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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 42,667 posts (44,573 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Folks have come VERY close to guessing the location. They haven't guessed the EXACT location yet.

(Does a search of the thread using one word...)

EDIT: Yup. "Your search matched no items."

If someone DOES guess, by using logic and not just throwing darts blindly at the wall... I'll send them a prize. Only the FIRST person to guess right wins said prize, and said prize might be lame... but it's still a prize.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Neongelion wrote:

Hey James,

-Can a non-evil goblin wizard exist in Golarion? I do like playing "monsters with hearts of gold" while trying to avoid the massive pitfall that is Drizzt. How do you think said goblin could survive from the wrath of his kin, who hate reading, and from the outside world, who has a near-universal, not entirely unjustified hatred of goblins?

-Are the aboleths and Dominion of the Black aware of each other's existence? Do they get along or ignore each other?

-What exactly kind of being do you get if a mortal and a god conceived a child? Demigod, half-celestial, or is it impossible for a god and mortal to have children?

Of course a non-evil goblin can exist on Golarion. I think said goblin would need to get away from his/her kin ASAP though, and it would have a hard time finding a life on its own.

They are. They do not get along but don't normally interact.

You'd get a unique mythic character if it was a deity, that or perhaps a nephilim (or similar creature, see Bestiary 3, page 200) if it was a demigod.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Winfred wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Winfred wrote:
Hello James! Why do you dislike Book of Nine swords? To go a bit further would you ever consider "martial magic" for say the Magus? Using a spell slot to for instance teleport behind each enemy and making a single attack against each at his highest base attack bonus?
Because it drifted too far from the traditions of the game I enjoy, and because I'm not of the opinion that the way to fix martial classes is to make them spellcasters under a different name.

That is a fair assessment I think. You didn't answer the second question though!

To go a bit further would you ever consider "martial magic" for say the Magus? Using a spell slot to for instance teleport behind each enemy and making a single attack against each at his highest base attack bonus?

I think that the magus doesn't need "martial magic" since he's already got "spellcaster magic." A magus who wants to do a teleport and stab trick need only research a spell to let him do that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

JaC381 wrote:

If someone with age bonuses/penalties drinks Sun Orchid Elixir, they keep the bonuses and lose the penalties. Does this also apply to someone restored to youth with the Reincarnate spell?

Let's say someone Old drinks the elixir. Do they get the bonuses from being Venerable at the same number of years alive, or do they actually have to become Venerable, meaning someone who keeps drinking the elixir before becoming Venerable never gets the bonuses?

You actually have to become Venerable.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Nargemn wrote:

Heya James!

I was looking over the Holy Vindicator class today and thought that it would be an exceptionally cool concept to play for someone who worships Vildeis. But Vildeis' final boon is

"Martyr's Blood (Su) You are immune to bleed effects. Whenever you would be affected by a bleed effect, all enemies within 30 feet gain the bleeding condition instead as though they were the effect's original targets (no save; creatures immune to bleeding are immune to this affect). The Heal DC to stop this supernatural bleeding is 20 rather than 15."

and the Holy Vindicator depends on it's Stigmata abilities, which cause them to bleed to get certain benefits. RAW, by gaining Vildeis' final boon would actually greatly hinder the Holy Vindicator, but it seems like such a cool concept to play that practically screams to play with one another. What would your opinion be on a house rule which allows the Stigmata to function even with the Martyr's Blood boon? (Essentially, you would not bleed but still gain the benefits of Stigmata)

Turns out, not every option is great for every character.

I'd consider adjusting the rules for a cool character concept, but not always.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Winfred wrote:
Hello James! Why do you dislike Book of Nine swords? To go a bit further would you ever consider "martial magic" for say the Magus? Using a spell slot to for instance teleport behind each enemy and making a single attack against each at his highest base attack bonus?

Because it drifted too far from the traditions of the game I enjoy, and because I'm not of the opinion that the way to fix martial classes is to make them spellcasters under a different name.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Desril wrote:

A question on neutral alignments.

Let's say you have a character who will save the lives of a dozen people for no reason, go out and murder someone for the same, and then next week he'll burn down an orphanage or two, but then put his life in jeopardy trying to protect a stranger.

Obviously he'd be chaotic on the L/C axis, but what about on G/E? Would he be evil because he does evil things and just happens to also do good things at times, or would he be neutral because he does both good and evil things in relative balance to one another?

That sounds like a character who's suffering from madness. Specifically, from psychosis, which is detailed in GameMastery Guide, page 251. Which basically says that you're chaotic evil but REALLY GOOD at hiding that alignment from folks. Alternately, sounds like a character who's got multiple personality disorder; same page in the GMG.

My take without getting insanity involved... if you do an equal number of good acts and an equal number of evil ones... you're evil. Because evil is easier than good. The character you describe is Chaotic Evil in my opinion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

scifan888 wrote:

The Elohim entry from Bestiary 4 says that they create new permanent demiplanes. How?

