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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 46,341 posts (48,479 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Jareth Elirae wrote:
As a long time player and DM of D&D I have sadly only ever had one adventure that has struck pure fear into the hearts of every adventurer who has ever attempted it. Many of my friend since my college games have leveled up with a final "out in a blaze of glory" wish to attempt to defeat THAT place. I have also had players have their favorite and most courageous characters give up and run away grateful for their lives (while the player clutches their most precious character sheets to their chest with a definite sense of mortality). This singular adventure that struck universal and unequaled fear into my players for decades was the original Tomb of Horrors and I have never seen anything to equal its effect on players (the words palpable terror become manifest at the gaming table). I wonder if you have had a similar experience with this adventure or any other. Do you think such a thing will ever be duplicated?

The tricky part is that Tomb of Horrors came out early, at the height of D&D's popularity, and at a time when there simply was no other high level adventure. So everyone who had a high level character played it. Repeating that notoriety at this point I think might be impossible.

For me, though... it was probably Baba Yaga's hut. I ran an adventure there in college with SUPER high level characters and the players were so terrified of Baba Yaga's reputation that they went through every room without touching a single thing. Turns out... that's a pretty safe way to progress through Baba Yaga's hut. I'm not sure it'd work as well in Tomb of Horrors... but maybe!

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Eoxyn wrote:
Pathfinder Lego sets- What would you want to see first?

Not a huge Lego fan, but I suppose I'd like to see a Lego Sandpoint first.

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Albatoonoe wrote:

How do you feel about introducing the main villain in the first or second session of the game?

The idea is to introduce him as force the players can't stop at the beginning and then they must fight and defeat him at the end, showing a tangible growth in power to the players.

I think it's a good idea that is kinda risky. We've done this a few times before in Adventure Paths—Curse of the Crimson Throne, Skull & Shackles, Wrath of the Righteous, and the upcoming Hell's Rebels are all good examples of this happening. Others, we introduce them in subtle ways, as in Rise of the Runelords.

You just have to do it in a way that doesn't trick the PCs into thinking "NOW IS OUR CHANCE TO STRIKE!" because in most cases, that's either gonna be a TPK or a TVK. In either event, the campaign ends before it really has a chance to begin.

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Kajehase wrote:

Wait, brownies aren't lawful?

If they aren't, can I suggest tomte/nisse as a not-yet-published lawful fey? They're like Scandinavian brownies who look like garden gnomes, but has a vicious streak if you forget to put out a bowl of feast porridge for them at Christmas or otherwise offend them.

According to Bestiary 2, brownies are neutral.

There's plenty of opportunities for more lawful fey. Whether or not we ever do anything with them, we'll see.

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Kalindlara wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kiora Atua wrote:
How do fey in general feel about gnome adventurers they encounter? Do they consider them kin, or allies? Or do they view them as so distantly related that the kinship is no longer there?
"Fey" is an entire category of monster that spans all nine alignments, so that's a pretty broad question. Some would feel sad for the gnomes, some might consider them traitors, some would welcome them as long lost friends... but in the most part, they would treat gnomes as they would any other humanoid, as gnomes are, today, so far removed from the First World that they're no longer fey and haven't been for many many many generations.

Noticed the bolded portion. We don't see a lot of lawful fey (beyond the Eldest).

1) What sort of fey are likely to be lawful?

2) Do they just stay on the First World rather than coming over to play with mortals?

3) What is "fey lawful" like? I'm guessing a lot of weird rules and courtly intrigue... maybe a la Hellboy 2?

Thank you! :)

1) Very rare and unusual fey. There's nothing in the monster category that denies they can be lawful. But they're rare. The norns are one example of a lawful fey.

2) No more so than any other fey. There's just not as many of them.

3) Same as any other lawful—there's not a special subset of "lawful" when it comes to fey.

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Hey there, folks!

If you get a chance once you get into this event, I'd love to see you post here and talk about what sorts of characters you'll be building for the game. I promise not to use this information against your characters when the game begins.

Spoiler:
Promises not guaranteed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Hey there, folks! Looking forward to inflicting some mayhem on your poor, defenseless investigators!

I'll be using the new 7th edition Call of Cthulhu rules for this game, but never fear... if your'e familiar with earlier editions, you'll find the differences are pretty easy to adjust to.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

If there were a Pathfinder animated series or something and you could choose any voice actors you wanted, who would you choose for some of "your" characters like:

Merisiel?
Ameiko?
Shalelu?
Desna?
Shensen?

Huh... tough call, but probably...

