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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 47,403 posts (49,625 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I'm not all that interested in pursuing a zero HD gnoll. Not everything needs to be a player option. The GMs need monsters too.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
I was thinking Iron Priest channeling vs robots which usually have hardness.

Then yup. Hardness counts.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
Does hardness work against channel energy? Since hardness is effectively physical/energy resistance, and channel is positive/negative energy?

In most cases, it'll never matter, since channeled energy can only affect living or undead targets. Objects and constructs, the things that have hardness, are neither living nor undead. If there were a weird case of a living or undead creature gaining hardness, then yes, it would affect the damage caused by channeled energy in the same way hardness affects ALL damage. It would not affect healing energy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
KingmanHighborn wrote:

So to satisfy my curiosity and since this will probably be a guranteed Christmas purchase how much does it cover these races?

Catfolk
Gnolls
Kobolds
Wyvarans
Changelings
Kitsune
Ratfolk
Vanara
Half Orcs
Tieflings

Cause those are my favorites to play

All of those are mentioned in the book. In some cases (such as tieflings and half-orcs and kobolds) for several pages. In others (such as wyvarans and kitsune and vanara) for a paragraph or two. Gnolls barely get mentioned at all—they have hit dice, and are thus beyond the scope of this book. There's 2 pages in the book that summarize a lot of the races with HD, from gnolls on up to giants and beyond, but the focus of this book is races without racial HD.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Duiker wrote:

Hi James,

My group is beginning a Mummy's Mask campaign next, with me running. I'm using the AP's storyline as the backbone for them being able to play more sandbox (ha!) style through a lot of the rest of Osirion. Idea is for it to run something akin to the old Bioware games, where there are quests and place to find scattered across the entire map. I've got a map drawn for the party to scale on one of those 2x3 poster grids (15 miles per square), with the terrain and cities, on which they can fill in detail as they explore. So I've been reading very intently through all of the materials on Osirion (and there are a lot, it's fantastic!)

Two questions about places:

1. What are the "Swells of Gozreh" north of the mouth of the Sphinx River? I can't find anything on them.

2. On the very very western edge of our map, the Cathedral of Claws makes an appearance. The only reference I can find to it says something along the lines of: it is a mystery even to Thuvians, not even Water lords go there. Is there any additional snippets of info for the place? I was thinking of using Frog God's Black Monastery module reskinned if only because Monastery and Cathedral are similar concepts.

Thanks!

These are great questions for Rob. I developed part 5 of Mummy's Mask, but he did the rest and built the outline and is running it; he knows a LOT more about it than I do.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Axial wrote:
All of the Psychopomps basically work for Pharasma, right? Is she their boss?

Pretty much, yes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Is your parents' house DUNGEONPROOOOF?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I'm sure it is.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Misroi wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

James,

I noticed you mention smoked garlic as a favorite seasoning. Do you have a smoker? What would be your favorite food-type to smoke? Any good marinade recipes you can share?

I don't have a smoker. That's several steps of cooking skill beyond me.
Have you seen the episode of Good Eats where Alton makes a smoker out of a cardboard box, and proceeds to smoke two salmon filets in it? As an aside, I have done this very procedure twice, and it's actually far easier to maintain than you'd think.

I have not.

Even easier than that? Buying smoked salmon at the store. Even easier than that? And even better? Getting smoked salmon for free at my parents' house. Where I will be within 36 hours.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:
If you where to make a "temples of the inner sea" book would you be able to detail the church hierarchies?

The "Thing of the Inner Sea" books have a pretty rigid structure of presenting 6 different examples. And I'd not want to do a structure of church hierarcies in a book where we only get less than a 3rd of the core deities.

Alas, Inner Sea Gods or the Faiths Of books were the best place to do this.. And that ship has sailed.

We might find a place for it in the future... but "Temples of The Inner Sea" would focus MUCH more on the architecture and buildings of six faiths than their hierarchies.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Spook205 wrote:

The church of Callistria is chaotic, do they have a hierarchy though? Like is there a High Callistrian priestess?