They have create demiplane but not permanancy as spell-like abilities.

That's a case of the rules and the flavor text not exactly synching up combined with us trying to cram a too-complicate creature onto a single page.

They should have a special ability that allows them to make their created demiplanes permanent, in other words.

At CR 23, I don't see them being used at all (if ever) in print, but if you use them in your home game, just change their SLA for create demiplane so that the duration is permanent.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rudy2 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Rules as written, no, he can't.

Rules as they SHOULD have been written, yes he can. It's best to treat a versatile performance check as the skill in question AND as the perform skill in question; let the bard make the better choice for the result at the time. It's supposed to be versatile, after all.

So, is it accurate to say then that, rules as written, what type of skill check a roll is is determined by which bonus you are using?

(I agree with your "should" interpretation, and would use that for home games.)

I guess? I kinda lost track of the question though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dreaming Psion wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Jade Regent's coming and going didn't result in ninja and samurai in every adventure and product we did thereafter.

Likewise, Iron Gods won't infest our things with robots and lasers.

Numeria has been a part of Golarion since day one, and I've always intended to devote an Adventure Path to it. If that's not your thing, I certainly understand. I do hope you'll check out how we handle it, though! But six months later, we'll be back in familiar fantasy territory with Giant Slayer... and the one after that as well!

Quoted from Mr. Jacobs' post here.

Was the quote on "traditional fantasy" quote in question referring to the one below from "Is Golarion becoming too genre inclusive?" thread? Because if it is, here I read familiar fantasy territory, not "traditional" fantasy. This might be a game changer, as the two are not necessarily synonymous. They can be, but they can have slightly different meanings.

My use of the word "familiar" and not "traditional" is intentional.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Adam Daigle wrote:
Someone in this thread is so close that they're practically right.

I know! It's kinda cool and creepy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ral' Yareth wrote:

James,

1) I've been looking for a region to put a babylonian/sumerian inspired place in my Golarion. Recently, I've found about fallen Ninshabur and thought that its ruins could work well for a dungeon based around the themes of those cultures.

Is there another place in Golarion that you think would be a better fit for a Babylonian/sumerian analogue?

2) Where in Golarion do you think arcanists (as in the new class from ACG)could have a long established tradition? Not necessarily where they would be common (because I have a feeling that they wouldn't be common anywhere), but a place that could have a history of continually producing them, even if in small scale.

1) Nope; Ninshabur and that area is the exact right place for it. It's very much inspired by Babylon/Sumeria/etc.

2) We're still working that out, but there's not a place where arcanists are the rule, really. Anywhere that has magic traditions likely has some arcanists. (We've got an upcoming Player Companion that will contextualize all 10 new classes in Golarion, in any event...)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

equinoxmaster wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:

Evil cults in Golarion often have thematically linked monsters that they use as lackeys. For example...

The Whispering Way use undead
The Technic League uses robots (or is it the other way around??!!?!?!)
Blackfire Adepts use assorted evil outsiders
Old Cults use Mythos beasties
Evil churches use creatures associated with their god

So now my question: Is there a "type" of monster that the Night Heralds make use of?

Thanks for any insight!

If it was 3.5 I would say moonbeasts, but since it's pathfinder I don't know. Maybe leng spiders???

Moon-beasts are on page 195 of Bestiary 3... but they're not appropriate for the Night Heralds. The Night Heralds are into the Dominion of the Black, NOT Lovecraft stuff.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic Villain wrote:

Evil cults in Golarion often have thematically linked monsters that they use as lackeys. For example...

The Whispering Way use undead
The Technic League uses robots (or is it the other way around??!!?!?!)
Blackfire Adepts use assorted evil outsiders
Old Cults use Mythos beasties
Evil churches use creatures associated with their god

So now my question: Is there a "type" of monster that the Night Heralds make use of?

Thanks for any insight!

Yes. The Night Heralds serve the Dominion of the Black, and they often use monsters associated with that group. The easy way to answer that is to say they use lots of aberrations. But if you want more details... Part 4 of Iron Gods will have lots to offer about the Dominion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

equinoxmaster wrote:
Also will something reveal more about the dominion of the black, the night heralds and what is controlling zon-kuthon

Dominion of the Black: Iron Gods, particularly part 4.

Night Heralds: nothing new planned at this moment.

Zon-Kuthon: he's not being controlled at all. He was changed, but he's his own thing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

equinoxmaster wrote:
I am really hoping for more on the dreamlands/leng (finished the dream quest of unknown kadath a while ago)

I assume you know about Pathfinder #65 then?

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Guardian of the order of cheese wrote:
Will you join the sacred order of Holey cheese (free Swiss)

No.