Merisiel: Aisha Tyler

Ameiko: Mila Kunis

Shalelu: Scarlett Johansson

Desna: Lisa Gerrard

Shensen: Anne Hathaway

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Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

A Book of Creatures

These creatures are fascinating! I can see some of them have already been used as pathfinder monsters, but do you think ones like these might be inspiration for further bestiaries?

We have and shall continue to look at real world mythologies, cryptozoology, and literature for monsters for Pathfinder. The site you linked is neat! I haven't looked through it all, but I wouldn't be surprised to find some in there that we've got plans for.

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Just dropping in to confirm that, yes, we'll be announcing the AP after Hell's Rebels at Paizo Con, and announcing the one after that at Gen Con.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Keydan wrote:

Hello once again James!

This is one of thosse questions, that start holy wars, and at out table we rant and fight for hours aout it, but I just want some input from someone in the top brass.

So, what was the reasoning for allowing rougues steak attack constructs, undead, plants and more?

I am one of those people who gets the concept of "if it has a solid form - it has weak spots" but many do not.. what could be a solid reasoning for others to understand this.

Thanks in advance.

Two reasons.

1) It lets rogues use their core ability more often, and lets them play the game without getting shut down.

2) Popular culture and literature alike are rife with examples of someone doing critical hits or sneak attacks to things like constructs (in the movie Jason and the Argonauts, Jason defeats the iron statue Talos by attacking a weak spot on the statue's ankle), undead (all zombie movies have the "shoot them in the head" thing; vampires die if you hit them in the heart or cut off the head, etc.), and so on. In fact, the idea of something that's normally hard to kill because it's not alive or undead or whatever works STRONGER with the trope of "You have to hit them in the exact right spot to hurt or kill them." Which is precisely what sneak attack is all about.

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Buri Reborn wrote:
For an AP that focuses more on wilderness or planar exploration that's not a dungeon crawl, per se, and research, are there any you'd recommend from the Paizo library or have on the drawing board?

Kingmaker OR Serpent's Skull.

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Icyshadow wrote:

Bloodborne questions.

- Favourite boss?

- Least favourite boss?

- Favourite melee weapon?

- Favourite ranged weapon? Least favourite as well?

Favorite boss: Amygdala

Least Favorite boss: They're all pretty cool. There's not one that stands out as a least favorite.

Favorite Melee: Threaded cane

Favorite Ranged weapon: The pistol.

Don't have least favorite weapons either. Haven't really played much with them, as the cane just feels so right.

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Kajehase wrote:
Thought you'd enjoy the cover to the latest issue of the Swedish version of "The Phantom", was I right?

You were indeed!

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Kiora Atua wrote:
How do fey in general feel about gnome adventurers they encounter? Do they consider them kin, or allies? Or do they view them as so distantly related that the kinship is no longer there?

"Fey" is an entire category of monster that spans all nine alignments, so that's a pretty broad question. Some would feel sad for the gnomes, some might consider them traitors, some would welcome them as long lost friends... but in the most part, they would treat gnomes as they would any other humanoid, as gnomes are, today, so far removed from the First World that they're no longer fey and haven't been for many many many generations.

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Since you are so into Fury Road (I am too), where do you think a Mad Max style campaign (lots of survival and hostility) should go on Golarion?

Numeria. See part 2 of Iron Gods, "Lords of Rust," for more.

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The Doomkitten wrote:

Have ever heard of the prank that GameStation (not GameStop) pulled for an April Fool's joke?

They included a clause on their Terms of Services that said if you purchased any product from them, you forfeit your immortal soul to them.

1. Has Paizo pulled anything like this?
2. Has my question got this idea stirring in your mind?
3. Will Paizo pull anything like this?

1) No.

2) Nope.

3) Probably not.

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Alayern wrote:
James Jacobs(back in 2013) wrote:
Albatoonoe (back in 2013) wrote:

Have you listened to Welcome to Night Vale at all?

If you haven't, it's like community radio for a weird Lovecraftian town. It seems like something you would enjoy.

Have not; I'll check it out when I get a chance.
Have you had a chance yet? They've gotten pretty big now. I love these guys.

Yup; I've listened to a few of them. Fun stuff!

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Tels wrote:

Star Wars Trailer #2

Feelings?

Ambivalence, as in I haven't watched the trailer yet, and don't feel much of a need to do so. Maybe once Fury Road is out I'll stop watching that trailer and have time to look at other trailers. ;-P

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Kalindlara wrote:

I'm assuming you know about shabti (Pathfinder Adventure Path #84: Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh).

1) If you built a shabti character, what would you build him/her as?

2) What sort of personality would you give them?

3) Would Urgathoa have been known in Ancient Osirion? I had an idea for an ancient shabti worshiper of Urgathoa, whiling away her immortality in indolent hedonism...

