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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 51,495 posts (53,875 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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Oncoming_Storm wrote:
What do trolls eat?

Whatever fits in their mouth.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:

Have you considered putting the priestly titles into a Paizo blog post? Not as much of a to-do as fitting it into a book, but still accessible to fans.

Of course... blogs are free, and awesome as you guys are, you don't put out material for your health...

Not a fan of putting such load-bearing information on something as ephemeral and transitory as a blog post.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Paladinosaur wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
James, would a adventuring priest of Abadar use the title of Banker? And do priests of Cayden Cailean use some kind of title?
All faiths have titles for various ranks, and we've been pretty slapdash on putting those in print. An adventuring priest of Abadar would indeed use the title "Banker" if he or she were mid level. We haven't revealed many titles for Cayden Cailean yet, and I'm not gonna make them up here where they'll be remembered randomly.
Do you want to eventually nail down this titles in print?

yes... But I don't know where. We SHOULD have done it in Inner Sea Gods and Inner Sea Faiths. To a certain extent, I feel almost as if the ship has sailed and we missed our chance. Dunno where or when or how it makes sense to get the info out now. It's something that's been bothering me for a few years now, in fact.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Paladinosaur wrote:
James, would a adventuring priest of Abadar use the title of Banker? And do priests of Cayden Cailean use some kind of title?

All faiths have titles for various ranks, and we've been pretty slapdash on putting those in print. An adventuring priest of Abadar would indeed use the title "Banker" if he or she were mid level. We haven't revealed many titles for Cayden Cailean yet, and I'm not gonna make them up here where they'll be remembered randomly.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Saint Bernard wrote:
James, how do you pronounce Ymeri? Is the Y like my or yellow? Personally I think it sounds better when it is the I sound.

It's like in Yellow

yeh-MEER-ee

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kryzbyn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kryzbyn wrote:
What's the latest non-Core class you've played?

Hmmm. Do prestige classes count? Currently, I'm playing a fighter/sentinel in Mummy's Mask. In Hell's Vengeance I'm playing a bard. In the last two campaigns I played in, I played a rogue and a cleric.

AKA: I generally don't play non-core classes. I played a halfling swashbuckler for a one-shot playtest game ages back when we were doing an internal playtest of the Advanced Class Guide several years ago, so I guess that would be the last non-core class I've played.

Did you enjoy the swashbuckler?

OH WAIT! I played a swashbuckler in a lunchetime Dark Souls II game for several months... that's what I was thinking about. And yes, I very much did enjoy playing that swashbuckler. It was a really cool take on a mobile fighter who gets a lot of attacks in while retaining the ability to move around the battlefield—a really fun type of character that replaces the temptation to stand still for a full attack with the temptation to move around a lot, provoke attacks of opportunity, and play VERY tactically. Sort of like playing a rogue is, but rather than using tactics to make one big attack a round for big damage, it's more like making several attacks a round for less damage. Good stuff!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
That is shocking, alright; and I thought I took a fair amount of crap on here - what am I not seeing that's even worse? I don't see any particular racism/sexism/genderism/nationalism/creedism on here that doesn't get modswatted almost immediately.

Well, if you're a white straight man (and I'm not saying you are), it's shamefully and astoundingly easy to miss the bulk of it. As a mostly straight white man myself, I thought I was clued in to how bad it was for women in particular but the more I listened and educated myself from listening, the more I realized just how sheltered I was from all this inequality and hatred simply because I look like a white guy.

The best way to fix this is to listen to those who are the target of such hate, to trust them and accept that what they're saying is real, and to support them as needed. This does NOT mean swooping in and trying to make it all about you—I can certainly understand the urge for men to fall into the "not all guys" defense, but that doesn't help the situation.

Listen instead of talking. That's the first real step to understanding.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

The thing that needs to be pointed out most because of that is that (as you mention) it IS the Johnny-come-latelies who are mostly doing that, whreas the "old guard" in gaming has always been the "avante-garde," since the fantasy geek mentality is by nature directly at odds with the bigot mentality, which is why it's very upsetting when the media talks about GamerGate as though it's the same "old boys club scared of change and inclusivity" narrative that can be seen elsewhere, when in this case it's the other way around: Archaic bigotries is seeping into gaming as it enters the ever-backwards mainstream, yet sometimes it seems to be be treated like it's the font itself.

Once again, blame the weak and strange for normal people's sins, right (that's where we can actually see echoes of the Satanic Panic era in this)?

Oh, and of course there's only ONE type of "gamer," right? Once upon a time, maybe; not anymore.