Ever since I had my gall bladder out earlier in the year, well... let's just say cheese has become the enemy. A delicious enemy, yes. But an enemy nonetheless.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Psy0n1de wrote:

How does the Area of Effect work when imbue arrow uses spell with an area of a line or a cone? Burst or emanation is no problem as the target would naturally be the center of said effect. But the description of the ability states, "the spell's area is centered where the arrow lands" missing negates the spell. Is this implied to mean that the target is now the point of origin of the spell? Or does it mean that the target is the center of the area as the description states? In the case of a line spell would the spell emanate equal distances in two directions effectively making the target the "center of the spell effect," or does this mean that the spell's origin now begins at that target and emanates in one direction for the spell's range? This gets even more confusing when considering a cone effect. Are we to understand that the "center of the spell effect" is somewhere half the distance from the origin and the extent of a cone spell? How do Ellipses work if I place the point of origin at a 45 degree angle to the ground? Or, do we again imply that the target becomes the point of origin of the spell, and the cone extends out from that point?

Being a pretty insanely detailed rules question with possible PFS influence/affects, that question needs to stay in that thread so it can be FAQed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rudy2 wrote:

Hi James,

If a Bard is using a Perform (Oratory) bonus to make a Diplomacy check, and has an ability that lets him re-roll Diplomacy checks, can he use it? What about if he has an ability that lets him re-roll Perform checks? In other words, is he making a 'perform check' or a 'diplomacy check'?

Rules as written, no, he can't.

Rules as they SHOULD have been written, yes he can. It's best to treat a versatile performance check as the skill in question AND as the perform skill in question; let the bard make the better choice for the result at the time. It's supposed to be versatile, after all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Pnakotus Detsujin wrote:

Hail, mighty dire Tyrannosaurus!

Again I beseech thy wisdom

In my Way of the Wicked Campaign I got a witch ready for her first evil template. The choices she gets are either the Worm that walks template or the new mummy lord template (scarab infested version). Glory to the horn of Abaddon!

However, one of her favourite buff is threefold aspect, a spell that allows you, basycally, to aging and deaging yourself gaining various bonuses.

I searched a lot in the messageboards, but was unable to find suggestions about how to relate this spell to such drastic change of condiction (the undead and aberration/swarm creature type).

Should the spell still work? And if so, how?
Will she become a younger/older mummy or a worm that walks made of tiny scarab larvae?

The spell shouldn't work when you get those templates. Not all spells are meant to be great choices for worms and mummies.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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ulgulanoth wrote:
James how would you envision a CE bard with charisma 20+ with the lovesick drawback would act around their object of affection?

In a very creepy way. Possibly in a criminal way. As in, "Here are the tongues of five beautiful women—I gathered them for you to show you how their voices are but rasping croaks that impugn upon the clarion purity of your dulcet tones, my beloved, and to show you that the laws of land and morality have no hold on my love for you."

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LordofMuck wrote:

Hi James!

My first question here i think :)
1) You mentioned earlier, some time ago i admit, in this massive thread, that you are/where GM'ing a Necropolis campaign (as in Gary Gygax'module/setting) set in Osirion.

I find this massively interesting! I LOVE Necropolis and have been wanting to run it as a campaign for some time (have a current homebrew sandbox/megadungeon campaign to wrap up first, in its 55th session right now).

My questions are: Have you converted Necropolis to Pathfinder (i guess uou have)? Or have your found/know of an existing conversion?
And can you share any advice/experience from running Necropolis in Pathfinder rules? In fact any more info/recollections about your Necropolis campaign would be appreciated!! :)

2) A similar question, regarding your Temple of the Elemental Evil campaign. Have you converted it to Parthfinder - or are you using AD&D? - and what are your experiences running the Temple? (and could you point to existing/own conversions of the Temple)

3) I would of course be very interested if you could share some of your own actual converted material from these (mega)modules... (though i'm wary to ask/suggest this, and unsure if you would violate copyright etc by doing so)

Thanks a lot for your time, and awesome thread!

1) I generally convert the encounters on the fly. In many cases, this means entirely re-writing or rebuilding them from scratch. I have a small collection of some of the more complex monsters converted over to Pathfinder statblocks, but others I do on the fly or file the flavor off existing monsters and use them instead. Necropolis is oozing with flavor, and I suggest keeping as much of the flavor as you can. The encounters often need work... for example in the last game, the PCs found a room with a CR 3 snake in it. They're 16th level/tier 1 characters, and that's more or less the appropriate strength for PCs at this point, so a CR 3 snake fight is lame. So I turned it into a First World infused purple worm instead.

2) I'm running the 1st edition AD&D version of Temple of Elemental Evil, but with pathfinder rules. I'm not changing ANY of the treasure or encounters. If the adventure says there's a room with 9 bugbears, that's what the 2nd level PCs fight. So far, they've had no deaths, but several close calls. (There's 7 players in the group and they have pretty powerful characters, of course...)

