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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 44,699 posts (46,750 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alexander Augunas wrote:

1. What's your favorite Christmas Carol?

2. Where would you say is the worst place to be on Christmas Day?

1) Don't like them. If I HAD to choose, I guess "Silent Night," since I've heard it used in horror movies to good effect.

2) I guess anywhere lonely?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

1. Can you sum up what makes:

A. A good GM? B. A good player?

2. Will the Pathfinder MMO use the rules set from the tabletop game for character generatioon and play, similar to how NWN2 used 3.5?

If so, do you plan to start core only?

A) A good GM = a good combination of creativity, ability to improv, and being open to learning and improving the skills.

A good player = someone who respects the game the GM is running, respects the other players, and doesn't surf on his/her phone/tablet during the game.

2) Nope. It's using its own rules. Partially because of complications with the rules and OGL and how that interfaces with video games, but also because Pathfinder MMO is focusing on different things and game play elements than the RPG does.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Berik wrote:

Hi James,

Sorry if it's been asked before and I missed it, but just curious if you were able to say what you contributed to the 5th Edition DMG? I was just having a look at my copy and noticed a James Jacobs under the additional contributors.

Huh.

Really!

Guess I need to get a 5th Edition DMG and look and see! My guess is something they picked up from something I did for 3rd edition... I didn't actually help work on the book itself.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Barathos wrote:
What's something you're dying to play, but no GM has let you (something crazy, like an Awakened Monkey Gunslinger)? What's your favourite race and class?

A half-demon!

Favorite race = three-way tie between human, elf, and tiefling.

Favorite class = three-way tie between cleric, rogue, and bard.

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The smitter wrote:

What is the drug that is made out of ground up mummies and what book is that in? I think it is mumra but that might be the villain from Thundercats.

EDIT: See above.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Order of the Amber Die wrote:

Mr. Jacobs,

Thank you for your response, I am humbled that you took the time to read about our journey through your level, and I hope you enjoyed my treatment of it. Hearing back from you is also exciting because so much time was spent writing up these levels and reflecting on our Emerald Spire experience.

It’s funny you mention the floating disk; I was enforcing it as-written according to your intent, and there was a player-discussion about it, with fly being the easy solution for all. I was thinking maybe Eriniell developed a modified version of the disk after so many years spent employing various ways to avoid touching the ground, though I should have definitely addressed it better under technical concerns. If I may ask then, how would you suggest GMs approach a ruling on her floating disks?

Thanks again!

Adam
GM: Order of the Amber Die

My suggestion would be that it's special pech magic that lets her sit on her disk. Monsters can and should be able to do things PCs can't. Perhaps it's powered by the sheer magnitude of her madness?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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eldergod0515 wrote:
James, what's your favorite cantrip and why? Have you used it in a novel creative way?

Prestidigitation, because it's very open to application, but mostly because you can use it to clean up after things get messy. I've used it to clean off hazardous spores and slimes. Very handy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Justin Franklin wrote:

Why didn't you tell me there was an Iblydan item in Lost Treasures?!

Because I didn't know there was. As we do more and more products, I'm involved in fewer and fewer of them overall. I haven't actually interacted with Lost Treasures much more than to give it a quick look through during the approval phase to ensure that from a view from the mountain top that it did the job.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
Electrum is a gold-silver alloy, and the word has a history with D&D, so I would suggest an electrum dragon. :)

We've already done metallic dragons, and when we do true dragons, we do them in groups of 5. Both reasons why "electrum dragon" isn't something I think we should or would ever create.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

Sorry, more dragon questions. You shouldn't have made Dragons Revisited such an interesting read if you didn't want them. :-P

So, since dragons can reproduce with almost anything, it seems reasonable that they can with each other outside of their type, no?

Given their similarities in so many means, their unified interests, and their long-term relationships as mentor-protoge, are silver-gold unions a frequent, or even somewhat common thing? If not...really?! They're more apt to mate with a totally different base-species than someone with slightly different color scales? It's the hot-cold thing, isn't it?

What's the progeny of such a union? Flip a coin, or a hybrid of some kind that you're never going to stat up?

Oh, and I forgot in my earlier "what's your favorite dragon" set of questions...What's your favorite non-true dragon?

This is one of the things the half-dragon template is for.

My favorite non-true dragon is the pseudodragon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thegreenteagamer wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
4. Is pimpin' easy?

4) Lame question.

1. I'm taking it you were not a Chappelle Show fan? (Note - I almost went with "Is Rick James right vis a vis cocaine and it's drug status?" instead.)