Actually, I've seen this terrible behavior among the "old guard" as well, and when it comes from that sector, be they older fans or even some of the older designers and authors for the industry, that's the MOST damaging and depressing. It really hurts to see someone you've idolized and admired for years or even decades post something hateful.

And there's never been ONE type of gamer. My first group back in 5th grade in 1981 or thereabouts was 3 guys and 2 girls. Women being into games is not new. It's been that way from the start, as has the destructive shameful "men-only" mentality. It's just that now, with the internet, the toxic viewpoints are much easier to infect and infest and disseminate. Makes it more important than ever to stand up for those who are targeted by hate. And more devastating to have that hate come from someone you didn't expect.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Steve Geddes wrote:

Excellent post. This bit:

Quote:
The fact that some of Paizo's own employees don't feel safe or comfortable enough to post on our own forums is an unfortunate truth of how destructive some of the haters out there are...
Is shameful and embarrassing.

That's putting it lightly.

I know that I've started to mostly just post here to this thread with increasing frequency because I'm less and less willing to fight with some of our supposed "fans".

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Do you think the "mainstreaming" of gaming has had any deleterious effects on it? In particular, do you think things have changed for the worse somehow in the past decade (2006-2016, pretty specifically)? If so, how serious are they, and what can be done about them?

I'm trying to sort out what's "just me" and my personal experiences that don't necessarily have any impact on the grander scale, from what really is a larger trend.

Yes; the worst thing that's happened to gaming, in part due to mainstreaming, is that so many gamers have become the hobby's own worst enemies. I almost prefer the early 80s Satanic Panic and MADD element where people who didn't understand the game demonized it to the way certain gamers, particularly certain white male gamers, treat anyone else like they're threats or demonize them or ruin lives. I never felt like getting out of gaming due to folks crusading against the game as being a "tool of the devil," but things like Gamergate do.

I suppose part of being more popular and more widespread means that there's more of everything, including the most terrible of what people have to offer, but it's still depressing and ruinous to see it happening in the gaming industry.

I think it's a VERY serious threat to the industry, and is to a certain extent a reflection of the narrow-minded sexism/racism/hatemongering that we see in so many other areas political and religious these days. What can be done about them? Stand up and protect those who are being targeted and harassed and help support equal rights and make the internet a safe place for everyone!

It's a tough fight; the internet's a big place. But here on these forums is a great place to start. The fact that some of Paizo's own employees don't feel safe or comfortable enough to post on our own forums is an unfortunate truth of how destructive some of the haters out there are, and the best way we have to fight that sort of bile is to stand up for those they're harassing. Just sitting idly by and thinking someone else will fix it is NOT ENOUGH. The good person who does nothing in the presence of evil is themselves allowing evil to win, after all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AlgaeNymph wrote:
How often do PCs use poison in the games you've played? How effective was it?

Not that often. Poison is more effective the longer a character is "on-screen," along with most forms of ability damage/drain; it's very much meant to be a tool against PCs and not so much a tool FOR PCs really.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Who designed the Witch spell list, and do you know what lines they were thinking along? I'm not complaining (at all - my Witch is my flagship Pathfindier Society character, and I love him dearly), it's just a weird list for "witches," as opposed to, for example, Green Ronin's 3.0 Witch (itself inspired by a wonderful stretch of text from the 3.0 Dungeon Master's Guide) which hewed very closely to the archetype of the European fairy tale witch.

The witch spell list was designed by Jason, as far as I know. You'd have to ask him what he was thinking.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Monkeygod wrote:

James,

Flipped through my just arrived copy of Inner Sea Faiths, and I *love* that Apsu has a 'platinum dragon' servitor. Who came up with such a brilliant idea?!

Not sure. Wasn't me. I actually think that's kind of annoying, in fact, considering I've been trying all this time to distance Pathfinder from D&D's most iconic dragon deities, mostly on the Tiamat side. It's frustrating that someone decided to sneak in more of that stuff. I guess our writers won't learn the lesson until something big sneaks in and WotC sues Paizo into the dirt. Hopefully I'll have retired by then.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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GM Niles wrote:

James, I see you've listed

Hell's Rebels
Rise of the Runelords
Curse of the Crimson Throne
Reign of Winter
Kingmaker

as popular/raved about AP's. Could I perhaps do a bit of raving about Iron Gods, I'm about 1/2 way finished GMing the AP and its been a blast. I love the inclusion of technology and the themes of Numeria.

My question:

Are you excited about Starfinder and will you play it?

