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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 51,851 posts (54,235 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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

Are there heretical Deep One Hybrids out there who turned against the worship of Dagon and Mother Hydra or are no longer Chaotic Evil?

I imagine that, naturally, it'd be hard and such a PC would likely be the only such Deep One Hybrid in the world, but is it possible?

Also, when the final transformation to a true Deep One happens, is it effectively the same person? Does their alignment automatically shift to Chaotic Evil as a consequence of reincarnating into a Deep One, or is that just because most Deep One Hybrids are Chaotic Evil to start with?

Yes.

When the change comes, it's as much a spiritual and mental change as a physical one. Which would mean in most cases shifting to Chaotic Evil save for exceptional circumstances.

That makes sense. If a hypothetical heretical Deep One Hybrid was dreading the change as they got older, would they have options to prevent it as the dreaded 60th birthday draws near? Would suicide even work, or would the change just happen as the Hybrid dies? If they worship a Good deity (say to the point where they could cast divine spells), would faith in that deity be enough to protect their soul?

Obviously a lot of the answers to these questions depend on who is GMing the game, but I'm curious as to your thoughts as Paizo's number one Lovecraft fan and as a GM. :)

Suicide would indeed work, as would reincarnation. Worshiping a good deity probably wouldn't stop the change, but could well be something that keeps the character from turning evil upon making the change.

This entire topic—what happens to a human hybrid who undergoes this change, is one of the most oft-repeated themes in Lovecraftian fiction... be it the story that started it all from Lovecraft himself with "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," or be it one of many many more stories written over the course of the next 90 years or so by various authors who explored this same territory, stories from many angles and themes, representing a wide range of actual skill in writing.

For me, it would depend on what kind of story you were going for as to whether or not the change would cause a change in alignment or not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Generic Villain wrote:

Hey James. I know we're getting 20 Great Old Ones and Elder Gods in the Edler Mythos article of In Search of Sanity, which is 10 more than have been detailed before. Are those 10 brand new, or have they been name-dropped before? Are the 10 newbies all Great Old Ones, or will we get a new Elder God or two? Can you tell us anything awesome about the article without spoiling stuff?

(Haven't been this pumped since the Dominion of the Black article.)

One is brand new, invented by me for the article. The others are either picked up from previous mentions before, but the bulk of those new ones are entities from writers like Clark Ashton Smith or Frank Belknap Long; authors whose creations we can use in Strange Aeons due to an arrangement with Chaosium, who controls the RPG rights for these creatures more or less. These characters will not be open content though.

And since the article comes out in about a week at Gen Con... you've waited this long. You'll make it to next week! :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Therrux wrote:
When you watch horror movies do your roleplaying instincts kick in and force you to think of the best way to handle whatever terrifying monster the hero is up against? Ex. "Don't use a baseball bat against that zombie, grab the axe instead! It will bypass it's DR!"
Nope.
Do you ever see someone going off on their own to investigate and want to shout "Noooo! First rule, don't split the party!"

Nope.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Are there heretical Deep One Hybrids out there who turned against the worship of Dagon and Mother Hydra or are no longer Chaotic Evil?

I imagine that, naturally, it'd be hard and such a PC would likely be the only such Deep One Hybrid in the world, but is it possible?

Also, when the final transformation to a true Deep One happens, is it effectively the same person? Does their alignment automatically shift to Chaotic Evil as a consequence of reincarnating into a Deep One, or is that just because most Deep One Hybrids are Chaotic Evil to start with?

Yes.

When the change comes, it's as much a spiritual and mental change as a physical one. Which would mean in most cases shifting to Chaotic Evil save for exceptional circumstances.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

APersonAmI wrote:
I was thinking about playing an Awakened Velociraptor, and was curious what all the rules the DM used when you played as a awakened Deinonychus were, if you remember. For one, did you use its base stats + the Awaken bonuses, or did you translate into stat mods and point buy/roll for stats as normal?

That was a D&D game, so I used the rules in the at-the-time just-released Savage Species book to custom build a monster class progression for an awakened deinonychus. That book having just come out was one of the main inspirations for Mike to run the campaign, IIRC.

For Pathfinder, I'd instead make a custom race using the race-builder rules, using whatever point cost the GM wanted to use.

