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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 46,586 posts (48,771 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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Serpent wrote:

Hey James,

What's the demonym for someone / adjective for something from Abaddon? Abaddonian? Abaddan? Abaddon?

Also, should the adjective "Stygian" (when written with a capital S) only be used for things from the fifth layer of Hell, Stygia, or is something from the river Styx also Stygian? In other words, can a creature from Abaddon (where the River Styx has its source) be called Stygian if it lives in or near the Styx?

Thanks!
-Mikko

Not sure we've decided that yet.

Stygian could mean from the fifth layer of Hell, but I'd rather keep it in use as a real word.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Does a cavalier's banner have to be an actual banner? Can it be something else that's distinctive or highly visible on the battlefield, like a tall and elaborate crest on their helmet or a carnyx battle horn? Or are cavaliers and battle heralds pretty much restricted to using lances/longspears in two hands or a shortspear with one hand they can mount the banner on or wearing a sashimono on their back?

That'd be up to your GM. As long as it uses the same resources as an actual banner (including hand usage and cost) then it should be fine, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tacticslion wrote:

James, I recently wrote a piece that made me rethink Shelyn - she went from "Okay, that's kind of cool." to "Woah. That. Is. Awesome."

What is your opinion on my conjecture and how accurate/inaccurate do you find it, relative to your own view?

Sorry... I prefer to avoid checking out things like that. For time management and legal reasons.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I see. Still, you ARE the elfxpert. Is there a significant elven population in the Fangwood?

Not significant, no.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Another question unrelated to my previous one. You're the resident expert on Nirmathas, right?

Not really. We don't really have a Nirmathas expert. Maybe Bulmahn. It's one of those regions we've never really done much with.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cubed wrote:
Has Pharasma ever had a romantic interest in anyone?

Unrevealed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
And now that I've got that out of my system, do you think there'll ever be a point where players won't require new feats or stat blocks in EVERY book so you guys can release books that are more about Golarion's places and people (like the afformentioned Romance of the Inner Sea, which frankly I think is a fine idea)?

I doubt it. Most players are more interested in building their character's stats than in exploring the world, it seems. Those who ARE interested in world exploration tend also to be GMs.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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xavier c wrote:
What CR would This guy with the cape be?

CR 1/4 at most. 'Cause he's made out of ink and can be slaughtered by an erase spell.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
Tels wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
runs away before James throws her out of his thread
James, is Jessica not aware that, as a T-Rex, you aren't very good at throwing things without chomping on them first? Or is her DR so high that even a bite from the King of Lizards not much of a factor?

If it is he can just replace all her tea with Lipton.

Question! Were you ever able to get Wes to play Bloodborne?

All I need to do is make tea out of microwaved water within a 300 foot radius of her to cause that sort of mayhem.

And no. Wes doesn't own a PS4 yet, so for him... playing Bloodborne is what, like over a 400 dollar investment? Also he's super busy writing stuff at the moment, and seeing how Bloodborne wrecked my own deadline... I kinda don't wanna encourage that on Wes TOO much...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
runs away before James throws her out of his thread
James, is Jessica not aware that, as a T-Rex, you aren't very good at throwing things without chomping on them first? Or is her DR so high that even a bite from the King of Lizards not much of a factor?

She does have pretty high DR.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Jessica Price wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Why exactly DID genies adopt Kelish cultural norms and affectations while other outsiders didn't (in-universe, I know the main answer from a development standpoint is likely because Persian/Arabic myth was where genies came from)? Or am I approaching this from the wrong direction (i.e. the Kelish peoples copied the GENIES' culture and styles)?

Well, I'm just a simple girl and not an anthropologist or anything, and I don't want to be hyperbolic or controversial at all, but I'd have to say it's because Keleshites are, objectively speaking, the coolest culture on Golarion by a factor of about 10,000, just as a conservative estimate. (As you'll all learn, if you weren't already aware, when Inner Sea Races comes out.)

OOPS SORRY THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A QUESTION.