Iron Gods is certainly one that lots of folks enjoy. I almost listed it instead of Reign of Winter, in fact, but defaulted to Reign since it's had a little bit longer to gather fans. At the very least, Iron Gods would be #6. Perhaps even above Hell's Rebels or Reign of Winter.

As for Starfinder... I'm equal parts excited and terrified. Excited to see us do something outside of the Pathfinder genre, and terrified at how much work it's gonna be and at how tough it's gonna be to pull off. Most of that terror is for my co-workers' sanity, of course... at this point, I'm actually not really involved in Starfinder at all, so I'm in a weird sort of place where the big thing that worries me the most about Starfinder is how it might impact Pathfinder, both in terms of Paizo's resources and in terms of campaign impact. Whether or not I'll play it will depend on whether or not I've time to play it, but I certainly HOPE to be able to play it.

That said, being on the inside at Paizo but being pretty much OUTSIDE of Starfinder has me with a weird sort of self-conscious identity crisis combined with jealousy about not being able to work on it, which I'm trying not to let fester into bitterness... so it's all in all a weird situation that I've not yet fully sorted out in my head.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Therrux wrote:

I know you didn't author the book Distant Shores but maybe you can answer this question. What did you, as a company learn from it in regards to the other continent's and countries that people would be interested in being developed, and can we hope to see anything developed about those continent's and countries in the near future? (I understand that you can't reveal anything big on the forum so you can be as vague as you like for the last part of the question.)

Also what was you favorite place that was talked about in the book? (I just want to note that mine was Aelyosos.)

We learned what we already kind of knew, that the appetite for information beyond the Inner Sea is there, but it's not focused in any one area, so more or less ANYTHING we do outside of the Inner Sea will likely be as equally well-anticipated as any other are. AKA: you get no hints!

My favorite area in the book is Holomog, but that's because it's a region from my homebrew that I've been wanting to develop and build into the campaign setting for many, many years. Alas, I didn't get to write the section, due to time conflicts and constraints, but Crystal did a damn fine job. The published version of Holomog is much more HER creation than mine.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kryzbyn wrote:
What's the latest non-Core class you've played?

Hmmm. Do prestige classes count? Currently, I'm playing a fighter/sentinel in Mummy's Mask. In Hell's Vengeance I'm playing a bard. In the last two campaigns I played in, I played a rogue and a cleric.

AKA: I generally don't play non-core classes. I played a halfling swashbuckler for a one-shot playtest game ages back when we were doing an internal playtest of the Advanced Class Guide several years ago, so I guess that would be the last non-core class I've played.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I believe I remember you stating that generally elves don't use surnames and half-elves either follow suit or adopt a surname based on local ones. Am I remembering that correctly?

Correct.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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GM 1990 wrote:

Thank You James and Paizo Staff for making my family's "game night" something memorable every week!

I introduced my wife and 5 children (12-also GMs, 10, 8; and the 6 and 5 year old watching/rolling goblin attack dice) to PF a little over a year ago. We game weekly, alternating between my home-brew and my son running RotRL. I can say for our family, it is the most enjoyable indoor time we spend together every week. The rest of the week, the kids talk about their PCs, PCs they want to run, and the 10 and 8 are creating story ideas they want to GM when they're older. I'm amazed how well they RP between funny, very serious and how just like adults....they never do what I thought the PCs would do. I'm sure they'll be lifelong gamers.

Question:

Have you gamed with children? What was your impression?

I have indeed. Both as a kid myself back in 5th grade on up, and as an adult. Kids are fun to game with because they're better than most adults at coming up with creative solutions to problems in game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Has anyplace in the Inner Sea region invented lemonade yet? And if so, where?

It's pretty much all over. Not uncommon at all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Paladinosaur wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Jareth Elirae wrote:
You mention from time to time adventure paths that have not been well received (You mentioned above A Song of Silver and I think previously Wrath of the Righteous). Can you tell me the 4 or 5 adventure paths that have done quite well with the fan base?

There's a huge difference between "not well received" (which was the case of Wrath, since folks were disappointed or overwhelmed or underwhelmed with the Mythic rules as they combined with high-level play) and "not often reviewed/talked about" (which is what's happened with "A Song of Silver.")

What I've heard about "Hell's Rebels" and "Song of Silver" is VERY encouraging; folks are really liking the AP, but the fact that folks are more vocal when they're disappointed is what's discouraging. A thousand folks might love an AP, but if only the ten who hate it rant about it online, then our perception and emotional response here is based only on the 10 folks who bother to talk about it.