3) Sharing the material is indeed against copyright. Not that I have material to share, really, since I do most of the conversions in my head or during game play, using stat blocks either built by hand or, more often, borrowed from our books. The players can't tell the difference between a hand-built 9th level fighter and a 9th level fighter borrowed from an Adventure Path or NPC Codex, after all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Axial wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
JaC381 wrote:
Can the axiomite Godmind grant cleric spells? The protean Speakers of the Depths? The Oinodaemon?
Godmind probably can. The Speakers of the Depths absolutely can. The Oinodaemon could at one point, but hasn't done so in a long, long, long time.

I eagerly look forward to seeing the crunch for those deities come to fruition. Oh, and I bet the Oinodaemon is eagerly waiting for his plans to come into motion, then he'll start granting spells again...

1) What happened to the Primal Inevitables? ISG says "few of them still remain". Did they get Chaos'ed to death?

2) Do psychopomps team up with celestials to fight pro-undead deities like Urgathoa and Orcus?

3) What happens if you're on your aligned plane (Like a CE person in the Abyss) and die there? Bam, instant larva?

4)Is the reason why we haven't seen more Kyton Demagogue content for fear of readers thinking, "Dude, these are just other versions of Zon-Kuthon!"

5) How do Ragathiel and Vildeis regard each other?

6) Does Iomedae attend a war council alongside Ragathiel, Arqueros, Vildeis, Dammereich, and others?

7) How does Iomedae regard Ragathiel and the other "militant" LG empyreals? And vice versa?

10) Among humans, dwarves, elves and such, is there ever a desire to "Just kill 'em all!" toward Orcs and Hobgoblins? If not a Guilt Free Extermination War, how do "civilized" species typically treat "bad guy" type species when they defeat them in wars? My campaign had a human soldier in a hobgoblin jail loudly ranting about how he was going to end their whole species. The party kicked the crap out of him.

1) Nothing happened to them. They're just small in number and haven't been detailed by us yet.

2) Sometimes, yes, but most psychopomps don't trust most celestials to remain impartial when it comes to making tough choices.

3) Your soul goes to the Boneyard to be judged, same as if you die anywhere else.

4) No.

5) Dunno. Probably as competitors.

6) No. Iomedae isn't an Empyreal Lord, and has other things to do with her time.

7) Probably with a lot of respect.

8) There is no 8.

9) 9 was eaten by 8, I suppose.

10) Among some folk, yes. Those are not likely to be staunch good folks though. I'm not sure a "Guilt-free Extermination war" is something that could even exist. At least, not in my mind.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Could a wereboar-kin skinwalker avoid superstitious mobs by claiming he's just an unusually pink half-orc and that his bestial transformations are some sort of barbarian totem power he uses in battle?

With a series of kick-ass Bluff and Disguise checks, I suppose so.

Although in a society who's superstitious about wereboars... I"m not sure how much more accepting they'll be of a half orc who turns into a pig when he gets barbarian-mad.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Neongelion wrote:

-Fair enough, though I think Paizo would be the best folks to "redeem" Cthulhu and make him actually scary. It seems that, aside from Lovecraft's actual classics, Cthulhu himself is something of a joke. Not as much as, say, the Xenomorph, who is undoubtedly the most tragically de-clawed creature in history, but his name invokes everything BUT fear.

-Also fair enough. Although wouldn't it be easy just to cut them? Maybe, er, not, I suppose.

-Cthulhu doesn't need redemption. He's got plenty of awesome and scary going on already.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
logic_poet wrote:
Coridan wrote:
The succubus statuette AP?
Already done, and Ayavah was right all along.
Its not done, it was touched on in WotR but it isn't done by any means, but yes Ayavah is right:)
Technically, no she wasn't. She believed that the entity in question was once an Emphyreal Lord, (Of which, no mention is made yeah or nay)...

True.

Except it wasn't mentioned nay. And it was mentioned that Ayava was right all along. Not "PARTIALLY" right all along.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Poldaran wrote:
Aside from needing proper labs, will the items have crafting requirements that will favor any particular classes? As it stands, it's not all that hard to pick up Master Craftsman as a martial, but a caster that can provide pre-req spells has a lower DC(sometimes much lower) unless the martial gets creative.

Not really, although I guess classes who gain Knowledge (engineering) as a class skill will have a slight advantage.

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Captain K. wrote:

Kyra - unhappily gay, in relationship with Merisiel.

Some stuff in that post was right, some was wrong. This one, for example.

Kyra's quite happy about being gay. Her sadness stems from other stuff... like how the church of Sarenrae is suffering a schisim, or how her home town got razed by bandits, or how Merisiel seems to always be running off into danger without regard for her safety.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Secane wrote:

If a player or players in a campaign you are GMing is having jealousy issues with the class/es another player/s is playing, how would you try to resolve it?

Example, the rogue and wizard players calling out that the summoner/warpriest/arcanist/barb, etc character another player is playing is too "over-powered".