In neither case were/are the creature's base stats as a monster directly involved. They would be more of a guideline, similar to how when we build animal companion rules.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Were the hive creatures you've introduced in Horror Adventures MEANT to look like the Xenomorph or was that just a happy coincidence?

I have no idea; I wasn't involved with their creation. I can't imagine that they AREN'T meant to be or aren't inspired by the alien, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Therrux wrote:
When you watch horror movies do your roleplaying instincts kick in and force you to think of the best way to handle whatever terrifying monster the hero is up against? Ex. "Don't use a baseball bat against that zombie, grab the axe instead! It will bypass it's DR!"

Nope.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

captain yesterday wrote:
What are your favorite Ravenloft novels. :-)

I've never read a Ravenloft novel, so I don't have a favorite.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Regardless of that, I always felt that Soth was a poor choice because he felt like a square peg in a round hole, and because I'm not a HUGE fan of cross-campaign elements like that.
What makes a setting crossover work for you when it manages to pull it off?

When it was planned from the start, I guess. I can't think of any setting crossovers that I've really felt were excellent yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Justin Franklin wrote:
Did you see that Phantasm V is releasing in October?

I'll believe it when I am watching it. Phantasm V has been more or less complete for about 2 years now, IIRC, and it's had a LOT of false starts as far as releases go...

I certainly hope it does come out soon though!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Belltrap wrote:
So, based on your feeling that the themes of what makes a darklord of Ravenloft should be present from the character's inception, do you feel Soth of Dragonlance was a poor choice to make into a darklord?

Regardless of that, I always felt that Soth was a poor choice because he felt like a square peg in a round hole, and because I'm not a HUGE fan of cross-campaign elements like that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

IDTheftVictim wrote:
Ever play a Hideo Kojima game?

Nope.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
In other news, I wonder if we'll get sections of the stuff from Chambers or by Bierce in terms of using some of that as a way to describe Hastur's rites and stuff.

In fact, Chambers and Bierce and Derleth and Petersen are much more responsible for setting up what gamers regard as the "Hastur Mythology" today. Lovecraft's actual contribution to Hastur is in fact miniscule; he mentioned the name once or twice but that's about it.

So yes, what we do with Hastur in Pathfinder is MUCH more inspired by what's been done with him via Chambers, Bierce, Derleth, and Petersen, along with a SIGNIFICANT dose of my own exploration of Hastur themes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Is it a sign of weakness that just reading the synopsis of a scary story is enough to freak me out (looking at the suggested reading at the back of Horror Adventures I got curious about some works I'd never heard of before and looked up Pontypool and MY GOD did I regret it!)?

Nope; just a sign that you're not used to/interested in horror.

That said... Pontypool is an INCREDIBLE movie with a FASCINATING premise that's fresh and new and super creepy. One of the reasons I love building those lists of "suggested reading/viewing" is to spread the word on obscure but amazing movies and novels.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Gorbacz wrote:
James, does the incoming Starfinder mean that the Golarion setting will feature a) less b) the same c) more sci-fi and sci-fantasy material?

Starfinder is its own game and its own setting. While it will doubtless influence Pathfinder and Golarion in some way, we will continue to tell the same sorts of stories we've been telling in Golarion for the past decade into the next, hopefully! That means that now and then, sci-fi and sci-fantasy elements will appear in Golarion as the need and interest and desire strikes us.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
That said, in keeping with Arazni herself, she'd probably have a curse that causes the dead to rise and serve her as their queen, and that anyone who died in her realm would come back as a juju zombie minion of hers.

Would that bother her? Most Ravenloft Darklords get great power from their status, but their curses usually deny them the one thing they want the most- Strahd is tormented by having his brother's betrothed reincarnated every so often, only to escape him(usually by dying), Azalin is incapable of learning new spells, Vlad Drakov can never again conquer anything of value and hold it, that sort of deal.

Does the Harlot Queen of Geb really mind being in charge of piles of undead?

The themes for what makes a darklord of Ravenloft are baked in at the creation/concept of the villain. Arazni and all of the other big bads of Golarion are not created to be darklords, and so wedging them into that role would require a fair amount of re-imagining and rebuilding, in the same way setting up Arazni as a bad guy in Dark Sun or Birthright or Eberron or Spelljammer would require reworking. And this is not the place to expect me to provide full campaign conversions for bad guys.