From what I can tell at this point, the five most popular Adventure Paths are (in no particular order):

Hell's Rebels
Rise of the Runelords
Curse of the Crimson Throne
Reign of Winter
Kingmaker

Out of curiosity, which ones of those have you developed, mr Jacobs?

All except Reign of Winter.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

That's exactly how I feel right now. That all your stuff is just SO COOL AND FUN that I can't decide what to do first! I love you folks and all the hard, inspired work you do! :)

And for a question: does "Witness" or "The Witness" sound like a cool name for an android? I'm not sure if putting the "The" on the front is too cheesy.

I kind of feel like both names are a little silly, and make me think of the Harrison Ford movie.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Jareth Elirae wrote:
I was a little disappointed with the critique of Wrath of the Righteous because my group really enjoyed it and it seems like it was the death knell of player character mythic heroes... at least in regards to future adventure paths. Would that be an accurate statement?

It would be. The response several folks had (in particular one or two very vocal folks) to Wrath of the Righteous and their relentless negativity about it really did make me never want to do a mythic adventure path again. Maybe some day that might change, but currently, at this point, I'm really not interested in even the knee-jerk reaction from the vocal fans to the news that Paizo is doing another Mythic AP. No thanks. Ask me again in, say, 5 years?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Jareth Elirae wrote:
You mention from time to time adventure paths that have not been well received (You mentioned above A Song of Silver and I think previously Wrath of the Righteous). Can you tell me the 4 or 5 adventure paths that have done quite well with the fan base?

There's a huge difference between "not well received" (which was the case of Wrath, since folks were disappointed or overwhelmed or underwhelmed with the Mythic rules as they combined with high-level play) and "not often reviewed/talked about" (which is what's happened with "A Song of Silver.")

What I've heard about "Hell's Rebels" and "Song of Silver" is VERY encouraging; folks are really liking the AP, but the fact that folks are more vocal when they're disappointed is what's discouraging. A thousand folks might love an AP, but if only the ten who hate it rant about it online, then our perception and emotional response here is based only on the 10 folks who bother to talk about it.

From what I can tell at this point, the five most popular Adventure Paths are (in no particular order):

Hell's Rebels
Rise of the Runelords
Curse of the Crimson Throne
Reign of Winter
Kingmaker

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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LittleMissNaga wrote:

Hi James;

I may be mistaken, but if I'm remembering correctly, I think I saw a comment from you elsewhere naming Sarenrae as the most goodly deity.

I don't really understand why that position would go to her (personally Shelyn always struck me as the most purely good), but I'm sure I don't know these gods nearly as well as you might. So what makes Sarenrae the goodest good god who ever did good? What makes some of the other big-goods undeserving of that position compared to her?

The position of "most goodly" goes to a neutral good deity, because such a deity won't be distracted from doing good by being lawful or chaotic. Neutral is, well, NEUTRAL, and that means that it doesn't influence the other things around it. Thus, in Pathfinder, a "neutral good" creature is the closest we have to a plain old "good" creature.

Next, the "most goodly" would also have to go to one of the most powerful deities in the setting, and that means it needs to go to a deity of the core 20, since they are the most widespread and important to the campaign setting. Of those core 20, there are only two neutral good deities—Shelyn and Sarenrae.

Looking at their areas of concern, with Sarenrae being concerned about so many things that promote security and prosperity (healing, honesty, and redemption), and with Shelyn being concerned about things that are less about security and prosperity and more about passion and pretty things, that right there would suggest Sarenrae is the "most goodly" of the two. But beyond that, Sarenrae is also MUCH MUCH MUCH older and more powerful than Shelyn. Which means Sarenrae is the most powerful neutral good deity in the setting. So there's that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:

Was any new art ordered for the Cinderlander in the Crimson Throne collected edition? What about Cinnabar?

Despite my unfailing grumbling about the Shoanti "field trip," the antagonistic NPCs from that section are some of my all-time favorites.

The Cinderlander uses the same art. Since we re-used Cinnabar's art for a generic red mantis illustration in the Inner Sea World Guide, we did order new art—but not a full body illustration. She gets a portrait illustration.

The Shoanti "field trip" still happens, but it's much more of a sandbox now that can be tackled in multiple directions, has a trip back to Korvosa, and removes the whole "Shoanti are going to attack Korvosa" element that was too distracting and too illogical. So it should play much better now.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Therrux wrote:

Hey James,

1. How does Achaekek show his favor and disfavor? I was looking through Inner Sea Faiths under the Achaekek section, but I couldn't find it.

