes with the advanced creature template. Normally that would only boost a monster's CR by +1, but in this case, there's more going on with the id ooze beyond that simple template. The fact that they are intelligent (and thus have skills and feats), can communicate telepathically with other id oozes (and thus use complex tactics), and most important use confusion attacks helps to bump their CR up another point.

That said, if/when I ever stat up an id ooze in print, I would ALSO raise its Hit Dice by a few so that it would hit the numbers found on Table 1–1 in the Bestiary's appendix for a CR 6 creature.

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IDTheftVictim wrote:
So level 20 Wizards are the shapers of nations, level 20 Fighters are the slayers of tyrants, level 20 bards and experts are artisans that create masterpieces, and a level 20 Alchemist reversed aging. If we assume it is possible to gather the levels what would a level 20 Commoner be?

I don't believe we ever said any of the above. A level 20 bard can be a slayer of tyrants. A Level 20 wizard can reverse aging. Grouping bards and experts in the same category is kinda silly too.

I'm pretty sure that although the rules allow for a 20th level commoner that no such thing has ever or will ever exist in print for Pathfinder. Commoners above 8th level are pretty, well.. UNcommon. Those above 12th? I doubt they exist.

Likewise, while you can build a character who takes a new class each time she levels up... I doubt that any character like this exists. Just because you CAN build something with the rules doesn't by any means guarantee that thing should exist in world.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Interesting responses so far! Keep em coming! A lot of locations I knew/hoped folks would be into, and several that I hadn't even considered!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I managed to squeeze in some elements from Occult Adventures here and there into the new book. Not a lot, but the book DOES, for example, give advice on what happens if you bring a spiritualist into Scarwall, or how some occult options might allow for strange new potential interactions with the Harrow deck or other things you find along the way!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
James, what is the best birthday present you have ever received? And what is the best reaction someone gave you for a present you gifted them with?

Hmmm. In 44 years, I actually can't think of a "best birthday present" that I've received. My birthday is on January 9th, which is only a few weeks away from Christmas, which means a LOT of my presents growing up blurred together there. In some cases, literally—in that I've received a fair amount of "This big present is your birthday present AND your christmas present." Which is soul-crushingly demoralizing for a kid, even if the present you get in such a situation is better than what you might have gotten otherwise. I guess one of my fondest memories of a present was unwrapping the wrapper and finding a copy of the 1st edition AD&D adventure "Queen of the Spiders." That one went on to be one of my favorite ever adventures, so that was pretty cool. Another (much more recent) surprising present was an old fancy copy of Moby Dick from the 50s. I guess the wagon I got as a kid was a big hit, but I don't really have many memories of that today other than amusement at how frustrated my dad's reactions are today when he thinks back about how tough it was to put together. OH! Also, the Hastur-themed mysterious package present folks got together to get me a few years ago was cool, but that was Christmas. Most of my birthday presents lately tend to be whatever neat book or video game is out at the time or stuff that's more utilitarian than surprising. Hmmm... I think maybe the best most recent birthday present I got, come to think of it, was a little tiny bigfoot walking on a little grassy hill inside of a little square plastic case. It's one of the cutest and most unique bigfoot themed things I've ever seen. (THANKS JESSICA!!!)

The best reaction I've gotten for a present I've gifted is a hug.

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Adam Daigle wrote:
Have you found the Yellow Sign?

Indeed I have. Found it for the first time in 1989, inside of this product. Of course, it was in black and white at the time...

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Is it possible for a character to travel from Jinin in the Dragon Empires to Riddleport in Varisia WITHOUT gaining character levels along the way (essentially remaining a first level character until they arrive and their actual adventures begin)?

Would you consider a crane more along the lines of a familiar or an animal companion?

If the character is an NPC, absolutely. NPCs don't gain experience points. Whether or not an NPC levels up depends ENTIRELY on the GM's whim.

If the character is a PC, I suppose its possible if the GM's campaign is intended to be focused on Riddleport and not Jinin or the journey to Riddleport from Jinin. Remember, in effect, until you sit down and play your character in game it's not an active PLAYED character. All of the stuff you come up with for a character's history before that very first session is essentially stuff that your character did as a NON-PLAYED character. You are a player, but for your PC's pre-game history, you are in effect the GM of that NPC character. And thus, that NPC doesn't gain XP and won't gain levels. It's only when a character gets PLAYED that they can earn XP. (NOTE: This does include characters that a GM runs as an NPC who adventure with the PCs—things like cohorts or allies fall into this category, but even then exactly HOW those characters earn levels is largely left to individual GM preferences.)

I consider a crane to be far too large to be a familiar. Works better as an animal companion.

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MeanDM wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
Does this mean that in a country like Cheliax, the majority of the population would pay lip-service to Asmodeus, perhaps event attend church, without being evil themselves?
That's pretty much exactly what it means. Paying lip-service to a deity does not require faith in that deity, and in fact if you're paying lip-service, that more or less means you do NOT have faith in that deity. You're just afraid of the repercussions of appearing non-faithful, or trying to avoid causing problems, or deliberately being deceitful, etc.

Hi James!

That made me think of a follow up question. How does Pharasma view such lip service? Does it matter that in a place like Cheliax one would be heavily influenced to pay lip service whether they wanted to do so or not? In short does intent make a difference?

Thank you!

Lip service generally doesn't make a difference for people with strong faiths. For people with not strong faiths, paying lip service to a deity you don't believe in or don't support can end up tipping the scales for your soul into the "punishment" category rather than the "paradise" category.

AKA: Someone who grows up in Cheliax and isn't really religious but pays lip service to Asmodeus every worship day and during festivals but isn't a bad person has a better chance of going to heaven than hell than an equally irreverent person who lives in Andoran and pays lip service to Eratstil but is kind of a jerk.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Could one use a heavy mace as a cane?

If you're asking "can a cane use heavy mace stats" then no. A cane is a club.

Beyond that, I'd say that using a heavy mace as a cane would be awkward and uncomfortable and perhaps dangerous.

Shorter answer: no.

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Well, I guess the good news there then is that it's ABSOLUTELY gonna be out for Gen Con 2017! Way early even!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gorbacz wrote:
Spire of Nex.

HA! That should have been #4 of the "don't bother mentioning since I know folks want it" above. Well played, toothy bag. Well played indeed! :-D

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