So no, Arazni is not put out or disgusted by being in charge of undead; not at all. But perhaps if she were rebuilt and retuned and recast as a Ravenloft Darklord, that would change.

She's not, so anything I mention as a potential Darklord version of her has no real bearing or insight into her role in Golarion.

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Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Belltrap wrote:
Who would your top choice be from Golarion to become a Ravenloft Darklord?
In addition, who would your top choice be from Golarion to become a Golarion Dread Lord?
Dread lord?

... it's a new template from Horror Adventures.

Sorry.

Oh. Dunno. Most of those templates are pretty "generic" in world context, and it'll take some time before they start being adopted into and contextualized in Golarion. Horror Realms (which I developed) does some contextualization for some of these new monsters, particularly the Hive, but at this point there's not really a special role for dread lords in the setting. That may or may not change some day.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Belltrap wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Belltrap wrote:
Who would your top choice be from Golarion to become a Ravenloft Darklord?
Arazni.
Any thoughts you'd be willing to share on what her curse might be?

It's been about 20 years since I've had my head in the Ravenloft setting, and as such I don't really remember many details about how the details of the setting work. In order to decide what Arazni's curse might be, I'd have to go back and re-read and re-familiarize myself with those themes... and I don't see that happening.

That said, in keeping with Arazni herself, she'd probably have a curse that causes the dead to rise and serve her as their queen, and that anyone who died in her realm would come back as a juju zombie minion of hers.

The one common thread in Ravenloft Dark Lords is that they're all in there for a sin they committed in life. In Strahd's case, it was fratricide over a woman who killed herself rather than submit to him, each of the others have their own unique sin. What would be Arazni's sin other than coming up second best in a battle with Geb, and being made undead against her will?

I suppose pride that caused her overconfidence in daring to attack the Whispering Tyrant.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Belltrap wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Belltrap wrote:
Who would your top choice be from Golarion to become a Ravenloft Darklord?
Arazni.
Any thoughts you'd be willing to share on what her curse might be?

It's been about 20 years since I've had my head in the Ravenloft setting, and as such I don't really remember many details about how the details of the setting work. In order to decide what Arazni's curse might be, I'd have to go back and re-read and re-familiarize myself with those themes... and I don't see that happening.

That said, in keeping with Arazni herself, she'd probably have a curse that causes the dead to rise and serve her as their queen, and that anyone who died in her realm would come back as a juju zombie minion of hers.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Any opinions on Sid Meier's Civilization series?

I played the HELL out of Civilization 2. Loved that game. A classic "One more turn" game that makes it shockingly easy to play until sunrise.

I've tried a few of the sequels now and then, but they tended not to capture the lightning in the bottle for me the way Civ 2 did, and after I bought a fancy special edition version of I think Civ 4 or 5 (can't remember which) and actually never played it... never even INSTALLED it... I realized I'd lost interest in the genre and never came back.

Until recently, I guess, when I was convinced to buy Stellaris on the Summer Steam Sale. I've installed it, then played for about an hour... enough to realize that there's a LOT of interest in the game and it has HUGE deep gameplay, but also to realize that the learning curve is super steep and that maybe my time is better spent playing "The Long Dark" or "Witcher" or anything else.

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donato wrote:
Hey, James! I have a player that is wanting to start a cult of personality centered around a persona of his. He is looking to gain followers, but I'm at a loss as to how best figure out a way for him to gain these followers. He is looking to avoid taking Leadership, as he does not want to acquire a cohort. I've looked over the Leadership rules, but there doesn't seem to be a way for him to acquire followers with a skill check or something similar. Do you have any suggestions or jumping off points for rules on how to do this?

Speaking from personal experience, the MOST fun I've ever had with a character was when she did pretty much this same thing; Shensen built herself something of a cult in Jason Nelson's Forgotten Realms campaign back in the day, and even managed to more or less take over an entire Red Wizard enclave (until another PC burnt it down... grrrr). All without taking Leadership (since we had a LOT of players in that group, some of whom also had Leadership, one more PC would have been clutter).