2. What is the relationship between the Aboleth and the Great Old Ones like?

1) He'd show his favor by visitations from mantids, unexpected appearances of the color red, and good luck in stealth and assassinations (with guards suddenly being distracted at the right time or a spate of fog when you need it to slip away in the night). He shows his disfavor by having mandis bite or claw at you, by having weapons and armor deteriorate, by having you see Wanted posters or assassin contracts for you that no one else can see, or via recurring pains and discomforts in your armor or clothes that makes it difficult to be still or stealthy.

2) The abolets know about them and keep their distance, especially since a fair number of the Elder Mythos entities are immune to mind-affecting effects or otherwise have strong defenses against mind control. The Great Old Ons don't care about aboleths.

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Agree. Issue 100 was a high point, but that whole AP is excellent, in my opinion. I probably won't run it for a good four or five years, but I'm looking forward to when I do. :)

That's probably true for a lot of people. James: have you considered that people may be buried under a swarm of goodness right now and that they are trying to figure WHAT NOT to play? it's hard to decide which one to LET GO when you have so much stuff lately that's just so amazing!

(in our group, due to the nigh 'simultaneous' nature of the two APs, we're attempting something funky: play Hell's Vengeance Chapter 1, then play Hell's Rebels Chapter 1, then play HV2, HB2, HV3, HB3, etc. We've started HV1 now... I'll let you know how things went after we're done HB1. Technically, a player's character for HV could come face to face at some point with the player's character for HB... I haven't read all books from those two APs, so I can't tell if that's possible due to location, etc., but if travel through Cheliax is involved, say, for both HV3 and HB3... well... there could be a very special 'random encounter' on the road... muhahahaha! the player must choose which of his character will die! i.e. does he pull punches with the good PC or the evil PC? oh that's too evil! :P :P :P)

I have indeed considered that, but the fact that folks are so eager to be negative and complain and jump on the internet to register those complaints (often in pretty discouraging and insulting ways) while folks who are happy and satisfied generally do NOT say so in public is an unfortunate and often demoralizing aspect of human nature.

So, that said, thanks for the kind words. But don't just post them here—if ANYONE in any industry does something you like, let the world know! Not just me, and not just Paizo. It's easy to fall into self doubt and depression if you're a content creator and all you see are complaints.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


1) Nope. Never was. We looked at the 100th volume of Pathfinder as the big milestone; not so much a "10th AP" really. And alas, the reception volume #100 got was kind of lukewarm overall, which was disappointing...
What kind of data you guys look at to make that determination? it's awesome if you ask me!

The fact that there's been relatively little feedback on the volume or relatively few reviews so far. Granted, they're three good reviews... but I was hoping for volume 100 to make a bigger splash, I guess. I've not been made privy to its sales numbers or much else about it though... but that in and of itself is kind of telling. Shrug.

It IS nice to hear that folks think it's awesome... but unless we hear that we don't know.

Description of the Aroden faith... whole section of NPCs with stats and backstories... usual bestiary section with Troops a.k.a. HUMAN SWARMS!!! what's not to love?!?! :) :) :)

I hear there's an adventure in there too...

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Speaking of which, how do naming conventions work with the Frozen Shadows? They're descended from Tian-Min immigrants intermarrying with native Ulfen, Varki and Erutaki. Do they have exclusively Tian-Min names as reminders of their origins and mission? Exclusively local names to blend in better? A combination of a native given name and a Tian-Min family name? And if so, do they follow native or Tian-Min naming order (surname-given name or given name-surname)?

The only one I can truly remember is Kimatandatsu herself, and she uses both, the former being her actual name and then a native Ulfen name she uses as an alias.

Frozen Shadow naming conventions should work the same as any other Minkan name, unless they're using an Ulfen identity, in which case it works like it does in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. That said... I wasn't really involved in Jade Regent's details beyond the main outline and writing the first adventure. Rob was the one who developed it and thus worked the most with things like the Frozen Shadows.
Not to sound rude but...could you please nudge him a bit? I think I might have asked him this question on his own thread, but he hasn't responded to it in a while, which is why I asked you in the first place...*looks from side to side nervously*

You're going to have to be patient. I'm not gonna set a precedent of being the general public's "question ambassador" to everyone at Paizo. I'll answer the questions I can, and point folks toward the people at Paizo who can answer the questions I can't, but I'm not interested in hounding and pestering other employees at Paizo. You'll just have to be patient.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Frank Drebbin, Police Squad wrote:
Wait, what? Shirley, you can't be serious.