Would you try to get them to understand each other?

Draw up situations in the campaign that highlighting each class benefits to the party?

Facepalm yourself and remembered that you should have restrict certain classes in the first place? :P

That's a hard thing to solve. It'd depend on the situation. I've been in games before where this has happened, in large part because the underpowered player is just not into optimizing and wants to roleplay, and the optimizer super numbercrunches a badass character. I tried to skew the game to feature more roleplay to appeal to the first player, and did, but even then he remained frustrated that when combat did happen, the optimized character dominated. I talked to the optimizer and even had him change characters in one game... but in the end, the player who wasn't into the rules left the campaign and, indeed, left Pathfinder.

Which is really too bad. Sometimes, optimizers can be bad for the game in that way.

Optimizers have caused me to remove from play a fair amount of options in this way over the years.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic Villain wrote:

Hey James, I have some questions about Lirgen:

-Prior to the whole drowning-in-a-hurricane thing, what were the dominant languages spoken there? If adventurers were to plunder the depths of a Lirgen observatory, what would the journal of a Saoc Brethren be written in? I know Saoc himself came from Rahadoum, but I don't know how much of that culture he brought with him.

-What was the nation of Lirgen's alignment?

-Lastly, it is noted in a few sources that aberrations are dangerously common in the modern Sodden Lands. What kind of aberrations are we talking? I know skum inhabit some of the drowned cities, but that was all I could find.

Thanks!

Polyglot and Osiriani and Common for the most part.

Not sure, but I'd guess probably lawful neutral.

All sorts, from skum on up to aboleths on up to froghemoths back down to chuuls and cloakers and more.

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Neongelion wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
equinoxmaster wrote:
Hi, me again. I am a big carrion crown fan (even though I never played it yet, only bought the AP), do you think you might make another AP in Ustalav or make a AP that is full lovecraft (not just a bit of lovecraft like Carrion crown)???????????(

Yes.

I've wanted to a big full-on Lovecraft AP ever since the first one.

And one day it will happen.

Ustalav is a natural location to set some, if not all, of such an AP. I suspect if I do a Lovecraft AP it'll not stay in Ustalav—Lovecraft's stories had lots of travel to exotic locations in them after all.

What are the chances that this theoretical AP would travel to R'lyeh?

Also: how exactly are changelings different from humans? Say they didn't have mismatched eye color; what exactly about them could people tell they are not entirely human?

Those chances are very small. I have other mythos cities I'm more eager to explore than R'lyeh.

You could look at her hands and note that her nails were strong and sharp enough to rip a hole in your belly, for one...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lou Diamond wrote:

James could you comment on this homebrew team work feat.

New Feat
Side by Side
Category Team Work
You and your partner or animal companion have mastered the art of Side by Side fighting.
Benefit: when you and your partner who also as this feat [this would also include your animal companion] are Side by side facing an opponent. The Opponent gains the Flanked condition.
You gain +2 to hit vs. your opponent +4 if you have the Out flank feat. Whenever you or your companion score a critical hit against the flanked target the other gains an opportunity attack vs. the flanked target.

Prerequsites: +4 BAB, Out Flank

I could... but I won't. I prefer not to provide feedback to design work, both for time-management reasons and legal reasons. Might I suggest posting the feat to one of the rules forums for feedback?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

MMCJawa wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

I like them both, frankly. They're both really compelling and interesting ways to explore the unknown. And for what it's worth...
** spoiler omitted **

Thing with "At the Mountains of Madness" is that it is very much NOT a subtle story. It's DEEPLY rooted in the physical. It's my...

So a question regarding True Detective:

Spoiler:
Do you have an opinion on the theory that Detective Hart's wife and family were in the Hastur Cult? That his daughter was sexually abused as part of the rituals, and that his wife slept with his partner basically to just break up the "team", preventing the investigation to go further? Hart of course never caught on because he never really payed much attention to his family.

Well... first off...

Spoiler:
The word "Hastur" never comes up in True Detective, so calling it all a "Hastur Cult" is not quite accurate. It's more of a "Carcosa" cult. Which, if you approach it from a Call of Cthulhu RPG standpoint, is sort of the same thing... but if you go with the original texts, is not exactly. It's kinda murky. Myself, I prefer to think of Carcosa and Hastur and the King in Yellow as being all inexorably twined, and I love the fact that even though the writer of True Detective didn't actually use the word "Hastur," neither did they put anything into the show that would rule Hastur's involvement out... and in fact, left in plenty to suggest Hastur WAS involved... which is pretty brilliant, seeing as how what exactly Hastur is varies from story to story—he/she/it really is one of the least defined parts of the extended Lovecraft mythos, considering how popular he/she/it is.

ANYway.