I picked up Faiths of Balance, but it didn't really seem to specify what makes one a high muckety-muck of Callistria, and since I've got plans to have a high ranking (or possibly the highest ranking) Callistrian show up as a CE or CN henchman to one of my current campaign's bad guys, I'd like to know if there are any trappings or symbols of office associated with one.

They do have a hiererachy, as do most churches. Chaotic does NOT mean "can never organize or work together."

For better or worse, we generally don't go into much detail, it seems, on church hierarchies and the names of each level and all that. Which is a shame, but it is what it is.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

thegreenteagamer wrote:

Who do you think is the coolest man over 60 in the world?

Woman over 60?
Do you fear aging? (As I round mid-30's, and I look in the mirror, sometimes I'm like, WHOA, is that me? But otherwise I'm cool with it, personally.) If so/not, why?
What is a major life goal you hope to accomplish that you think you've gotten started, but haven't even hit halfway yet?
What is your proudest moment in your life so far?

Stephen King.

Sigourney Weaver.
I do, the older I get.
Get to my ideal weight and stay there.
I'm not sure it's happened yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aberzombie wrote:

James,

I noticed you mention smoked garlic as a favorite seasoning. Do you have a smoker? What would be your favorite food-type to smoke? Any good marinade recipes you can share?

I don't have a smoker. That's several steps of cooking skill beyond me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

OmegaGrey wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
What about a true neutral Urban barbarian/cleric of Abadar?
Nope. And the more folk try to skirt the edges, the more adamant I'll grow. Next question, please.
I've seen you mention on a few occasions how you feel that PCs are perfectly suited to be unique concepts, but at the same time you have said things like this where stepping to far out of line causes you to dig in your heels. While I'm sure it ends up being a case by case basis, would you say that there are certain things you are more likely to allow edge cases of than others? I guess another way of asking it is, do you feel that boundaries are made to be pushed or respected (in terms of Pathfinder)?

Yes. I feel that certain things are what define a thing, and that trying to make a square peg (a worshiper of Abadar) fit into a round hole (barbarian levels) is kinda disrespectful to both concepts.

Unusual and unique does not always mean creative and fun. Whether or not any two people will agree on the specifics is up to those two people.

Boundaries are made to be respected, in other words. That doesn't mean they can't be pushed. In fact, they SHOULD be pushed... but at the right time by the right writer. I don't want to shatter a boundary with someone not capable of doing it right the first time.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
Was Vhailor from Planescape: Torment any inspiration for the Hellknights?

I'm pretty sure no.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Was the Five Kings Mountains inspired by Mount Rushmore?

Dunno.

Thassilon's Runelord mountan faces were.

Mike McArtor was the initial creator of a lot of the Five Kings Mountains, and I suspect hat Mt. Rushmore did indeed inspire him. He was a pretty patriotic guy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:

1)What book or books was this dog-headed race mentioned in?

2)Any chance that the Inner Sea Races book will mention or at hint about races that do not have stats?

3)Is there any chance we will one day see a telepath type class?

1) Pathfinder #1. In the very first Pathfinder journal.

2) I don't believe so; the book has been at the printer and I've read most of it, but I might be forgetting something... but I'm pretty sure the answer is no.

3) There's a lot of that in Occult Adventures. So, yes. 100% of a chance. By the end of the next month.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

thegreenteagamer wrote:
What about a true neutral Urban barbarian/cleric of Abadar?

Nope. And the more folk try to skirt the edges, the more adamant I'll grow. Next question, please.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ross Byers wrote:
Why am I so tired?

Leap second threw you off.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Aren't lupins a kind of flower?

Yes. One of several reasons why I've never been a fan of the monster. Silly names go a long way toward making me not like a monster.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Samy wrote:

Looking at the customer service forum, it must take a lot of time to deal with subscription cancellation requests. With all the hours that customer service must have put into them, you probably could have paid someone to code in a "cancel" button that subscribers could click on their own. Why not?