Not helping. Please keep posts here to real questions; thanks.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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TheAlicornSage wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:
Do you think that weapon proficiencies are undervalued at character creation, or overvalued in feats? (cause they clearly have different values at character creation than as feats)
Neither; I'm pretty happy with them as-is. Perhaps some exotic weapons aren't really up to the task of being "better" than martial weapons, but that's a problem with those weapons, not the feats.

Wait, what?

Okay, you imply that exotics are supposed to be better than martials (which seems really crazy weird to me), but even if that were true (which has the issue of martial and exotic proficiencies costing the same), I was rather referring to the fact that it takes a full feat to gain a single proficiency but classes hand them out at vastly different rates, and if each proficiency was actually worth a feat, then fighters would amazing overpowered for getting dozens of feats more than other classes. Thus the disparity of value I was referring to is classes hand them out like they are super cheap, even cheaper than skill points, but then to gain them in other ways they have vastly more expensive and differing costs. A trait, worth a half feat can get you one, or a feat can still get only one, but a feat can equal 3-4 skill points. It seems like there is no uniformity to the value of a weapon proficiency. It is this disparity I was asking about.

Of course, then you said things were fine, but implied you were referring to exotic vs martial, then implied that exotics were worth more than martials but they have equal cost outside class granted proficiencies, making those implied statements contradictory, how can it be fine to place higher value on one group but make them have the same cost, and how can it be fine to hand them out like free candy in one avenue but make them ridiculously expensive in another avenue?

Exotic weapons are harder to get than martial weapons, so yes, I do think that they should be better than martial ones. And in most cases, they are. Whether or not you think that the difference in power between a longsword and a bastard sword is significant enough to qualify as more powerful is something you need to decide for yourself, I guess... but for me, they are.

Also, for what it's worth, starting a post with "Wait, what?" is annoying. Not as annoying as starting it with "Actually" though, so there's that, I guess.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AlgaeNymph wrote:
Given your personal experience, how do you feel about the notion that obesity is incurable and more about vanity than health?

Having been obese myself and now being over a hundred pounds lighter (about 180 pounds lighter at first), I'm pretty sure obesity is curable, and based on how I feel today opposed to how I felt when I weighed 365 pounds, well, my health is MUCH better while my vanity is kind of the same.

AKA: Those notions are bunk.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

IDTheftVictim wrote:

1.Are the outer planes all of approximate equal strength? If so how is that strength split up amongst their Demigods? Are the Four Horseman equal in strength to the Nine Archdevils who are equal in strength to all the Demon Lords?

2. Which does Asmodeus despise more, Elysium or the Abyss?

1) They are not, but that strength can't be measured or comprehended by us mortals, so it's kind of irrelevant to quantify. I mean... an elephant is more "powerful" than a horse, but to the ant that gets stepped on, the perception is the same.

2) Elysium.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


1) Nope. Never was. We looked at the 100th volume of Pathfinder as the big milestone; not so much a "10th AP" really. And alas, the reception volume #100 got was kind of lukewarm overall, which was disappointing...
What kind of data you guys look at to make that determination? it's awesome if you ask me!

The fact that there's been relatively little feedback on the volume or relatively few reviews so far. Granted, they're three good reviews... but I was hoping for volume 100 to make a bigger splash, I guess. I've not been made privy to its sales numbers or much else about it though... but that in and of itself is kind of telling. Shrug.

It IS nice to hear that folks think it's awesome... but unless we hear that we don't know.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Speaking of which, how do naming conventions work with the Frozen Shadows? They're descended from Tian-Min immigrants intermarrying with native Ulfen, Varki and Erutaki. Do they have exclusively Tian-Min names as reminders of their origins and mission? Exclusively local names to blend in better? A combination of a native given name and a Tian-Min family name? And if so, do they follow native or Tian-Min naming order (surname-given name or given name-surname)?

The only one I can truly remember is Kimatandatsu herself, and she uses both, the former being her actual name and then a native Ulfen name she uses as an alias.

Frozen Shadow naming conventions should work the same as any other Minkan name, unless they're using an Ulfen identity, in which case it works like it does in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings. That said... I wasn't really involved in Jade Regent's details beyond the main outline and writing the first adventure. Rob was the one who developed it and thus worked the most with things like the Frozen Shadows.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I just sorta don't want some future GM to say "Your ninja characte doesn't make sense! Ninjas don't react to the destruction of their clan by running away! They commit seppuku like real Japanese ninjas did! I'm not letting you play that character."