I don't think that his daughter and wife were in on the cult at all. If anything, the influence of Carcosa as Hart and Rust got more and more involved in it started to seep into their lives and influence those they loved... more like you'd see a disease work than an actual cult.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

MMCJawa wrote:
Hah! Have you been over to Schooner Gulch to look around? Some of the seal fossils I have studied are from there. I think some good marine mammal fossil have come from Point Arena and environs.

Cool!

Schooner Gulch road connects the coast to the ridge road up on the mountain where I grew up, actually; the road connects up to the main ridge road about a mile from where my parents house is. I've been down and up the road a lot in my time, and have visited the beach at the bottom plenty (and got to see a friend of my friend's brother start a stupid big driftwood fire on the beach during a party one night that resulted in the fire department talking to us all...). Never went looking for fossils there, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Coridan wrote:
Burnt othur fumes are an awesome poison. What's othur though? Is it a plant, a creature? Googling has helped me naught and the books don't actually describe any of the poisons fluff-wise.

They're poison, that's what! Don't breathe that!

One of the design philosophies of the original 3rd edition rules, and one I very much did not agree with and argued against during the alpha for 3rd edition (but obviously lost said argument) was the decision that "D&D is set in a fantasy setting and as such the diseases and poisons should be fantasy diseases and fantasy poisons." Which on one layer is fine, but when you're presenting sample diseases and poisons without any flavor text whatsoever as raw rules is really pretty dull.

But that's why in 3rd edition all the diseases have made up names like "slimy doom" and "filth fever" and aren't real-world diseases like "bubonic plague" or "leprosy." The same thing went with poisons.

So... just as there was never really any description of what the actual symptoms of diseases like filth fever or slimy doom were, we never got descriptions of what othur is and why when you burn it, it gets poison.

The fact that we didn't fix this problem when we were pulling the poisons and diseases into the Core Rulebook is unfortunate, but they were among the last parts of the book that went in and by that point we were running short on both time and space. The idea was that at some point we'd clarify them in a campaign setting book... but since these things have been a part of the game for over a decade now, they've kinda slipped again and again through the cracks.

For what it's worth, I've always thought of othur as a powder distilled from numerous different poisonous plants and ground together that remains inert until it is burnt.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Lissa ninja'd me on this, but yeah... I'm not only the creator of Shardra, I'm also a fan.
*Spams "favorite" button*

That's cool... but the Godzilla Crystal drew for me is still better. ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Thierry wrote:

Hello Mr. Jacobs,

I am Thierry du Château, reporter from Absalom's Newscroll. I was told to say that i am from a Parallel Golarion where all adventure paths happen in the same time when they are published in your world. Our pricey oracle says that your point of view of the events to come can shine some light in our immediate future, for our readers convenience. So here i come.

1. Do you think the lack of psionic rules affected Iron Gods over the story meant to be told ?

2. How do you feel about the end result with current ruleset and what you would want to add if you have to revisit the scifi theme ?

3. Being Numeria so close to the Worldwound makes you feel that players who played Wraith of the Righteous should improvise something over the status quo post WotR ?

4. Do you foresee status quo of the setting changes as much as WotR after Iron Gods ? (Like Numeria borders openning more, or Silver Mount exploding taking the Countryside with it)

5. Something for ours readers. Any plans for some Absalom action ?

Thanks for the interview. Hope for more scoops in the future.

1) No.

2) I think it worked out pretty well.

3) No. The themes of those two APs don't really mesh all that well.

4) No.

5) Not anytime soon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

equinoxmaster wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
equinoxmaster wrote:
Hi, me again. I am a big carrion crown fan (even though I never played it yet, only bought the AP), do you think you might make another AP in Ustalav or make a AP that is full lovecraft (not just a bit of lovecraft like Carrion crown)???????????(

Yes.

I've wanted to a big full-on Lovecraft AP ever since the first one.

And one day it will happen.

Ustalav is a natural location to set some, if not all, of such an AP. I suspect if I do a Lovecraft AP it'll not stay in Ustalav—Lovecraft's stories had lots of travel to exotic locations in them after all.

YAY!!!!!!

Will it include going to regular earth (as Rasputin must die did) and will it have palmar travel (to the dream lands/leng) and planetary travel (to yuggoth)
I hope it will

Doubtful. There's plenty of Lovecraft going on already on Golarion that I want to cover.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kanebaenre wrote:

Hi, James!

I'm dying to know the next AP after Giantslayer.

But my question today is another.

How are your campaigns? The last time I asked you were running the Serpent Skull AP, and one in Osirion. And you were playing Skull & shakles and Way of the wicked with a tiefling rogue.

How are your characters? And your players PCs?

Only about 2 weeks to wait for the next AP.

Serpent's Skull AP got cancelled. We were about half-way through book 4. I just ran out of time and energy to run a long Saturday game, alas.

I also cancelled one of the two Osirion games after Sean left and another player in the same group had to bail.

The other Osirion game is still going, although I've not been able to really run it in the last few months at all due to convention stuff taking away my time.