Since genies aren't dumb, is there any reason why they WOULDN'T adopt Keleshite cultural norms?

runs away before James throws her out of his thread

RAAARRRHHHHGGGGHHHhhh..

oh

Well... she's kinda right.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Set wrote:

Genies tend to have an Arabian/Persian sort of feel to them, or, in Golarion, a Qadiran/Kelish design element to their clothing, etc.

As creatures of the elemental planes, is it possible that there are populations of genies that follow other ethnic styles, such as djinn who wear big Ustalavic hats and greatcoats, shaitans with oiled beards and Iblydosian sandals and togas, or an enclave of efreet who wear fine silk kimonos in City-of-Brass variations of Tien styles?

It's possible, but unlikely.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

What sounds more badass to you?

"Tree and stone! I honour the gods, man!"

"Hawthorn, a sickle, and blood in the moonlight."

Neither, really. I guess the second one is a little better because it doesn't use the word "man" in that way, which makes it sound a little bit like it's out of the 70s.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Unrealparagon wrote:
Is it possible for a Mezlan (AP 66, pg 90-91) who was once a wizard to become a wizard again after the transformation?

I'd say so, yes. ESPECIALLY if it makes for a cool story!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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watchmanx wrote:
Hi james was wondering in the long term..does paizo plan to release less rule books and more campaign related material....not trying to start the bloat war argument..i would rather see more campaign books...have a great weekend

I would rather see more campaign books as well and less rule books... but rule books sell better, so I wouldn't expect to see that shift anytime soon. I'll keep trying though!

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

1) So...greed is transmutation because you're taking things and improving them, making them more valuable, sloth is conjuration because you're making others do your dirty work for you, gluttony is necromancy because you can use it to consume the life of others, enchantment is lust because it charms and messes with people's heads, and wrath is evocation because those are the best spells for wrecking s$+# when you're pissed?

2) Thanks!

3) In that case, where do you think the line between playing a PC inspired by an existing fictional character and out-and-out plagiarizing an existing fictional character is?

1) Pretty much, yup.

2) No prob!

3) I think that line is different for each and every person. For me, the line is drawn when you have 2 of the following 3 locked down:
1: Name
2: Appearance
3: Personality

For a character that you're playing in an RPG... that's not going anywhere other than your game table and in that case, it's less of a concern. For a character you're publishing, it's obviously more of a concern.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Turns out, you missed it because we actually don't have elephant people on Golarion.

AKA: Good news! You're not crazy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

1. Why are there so many more groups of evil outsiders than good? Seems like there's at least two evil outsiders categories (demon, devil, etc) per alignment, but one per good alignment and the encompassing angel group.

2. Why do celestials have a multi-alignment encompassing subgroup in angels, but fiends don't seem to have the same?

3. Is there a multi-alignment encompassing description of outsider groups for other alignment groups than good and evil (celestial and fiend)? Is there a name for all lawful outsiders regardless of g/e axis, or all chaotic? Feel like coining one here if not?

4. Alignment isn't good for real life, obviously, due to the complexities of ethics and reality, but if you had to guess your own alignment as a fun game, what would it be? How about some of your co-workers?

1) Because the monsters in the game are, overall, weighted toward evil, because the monsters in the game are, overall, weighted toward foes that traditionally good parties face.

2) Because that's a deliberate design choice to break symmetry between the good outsiders and evil outsiders.

3) Nope. I don't feel like coining one either. I like the fact that the current setup favors good versus evil, and doesn't try to do the same for law versus chaos. And not only because in the vast majority of adventuring parties law and chaos traditionally don't clash NEARLY as much as good and evil.

4) I'd like to be chaotic good, but I tend to be more lawful good. So I guess I'd say I'm neutral good. HAIL SARENRAE!

Not gonna classify co-workers, since that's kinda weird.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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j b 200 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Ashkar wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Ashkar wrote:
Is Xanderghul Peacock Spirit?
You're missing at least ONE word in your question. Therefore, I get to dodge answering it on the technicality that I'm not sure EXACTLY what you're asking.