2. Do you lament the loss of Futurama, and the fact that you will never join it's list of prestigious guest stars, such as Gary Gygax? (Gary Gygax - "I am..." *rolls a d20, looks at the results* "PLEASED to meet you." Al Gore - "Gary, put the dice away, or I'm taking them away!")

3. Your favorite dragon? Type? Oh, type within specific subtype (i.e. favorite metallic, favorite chromatic, etc) And specifically, your favorite named dragon from lore (your own lore counts)?

4. I have read you guys don't wanna do an anniversary edition of all the APs, cause you're concerned people will wait and not buy the originals. Makes total sense. But what about an updated, Pathfinder-RPG-ized version of the first few APs that were created for 3.5? Or the super old-schools, like Age of Worms and Savage Tide? You guys own that stuff, right? I'm sure there's a lot of us that would love to play that quality product without having to do a ton of conversions. Can we at least get an update of the 3.5 stuff to PF?

1) Nope; I'm not a fan of the Chappelle Show, but knowing that you're quoting that makes me MUCH less annoyed than me thinking you were just implying I was a pimp of anything.

2) Futurama had a GREAT run... and I'd rather see it end strong than linger for ages and become irrelevant or self-mocking or tired. I never even considered the idea or possibility of being a guest star on the show, in any event.

3) Chromatic: Red
Metallic: Bronze
Primal: Brine
Imperial: Forest
Outer: Void

4) The concern of folks not buying the APs as they come out because they choose to wait for a compilation is a significant one... but so is the fact that compiling an AP is NOT an easy task. It's not something we can really do every year anyway, and as a result, since we do two APs a year, the laws of time and space pretty much make it a truth that we'll never do compilations of all our APs. We may do a compilation again... time will tell... but we haven't announced any plans to do so yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

alexd1976 wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:

I noticed via a cursory thread-search (dude, this is WAAAY TL; DR to go through it all at this point) that there's no half-dwarves.

Why not? Not mechanical, but, in-world, why?

With half-elves, half-orcs, aasimars, tieflings, oreads, sylphs, undines, dhampirs, sulis, changelings, fetchlings, and ifrits ALL being descended from humans that banged outside of their species-type (not to mention the myriad of sorcerer and bloodrager bloodlines that result from watered down interbreeding), why is a half-dwarf so hard to believe?

Are we to believe humans, in all their diverse sexual conquests have never done the horizontal mambo with their shorter, broader compatriots? HA!

Or is it that, against all logic, humans are more compatible genetically with, for example, an ambulatory corpse than they are a creature that looks almost just like them but happens to be shorter and more dense? Is that why Dhampir but no Half Dwarf?

(My guess...they're so similar that a dwarf and a human just have either a dwarf or a human baby, kinda like the half-elf or half-orc with human conundrum. Moderate cop-out IMO, but still, it would be nice to know if there's another reason.)

I also want to know. In the Darksun setting back in an earlier version of D&D, there were 'Muls'... human/dwarf hybrids... Kinda miss those...

We don't have space to give rules for every possible combination of words, basically. And as a subset of that, we don't have space to present all the various possible hybrid races. We have to pick and choose, and the ones we DO pick and choose are picked and chosen as a result of what's nostalgic and expected of the game's core assumptions (so, half-elves and half-orcs), and what we at Paizo are particularly interested and inspired by (so, things like aasimars, tieflings, changelings, fetchlings, and dhampirs). Half-dwarves have never been a key part of the game, nor is anyone at Paizo all that into them. Furthermore, the muls of Dark Sun are SO closely tied to that (non-open content) setting that we would rather NOT "poach" them from that game. That cheapens them as being unique elements of Athas, and lessens the flavor of Golarion by increasingly making it into a setting where anything and everything is possible. That's not the intent of Golarion.

You can define a setting as much (and sometimes more) by what you DON'T include in the game as by what you do include.

All of that said... part of the reason we created the Advanced Race Guide race builder rules was to enable GMs and players alike with the tools they need to build the races THEY want to play with, even if we have no plans to ever do anything with them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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alexd1976 wrote:
I always thought the less common TYPE of damage (Cold) might have been a factor as well. I mean, LOTS of things are immune to fire/lightning, less stuff has resistance to cold I think... No real direct mechanical benefit per se, but a potential tactical advantage. Plus, you can make snow in July, just point it up. Fun times.

I've never assumed that. If that were the case, why is there a cold damage cantrip and not a fire damage cantrip? I don't think the energy type matters at all, other than to give the spell one more way to feel different from other area effect damage spells.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Nyaa wrote:
Must a Bloodrager with Superstition roll saves against his own spells? Spells he "applies" to himself with greater bloodrage and arcane bloodrage? Would you even allow a Bloodrager to take Superstition from RP standpoint?