I'm also running a Temple of Elemental Evil game that's just about to reach the actual temple—that game's going strong too.

The Skull & Shackle game ended a few months ago with a TPK (Total Pirate Kill) on the harpoon of Whalebone Pilk. That game has since been replaced by a Mummy's Mask game, wherein I am playing an elven fighter.

Way of the Wicked is going strong too. Just hit 8th level and played last night, in fact. The character there is actually a tiefling bard, not a rogue.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Major_Blackhart wrote:
Gravity hammers away!!!

No gravity hammers, per se...

...but there are gravity clips, with which you can turn any hammer (or any weapon) into one. Sorta.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ross Byers wrote:
Crystal Frasier wrote:
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:

Shardra is now my favorite Iconic! Great job, Crystal!

Crystal Frasier wrote:
Fun side note: We determined that Kolo is a Deep Crag Tuatara, an offshoot of reptiles separate from snakes and lizards and looking distinctively more primordial. On the surface they're fairly rare, but in the darklands there are several species that have adapted and flourished. Deep Crag Tuataras are camouflaged to blend in with their rocky environments, making Kolo look like it's made of stone.
So... will we get stats for tuatara familiars soon-ish?
Bestairy 4. Also available here.
Huh. Darkvision.

Yup. 'Cause they kinda have darkvision in real life. With what is sort of a third eye. Just one of the many reasons tuataras are one of my favorite animals.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Torbyne wrote:
Maybe i have a power gaming problem... is there a way to be genderless (Maybe an Android character?) and split it as a -1 to pass as either gender? Could actually be a fun character to play though, just not getting the concept of multiple genders being in the same species.

You might have a problem, yes.

I would rule that a truly genderless character (note, androids are not genderless) would suffer a –2 penalty to disguise itself as male OR female. Your GM might rule differently, of course.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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A Foolish Moon wrote:

James,

How do you feel about individual bonus role-playing experience? XP bonuses for "good role-playing." In a lot of games my friends run (and previously my own) we gave these out. I stopped when we began inducting new players that hadn't roleplayed before.

We found the veterans tended to scoop up big RP bonuses, while the less-confident, newer players didn't get as many; often due to their reluctance to open-up and talk to NPCs. While the bonuses motivated them to contribute more, it also felt like it was generating this "elite circle" that always had more experience than the new guys. There was also a little animosity towards players that were ahead in levels.

On a related note; How do you feel about level gaps in reoccurring games (like in an Adventure Path)? What's the maximum gap you'd allow at your table (if any)?

PS - You talking about Ameiko being based on an old Planescape character of yours reminded me of my old Sensate bard who founded an inn in Sigil. I feel like I understand Ameiko better now :P

If I give out bonus XP to a person in a group for roleplaying, I give it out to the entire party. In the same way if a person one-shots a monster with a critical hit, I give those XP out to the entire party.

Characters who roleplay should be rewarded for getting to roleplay well. And the other players in the group should benefit in the same way that other players who number crunch badass combat machines get them XP for killing monsters fast.

That way, the non-roleplayers come to value the roleplayers in the group the same way the roleplayers value the optimized combat machines.

Individual XP awards are not really a great idea for any game that assumes teamwork.

I'm not a fan of level gaps because it makes it increasingly difficult to plan encounters. In my most recent game, I divide the XP by the total players in the group, regardless of how many showed up at the table, and then everyone gets the XP regardless of whether they showed up, and it's actually working out REALLY pretty well. That said, only giving XP out to those who come to the game is also a good way to reward and encourage attendance, which is also very important. I try to avoid having level gaps go more than 2.

And yeah, the original character was a sensate as well. Her full name was Lavinia Ameiko. Half of her got turned into Ameiko Kaijitsu, but the other half got turned into Lavinia Vanderboren back in Savage Tide.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rhatahema wrote:
Robert Jordan wrote:
Yeah it took me reading the comments to understand she was a trans character. It just seemed her parents were living in denial in having another daughter and just shunted her into "son" territory to try and not deal with the issue until she finally hit maturity and they couldn't avoid it anymore. I approve of the character, just did not get that it was a trans character until it was talked about in the comments.

I had the same read. The first paragraph is written so that you need to identify gender primarily as a psychological identification rather than a physical one in order for it to read as the author intended. My opinions about that are neither here nor there, but I imagine the ambiguity of it may have been intentional.

Rules question: How does she handle the -2 penalty on disguise checks to be "Disguised as different gender"? Can I powergame my character's gender identity to optimize disguise? (mostly joking here, though it might come up at some tables)

She's a woman, so she would only take the –2 penalty when she's disguising herself as a man.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lissa Guillet wrote:
Rubber Ducky guy wrote:


Please tell me you're writing something soon.
This iconic was really something else.
Trust me when I say she does not lack for writing assignments. ^_^

Heh. What Lissa said.