Terribly sorry, not native english speaker, therefore do make mistakes. But I'll try again:

Is the Runelord of Pride, Xanderghul, the Tassilonian God known as the Peacock Spirit?

Hee... no worries! I was sorta being snarky, because I like the fact that there's so much mystery surrounding the Peacock Spirit. Sorry about that! :-/

In any case... it's not QUITE time yet to reveal more about the Peacock Spirit, including what he/she/it is not. I wanna keep it mysterious for a bit longer... ;-)

Do I detect the early hints of the next AP?!?!?!?!

Nope. You don't.

You might detect hints of plans I have for something regarding the Runelords... but it's not the next AP.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ha! Nope! Nice try though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

1) Is there any particular reason why the magic of pride, the sin with the most powerful Runelord in Thassilon, is Illusion? It seems like if Xanderghul was obsessed with standing on his own and being better than anyone else, why would he hide behind spells to create fakes and lies, with no ACTUAL strength to affect the world the way Karzoug or Alaznist could. It seems like an Abjuration/Envy Runelord could have exposed him as a fraud or something by dispelling his magics. Not saying it was a BAD decision, it's an INTERESTING decision, and I'm curious about the thought process that led to it. :)

2) What terrain would a ranger fighting in the Worldwound against demons want for their Favored Terrain?

3) What are good ways to draw inspiration from existing fictional characters in a subtle way? One problem I keep running into is that when I play a character, their mannerisms or modus operandi reveal their inspiration immediately:

"You're playing a vigilante who uses martial arts and intimidates bad guys? You're CLEARLY playing Batman!"

"You're playing a monster-slayer with wolf-like characteristics and uses swords? You're CLEARLY playing Geralt of Rivia!"

"You're playing a druid trying to restore the old ways in a land of knights in shining armor? Why don't you just play a wizard, you're OBVIOUSLY Merlin!"

1) There are reasons why ALL of the magic schools are what they are in Thassilon. For pride, it's associated with illusion because those spells are the best suited toward masking and hiding flaws in your person, your belongings, and your environs. And you can change them as needed if someone dares try to one-up you. The fact that these aren't REAL changes only furthers your psychological damage about being obsessed with them. Envy is instead associated with abjuration because those are the spells and magical effects you use to ruin other people's magic.

2) Planar (Abyss) is a good choice. As would be Mountain/hill, or plains. Actually... go check out the Wrath of the Righteous Player's Guide... that info is in there.

3) Maybe play with players who aren't as obsessed with calling out your inspirations? Or rather than be dismayed at that, say, "You're damn right I'm playing Batman/Geralt/Merlin, because that guy/gal is inspiring and cool!"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ashkar wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Ashkar wrote:
Is Xanderghul Peacock Spirit?
You're missing at least ONE word in your question. Therefore, I get to dodge answering it on the technicality that I'm not sure EXACTLY what you're asking.

Terribly sorry, not native english speaker, therefore do make mistakes. But I'll try again:

Is the Runelord of Pride, Xanderghul, the Tassilonian God known as the Peacock Spirit?

Hee... no worries! I was sorta being snarky, because I like the fact that there's so much mystery surrounding the Peacock Spirit. Sorry about that! :-/

In any case... it's not QUITE time yet to reveal more about the Peacock Spirit, including what he/she/it is not. I wanna keep it mysterious for a bit longer... ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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xavier c wrote:
When are you going to revel who the gods are for the deity articles in hell's rebels?

At the earliest, Paizocon, but only if people ask specifically during a panel.

At the latest, when the descriptions of those volumes go live on the website.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

YAY! Welcome to the game, everyone! Make sure you're well-rested, since it starts at WAY EARLY on Saturday! ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ross Byers wrote:

I understand their relationship. But Golarion gods have titles as well - 'Torag' could be foreshortened Dwarven for 'Father of Creation' the same way that 'Yahweh' is foreshortened Hebrew.