There's nothing I can do to protect you from that. If that's a fear, you need to communicate with your GM up front about your character's goals and background and all that, to work with her or him to ensure your character does indeed make sense.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

IDTheftVictim wrote:
Are the Duergar as mysterious as the Drow to the surface races?

Nope; not even close. Duergar have been known about for the entire time.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Which (if any) is your favorite denomination of die, and why?

This question remains. :)

I like d10s, because they have a unique shape and are so versatile due to the fact that we have a base 10 counting system.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Frozen Shadow. Winter witch characters would be more interesting in another AP.

Thanks for the suggestion, James! It's amazing how the release of a single book can change one's entire idea, considering the idea of a defeated Frozen Shadow getting caught up in Reign of Winter's events didn't even occur to me until the Frozen Shadow ninja archetype came on the scene with the release of Inner Sea Intrigue.

Spoiler:
How would such a character justify to themselves going off and doing this, though, instead of just committing seppuku/harakiri or perhaps running off to Minkai in a desperate attempt to try and assassinate Ameiko for revenge once it was clear their clan was wiped out and their masters had been slain, which would be a horrifying stain to the Frozen Shadows' honor?

Also, what kind of weapon is this guy holding? The head kind of looks like a glaive, but it's too short to have reach like a glaive does...

As much as the character wants to justify it. That's the great thing about storytelling; you as the creator of the story get to decide how much someone justifies their actions. AKA: It's not something I can answer for you, for if I did, it'd be my story, not yours.

And that weapon looks like a glaive that's held the wrong way. If not a glaive, then I guess a battle axe.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Jareth Elirae wrote:
How would you figure out the equivalent character level of an awakened animal with character levels in a party? Would it's character level be equal to it's total HD? Guttugger (both the first one in Savage Tide and the one in Hell's Rebels) make me think you have a good handle on this.

Same way with any other monster when you add class levels. Character level is always the total number of character levels you have; racial HD never adjusts character level, but it does change an NPC's overall CR.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Marco Massoudi wrote:

Dear Mr. Jacobs,

i have been under the impression that the AP after "Ironfang Invasion", which is the "10th Anniversary AP" of Pathfinder, would be about the return to Varisia and involve the surviving 5 Runelords somehow.
Mr. Adam Daigle said it is something totally different.

1. Was it planned to do that originally and it got changed?

2. Will we get that "Runewar" AP in the next years?

3. Will there be a compilation of info about Varisia soon, like a "Campaign Setting" or even better a boxed set with maps?
I am asking this, because i feel it is the most "fleshed-out" part of Golarion and has lots of information in lots of different products but still has enough stuff to reveal, like Janderhoff, Viperwall or a more detailed Riddleport with a better/modernized map.

Thank you for your time and best wishes from germany

That was never an intention, and I'm not sure where you would have gotten that impression. It's not something anyone here at Paizo mentioned, as far as I know.

1) Nope. Never was. We looked at the 100th volume of Pathfinder as the big milestone; not so much a "10th AP" really. And alas, the reception volume #100 got was kind of lukewarm overall, which was disappointing...

2) Maybe. Maybe not. Time will tell.

3) Also maybe or maybe not, but complicating a Varisia book like that is the fact that I'd either have to write it or be the main developer of it, and getting my time scheduled out is tricky at times.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Which (if any) is your favorite denomination of die, and why?

TheAlicornSage wrote:
Do you think that weapon proficiencies are undervalued at character creation, or overvalued in feats? (cause they clearly have different values at character creation than as feats)
On this note, how would you feel about an option to purchase weapon/armor/shield proficiencies with skill point packages (as well as, in a nod to TORG, the ability to "bank" skill points between levels in order to save up for more expensive proficiencies)?

Don't like it. I don't like mixing skill points with feats that way. The game already provides several ways to gain proficiencies, be it from classes, prestige classes, archetypes, deities, and feats. If you can't figure out a way to get proficiency in the weapon you want with that many options, you might need to rethink your character concept.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheAlicornSage wrote:
Do you think that weapon proficiencies are undervalued at character creation, or overvalued in feats? (cause they clearly have different values at character creation than as feats)

Neither; I'm pretty happy with them as-is. Perhaps some exotic weapons aren't really up to the task of being "better" than martial weapons, but that's a problem with those weapons, not the feats.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheAlicornSage wrote:

Building on the stat generation line of questions,

what would you think of a method that brings the stat equality and predicibility of point-buy with the unsureness of random rolling?