The easiest way to model a character gaining followers is to simply use the leadership rules for followers. Don't make the PC take Leadership; just let the accumulation of his followers be a reward for game play, in the same way a PC can earn magic items or gold as a reward for game play.

Alternately, you can use the rebellion rules from the Hell's Rebels Player's Guide to model the PC's following, or if you want to incorporate more money/resource management, the organization rules from Ultimate Campaign should work. There's a lot of interesting contacts/organization stuff in Ultimate Intrigue as well.

The best way, in other words, is to turn that player's goal into part of the campaign, and rather than make the player "pay" for the cult/followers by taking feats (that's boring), have him "pay" by requiring elements in the adventures you run. If, for example, the next adventure has the PCs being hired to explore a haunted house, the PC who's building followers might be additionally tasked with "Search the house for any evidence of if there are any living descendants so you can get it out of the government's hands and perhaps use it as a home base for your cult," or maybe "If you manage to exorcise the haunts in the house, your fame will grow and you'll earn a number of new loyal followers."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Guillermo Del Toro's Bleak House

Neat... but let's keep the posts here to questions please.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
Belltrap wrote:
Who would your top choice be from Golarion to become a Ravenloft Darklord?
In addition, who would your top choice be from Golarion to become a Golarion Dread Lord?

Dread lord?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Belltrap wrote:
Who would your top choice be from Golarion to become a Ravenloft Darklord?

Arazni.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

Top 1% in IQ, I could do it, even with my complete lack of people skills.

Be that as it may, this isn't the thread for discussions of your plans upon your eventual achievement of immortality. Please keep the thread to questions for me; if you want to continue the discussion/theorizing of "What would someone do if they were immortal?" that needs to be a different thread of its own.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Belltrap wrote:

Forgive me if you've elaborated before and I've missed it, but could you please tell us more about your Hell's Vengeance PC?

Do you have any character concepts percolating for your first Starfinder PC? If so, what could you tell us about them?

My Hell's Vengeance PC is Bezlarue, a chaotic evil female demon-blooded tiefling bard who has a super prehensile tail, a crush on Queen Abrogail, and a swiftly-growing frustration with rural life and country bumpkins. She worships Nocticula, is kind of afraid of melee combat, and is increasingly Not A Fan of those Iomedae worshipers. Also, she's keeping a list of those who need to go away, and is probably 1 session away from officially becoming a child murderer.

I have no character concepts for my first Starfinder PC, and if I did, I wouldn't tell because that'd be spoilers about what is or isn't in the game. Although at this point I guess it's not too much of a spoiler to say that my first character will probably be a female human.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

IDTheftVictim wrote:

1. Are there any plans to expand on the Angel Tabris? Are there other sources for information on him besides Chronicles of the Righteous and the Books of the Damned?

2. What do you think of the settings for The Witcher, The Elder Scrolls, and Diablo?

3. Are you playing any good games currently?

1) No plans that we've revealed yet, and not much more about Tabris beyond the Books of the Damned as far as I know. Stay tuned though... I can't imagine we've talked ourselves out yet on this topic!

2) Of the three settings, I like the Elder Scroll setting the most because of its diversity and the fact that it's got more nostalgia, having been out for longer. I like the Witcher's setting quite a lot as well, and it's certainly a LOT more detailed and lyrical than Elder Scrolls, but it falls down pretty hard on the diversity side of things. It's getting better though. Diablo's setting has always felt pretty generic to me. I like the basic concept of a world that's practically a post-apocalyptic demon wasteland a lot, but the gameplay of Diablo always bores me before I get to the end of a game.

3) Currently playing the last DLC for The Witcher 3, which is pretty brilliant. Just started Shadowrun: Hong Kong, which has been pretty linear so far but has some SPECTACULAR writing and storytelling. And I keep going back to The Long Dark... that's my favorite current "relaxation" game that I'll play for hours on end if I don't watch myself...

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:
Wait...did you just say you added MORE to Castle Scarwall, Mister Jacobs?!
QUITE a lot more, in fact.