And then the Taldan word for 'Torag' could be close to, but not quite quite, the same as the Dwarven word, the same way that 'Jehovah' is not quite 'Yahweh'.

Just like how John, Juan, Jean, Johann, Giovanni, Hans, Sean, Ian, Ivan, and Evan are all variations on 'John' in different cultures and languages.

I am absolutely not saying that Paizo should give us the names of the deities in every in-game language. That would be just as pointless as trying to write all the dialog text in actual Taldane, and as James points out above, dilutes the brand in a really un-helpful way.

I am also not arguing for some sort of change to canon. As long as the game remains 95% focused on Golarion, the question is moot. (The remaining 5% is things like Rasputin Must Die.)

All I am saying is that if your game for some reason has to reconcile how Anubis and Pharasma both exist (in Mummy's Mask), or how Helios and Sarenrae both exist (because you bring in the Greek gods), or whatever, syncretism is far from the worst explanation.

This kind of thing can also be mined for inspiration. For instance, I really like Kevin Andrew Murphy's theory that Erastil is actually Odin. That doesn't mean that the Skald word for 'Erastil' is secretly 'Odin', but it does give me ideas about how the Ulfen might view him, or what form their worship might take.

I happen to really not like the theory that Erastil is Odin, so that'd never fly for real. Especially since, if anything, Erastil as originally inspired for my homebrew was STRONGLY influenced by the Celtic pantheon and the master of the wild hunt...

Of course, in home games, whatever the GM says goes, but for official Golarion content, I'm pretty pleased and happy and satisfied with where we are now—with the gods being who they are and NOT being different by culture.

(THAT SAID: When a deity is worshiped in another culture, while their name doesn't change, the details of HOW they're worshiped and what their "nicknames" are does. Abadar, for example, is still called Abadar in Tian Xia, but there he's known as not the "Master of the First Vault" but the "God of Walls and Ditches.")

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:

Dept of Expectation Mgmt has done an excellent job letting us know what this book will NOT be. You clearly have a solid vision for this book, and I can live with that.

But I hope that, going forward beyond ISR, some notes will be taken about the sort of things many people are hoping for in a race product. I would hate for you guys to think that, "welp, we've done the 'of Golarion' books, we've done the 'Blood of' books, we've done the crunch hardcover and the fluff hardcover -- looks like we're done!"

I for one want more than these books offer, and I just want to let you know that there's demand from at least one person.

We don't intend to stop publishing Golarion content anytime soon, so there's pretty much no chance of this. We're still publishing deity articles in Pathfinder APs, after all, even though Inner Sea Gods is out. We'll continue publishing more info about races as well as we feel the need.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Spook205 wrote:

As usual, thanks for answering all our questions, Mr. Jacobs.

And as usual, I have some..

1.) Back in 2e, devils seemed to progress through different ranks and types as a promotion scheme (spinagon to Erinyes, Hamatulas needing a 'downgrade' to a rank so they can get promoted to Cornugon, etc), does mainstream Pathfinder use this system or are all of the fiends whatever type they begin as?

2.) The entire deal of the House of Thrune seems suspect. How can you sign off on the soul of someone else? I know it sounds somewhat dramatic to have your family have a curse and all, but by this same logic couldn't someone make a deal for all goblins, everyone named Morty, anybody who ate someone's cooking? Or are the diabolical forces just playing the house of Thrune's members into thinking they're already damned?

3.) This came up from another thread. What means did Razmir use to destroy the city of Melcat? Even a 19th level wizard doesn't seem to have the capability of destroying an entire city. Was it genuine arcane power he used (and if so, what? Even 9th level spells like meteor swarm couldn't cause city-scale devastation), did he arrange something with followers or summoned creatures, or is he talking out of the side of his mouth about the entire incident?

1) "Mainstream Pathfinder?" That's a thing? Anyway. No, that specific method of diabolic advancement is D&D. We have different methods in Pathfinder. One of which is spelled out in the pit fiend's special abilities.