I have no idea. I've not read the bloodrager's rules and wasn't involved in its creation or development. If a player wanted to play one... or once one shows up in an adventure... THAT'S when I'll read about it. (I'm unlikely to ever play one since it's not a play style I enjoy as a rule.)

In any event, even if the above wasn't true, I'd answer the same. This is a rules question and it needs to be asked in the Advanced Class Guide forum for a FAQ tag so the design team can take action/note as appropriate.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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ShadowFighter88 wrote:

Have you ever been in a game (as a player or GM) where the players decide to deal with a group of bad guys with careful espionage and manipulation rather than just killing them all?

Idly got to wondering if you could deal with the Bastards of Erebus in Council of Thieves by tracking down their fences and getting them put away, allowing one of the PCs to infiltrate the Bastards as a new, high-end fence for them, able to safely move stuff too distinctive for their normal contacts to risk. Sure; it's not as quick and efficient as what the book assumes (a straight-out attack on their hideout, either stealthily or kicking in the front door), but it would be a hell of a lot more satisfying to lure them into a dotarii trap.

EDIT: Or have I just been watching too much Burn Notice and Leverage lately? :P

Yup... both as a PC and as a GM. My favorite was the game in which my character Shensen managed to convert a Red Wizard of Thay merchant/wizard from serving Thay to being under her thumb, so that she gained control of his enclave. That she later lost control of the enclave when another PC went kill-crazy with fire for no good reason is another (very frustrating) story.

But yes... taking down the enemy in a non combat way is perfectly viable, and the fact that the game isn't hard-wired to assume that's the only option is one of the benefits of having the actual game run by a human capable of rolling with the unexpected punches.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Guang wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Misroi wrote:

...

Is Androffa Earth?

Androffa is as distant from Earth as it is from Golarion.
And how far is that, measured to the nearest galaxy of distance? Should I be looking in the Large Magellanic cloud for Golarion, or farther afield? Or maybe just the other side of our own galaxy?

All three are in different galaxies. That's all that we're willing to reveal at this point.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

1. Given that there doesn't seem to be a way to avoid receiving the spell, are Golarion celebrities, political officials, and other important folks constantly inundated by sending spells by casters with a bone to pick, or some fanboy love comments, or whatever else they might want to bother them with?

2. Do you play other systems for fun, or research, or whatever when you're not playing Pathfinder? If so, which ones?

3. How much do you know about the PF MMO? (I have more questions, but if you don't know too much, or don't want to answer for whatever reason, I understand.)

4. Is pimpin' easy?

5. Who was the first person in the company to actually say "So they're discontinuing 3.5...well, what if we just made our own game?" or whatever along those lines?

1) No. Sending is a relatively high level spell, and as such it's not all that commonly cast. And the small subset of spellcasters who CAN cast it who are likely to be celebrity stalkers are even smaller.

2) Yes. I'm currently playing in a D&D Next game, and have always played Call of Cthulhu... but not as often as I want. I play other systems as well, usually as one-shot games.

3) I know quite a lot, but I don't know what is and isn't public knowledge, so I'm not the person to talk to about it.

4) Lame question.

5) Probably the first of us to hear that they were discontinuing 3.5, be it Lisa or Erik, not sure who.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dire Mosasaur wrote:

Hi James, here are a few random things I was curious about. Mostly about neutral outsiders this time.

(I'm asking all of these questions in regards to the Inner Sea setting)

1) Is the Boneyard itself a plane (like Elysium or the Abyss), or is it a location in a plane? Inner Sea Gods says it is located above the city of Axis (which is a city-plane, I guess).

2) The PRD usually lists Purgatory as the true neutral plane. Is this because it is setting neutral, or does Purgatory also exist in the Inner Sea setting?

3) Similar to above, what are neutral petitioners in the Inner Sea setting called? The PRD lists them as the "dead" and says they take the form of animated skeletons (outsiders rather than undead though). Is this also true of the Inner Sea?

4) Is there any relationship between Aeons and Psychopomps (for example, are psychopomps a type of aeon?)?

5) Is there a difference between the petitioners that turn into Psychopomps and those that turn into Aeons, or do they both come from the petitioner that is the answer to #3?

6) How devout would one have to be to become a Psychopomp rather than the stuff that makes up the plane? Would a relatively devout commoner follower of Pharasma become one, or would they have to be more noteworthy (like, say, a character with levels in cleric?)? I'm trying to get a rough idea of how populated the Boneyard would be.

7) Pharasma is mentioned as being very neutral in her judgements. Would anything cause her to hold souls back, even temporarily? Like if daemons or qlippoth were threatening to completely mess up the river of souls, would she resort to cutting off their reinforcements?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm trying to make a plane-hopping campaign in the Inner Sea setting and want to remain consistent. I'm rather new to Pathfinder, and have only played in a campaign set in a homebrew setting with few planes other than the material plane.