OOo....OOOO....oooo

*faints*

All those rooms in the previous version that had either no encounter in them or one of the letter codes for a generic kitchen/armory/whatever? With the exception of the toilets and generic storerooms... ALL of those rooms now have new things, be they actual monster encounters or hidden treasures or haunts or clues or the like. Several of these were things I had to cut from the original adventure, but most are brand new even to Greg.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The NPC wrote:

Mr. James Jacobs,

Other than Seltyiel being a redemption project for Seelah. Why have evil iconics at all?

Because evil is an option for the game, and because some folks, myself included, enjoy playing evil PCs now and then, and because having evil iconics is part of the overall goal of being inclusive.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thomas Seitz wrote:
Wait...did you just say you added MORE to Castle Scarwall, Mister Jacobs?!

QUITE a lot more, in fact.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Marik Whiterose wrote:
James, will you also be adding "Milestones" where PC's should be at a certain level before doing something? For those of us who don't use XP.

We do this for all our adventures, be they modules or AP installments. Harcover compilations (like Runelords, and like Crimson Throne) included.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Just because two deities share some areas of concern doesn't make them allies, and in fact is as likely to make them competitors and thus enemies.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Do all Golarion unicorns have straight horns or are some of them curved?

Straight horns. There's other creatures with curved horns that look otherwise like horses but are not unicorns.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Snowsarn wrote:

Hello James

Hope you are well :-)
Some Iconic questions:

Which of the Core Iconics were created by you?

Who made the others?

Why was there no Core half-orc Iconic?

Was Seltyiel an Iconic before he became a magus? He was a Eldritch Knight in CRB right? And he is on the GM screen

Cheers

First two questions have kind of a complex answer...

Spoiler:
When we create iconics, we gather and talk out what mix of attributes we want for each one. Typically this comes down to gender, race, alignment, and origin. We then send that information to Wayne Reynolds, and that info is usually pretty sparse, something like "The iconic rogue is a female elf who wears studded leather armor and carries a rapier and daggers." Then Wayne creates the character. Then we name her and create her backstory (and eventually her stats for whatever purpose they're needed for).

The "WE" above has traditionally been myself, Erik Mona, Wes Schneider, Jason Bulmhan, and James Sutter, but we always ask for help naming and the like from the rest of the editorial staff, particularly when it comes to names.

Once we have looks for an iconic done and the art is complete, someone writes up a "Meet the Iconics" for the character. At the start, I wrote all of these, but early on, we didn't even have a WORLD to set the iconics in, so for the first two, Valeros and Seoni, their "meet the iconics" profiles were initially as much introductions to Golarion as they were anything else. It wasn't until Merisiel came along that we had enough context with Golarion that we were able to focus more and more on their backgrounds. I wrote the background for Merisiel and Kyra and Ezren. James Sutter did Harsk. I came back and did the backgrounds for Seelah and Amiri. Mike McArtor did the background for Sajan and LIni. Wes Schneider did the background for Seltyiel. Eventually, we went back and did proper backgrounds for Valeros and Seoni that expanded on the bare-bones ones I did early on, but I don't recall who did those.

Since then, we've added a LOT of additional iconics and a LOT of additional staff members. I can't remember who wrote who, apart from a few stand-outs in my mind. For example, I know I wrote Jirelle's background because I wrote it. But I've written increasingly few of these. I know Crystal wrote Shardra's because that one was so incredible. You can do a search here for "Meet the Iconics" and whoever wrote each one is credited at the bottom of the blog post, in any event.

Why there's no half-orc core iconic:

Spoiler:
There's no core half-orc iconic because of math. For what I assume are obvious reasons, we decided that the 12 covers of the first two adventure paths would be the best place to debut the looks of the Pathfinder iconics. At the time, we weren't sure we'd even get to volume 7 before going out of business, so we didn't worry too much about the fact that we only had 11 classes to put on 12 covers. We also wanted to make sure to get across the point that Golarion was huamnocentric, and we did that by having 2/3 of those initial six characters be humans. And we wanted an equal split between gender (or if not equal, to skew to female since tabletop RPGs have too-long skewed male). And we wanted a range of ethnicities. And we had only 11 classes to illustrate. So ... at minimum that mean 6 humans. We went for 7, because 6 wasn't enough to cover the spread of gender, ethnicity, and ages we wanted to show to promote diversity and inclusivity (and even 7 wasn't really enough, in my opinion). That left only four choices, and so we decided those four had to be represented by the four non-hybrid races—gnome, halfling, elf, and dwarf. When it came to a 12th race to choose for the 12th cover of Pathfinder, we were hit with a bit of a conundrum, since we only had 11 classes to illustrate at the time. My solution was for the 12th character to be the iconic MULTICLASS character, since the other 11 were by definition NOT multiclassed. And when choosing an iconic multiclass character, what made sense was the combination that was hands-down the most popular multiclass choice as evidenced from several decades of fantasy tabletop RPGs: a fighter/wizard. And that pretty much meant that character had to be a half-elf, for traditional reasons and for game mechanic reasons (since half elves do better with multiclassing overall than do half-orcs.) It would be a few years before we did more classes, and when that happened, we made sure that one of those six was a half-orc, but that's why there's no half-orc among the first 11.