2) It's a complicated contract and Thrune doesn't reveal much about it... but we'll be revealing peeks into that whole setup later in the year once Hell's Rebels starts coming out... so I'm not gonna say much more about it quite yet...

3) That's unrevealed. More to the point, that's something Jason likely came up with, and he's the one that I want to be the one to decide how Razmir did it. And one 9th level spell couldn't do it, perhpas, but multiple wishes ABSOLUTELY could, as could multiple gates to call in deadly outsiders. At the very least, wish used to cast earthquake would do the trick. More likely, though, it was a powerful and rare ritual that Razmir used to do the trick. Anyway... it's up to Jason.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ashkar wrote:
Is Xanderghul Peacock Spirit?

You're missing at least ONE word in your question. Therefore, I get to dodge answering it on the technicality that I'm not sure EXACTLY what you're asking.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The gods can ABSOLUTELY be depicted in different ways. Desna's a great example. She's only relatively recently favored her current elven butterfly form. But they're generally known by their actual names throughout the worlds they're worshiped on. There may well be a few who deliberately hide their names or encourage being worshiped under different names for their own reasons, but for the most part, the gods want you to know who they are.

And from a real-world brand perspective, it's important we don't dilute their character to confuse customers.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kalindlara wrote:

Is the name "leukodaemon" a reference to a specific geographical feature of Greyhawk? (I remember the name from the Kambranex adventure in one of my earliest Dungeon magazines.)

If so, I'm guessing their name predates their first Pathfinder appearance back in #8. Am I correct there?

Thank you! :)

Nope.

For our daemons, we generally look to obscure or Latin or Greek words for inspiration, then fiddle with them a bit and then stick them in front of the suffix -daemon.

In the case of the leukodaemon, we took the Greek word "leuko," which means "white" or "colorless" and is associated with not only the white skulls of their heads and the pallid color of a dead body, but also with disease. Things like leukemia.

No ties to Greyhawk at all, in fact. I'm pretty sure that the name "Leuk-O" from Greyhawk was instead an Easter Egg associated with Gygax's son, Luke. VERY different inspirations.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Thing from Beyond the Edge wrote:

Kind of an odd question to start here...

1. Am I correct in assuming that oracles and shamans can actively worship particular gods?
Seems obvious but I want to be sure...
2. If yes, does that make it possible for oracles and shamans to take the exalted prestige class?

In particular I was thinking of an oracle of the ancestor mystery and perhaps a shaman (speaker for the past archetype) with the wind spirit (relating it to one of the five rings/elements- earth, fire, water, air, and void) who worship Shizuru.

Of course, I need to come up with some obediences...

3. Do many samurai become Sentinels of Shizuru?

1) Anyone can worship particular gods. That's kind of the norm in Golarion.

2) Absolutely. In fact, those prestige classes in that book are built to encourage and reward players who choose to have their characters worship single deities.

3) Probably not. Prestige classes should be prestigious, and part of that means they're also not super common.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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nighttree wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
DragoDorn wrote:
So, this is looking more like it is a fluff book, not a crunch book?

It was always intended to be more focused on the Golarion flavor of the races. Advanced Race Guide proved a LOT of crunch for the races, and we didn't want this book to just ape that one. Furthermore, Advanced Race Guide had ZERO information about these races as they exist in Golarion.

There ARE rules elements in the book. But the focus is the flavor of the races, not the rules. And the rules that DO exist are there to specifically support how the races work in Golarion.

The book is still in devleopment, but I'd say 1/3 to 1/4 of the book is rules. That can change.

I'm REALLY OK with fluff elements...although I like a bit of both fluff and crunch...it just seems like many of the things that have either been left hanging (after brief mention) in other books...or races that have very little support....are still not going to be focused on all that much.

We have a glut of basic information on the core races...including Inner Sea specifics...but all these other elements that seem to get very little support.