1) The Boneyard is a plane. It's our Neutral outer plane.

2) That's because "Boneyard" isn't a mythological place and we decided to avoid using any of our non-open proper nouns for the PRD. Boneyard and Purgatory are interchangeable synonyms, in other words... but if you use "Boneyard" in a book you publish, we can sue you. ;-)

3) They are called the dead.

4) No. Just as there are several different types of chaotic evil outsider races (demons, demodands, and qlippoth), there are several types of neutral outsider races (aeon, psychopomp, elemental). They don't have any relationship other than a shared alignment.

5) They'd both come from the same petitioner.

6) We talk about this in the Souls article in the last Mummy's Mask, but there's not an exact measurement of devoutness that you need to achieve. It's deliberately vague. The Boneyard isn't crowded with psychopomps though. Part of what makes it what it is is the fact that it's kinda empty overall, like a quiet spooky cemetery that goes on forever.

7) Nope. She wouldn't cut off "reinforcements" like that. That type of mentality requires someone to have an agenda beyond neutrality.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ashram wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Ashram wrote:
<snip>

1) Magic can make things do all sorts of stuff. Including making ice, bone, or even light into a weapon that is very effective.

2) Accident. Alaznist's ranseur has a different Runelord of Wrath's skull on it, not the first. ALTHOUGH... liches rebuild their bodies once killed, so perhaps she killed him at one point and took his skull and let him rebuild!

3)...

On #2, considering by Alaznist's reign Alderpash would have been very (un)comfortably tucked away in the Abyss for at least a couple hundred years by Baphomet, I highly doubt Alaznist would have taken a field trip to the Abyss just to get a neato trophy for the butt end of her ranseur. :P

On #7, I meant the fact that by RAW you can't make a scythe out of bone, since you can't make a two-handed slashing weapon out of bone. Although I guess if you jerry-rig a wood handle and a bone blade like Krune's dragon-tooth longspear, you can get around that. I'll just chalk it up to "10,000-year-old wizards did it." ;)

Two new questions!

1. How was there an art mix-up for Sorshen's guisarme, considering it's never been depicted in official art?

2. Alaznist has been called an arcane knight before. Was that just for her enjoyment of using evocation, or did she actually wear armor? (You've mentioned before that she would not have levels in Eldritch Knight.)

Doubting what Alaznist would and could do is one of the ways she rose to such power over her contemporaries.

You can make a scythe out of bone in the real world. Therefore you can do the same in Golarion. This is a case where the rules are trumped by reality. A bone scythe might not be the most effective weapon in play, and might break easily or do less damage than a metal one, but once you enhance it with magic all bets are off. And even beyond that, it's a major artifact, like Karzoug's Burning Glaive... so anything is allowed anyway.

1) It has been depicted. Multiple times. It's even in miniature form. We first illustrated it in Inner Sea Magic, where the art for Sorshen came in too late to chagne. We then illustrated her again in Shattered Star #2, and she ended up getting a miniature in the Shattered Star minis set.

2) Unrevealed, but she probably did wear armor, yes. She was pretty militaristic. Probably the MOST military minded of all seven runelords at the time of Thassilon's fall. I doubt she wore heavy armor or even medium armor, but she likely wore light armor. Likely with the feats to help augment her spellcasting in said armor, or perhaps even with armor that was magic and allowed her to cast spells easilly in it.

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Yuugasa wrote:

New to this awesome thread and haven't been able to read all of it yet but a question(sorry if something similar has already been asked).

Let's say after you pass on in this life you find yourself reincarnated in Golarion. What species, class, background etc would you like to be? Where would you like to be born and into what circumstances? Assuming you remember your previous life and the details of Golarion what would you spend your life doing? What would be your goal?

Oooh! Elven bard in western Varisia! My goal would be FAME!

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
How big would the kingdom of a group of PCs get before it could be legitimately called an empire? Let's use the Kingmaker kingdom as an example. Assuming it encompasses the entirety of The Stolen Lands and has annexed Pitax, how much more territory would the PCs have to claim in order for the GM to decide it has grown beyond being a kingdom to become Golarion's newest empire?

That's not something that is really governed by population as much as it is the ruler calling himself an Emperor or herself an Empress, in my opinion. An "empire" of a dozen people has its own amusing and interesting story connotations, after all!

That said, one dictionary definition of "empire" is "a group of nations," so one kingdom in and of itself is not really something that could ever be called an empire, regardless of it's actual population.