Thank you! :)

I know the shabti exist, but haven't read about them.

1) Probably a cleric of Pharasma.

2) Enigmatic, mysterious, and obsessed with the shift of life to death. Neutral, so not evil, but still creepy.

3) Yes she would have been.

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The Doomkitten wrote:

Okay, am I the only person here who's seen the parallels in lore between the Order of the Stick world and Golarion?

Both were created to house and uber-powerful god killer, after all...

I don't know if you are or not. I don't read Order of the Stick, though, so it certainly didn't inspire me to do that.

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Ashkar wrote:

Some questions concerning Kusasfa from Curse of Crimson Throne AP:

1. How long ago he awoke and escaped his tomb in mastaba?
2. Is he undead (what kind, if he is)?
3. Does he have PC or NPC class levels?
4. Is he planing to rise Sorshen, or he took the chance to be free from her forewer?

And questions concerning towns, that are in Korvosa domain, when CoCT AP takes place:
How situation in Korvosa affects settlements in its domain? I can imagine that Biston and Sirathu may rebel (and Abken may start something, considering how strange it is), but what about Melfesh, Harse, Baslwief, Palin's Cove and Veldraine? Where they planing their own rebelion? Was there anybody, who would plan intervention in Korvosa to stop Ileosa? Or rulers of those settlements where loyal to her (or afraid to take actions)? Did Ileosa gave them any orders, or let them reign on their own?

P.S. Sorry for my English. Not a native speaker.

1) Many many years ago. Centuries ago. Possibly more. Long before Korvosa existed.

2) Unrevealed.

3) He would have PC levels. Sorshen wouldn't be interested in a mook with only NPC levels. What class he was, though is unrevealed.

4) Unrevealed.

For the most part, the outlying towns go quiet and stay dutiful; Ileosa focuses the bulk of what she's doing to Korvosa itself, and as things go on, you might see more folks fleeing the outlying towns for Magnimar or maybe even Kaer Maga, but there's no real rebellions forming there. If the PCs don't do their job, more of them likely would eventually form there, but by that point, Ileosa would likely move against them. As written, though, the outlying towns just don't have much of a role in the AP. You can have them work however you want.

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Dave_Vader wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


5) Eventually, I'm sure. Ignoring him hasn't been intentional, but I do tend to prefer to focus on either deities who are strongly tied in to AP themes or deities that I personally prefer.

So you are saying we should expect a 'drunken master' adventure path some time in the future? Or something like: The Ultimate Golarion Barcrawl AP - Fight and drink yourself through the most iconic bars and taverns in Golarion, while rescuing some people from oppression without realising it.

I'm sure that would go to the more 'experimental' APs ;)

Would even go great with a player companion: Taverns of Golarion or Drinks of Golarion.

Nope... not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that Cayden Cailean is not one of the deities that's more interesting to me, and as such, in the products I work on, primarily the Adventure Paths... he tends to get ignored in favor of deities that DO interest me.

Not sure a "You're drunk all six adventures long" AP would be a great idea... and if we DID do a drunken master type adventure, I'd be tempted to focus as much on Irori as any other deity. Cause of Jackie Chan.

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

I have a limited gaming income. We use all the rules, more or less, as they come available on d20pfsrd or Archives of Nethys. I purchased the CRB to support Paizo, specifically because 90% of the rules you need to quickly look up are there.

Given I probably won't buy more than a book a year, what would you recommend as my second hardcover? Again, since we use web references, this would be whatever is likely to get the most use.

Inner Sea World Guide.

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Ed Reppert wrote:
xavier c wrote:


But it is one thing to say that some members of the catholic church were not the best of people. It is another thing to insult god/Jesus and i don't think he deserve it.
True, but... neither God nor Jesus is a member of the Catholic Church. :-)

Keep it to questions, please. And let's not make this into a crusade.

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
I recall you saying that while it won't be for some time, you DO plan to introduce us to the Arcadian continent - can you say if there are yet any ideas for different races (like the set that shows up in Tian Xia) or weird new classes that would be prominent over there?

I do more or less know what the core races for Arcadia are, but now's not even close to the point where I want to reveal or even hint at that.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What do pipefoxes eat? For they are cute and I want one.

Dunno. Probably kibble.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kalindlara wrote:
xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
What do thing of a factions of Golarion(or inner sea) book
We've already done that book, so I think it's a good idea! :P
you did?

They sure did!

Mr. Jacobs, speaking of factions, there's some I'm curious about...

1) Do you have anything in mind for the Aspis Consortium coming up, or do you leave them to other writers (such as the PFS crew)?