Keep in mind that the book IS still being developed, and things can still shift as we see where we're at. Some races will get more than they've had before. Some get less. It'll probably be the best in your case or cases like yours to wait and see how the book looks once it's out. I'm just trying to manage expectations here is all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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DragoDorn wrote:
So, this is looking more like it is a fluff book, not a crunch book?

It was always intended to be more focused on the Golarion flavor of the races. Advanced Race Guide proved a LOT of crunch for the races, and we didn't want this book to just ape that one. Furthermore, Advanced Race Guide had ZERO information about these races as they exist in Golarion.

There ARE rules elements in the book. But the focus is the flavor of the races, not the rules. And the rules that DO exist are there to specifically support how the races work in Golarion.

The book is still in devleopment, but I'd say 1/3 to 1/4 of the book is rules. That can change.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Psiphyre wrote:

Q: Will there a table-like appendix (or something of the sort) that collects all the 'most important' (or interesting!) data for each (sub)race, including information like "most prevalent/common in...", "most likely to worship...", "most common languages known (up to 3)", "most common alignment", etc. (and not just 'crunchy' information like racial stat bonuses & such) in this book?

Sort of like what done for Inner Sea Gods? And kinda like that given in Races of Faerûn... Although perhaps in an easier-to-absorb-at-a-glance format? (Again, like Inner Sea Gods.)

Such a table would, at the very least, be a useful summary on the various races, rather than having to read through a paragraph of text that might, for space reasons, not even include 'equal' information for every race, particularly the less common and obscure ones.

And even if such a table couldn't include all relevant information about the different races found in the Inner Sea, it could be a means of presenting relatively detailed information on even obscure races/subraces in a rather succinct manner.

Perhaps?...

Looking forward to this product regardless.

Carry on!

--C.

Yeah, I might've repeated the same points above... It's late where I'm at! :p

At this point we have no plans to build a giant table like that... but once the book's through layout... if there's room and time, we'll think about it. I'd say the chances of there being a big table-like appendix are VERY low though. Don't expect one, in other words.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:
Wich one race got to have art for Aliens? Dragon Empire? Genie-kin?

Questions like this aren't ones we'll answer now. You'll have to wait and see.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:

So you mean we will get the aasimar/tiefling heritages but not the "elven magic bakery";)

Have you seen the new art Mr. James Jacobs?

Will this book have any new races, monsters, animal companions, familiars, etc.?

Any chance of any new deities specific to one or more races?

I mean that we're still making those decisions. But the magic elf food stuff is unlikely to make it in; that stuff always seemed out of place to me.

I have seen most of the new art.

No new races/monsters/creature stats.

Inner Sea Gods covers the deities specific to races. We may mention some of them from that book but this is not the right book, place, or time to make new deities up.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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MeanDM wrote:

Hi James!

I had an industry related question for you. Do you think there is any danger in relying too heavily on Internet reaction in determining viability of future products? I'm sure you folks use a variety of factors in determining the nature of upcoming products. Can you share any of the process of how that decision is made?

Have a good day, and thanks again for all you do for our hobby. You're appreciated!

I absolutely think there's a danger in listening too closely to the Internet. The Internet is a vast wildland, yes, but it also tends to equalize voices. One lone person on the internet could in theory have as loud a "voice" as a king or a president or a queen or an empress. There's PLENTY of recent examples of vocal minorities pretty much ruining lives and destroying things in this way via the internet.

I think the best thing to do is to weigh Internet feedback in one hand as ONE way to hear back from folks. I also think that there's a lot of wisdom in finding folks who like what you do and engage mostly with them. Keep what you're creating attractive to the people who are already your customers and like what you do and listen to them, and then expand outward as you can. Don't try to change your game to appeal to people who hate you, because they probably enjoy hating you and it's not worth the time to try to appeal to them anyway. AND... keep in mind that you should continue doing things YOU like.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

BigP4nda wrote:
Why is there no spell that completely wipes your existence from someone's memories? I mean all of it from the time you met the person? Why is the maximum length in time to erase memories 5 minutes?