But if the ruler decided to call themselves Emperor or Empress... that's all you'd need.

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As the author of the Emerald Root, I can provide answers for these:

Order of the Amber Die wrote:

1) Area P12 has an advanced Stone Golem that is listed as CR 12 (correct), but the title of the area lists the encounter as CR 11.

2) The ledge outside of P9 appears to have different heights on the map, as there is definitely shading around the bright square to the southwest of the "P9" label on the map from p. 142. Nothing is mentioned about varying heights in the text, but on level nine there was also no text to confirm a similar issue with that map, so GMs may want to give thought to this in advance. I ruled that there was a 5ft. difference in height between the top three and one-half squares of the P9 ledge in comparison to the bottom six and one-quarter squares, and the resulting verticality surprised us by adding interesting complexity to the charda battle.
3) The GM may have to prepare a ruling on the master shards found on this level. While they are italicized by Jacobs (suggesting that they are magic items) he might have run too low on word count to allow for a magic item stat block for them, or perhaps figured that his clear description of how they function was enough. Either way, players will likely be inquisitive about the properties or try to identify its attributes with Spellcraft, so it might be wise to choose how you will rule in advance.
4) As a recommendation on how to conduct the earth glide within the Spire tendrils, I can offer that it worked very well for me by describing this in the same way I would walk a PC down a hallway, offering directional choices as they came upon them. For example, a left or right choice when headed toward P5 would allow GMs to definitively place a PC on the map upon arrival.
5) It seemed like some GM-discretion was required with Eriniell in regard to how harshly she attacks PCs who touch the ground, and how strictly she will enforce this rule as they PCs move around the level. I thought it unlikely she would break off from attacking Iluchtewhar or another enemy to go after a PC because they touched the ground during a fight. I played this feature of her personality up as way to provide flavor and even laughter between combats, as PCs would sometimes forget they had to be off the ground--and Eriniell sharply reminded them with her pick. Not wanting to be tied to floating disks for the level, they eventually resorted to fly spells to appease her.

1) Yup; the CR listed in the encounter area name is in error.

2) There is indeed a five-foot high ledge up on area P9.

3) Indeed, space constraints prevented me from doing up the master shards as full magic items. I did indeed figure that the description in the treasure of area P4 was enough to give GMs what they needed to go on. It absolutely should be possible for characters to determine a master shard's qualities by making a Spellcraft check as if they were studying a magic item—you can assume they're CL 7th, like a spire transport token, for those purposes. Especially since using these things is kind of a prerequisite to navigating the level anyway if the PCs don't have their own solutions.

4) I would describe it like swimming in a tunnel filled with green water, more or less.

5) Eriniell is crazy, and as such it's absolutely up to the GM to determine how she reacts in any given situation. An adventure author can't possibly anticipate every PC action, after all, so the best we can do is describe the NPC's personality and general goals and quirks so that the GM can make educated decisions on how they react to specific situations. She's very much intended to be a roleplaying enabler and not a combat encounter though, so the more you use her to break up the monotony of dungeon crawl fights, the better! :-)

I'm still kinda surprised no one's called me on the fact that she's cheating with that disk... normally you can't use the spell to sit on, but it's too cool an image to be bound by rules! :-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

RHMG Animator wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

.....

Attack on Titan (VERY VERY GOOD... but only 4 episodes in... no spoilers!)
....

Glad you like Attack on Titan,

I've read the manga and seen the anime.
The manga is way farther along and reveals some big secrets, but I will not say what, as they would be Super Spoilers that folks should read on their own.

What do you think of the intro for Attack on Titan, and it's music?
Link to eng dub of intro.

The intro and music are fine. Not overly remarkable. It's the story that's impressive to me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ashram wrote:

In-depth nerd questions about the Runelords' weapons of rule (And other Runelord-y things) incoming:

1. Krune's dragon-tooth longspear is detailed in "The Waking Rune", which very obviously has bone for the tip of the spear. Normally even magically-strengthened bone takes a damage penalty, but his spear does not. Oversight, or crazy Runelord magic?

2. In "The Dead Heart of Xin", Alaznist's write-up states that her adamantine ranseur has the skull of the first Runelord of Wrath impaled at the butt; "The Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth" states otherwise, saying that the first Runelord of Wrath was whisked away by a demon lord for a foolish promise and resorted to lichdom. Accident, or retcon?

3. Do you have the names of the other four original Runelords, and are they important enough to keep under wraps?

4. Any hints as to what "undocumented" skymetal Xanderghul's lucerne hammer is made of? I've always held that it's horacalcum since the metal is so rare that it was effectively undocumented (And it's technically the metal that embodies his sin.)