Is it a "psychological barrier" kind of thing, that you're counting on less people unsubscribing if they have to make a forum post, than if they could just click a button?

I believe that's exactly it. If there's a cancel button, it's easier to unsubscribe. Making a customer do a little work to unsubscribe is indeed a psychological barrier. This is hardly unique to Paizo. A lot of subscription models do this type of thing. It's pretty standard.

It also allows us to find out WHY you want to unsubscribe, so that can help us correct errors we're making so that we can, in theory, improve things in the future to help not have folks unsubscribe for the same reason, if that makes sense?

AKA: If you don't want to buy our things anymore, we want to know why, so that if it's something we can perhaps fix, we can. If you just vanish from being a customer without giving us a reason, that gives us no indication of what we can do to improve.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would Nirmathas' naming conventions be like?

If I were naming someone from Nirmathas I'd likely just go for "generic european" sounding names. AKA: Standard fantasy names.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I suspect the primary reason is that there's just not a lot of us here at Paizo who are eager to see a glut of animal-headed races in the game.
With "historically", I meant pre-Paizo...Gygax, TSR, even WotC days.

The boxed D&D rules had lupins and a few other dog-head races.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

T.A.U. wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Hmm. I suppose the rules as written would allow that... but...

I still wouldn't allow it in my games, since it's kinda nonsensical for a cleric of urban things to be a barbarian.

And in reply, I'll just say "you can't be a cleric of Desna/monk, for example.

Pedantry aside, my point stands.

Would a True Neutral Abadar Cleric who multiclass into Urban Barbarian be a borderline case?

Nope. Still nonsensical in my opinion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
We HAVE mentioned a race of dog-headed humanoids living in an isle off the coast of another continent, but to date we've simply not had the opportunity (or in my case, the interest) in statting that race up.

So it's not a case of intentionally forgoing dogfolk? A sort of "it's too convenient if every single animal has a corresponding humanoid, so we have to have some animals that aren't represented"?

Do you have any thoughts on why, historically, dog-humanoids have been so underrepresented in the game? Was it something caused by kobolds and/or gnolls?

I suspect the primary reason is that there's just not a lot of us here at Paizo who are eager to see a glut of animal-headed races in the game. There's already a LOT of them, what with gnolls and lizardfolk and tengu and catfolk and serpentfolk and charau-ka and on and on, and so there has to be a VERY COMPELLING reason for us to add to that tradition with a new race. And "there's not yet an animal-headed race of this animal yet" is not compelling in and of itself.

Personally, I've never been all that into dog-headed races, but do quite like tengu and lizardfolk and catfolk and gnolls and all the others I list above, so the fact that I happen to be the game's creative director, and thus the one paid for his opinions and vision on the development of the campaign setting also plays into the fact that there aren't yet dog-headed humanoids in the game. From this standpoint, it is sort of a deliberate forgoing of "dogfolk."

But it turns out we publish a couple hundred pages of new content for the setting every month, and as I've said earlier, there ARE tales of "dog headed people" in the setting. We may get there some day...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jessica Price wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

James,

Are you a fan of the Penny Dreadful series on Showtime?

Yes. I am. But...

** spoiler omitted **

SHAME

*bell clang*

SHAME

*bell clang*

HEY! You should shame WES, not me! I'm ready to start the Penny Dreadful train back up at ANY MOMENT!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gars DarkLover wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
the xiao wrote:

What is the stand of the gods toward psychic magic? I suppose Irori would be cool with it but, what about Nethys? others? Are any gods opposed to psychic magic?

Speaking of which, do any gods proibit certain multiclasses?

They are all pretty much cool with it. Nethys in particular, as the god of magic, endorses it.

While the gods themselves do not prohibit certain multiclass combos, the restrictions of alignments do. You can't be a cleric of Abadar/barbarian, for example.

True Neutral?

Hmm. I suppose the rules as written would allow that... but...

I still wouldn't allow it in my games, since it's kinda nonsensical for a cleric of urban things to be a barbarian.