I.E. One possible way of achieving this is to build an array with point buy, then randomly place the values. Make one swap. Or alternatively, build an array, reserving 5 points, randomly place, then add the remaining points (no buy backs at this point obviously).

Overly complicated.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Steve Geddes wrote:

I've just been rereading the early APs - I'm about to run Rise of the Runelords (which for some reason we never got around to) and then likely Legacy of Fire after that. I was struck by two things - those early adventures were fantastic and you've managed to crank out over a hundred instalments every month for ten years without the line growing stale or formulaic. (I think the same is true of the modules, campaign setting and player companion lines - when they have veered towards samey you've taken prompt action to reboot them). I think that's a pretty remarkable achievement.

My question is how much concern over 'staleness or saminess' feeds into deciding which AP to do next. Do you often find yourselves ruling out something on the grounds that 'we've been there before'? Or do those sort of ideas get weeded out prior to the decision making time? Or is it not a concern at all - revisiting old themes is fine as long as it's a fresh approach?

Thanks!

I'm not too concerned about staleness or sameness, really, because there are a HUGE number of stories to tell. I've got many potential ones in my head, and I'm not the only one building Adventure Paths now. I have no fear of running out of themes anytime soon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kryzbyn wrote:
James, how would you play kineticists? Do you save burn for big encounters, or use it in every encounter?

I haven't even read the class, and actually don't even know how burn works yet. That said, I would look to characters from Stephen King's stories as inspiration for how to play them.

That said, my experience with 3rd edition psionics and how they kinda wreck the game-play experience with their ability to nova and use all their power in one encounter would make me not want to play a character who had similar capabilities, or to allow one in a game I'm running. I would have to consider a kinitecist very well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GM 1990 wrote:

Do you prefer point buy or rolling (if so what method):

1. In games you're a player?

2. In games you're the GM?

Any reason why the preference?

1) I prefer rolling. Makes more organic characters and is more exciting.

2) I prefer rolling, but usually go with point buy because that helps players not be jealous of each other.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joana wrote:
Is there any connection between Elidir, the capital of Isger, and Eleder, the capital of Sargava? Eleder is said to have been named for the daughter of a colonist. Is Elidir also a woman's name, with a variant or archaic spelling, or does it have some other origin or meaning?

No connection. It's a coincidence the two words are similar in spelling.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Maybe this has been asked before, but:

How does one become "Creative Director" of something?

You can be promoted into it over time after you display you have the skills for the position. You can be hired in that role from day one. I took the former route.

How does one "display the skills" - more importantly, what's it take to get noticed? I'm worried about it being more of a politicized crapshoot than proper meritocracy (suppose, for example, you wind up trapped under the power of some middle-management sort who doesn't recognize your talent, or doesn't 'get' your vision, possibly because they themselves are hacks?) Also, how does one get the opportunity for your talent and skills to be noticed?

Further question: What pointers, if any, can you give about creating a vibrant and viable campaign setting?

What it takes to get noticed is to be exceptional, to work well with others, and to go above and beyond what is expected. And patience. I started working toward where I am today when I was about 14 years old, looking to get published in Dungeon Magazine. That was 30 years ago. So... a combination of luck, skill, patience, timing, and devotion.

As for the other question... read lots in the genre in which you want to build your setting. Primarily novels and game materials. Watch movies, play games. Soak it all in. Then start small, with a small town perhaps, and build outward. Don't try to build it all at once, and take it slowly and be patient and don't be afraid to tear down what doesn't work to try again.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheAlicornSage wrote:

What is your advice when a player feels that they are fighting the gm to involve roleplaying?

I currently am in a pfs pbp game, but it seems like the gm is treating anything outside the explicit encounter as less even than a backdrop, so when I ask about the npcs fighting off zombies, or my character takes action based on those npcs, such as trying to aid or involve them, I keep getting stonewalled, like the gm expects me to ignore their presence completely as far as actual actions and decision making goes.

I figure pfs scenarios involve a little railroading, but I think it is a little ridiculous to make the backdrop elements the next best thing to non-interactive.

Sounds like the GM isn't interested in running a game that expands beyond his vision or the limitations of the adventure. I would talk to the GM outside of the game to find out if this is the case, and if so, and if the GM isn't interested in adapting to encompass your playstyle in the game as well (or if in fact your play style is not appropriate for the group as a whole) it might be best to seek out another game or simply adjust your playstyle.

Personally, I think that PFS games make for a relatively pore RP experience since the mix of players can change so often between sessions. If you play PFS games with the same players every session that's not an issue, I guess... but full on RP type games generally work better when everyone, other players and GM alike, are into it.

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