You might want to check out the mythic version of modify memory.

That said... one big reason is that this effect is nearly impossible to roleplay out.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Which country in Tian Xia makes the best sushi?

Minkai.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kajehase wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

What do you think of this quote/idea?

Sara Marie wrote:
qa erik: think like, merisiel sitting on the iron throne.
People who sit there tend to die. I'd rather stand behind it. With a knife.
Is Lisa Stevens and/or Erik Mona aware of this?

They're smart, so I would assume so.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

captain yesterday wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:

James, I've been wondering something about the deities that came from humans or other mortal races. Would they still be considered humanoids in some way? I know you don't stat up deities, but IF you did, would Iomedae, for example, have a type/subtype of Humanoid (human, deity, law, good) or something along those lines? Or would she be Outsider (augmented humanoid, deity, law, good)?

Totally hypothetical, just asking you to think about what you might do if you were inclined to stat up deities, while I understand entirely why you chose not to.

a box of cookies, she could.

what kind of cookies would Iomedae appear as?

my original plan was to have you go down the whole twenty core list, but you're a busy man:-)

also as my young Ward Robin Yesterday (i let him keep up the Admiral charade, but we all know who came first:-p) pointed out, it was dumb and i felt bad and deleted it.

then i remembered the last question i asked was "Are we there yet" so only place to go is up:-p

also i'm incredibly sorry for giving you a hard time awhile back about Cassandalee, i'd been watching too much Sons of Anarchy and suspect that made me more confrontational then i otherwise usually am, however i've cut back on Dramas so won't happen again:-)

Fair enough.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Admiral Day-Before-Yesterday wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

James, in the way that qlippoth are primordial soulless versions of demons (to the point where qlippoth lords can absorb souls and literally become demon lords), are there soulless versions of other outsiders that can absorb souls and become those newer versions?

Nope. Qlippoth in fact are probably the OLDEST form of life. I suspect they even predate proteans, although the proteans would be the first to deny this. Yet that doesn't change the fact that when they cracked open the Outer Sphere and peered into the rifts, those rifts were ALREADY infested with qlippoth.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

You said the ways of the deities can't really be comprehended about a page back, specifically how they don't self-doubt or act out of alignment.

What about those that used to be human? Was the change that drastic on a fundamental level, even of their mind? I thought you just kind of got Quasi-Infinite power. Do you literally change to an aspect of your personality personified, then?

How come only humans ever achieved divinity of the core, or even the expanded 0-HD races? (I'm wondering this both from a story and design perspective.)

The operative word there is used to be human. They aren't anymore. The more recent ones DO still retain a fair amount of humanity, which is why Iomedae, the newest of the deities, may have erred in directly interacting with mortals in Wrath of the Righteous.

And further, even the older deities, like Desna, can do things that make them SEEM human. They're just not bound by humanity is all.

We haven't yet explored any non-human ascended deities for one primary reason: Because we wanted to portray Golarion (and thus its most popular deities) as humanocentric.

That said, there ARE cases of other races becoming demigods or even deities. Some are pretty obscure, such as the demon lord Kabriri starting out as an elf. Others are implied but not detailed, as in the case of Sivanah. Milani was a half-elf, I believe. There are exceptions out there... they're just not things we have focused much on yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic Villain wrote:

Ah! I found that post by James Sutter that really belongs in this thread...

James Sutter wrote:

This actually comes up in The Redemption Engine as well. (Aliens and the planes in one of my novels? Shocking, I know.)

Another way to think about this is that Heaven and the other planes are sort of "instanced," to borrow an MMO term. Heaven isn't just a place--it's also a concept, and thus its physics are malleable and naturally accommodate the observer. In order for humanoid (or alien) brains to comprehend it, it has to sort of squish itself down into a shape we can perceive and understand. So is the mountain so huge you could never reach the top, or is it something you could walk up in a day? The answer is to both questions is yes. Similarly, the lawful good realm we call Heaven accommodates all creatures and societies that need it, but must therefore take shapes as varied as all the cultures of the universe. So Heaven is at once the Heaven of Golarion and ALSO all other Heavens put together.