About Seltyiel:

Spoiler:
And yes, Seltyiel was an iconic before he became a magus. He debuted on the cover of Pathfinder #12, several years before the magus was even an idea, much less in print as a character class. As mentioned above, he was first presented as the iconic multiclass character (in his case a fighter/wizard). This decision was made before we knew we'd soon have to be building our own RPG... remember, things like deciding the covers of an AP happen a year or more in advance of their publication, so folks were still finding out about Runelords when we had to decide on who would be on the cover to #12. When we did finally build the Pathfinder RPG, we decided to "upgrade" Seltyiel from the iconic multiclass character to the iconic prestige class character. In retrospect, it would have been better to build iconics for ALL the prestige classes, but we couldn't afford at the time to have Wayne create that many additional pieces of art for us (the amount of new art we COULD afford for the Core Rulebook was, overall, pretty small considering the size of the book). Jason Engle did a great job illustrating those other prestige classes, but we've always wanted the baseline "look" of our game to be defined by Wayne's artwork, and so those other prestige class characters never really became iconics, nor do we really ever use them in the same way we use our actual iconics. Finally, when we got to Ultimate Magic and were casting about for what could possibly be a strong "HOOK" for the book (aka a new class) we hit upon the idea of building a fighter/wizard type class. And at that point, we decided that Seltyiel would finally become an official non-multiclassed iconic... and to celebrate, we had Wayne create a second painting of him. As far as I know, Seltyiel is the only iconic that we've had Wayne paint twice in that way.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Raynor Black wrote:
Wow...I feel so dumb. Thank you. Curses google, why did you fail me?

Because as increasingly excellent as Google gets at providing answers, it's still not quite able to match the advice and answers of a human who is knowledgable about a topic. Posting questions about Pathfinder topics to these boards may not get you answers as FAST as Google, but that shouldn't mean that you should never post questions here. At the very least, as soon as a few google queries come up zeroes that should suggest going to these boards and asking your question in the proper forum... which of course goes for any subject and any place that experts on that subject gather, online or not.

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

Joking aside, it'd take many thousands of years for me to come close to finding boredom. At a bare minimum. I'm quite sure it would take many times longer than that. I'd rather be immortal and have plenty of time to work on all my ideas, read all the books I want to, explore all there is to see, etc. If I ever actually wanted to die, then there are plenty of very dangerous things I could keep doing till I proved that activity's lethality. A much preferable death to old age in my opinion.

Also, perhaps due to my autism, or ever so happy nature, I do not place greater importance on negative over positive.

Do you think I'm broken somehow? :)

I know that the amount of time any one person would take to get bored once they're immortal would, of course, vary... but I also know that if humans are masters of anything, it's overestimation of their own capacities. I suspect you'd get bored far sooner than your first thousand year comes to pass, and as you grow older, I suspect you'll increasingly come to think of things in that way as well.

In any event, it's not my place to declare anyone broken or not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Luthorne wrote:


1) What's your opinion on solar energy as a power source?

2) Do you think that human beings currently live too long, given you think immortality is overrated, or do you think that while we live much longer than we used to as a species, there's a limit that would be too long that we currently haven't hit yet?

3) Talking animals, whether awakened or fey or outsider equivalents that just look like animes, lame or interesting? (Or depends? And if so, on what?)