2) Whose idea was the Aspis Consortium?

3) Do you have more plans or stories for the Red Mantis cult?

4) Is there a faction (or factions) you like best? Least? (Speaking personally, not as Creative Director.)

Also...

5) Will we ever see more of Cayden Cailean in the APs? His article appeared in Second Darkness, but he was barely represented there, and none of the other Paths seem to have anything to do with him - no clerics, nothing.

Thank you! :)

1) The Aspis Consortium these days is mostly a PFS thing.

2) Erik Mona's, I believe. He wanted the Pathfinders to have a foil. If the Pathfinder Society is Indianna Jones, the Aspis Consortioum is Belaq.

3) Yes. Absoulutely.

4) Yes. I'm pretty fond of the Red Mantis, but also quite fond of the faiths of Desna and Sarenrae.

5) Eventually, I'm sure. Ignoring him hasn't been intentional, but I do tend to prefer to focus on either deities who are strongly tied in to AP themes or deities that I personally prefer.

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the xiao wrote:
Who discovered psychic magic in Golarion? Which (PC) race in Golarion is the most adept at it? Will there ever be an iconic warrior-type class that is a gnome or halfling?

Unrevealed, but it was likely someone in Vudra.

Humans are probably the most adept at it, since they're the most versatile. I guess.

Unlikely, since there's not really many iconics left to do.

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xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
What do thing of a factions of Golarion(or inner sea) book
We've already done that book, so I think it's a good idea! :P
you did?

Yup. The Faction Guide!

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xavier c wrote:
What do thing of a factions of Golarion(or inner sea) book

We've already done that book, so I think it's a good idea! :P

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Have you seen Wreck it Ralph? If so did you like it?

2)Have you seen ParaNorman yet? If so did you like it?

3)What other movies have you seen lately?

4)Wich planet in Golarion's solar system(other then Golarion) would you like to visit and why?

5)If you could go anywhere on Golarion were would you go and why?

6)What movies are you most excited to see this year? Next year?

7)Of Golarion's many deities wich god would you like to meet for real? wich goddess?

1) Haven't seen it.

2) Haven't seen it.

3) It Follows—Absolutely awesome.
Pig Hunt—pretty dumb
Millennium Bug—also pretty dumb until the delightfully retro giant bug shows up and starts ripping up forests and hillbilly huts.
The Quiet Ones—interesting idea but boring execution.

4) Castrovel, because it's the prettiest.

5) Sandpoint, because it's the best place on the planet.

6) This year: Fury Road; Jurassic World; Avengers II; Crimson Peak; Phantasm V
Next year: The new Toho Godzilla movie; Warcraft; The Conjuring II

7) God: Cayden Cailean. Goddess: Desna.

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xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
what pathfinder god does this remind you of?

Iomedae.

Interesting!

What did you think when you first saw that image?

I was surprised when i saw that image (i'm like what is Iomedae doing in this game). the similarity is uncanny.

I thought "Cool, some of our design is inspiring other companies now!" Pride and delight, mostly.

It does not set off my intellectual property infringement alarms though... although it would if the faith and personality of the character is too close to Iomedae.

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Zhangar wrote:
Considering the sheer number of Great Old Ones on it (including some exceptionally dangerous ones sealed by the Elder Things), would Earth be reasonably viewed as a "containment" planet by extra-terrestial or extraplanar forces?

What makes you think Earth has an unusual number of Great Old Ones? It could well be the norm!

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thegreenteagamer wrote:
Do you like stand-up comedy? If so, who are your favorite comedians?

I enjoy it, but not so much that I seek it out. If I stumble across it and it's funny, I'll usually stick around. My favorite comedians these days would be Sarah Silverman and Jim Gaffigan. My favorite classic stand up comedians would be George Carlin and Bill Cosby.

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DragoDorn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Filby Pott wrote:
Does the name "Golarion" have a meaning in-universe? What culture gave the planet that name?

It does—it means "The Cage."

As for what culture gave it that name... unrevealed, but probably Azlant.

So Aroden might have escaped "The Cage", and found himself cut off and unable to return to the Golarion the he came from?

Multi-verse Golarion makes since if you think about the connection to our Earth (which might be another Golarion, or vice versa) and maybe the connection to the crashed ship in Numeria. Maybe they haven't been back because the people where they came from saw them disappear and thought they were destroyed instantly instead of traveling to Golarion. Maybe the Azlanti knew that the Aboleths had 'Caged' us all. /rant

Nope. It's called "The Cage" because it metaphorically contains Rovagug and his prison plane. Has nothing to do with Aroden, really.