As Jacobs said, so far, all of our setting material has detailed the "Golarion" interpretation of Heaven, but that's only because alternate versions aren't really as useful for our game. (And also because detailing and mapping alternate versions of a near-infinite realm is a sucker's game.) If you want to include a different version, such as from the real world or another game system--go for it! Our assumption is that all of those exist as user-specific aspects of the same intangible, unclassifiable concept-realm.

Confused yet? If so, don't worry. As has often been said, whether or not you believe in this interpretation of Heaven... it believes in you. :D

One other way to look at this is not to think of the outer planes as "instanced" so much as "adjoining." The Great Beyond is INCREDIBLY vast. And while Heaven might be the size of our universe, it's still a fraction of a single mote of dust on the Outer Sphere itself. All possible heavens for all possible worlds could just be clustered in a local region, in other words, but sill cover a distance so vast that creation hasn't been around long enough for any one creature to have lived long enough to walk from one to the other.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LazarX wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Here it is - James Jacobs saying that the last thing Pharasma will judge is herself.

Perhaps she's like Neil Gaiman's Death of the Endless, she's the one who closes up the Book of Fate and turns the lights out on the universe when it's all over.

Death being my favorite comic book character, and Pharasma in large part being my invention... you might just be on to something there! ;)

Another inspiration is this short prose poem, Charon, by Lord Dunsany.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Here it is - James Jacobs saying that the last thing Pharasma will judge is herself.

{. . .}

Sounds like a conflict of interest to me . . . .

Perhaps to a human.

To a supreme and neutral deity who is NOT human and transcends thought and life and death and fate... not a conflict at all.

If anything, it might be a relief to her to see herself show up at the end of the line.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Remember... the PRIMARY reason we have our deities so hesitant to interact with the world is because they supersede PC choices and actions. They don't follow rules. In fact, you could even look at EVERYTHING THE GM DOES as being the gods manipulating and adjusting the world around your PCs in ways that are too complex for you to understand. The GM just rolled a lot of crits and TPKed the party out of random chance? That was Norgorber giving your enemies a boost in order to take you down. The party bard managed to somehow use Diplomacy to recruit a family of red dragons as minions? That was Shelyn intervening to bolster the bard's voice. And so on.

AKA: The adventure writers, campaign creators, and the GMs out there are basically doing the active involvement of the gods in-world. Along with portraying NPC actions.

Direct in-play interactions tend to either neuter the gods (as mentioned above) by making them not able to impact PC actions , or they make the game no fun to play by removing player choice from the game.

If Golarion were a shared world just for novels, this would be VERY different. In this case, the gods COULD directly interact with the world in interesting ways, because we don't have to worry about players being frustrated.

That's not the case.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:

Has the new artwork been submitted to you guys yet?

Will ever race in the book get new artwork, well at every race that has a page or more of information anyway?

will all the racial feats in the book be reprints or will there be some new ones as well?

We've got most, if not all, of the new artwork in. There's a LOT of new artwork, but I'm not sure every race gets new art. I suspect they might.

At this point, we're still sorting out how much of the rules will be reprints and how much will be new. I want to reprint the rules that have risen to the top—the ones that have become iconic or are important to the race or are otherwise load bearing, and not reprint the ones that weren't as popular or important and then come up with new stuff to fill those gaps, but we're still figuring that all out.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:
I hope there will be some new info like were did Halflings come from, who/what created them, why are they found with humans most of the time.

I do have a pretty good idea for this, but I'm not sure we're yet ready to reveal the truth. We're still being coy, in other words. We'll see if this book is the right place to reveal that bit. No promises.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tacticslion wrote:

What do you think of this quote/idea?

Sara Marie wrote:
qa erik: think like, merisiel sitting on the iron throne.

People who sit there tend to die. I'd rather stand behind it. With a knife.

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