And in reply, I'll just say "you can't be a cleric of Desna/monk, for example.

Pedantry aside, my point stands.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Favourite type of fish?

Favourite way of having fish prepared?

Favourite seasoning?

Lingcod ties with King Salmon

Lingcod = breaded and fried
Salmon = smoked

Smoked garlic

You should make friends with Alaskans then, or come to one of the Alaskan gaming conventions. Alaskans have this nasty habit of just giving away ~40 pounds of freshly caught salmon or halibut.

Or, conversely, go home. My dad is a retired salmon fisherman who is now an avid sport fisherman. I'm no stranger to the free fish syndrome, plus there's fewer mosquitos in Point Arena. :-P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:

What's with the lack of dogfolk in D&D/PF? We have catfolk, foxfolk, lizardfolk, fishfolk, hyenafolk, bullfolk, horsefolk, but Man's most trusted friend seems like it's being snubbed. Is it an intentional design choice to have a dearth of dogfolk?

Kobolds used to sort of have that niche in the past, but now that aspect of them seems to have pretty much been nixed, leaving...pretty much nothing?

We HAVE mentioned a race of dog-headed humanoids living in an isle off the coast of another continent, but to date we've simply not had the opportunity (or in my case, the interest) in statting that race up.

Some day that may change. In the meantime, use werewolves or gnolls? They're dog-adjacent.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
Mermaid or reverse mermaid?

Eew. Mermaid.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Kretzer wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
LazarX wrote:
So.. what will you be doing on your leap second tomorrow at 11:59:60 pm?
PORN!
So how is that different from every other seconds? ;)

Sometimes I'm asleep.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
thegreenteagamer wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
What do mermaid's tails taste of?
I'd imagine they'd taste like guilt and sadness and regret.
So, McDonald's?

Nope; McDonalds tastes like despair and anguish and an early death.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
ulgulanoth wrote:
What do mermaid's tails taste of?

I'd imagine they'd taste like guilt and sadness and regret.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
Ooo, what fish from a fantasy setting would you like to eat?

I'll try any of them, but they've got a lot to live up to if they wanna equal lingcod or king salmon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:

Favourite type of fish?

Favourite way of having fish prepared?

Favourite seasoning?

Lingcod ties with King Salmon

Lingcod = breaded and fried
Salmon = smoked

Smoked garlic

Paizo Employee Creative Director

the xiao wrote:

What is the stand of the gods toward psychic magic? I suppose Irori would be cool with it but, what about Nethys? others? Are any gods opposed to psychic magic?

Speaking of which, do any gods proibit certain multiclasses?

They are all pretty much cool with it. Nethys in particular, as the god of magic, endorses it.

While the gods themselves do not prohibit certain multiclass combos, the restrictions of alignments do. You can't be a cleric of Abadar/barbarian, for example.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

Would you be opposed to someone commissioning an erotic artist to make a piece depicting a Succubus and a T-Rex?

I would not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Okay, folks... keep it to questions. Even if they're silly ones, and provoke silly answers from me. Thanks!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

11 people marked this as a favorite.

If the drow were extinct, then the game would lose one of its most interesting and iconic villains. Therefore, they are not extinct.

If you want an in-game reason... it's because as good as they are at being destructive and dastardly, they're even better at surviving and flourishing in the face of indomitable odds.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

6 people marked this as a favorite.
LazarX wrote:
So.. what will you be doing on your leap second tomorrow at 11:59:60 pm?

PORN!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lou Diamond wrote:
James, I have a question are the lengenday games products written by Jason nelson who was the primary author of the mythic rules considered 3 party by Pazio?

They absolutely are 3rd party products. None of Legendary Games' products go through an approval process like our licensed products do; they're entirely 3rd party productions and are not "official" expansions to the Adventure Paths.

(And Jason was one of several authors for Mythic Adventures, but not the primary one—that would have been Jason Bulmahn.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aberzombie wrote:

James,

Are you a fan of the Penny Dreadful series on Showtime?