5. Sorshen's "double-headed guisarme"... One head at both ends? Wracking my brain on this one.

6. Belimarius' "memory-stealing halberd of gold and mithral"... Solid gold pole with a mithral head, or some weird mixture of the two?

7. Zutha's "life-stealing scythe made of bone": Technically not possible, by RAW. More crazy Runelord magic? :P

8. Earlier in the thread, you mentioned Belimarius was between Krune and Zutha in power. Considering Zutha and Krune are the same level, would Belimarius be a 17th level old female Azlanti abjurer?

And now I'm done. Whew...

1) Magic can make things do all sorts of stuff. Including making ice, bone, or even light into a weapon that is very effective.

2) Accident. Alaznist's ranseur has a different Runelord of Wrath's skull on it, not the first. ALTHOUGH... liches rebuild their bodies once killed, so perhaps she killed him at one point and took his skull and let him rebuild!

3) I do not have the names yet, but will someday.

4) No hints yet.

5) It was originally intended to have two blades at one end, but an artist mix-up turned it into a one blade at each end and made it a double weapon. Which wasn't my intent, but it's the way it is now! ;-)

6) Mix of the two. And magical so that it functions without getting dull.

7) It's absolutely possible. If magic can make all the other things in the game, why cant' it enhance a scythe made of bone? It's not even crazy runelord magic. Just normal magic.

8) She's probably 18th level, but lower CR than Zutha, who's a lich and likely has some other tricks up his sleeve.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The NPC wrote:

Mr. James Jacobs,

In the Lords of Chaos book there is the set of rituals that allows a mortal to turn into a demon sans the death and larvae part of the process. Could a the process be subverted, in your estimation, to allow a mortal to turn into a qlippoth? Probably not, but I thought I would ask.

There should and would and could be different rituals to allow a mortal to transform into ANY outsider race.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Will we find out in the last volume of Iron Gods what the planet Androffa is like currently?

2)When will we find out all the 0HD races that will get some love in the Inner Sea Races book?

3)Will we ever see another Inner sea Bestiary or some other softcover bestiary like Tian Xia or Distant Worlds?

4)Will there be any more "revisited" and/or "unleashed" books next year?

5)So what movies have you seen lately?

1) Not in detail, but once the last book is out, I'll explain why it's not in detail if folks want, and can answer more questions about it.

2) Probably not until the book's released.

3) Maybe.

4) We've put the revisited books on pause for now; they're fun to do but sales suggested folks weren't as into them as they were other topics. We may well do more unleashed books but not at the rate we did the revisited books. We might do another revisited book some day in the future, but the more rapid rate of us publishing them is done.

5) The Book of Life (excellent)
Big Hero 6 (above average but not great)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (excellent)
Would You Rather (Surprisingly good!)
Attack on Titan (VERY VERY GOOD... but only 4 episodes in... no spoilers!)
The Damned (Started good but ended up bleh)
Sabotage (bad... one of the worst Arnold movies ever)
Mercy (terrible, despite retaining some but not all of the Lovecraftian elements of King's original story, "Gramma')

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Biztak wrote:
pancakes or waffles?

Pancakes. Absolutely no contest.

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Tels wrote:
What's your opinion on random number generators in video games?

No opinion. They're a tool used to tell a story, and that means they can be good or bad.

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RCM wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

At the time Divinity launched? Not at all. About as magically developed as Earth.

That may have changed significantly in the past 9,000 years, of course!

Will the fate of Androffa be revealed in the last book of the AP?

Somewhat, but not in detail. That said, once the last book's out, I'll be willing to talk a bit more about Androffa here.

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Note that I did not say there are no deity fish.

Only that the starstone didn't do what it does in its current state until it was raised up.

Obviously, with "Razing of Redshore" as proof, I'm pretty okay with super-powerful aquatic things. Like Moby Druid.

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The "DC 20 + double implantation" is an error. That was the original formula I used, but it became apparent that it was too restrictive and instead I switched to an ad hoc method of simply assigning the implantation value as felt appropriate for the device.

The install DCs listed per item are correct.

The newest printing of the Tech Guide omits the error.

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Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
James, are all the deity's that gained their power from the Starstone human before ascension? If so, is that a limitation of the Starstone? I was wondering if something about being activated via the God of Humanity has a part to play.

Iomedae and Cayden were. Norgorber might have been, but he keeps secrets. It's not a limitation of the starstone at all. Anything could use it to become a god if they do the right things.

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Kajehase wrote:
And is there a one-legged divine sea-captain in eternal pursuit of it?

Nope.

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W E Ray wrote:

Not sure how much a question this is or its importance to anything but,...