I'm happy to keep Crystal writing as long as she can. And I'm in a position to make that happen. So... yeah.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
equinoxmaster wrote:
Hi, me again. I am a big carrion crown fan (even though I never played it yet, only bought the AP), do you think you might make another AP in Ustalav or make a AP that is full lovecraft (not just a bit of lovecraft like Carrion crown)???????????(

Yes.

I've wanted to a big full-on Lovecraft AP ever since the first one.

And one day it will happen.

Ustalav is a natural location to set some, if not all, of such an AP. I suspect if I do a Lovecraft AP it'll not stay in Ustalav—Lovecraft's stories had lots of travel to exotic locations in them after all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Tels wrote:
James, as I sit outside in Alaska with a fire burning designing some encounters, I have to wonder: What is your favorite 'outdoorsy' activity? I mean, what does the King Lizard like you do when he decides to go outside and have an adventure?
I'd like to get back into fishing, but it's SO COMPLICATED with the rules and regulations and all that, so in the meantime, I guess I'll say hiking. Which is fishing without the fish, I suppose.

Washington has a bunch of rules and regulations on their fishing? That's sad.

Why don't you come up to Alaska to go fishing? My hometown has some of the best fishing in the world.

The sport fishing rules for Washington are in a 142 page booklet, so yeah... there's a bunch. But I suppose I'd rather live in a world where there's a 142 page book about fishing rules than a world where we've fished out our rivers.

Going up to Alaska to go fishing is tempting... but my dad's been fishing his whole life and has a boat and if I'm gonna travel several hundred miles to go fishing, dad's boat has a pretty strong pull. ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Set wrote:

So I just watched True Detective, and was wondering if you had a preference between the more subtle 'questions remain unanswered' nature of that show versus something more in-your-face supernatural like From Beyond or various other Mythos-y shows.

There's a part of me that would love to see a version of At the Mountains of Madness with full-bore del Toro creatures in all their glory (kind of like 1982 version of The Thing, perhaps, which is about as Lovecraftian a non-Lovecraft movie I can think of), and another creepier atmospheric version in which it's not clear even to the viewer (perhaps until the last moment, if ever) how much of what is happening is dark human evil, or something mind-shattering and alien.

Do you have a preference, or do both have their place, if done well?

I like them both, frankly. They're both really compelling and interesting ways to explore the unknown. And for what it's worth...

Spoiler:
... I think that the "vision" Rust had of the galaxy in the last episode was less of a drug flashback and more of an actual vision granted by Carcosa. A galaxy is a spiral, after all, and there are spiral images throughout the show, from the markings drawn on the bodies to the maze-like layout of the ruins that the detectives wind through in the show's climax while chasing the Yellow King. I think that Carcosa revealed itself to Rust by peeling away reality to blast his mind with the truth of the black stars, and in so doing, allowed the Yellow King to come in and very nearly kill him—WOULD have killed him but for his buddy showing up to save him, in fact. The fact that the spirals show up outside of his vision means that other people have seen them, and thus the spirals Rust sees in the show are not just in his head. They are external forces. They are Carcosa reaching out to manipulate the thinking minds of humanity.

Thing with "At the Mountains of Madness" is that it is very much NOT a subtle story. It's DEEPLY rooted in the physical. It's my favorite Lovecraft story to cite when people make the unfounded claim that Lovecraft was a bad writer who couldn't describe things and thus said things were "indescribable." There's a LOT of detail in all his stories, but particularly in AtMoM.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Neongelion wrote:

Hey James,

Generally speaking, how are firearms regarded in Taldor? No different from anywhere else (ie curious oddities) or do they abhor them? I ask because one of my characters for PFS is a gunslinger from Taldor who is in the Taldor faction, something I've been told by a few people is "very very strange".

Generally, as exotic toys for eccentrics, the rich, and adventurers to fool around with.

It's unusual for firearms to be anywhere outside of the Mana Wastes (and Numeria but on the techy side). No more or no less so in Taldor than anywhere else.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alexander Augunas wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
But it's also the stat that affects your awareness and intuition; things like philosophy and faith are matters of the heart, and those are things that Wisdom governs.

This is the best explanation of how cleric spellcasting relates to Wisdom (awareness and intuition) that I have ever seen. +1 for James Jacobs!

Now, how does the Heal skill fit into that equation? I've always felt that knowing how to Heal someone required Intelligence, not intuition or awareness, and assumed that it was only Wisdom because Clerics were all about healing and clerics used Wisdom. Thoughts, oh great and scaly one?

Honeslty, Heal should have probably been an Intelligence skill. It's a Wisdom skill because they wanted clerics to be good at it.

That said, if you look at Sense Motive as the closest analogy to Psychology in the game, it's nice that the health-related skills both use Wisdom.

You could say that Heal is Wisdom for the same reason Perception and Survival are—it's all about being able to sense what's wrong with a situation.

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