Earth is not "another Golarion" but a specific and separate world in a distant galaxy. And the home planet of the ship that crashed in Numeria is Androffa, which is itself a THIRD world separate from Earth and Golarion. So neither of those have much to do with the planet being called "The Cage" as well.

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Okay folks... just the regular reminder to keep this thread to questions. Discussions about interpretive dance and real-world religion belong elsewhere.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Filby Pott wrote:
Does the name "Golarion" have a meaning in-universe? What culture gave the planet that name?

It does—it means "The Cage."

As for what culture gave it that name... unrevealed, but probably Azlant.

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Tels wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Why is it always interpretive dance? Whatever happened to projecting text onto people's bodies?

Well... there was that one guy who would put paint tubes in his anus and then clench and squirt it out to paint his pictures... But I don't think I want Pathfinder associated with that type of art.

Rysky might want to be, definitely Cosmo, but I dunno about Pathfinder.

What do you think about anus based, projectile artwork James?

I think it's not all that appropriate a topic for these boards.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Why is it always interpretive dance? Whatever happened to projecting text onto people's bodies?

That's a bit anachronistic is all.

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Tels wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
So, Pathfinder has spread into card games, audio dramas, novels, comics, and soon to be video games. Are there any other areas you want to bring Pathfinder into?
Is this up to a vote? If so, I vote for interpretive dance.

Nope. Pretty much nothing we do but RPG superstar is up to a vote.

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Constantine wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:


Did you ever go and look at the statues in the grand cathedral?

What do you think of the Nightmare Frontier?

I did... and I had indeed noticed them before and approved. By that point, I wasn't that surprised to see them though.

Nightmare Frontier is SUPER HARD AND SCARY.

Sorry if your answer answers this as well but how do you feel about that and how open the church is about what they're actually worshipping as opposed to corrupt religions in other media that mask the creatures behind them as usually being beatific and angelic.
I think it's pretty interesting; the idea that the things you worship might actually be BAD for you is pretty cool.

*GASP*

Are you saying Desna is an EVIL space moth?!?!

:-)

heavy sigh

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thegreenteagamer wrote:
I've noticed some of your staff have third party companies. You guys don't have noncompete clauses?

Nope! You do have to get your manager's approval if you do run your own company though. It's not total anarchy there.

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Albatoonoe wrote:
So, Pathfinder has spread into card games, audio dramas, novels, comics, and soon to be video games. Are there any other areas you want to bring Pathfinder into?

Absolutely.

You wouldn't happen to have HBO's number, would you?

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There's going to be a new discipline for the Hellknights of the Torrent. No new assiduous gaze though; those aren't tied to specific orders, and thus you don't require a new one just for the Torrent, like you do with the disciplines.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aberzombie wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

James,

Have you ever had mead? If so, did you like it?

Yes. And yes... but not all brands are created equal.
Brands? Interesting. What brands do you like? Mine preferred brand is whatever I've brewed at home.

My favorite mead brewery is Sky River Mead, a local brewery up here in the Redmond area.

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MeanDM wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The Fox wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:

Also, if you don't mind ID'ing people, who is who in this image?

Thank you! :)

Starting at the 3:00 position, the guy in the fancy shirt is Erik Mona. Going clockwise, the guy at the left is Jason Bulmahn, then the one with his back to the bookshelves is me, and then the guy in the background is Rob McCreary.

Is Erik always dressed to the nines? He looks very dapper. (Both intended as compliments.)

Is that a Paizo break room?

Erik is indeed usually dressed pretty damn well.

It's the main meeting room, not a break room. Fun note: The wall of dark green books between me and Rob is an ALMOST complete set of first publication bound copies of Amazing Stories, back to the start. They're essentially the bound copies of the editor's copies of the entire run. Looking through those is pretty incredible.

Wow! Those must be worth a great deal... Are they owned by an individual or by Paizo?

Either way, they would be amazing to thumb through.

They're owned by Paizo.

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xavier c wrote:
what pathfinder god does this remind you of?

Iomedae.

Interesting!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Doomkitten wrote:
Um... James, is the tech team on tackling the spam-monkey problem? Because the front is beleaguered. I tagged twenty threads in ten minutes!

I assume they are, but they're on the other side of the building and I generally don't have much interaction with them. Might be good to post your concerns to customer service.

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xavier c wrote:
Are you saying Sarenrae is BAD for you?:P

Nope. I don't recall mentioning Sarenrae at all in the quoted post.

xavier c wrote:
And are't most of that type of media just people mocking or insulting roman Catholics and the roman catholic church.?

Not necessarily. BUT, If so... then the church has done plenty to invite and deserve said mockery, in my opinion.

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