Someone started a Thread asking about all the "god" fish or whatever that must've come from the Starstone's influence in the, uh, 5 millenia(!) it rested on the ocean floor.

The thing that immediately jumped in my mind was your 20th Lvl adventure from Dungeon 92, "The Razing of Redshore" and its colossal, Awakened, god-like whale that the PCs have to deal with as they become Epic Level PCs.

So here goes:
Is there any chance at all that there's some "god-like" whale or something that got its spark of divinity from the Starstone ages and ages before Aroden lifted it and founded Absalom?

No.

Part of what made the Starstone Cathedral and the Starstone itself capable of doing what it does is the interaction of magic that resulted when Aroden raised it and the Isle of Kortos from the sea floor. It didn't "activate" until that happened. Until then, it was, essentially, dormant. Powerful magic to be sure, and it could well have caused some nearby denizens of the Darklands or the sea or wherever to perhaps gain the Advanced template or some other boost... but it didn't gain the power to ascend mortals until after it was raised.

There are plenty of other ways for adventures like "Razing of Redshore" to activate, though. And good times! Haven't thought of that adventure for a while! :-)

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Misroi wrote:

...

Is Androffa Earth?

Androffa is as distant from Earth as it is from Golarion.

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Triphoppenskip wrote:
At what age did you start playing table top RPGs and what was the first system you played? Ever play Mordheim?

I started playing RPGs with the 1977 edition of D&D in 5th grade in 1982; I was 10 years old at the time.

I've never played Mordheim.

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Nargemn wrote:

You've mentioned before your reluctance to utilize archetypes on NPCs, citing them as more of a PC only thing, save for some exceptions. I was wondering why this was? Do you feel that giving NPCs archetypes that it creates too much of a burden of knowledge or expectancy that a GM running that AP/Module/scenario has the books that the archetype is presented in?

For my part, I love giving archetypes where it's appropriate, as I think it really adds a lot of flavor and diversity to the base classes, and the archetypes were one of the first mechanical aspects of Pathfinder I fell in love with, rather than having 3.5s massive amount of base classes.

Obviously archetypes don't always fit, because having every single monster in a large encounter be something completely unique can bog down playtime. I'd just love some insight! :D

The main reason is that the GM already has a lot on his/her plate. Adding new archetypes, or feats, or spells, or items to an NPC from different books makes that NPC more difficult to run. By limiting these options for most NPCs, it makes most NPCs easier to run by not only limiting the number of books the GM has to reference, but by increasing the chances that the GM's familiarity with the rules makes it likely that he/she won't need books open all.

FURTHERMORE: Archetypes are great at making a character unusual, but if EVERY NPC has them, then every NPC is different, and since there's no "norm" to base on... they don't feel unusual or notable at all.

While an archetype can certainly add flavor to a stat block... it's NOT necessary for a flavorful character. You can, in other words, make ANY stat block play the role of a pirate in an adventure without it having the pirate archetype. The players don't get to see the stats, so they won't notice either way.

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shintsurugi wrote:

Thanks for all the replies so far!

Another sort of fluff question I have:

In WotR, after the giant pulse sent out by the breaking of the Wardstone in the first part, what are the demonic armies up to? The AP says at certain points that Galfrey is trying to keep their attention to the south, but surely the combined armies of two demon lords could overwhelm whatever forces Galfrey can muster on such short notice?

Or was the recruitment for the Fifth Crusade just that massive?

Just looking for how you'd explain it! Thanks!

The demonic armies are attacking other cities along the border, or expanding into the Mammoth Lords territory. Some of this was covered in the Pathfinder Society adventures that came out at that time.

But again... remember that the demons don't want a quick win. For the demons, the more drawn out their win is, the more suffering they cause their mortal foes to endure, and thus the more chances for sin to enter their lives, and thus the better chances there are of dead mortals turning into new demons.

AKA: It's the same reason lumberjacks don't cut down the entire forest at once.

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shintsurugi wrote:

So, just a personal question, but many of my friends are big fans of Sarenrae in this setting. I agree, there's a lot to like: healing, redemption, sun, and pretty much pure Neutral Good.

I was wondering if you think there are any shortcomings or weaknesses of Sarenrae? She seems to have her bases pretty covered in that her followers are pragmatic about using the blade if evil refuses to be redeemed, and not letting evil take advantage of their willingness to redeem and the like.

Also, what's up with the wheels? AFAIK, Sarenrae, Iomedae and Pharasma seem to have one. Is this just a minor trend among the god to have animated wheel servants?