Yes. I am. But...

Spoiler:
I don't have Showtime, so I depend on the kindness of friends for my Penny Dreadful fix. When it first started last year, I watched it with Jessica Price. Wes Schneider was also involved. And then, half-way through the season, for reasons I'm still not clear on, Wes kept having excuses to not be available, so Jess and I kinda got stranded waiting for the opportunity to catch up... and then other shows came along and the next thing we all knew, the 2nd season of Penny Dreadful started, and now we're all way behind.

Some day I hope to get caught up. I'm increasingly thinking that means that Wes is gonna get left behind.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
How the heck did krogan wind up on Thedas? (I know they're an Easter Egg, I just think puzzling out the in-universe implications would be funny.)

It's my understanding that there's implications that Dragon Age and Mass Effect take place in the same universe, only separated by thousands of years.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
ZanThrax wrote:
James, since the topic of NPC / PC creation has come up, how do you come up with names for your characters? I can conceive of, stat up, and write histories and personalities for a dozen characters in less time than it takes me to find a single name that I actually like for a character; especially if I'm trying to come up with one that's culturally appropriate for the character.

All sorts of ways. Sometimes I use random name generators on the internet. Other times I take a word and spell it backwards and then shuffle a few words around. And other times I just make up the name whole-cloth, based on a lifetime spent reading fantasy books and RPGs. And sometimes, if I need a name that evokes a specific ethnicity, I'll look at real world names and then either use obscure ones or respell them a little different to make them look a little more exotic.

And often what I'll do is not just make up one name, but several dozen and write them all down in my notebook with little boxes to check off once I've used them. That way, when I'm working on an adventure, I don't have to stop when it comes time to name someone and agonize for hours or days. I'll just look through the list and pick the one that sounds good.

All that said, naming NPCs is one of the hardest parts, if not THE hardest part of creating an NPC. At least, for me. You want the name to be perfect, after all, but not one that if someone says it out loud they'll accidentally pronounce it to be something dumb or silly.

Finally, there are entire BOOKS of names out there as well. They're a great resource to have handy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
So your recommendation would be I just use that version when I want a low CR demon?

Sure!

Or just use stats for a tiefling and describe it more demonic. That's probably the best bet. Your players won't know they're fighting a tiefling if you describe it as an 'Orange skinned biped with goat horns, black eyes, a long curved knife, and a long thin tongue that dribs blue slobber" when they encounter it.

OR if you have time, make up a new monster!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sandpoint is pretty detailed. As are Korvosa and Magnimar. And by this time next year, Kintargo is gonna be pretty detailed. Westrcrown's pretty well covered as well.

A big hardcover book of a city would indeed be awesome, but fitting that into a schedule is tricksy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
Are manes product identity? I'm looking for the demon counterpart of the lemure as a low-level demon adversary, but it seems like where most devils and demons got ported over to Pathfinder, the manes didn't?

Manes are from mythology. If we WERE To pick them up, though, we'd have to present them in a different format than as "lowest CR demons that turn to acid clouds when you kill them." And since I actually quite like that version of them, I've been very hesitant to "overwrite" them as official Pathfinder creatures.

For what it's worth, if I did port them over, they'd look pretty identical to what I did for them in 3.5's Hordes of the Abyss.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The smitter wrote:
Which do you believe is more important rules consistency or story?

Story.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ulgulanoth wrote:
James what is your process for making NPCs?

The adventure decides what their role should be—be it dungeon guard or serial killer or suspicious ally or giddy murderer or whatever. That comes first. Their personality and appearance grows from there. Class and stats and all that come along near the end of the process, although a lot of the decisions as to what they are get made during the first part.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Forever Man is okay not using his birth name anymore anyway, so it should all work out there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
This is another one of those "it's not normal, but then PCs aren't supposed to be normal" sort of things, isn't it?

PCs aren't supposed to be normal, but I'm not sure what you're asking about. A PC named Choral? That's up to you, not me.

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