1) My opinion is that we'd better use it more since not using it is killing the planet. I suspect that a big part of WHY we aren't using it more is because it's not as efficient and easy as fossil fuels, in large part because research and funding to improve solar energy and other alternate energies is constantly being blocked by the deep pockets of energy concerns who have the money to spend to squash competition.

2) I think human beings live as long as the ecosystem supports. Long term, our expanded lifespans WILL cause problems that rise from overpopulation (loss of resources, pollution, fammine, etc.) that if we don't solve creatively (such as by finding a way to expand out into oceans or underground or up into space or some other area we haven't already colonized) will lead to the environment culling the population back to whatever can exist. If everyone on the planet was immortal, then it'd not be long until we simply covered the planet in an ever increasing layer of flesh and bone and hair and opinions. I don't wanna be in a world like that.

3) 75% of the time, lame. The talking animals in the Narnia movies, for example, are lame enough to make me dislike the movies all on their own. But the talking animals in Babe are incredible and awesome. My current favorite talking animal scene is from "The Witch." So... it depends. On the artistry of the folks involved in creating the thing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Raynor Black wrote:
So I play PFS and I'm trying to build a ninja. I've been looking at using the Extra Rogue Talent feat to pick up a few extra tricks. As far as my long and weary quest has told me there is no FAQ or official ruling on this. Some people argue no because the Ninja Trick Class Feature isn't the Rogue Talent Class Feature and everyone on the other side says yes because almost every class has a feat to grab more class features like that and it was probably just an oversite. So I was just wondering what your oppinion was oh great and powerfull knower of the things, and writer of the stuffs.

I tell this to everyone who asks me PFS character creation questions: the more unusual and rules-bendy a character you're making, the better your chances are of building an accidentally disruptive character, both to the campaign, game play, and yourself if in the future some exploit you've discovered ends up being removed from the game via an errata or clarification. Building a character for ANY game should be about building an interesting persona to play, NOT about trying to exploit rules. Even tiny exploits. Frankly, characters who push rules boundaries like this are not appropriate for PFS play, and are better choices for home games, since in such an environment you have a single GM who is empowered (and more importantly FEELS empowered) to make rules calls, and also because since you play with the same GM and same party, he and they can adjust play styles as needed to accommodate exploits or house rules or whatever.

My opinion is that you should save this ninja build for a home game. Or abandon the ninja and just build a rogue, since that avoids the confusing bits anyway.

Personally, I would ABSOLUTELY let a ninja do this because it's in flavor for the character and hardly hurts game balance and makes common sense. But those types of things tend to get blown out of proportion or enable escalations and arms races when in the PFS environment. Think of a PFS as something more like an MMO if you will... it lets you do a lot and it presents a huge world to explore... but you can't do everything you want because your GM isn't the only one in charge of things.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ed Reppert wrote:
Have you read Time Enough for Love?

Nope. Never heard of it.

A glance at amazon.com tells me a little more, including that it's a Heinlein book, which explains why I've never heard of it. I've never read any of his books, and don't intend to anytime soon, if ever, since I've got more than enough books that I own TODAY that I probably couldn't finish reading them all before I died.

If I quit/get fired/become jobless and don't have to worry about income and can resist watching movies/playing video games/writing my own books enough, I'll of course read more novels and stories, but even then... chances are slim.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:
How would a not-evil caster achieve immortality?
There are several potentials scattered throughout the rules and the setting, including the Sun Orchid Elixir, magical discoveries for high-level wizards at 20th level, and the use of wishes. The quest for immortality is a great one to fuel entire campaigns, with something like the legendary fountain of youth being something that serves as the goal of an entire adventure path.
In Golarion at least, Does success in acheiving immortality put you on an Inevitable's list, as described in the novel "Death's Heretic?"

I still haven't read Death's Heretic. I don't have a 100% grasp of the world of Golarion, and as such, my answers are generally couched in terms of "USUALLY this happens" rather than "AWLAYS this happens." Because I want each individual storyteller, whether that be myself in writing an adventure or designing an outline for one, or whether it be Sutter or anyone else writing a novel, or whether it be John or Linda creating a story for Pathfinder Society, or whether it be any one of the countless GMs out there who want to make a new story of their own set in Golarion.