All of our deities have shortcomings and faults; it's part of what makes them interesting. In Sarenrae's case, some might qualify her eagerness to forgive as a weakness, although she and her faith would not. The fact that her church is currently suffering a schism, with a significant number of her worshipers in Qadira having adopted a much more warlike and aggressive stance on her faith than is classically accepted for her is a great example of how this willingness to forgive gets folks angry—how can Sarenrae forgive an entire huge swath of her own worshipers for taking her teachings too far into the arena of war?

As for the wheels? That's just a recurring theme I suspect that was inspired by the presence of wheels in the Bible. Sean would know for sure. In any event, they're not REALLY animated wheels in every case. Sarenrae's "wheel" minion is just a fire elemental that appears in a wheel shape. We could have used the word "ring" or "hoop" or "halo" in that case. It's not really a for-real wheel.

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RCM wrote:
While Androffa was technologically advanced, how developed was it at a magical level? Arcane or divine.

At the time Divinity launched? Not at all. About as magically developed as Earth.

That may have changed significantly in the past 9,000 years, of course!

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Shisumo wrote:
With the errata to memory of function, does that spell now function like a resurrection for androids?

Yes. As will resurrection, of course.

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Alayern wrote:
What are your top 5 bits of odd trivia about Golarion?

I don't really keep track of odd Golarion trivia in my head in this manner, so I can't really answer the question. I guess none of it seems odd to me either.

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shintsurugi wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Page 7 of "The Worldwound Incursion," in the adventure background, is where it's first mentioned. It comes up many more times as the AP progresses.

Short version: "The demons played humans for fools and lulled them into a deliberate sense of false security, since a long drawn-out war was a much better way to get more humans to fall to sin than simply killing them. Better for sinful humans to die and fuel the Abyss than to kill them before that point and waste the souls going to heaven."

Oh, right! Was the attack on Kenabres more out of boredom then, or an actual effort to win the war? It seems to me like slow gains would have been better for them in the long run.

** spoiler omitted **

The "slow gains" have been building for about a century. That's long enough for the demons, and the attack on Kenabres was indeed an intentional start of the endgame, set into motion by the discovery of Nahyndrian's uses. Plus, someone wanted to kill a dragon.

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Yeah. It did indeed sell pretty well. Yay! :-)

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shintsurugi wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
CanisDirus wrote:

...

Since it's been written out of continuity anyway, would you be willing to share what nexavar was, originally? Or is it in the old campaign setting book (in which case I'll go search that when I get home)?

Nexavar was a kind of lazy made-up material to explain why the demons of the Worldwound stopped at the border and didn't go further. It was kinda poorly thought out (why, if it's something that runs along the river, don't the demons go north or west where there is no river?), was never really given any rules, and as such didn't really follow my design philosophy of "If you make it up, back it up with rules design."

It was never really explained or described, and that's part of the reason I dislike it and excised it from the setting. But more to the point, I'd always had in my mind reasons why the demons don't go further than the Worldwound (those reasons are revealed, finally, in Wrath of the Righteous), and it has more to do with demons being smarter and much more manipulative than humans give them credit and less to do with "lucky that river just HAPPENED to be infused with anti demon stuff!"

It's been a while since I've read WotR, but could you hint me at where this reason is mentioned? I can't seem to bring it out of my brain's memory right now.

Page 7 of "The Worldwound Incursion," in the adventure background, is where it's first mentioned. It comes up many more times as the AP progresses.

Short version: "The demons played humans for fools and lulled them into a deliberate sense of false security, since a long drawn-out war was a much better way to get more humans to fall to sin than simply killing them. Better for sinful humans to die and fuel the Abyss than to kill them before that point and waste the souls going to heaven."

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Where is Thalassic Park?

Off the coast of Northern California.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Would you rather have a sword made of pants or a pants made of sword?

Is neither an option?

If not, I'd flip a coin since both would be equally useless and end up being thrown out pretty much immediately. ;-)

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Thanks for the detailed feedback, magnuskn! There's certainly a lot for us to think about in looking over how Mythic Rules interacts with the game, particularly at high level play. I don't really have much more public to say at this time, but I did want to thank you for the review and impressions you had of the campaign and of the Mythic Rules.

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David Neilson wrote:
Even better. Though for Breath of life I am surprised you do not call it Cure Lethal Wounds.

Cure Mortal Wounds is another option.

But by calling it Cure Deadly Wounds, it abbreviates to CDW. Which doesn't overlap Light, Moderate, Serious, or Critical. (Which both Deadly and Lethal do.)

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David Neilson wrote:
So if we are lucky enough to get the Hollow Mountain done up as a full, all the bells and whistles mega-dungeon. Do you think Lisa Stevens could be convinced to do the first level as in Emerald Spire?

No.

Because Hollow Mountain's one of MY playgrounds. If it happens... it's 'cause I got to write the whole thing.

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