That said... achieving immortality CAN put you on an inevitable's list, absolutely. But it doesn't AUTOMATICALLY put you on a list. Inevitables aren't all-knowing, and there's a lot of mortals out there—remember, Golarion is one planet of mortals in a vast universe that likely has millions of millions of planets with mortals on it. There's no way even the most powerful inevitable can know of even a tiny fraction of those who become immortal, but some certainly do, especially the more noteworthy and flashy and attention-getting the immortal's actions and methods of achieving immortality are.

AKA: It can or it can't, depending on the story you want to tell.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

JoelF847 wrote:
What was your favorite piece of news or trailer to come out of Comic Con over the weekend?

No contest: The Blair Witch trailer.

Second place goes to Skull Island.

There is no third place.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Steel_Wind wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Fast track same as Rise, I already asked, not sure about the rest though. :-)

On the XP point breakdown, at the end of Edge of Anarchy, if the PCs do everything, they will ding 4th at the conclusion of the final encounter if on the medium track (Which is what they are supposed to be in accordance with the intended design).

Admittedly, if the Fast Track is used and Eel's End is resolved through roleplay, the PCs should then ding 3rd after the Shingle Chase and before the Dead Warrens starts.

My reason for doing the breakdown was to figure out how much slack there was in the design for additional encounters, and switching to medium track and adding a 5th PC, whether I could expand the 1st volume significantly by adding in ~15,000-25,000 XP worth of CRs.

Answer: YES. Assume Eeel's End is resolved via roleplay and that there are 5 PCs instead of 4, all progressing on the Medium track, you can then add 25,000+ XP to Vol 1 safely.

In the end, how much additional content you want to add to ANY adventure or campaign is your call. You're in charge of and control the game, after all, and that means you control how often and how much XP is given out. Just make sure you let your players know if you're adjusting XP totals or gain rates before the game begins!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Updating a 3.5 product to Pathfinder is more than just swapping out statistics. A lot more. Adjusting the experience point awards is another big part. As with Rise of the Runelords, the Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover assumes that you run using the Fast XP track, but as Kalindlara pointed out, even our Fast track is slower than was 3.5's XP route.

As a result, Curse of the Crimson Throne for Pathfinder gives out more XP overall than the version for 3.5. This is the same thing for the Runelords hardcover. How does it give out more XP? Two ways:

1) Pathfinder is more interested in actually giving out story awards for XP than was 3.5. You COULD do story awards in 3.5, but game and adventure design philosophy put a much stronger focus on killing as a method for gaining XP, at least as the assumed baseline. With Pathfinder, we give out XP for solving problems via methods other than killing, and also give out XP for completing significant story awards far more often.

2) The bigger way, though, is simply by adding MORE. There's certainly a significant addition to the campaign between "A History of Ashes" and "Skeletons of Scarwall" (a new complex I designed consisting of about 20 encounter areas), but that's not the only place I added encounters. I added encounters to EVERY adventure. Some more than others—in Scarwall, for example, EVERY room now has something going on, be it a fight or a trap or a haunt or a clue or a treasure or whatever. That more or less added, I'm guessing, about 15 pages or so of content to that adventure—all of them encounters. There's additional encounters in the other adventures as well; in some cases things I put back into the adventure after I had to cut them from previous publication for space count, but in most cases entirely new things I added as part of the development process.

So... in the end, you start this campaign at 1st level and can expect to reach 17th level, and more or less will progress through the levels at about the same rate and speed as you did if you played it back when it first came out. All part of my goal of preserving as much of the original play experience as I could.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ross Byers wrote:
Is immortality overrated? Underrated?

I think it's absolutely overrated, and I think the human mind is simply not built for it. In time, any mind will collapse on itself from boredom or ennui or the like, if only because it's human nature to attach more significance to suffering and loss than it is to focus on delight and perfection. Any entity that could whether immortality without self-destruction would be by definition inhuman and thus unknowable to a human.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheAlicornSage wrote:
How would a not-evil caster achieve immortality?

There are several potentials scattered throughout the rules and the setting, including the Sun Orchid Elixir, magical discoveries for high-level wizards at 20th level, and the use of wishes. The quest for immortality is a great one to fuel entire campaigns, with something like the legendary fountain of youth being something that serves as the goal of an entire adventure path.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
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

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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

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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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
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.

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