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James Jacobs

James Jacobs's page

Creative Director. Pathfinder Society Member. 44,059 posts (46,061 including aliases). No reviews. 2 lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director

LazarX wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Would you allow a pc with the divine source mythic power to hear the Prayers of there worshipers. Or allow them to send visions to there worshipers?
If you did, would it wind up working out the way it did in Bruce All Mighty?

Probably not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:

1)Are there any good werewolves on Golarion?

2)What do you think of a Mythic pc with the Divine source power being a Neutral good god of good lycanthropes and the moon?

3)Is there a limit on how many things a god can have in there Divine Portfolio

4)Would you let a Mythic pc with the Divine source power have influence or power over the things in there Divine Portfolio?

1) Yes.

2) Not my thing, but it's possible. (I prefer evil werewolves, since that's the role they play in the best stories and movies I've seen about werewolves.)

3) No, but for sake of ease we generally limit it to only a few things.

4) Not immediately, but perhaps in time if they proved to me in play over the course of a campaign that they were really into becoming a god and didn't just pick up the thing for some free spell-like abilities. ;-)

4)Do you have an idea of how they would influence the things in there Divine Portfolio.Like how would a god of good lycanthropes and the moon influence the things in there Divine Portfolio? what would such a god be able to do

However the GM wanted the influence to work. There's specifically no rules for that so a GM can run with it however they want.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Triphoppenskip wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Triphoppenskip wrote:
Most human ethnicities in Golarion have real world influences that are pretty obvious to me(Ulfen=Vikings/Norsemen etc.). What were some of the influences behind the Shoanti?
The major influence for the Shoanti, which are the ONLY ethnicity in the game more or less completely ported out of my homebrew (the Varisians were ported out from the Sczarni, so there were a few changes there), is Native American culture mixed slightly with some tiny doses of Pictish/Celtic/druidic culture.
Sweet, my guess was actually pretty spot on. The various ethnicities of the humans in Pathfinder really add more depth to them and has made playing a human in a fantasy campaign interesting for me again. What about the Kellids, what were some of your influences behind them?

The Kellids were mostly inspired by Robert E. Howard's stories. Conan would be a Kellid. Basically, a mix of various elements of British/West European ethnicities.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
1) Actually, keep is replacement for save file imports. So if you want to import save file, you need to import it to keep and THEN to inquisition. That is because in past games it became apparent some flags always get imported wrong, so now you can always check everything gets imported right. Yeah, not really a question, sorry.
1) Oh! Excellent. I'll have to look into it then. Does it allow transfer of info from Xbox360 to XboxOne?
I believe one of ghe main reasons for Keep was because of Next Gen Consoles so you should be good :3

Perfect! Thanks for letting me know about it!

Is it something built into the game? Or a separate download?

EDIT: Nevermind. I figured it out! Will use it tonight!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

DarthPinkHippo wrote:
What non-core classes have you played in a campaign, and which dod you enjoy most?

Let's see...

Of the Pathfinder campaigns I've played in so far, I've played...

Shensen (fighter/bard)
Echo Sidrah (cleric of Desna)
Merisiel (rogue)
Sasha "Firetop" Dracktus (rogue)
Bezlarue (bard)
A drow whose name I've forgotten (bard/demoniac)
A character who was in Jason's dungeon delve whose name I've forgotten (cleric of Sarenrae)
Asenath Mercadicus (fighter)
Synder (swashbuckler)

So... I suppose the answer would be swashbuckler! :-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Triphoppenskip wrote:
Most human ethnicities in Golarion have real world influences that are pretty obvious to me(Ulfen=Vikings/Norsemen etc.). What were some of the influences behind the Shoanti?

The major influence for the Shoanti, which are the ONLY ethnicity in the game more or less completely ported out of my homebrew (the Varisians were ported out from the Sczarni, so there were a few changes there), is Native American culture mixed slightly with some tiny doses of Pictish/Celtic/druidic culture.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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scifan888 wrote:

Dear James,

Do you think that the 4 heroes from the end of Wrath of the Righteous would be able to drive off or defeat invading orc hordes of Belkzen?

Depends entirely on what those orc hordes brought to the fight, and whether the GM wanted to actually challenge those heroes.

But as a general rule... when mythic heroes get involved, the opposition tends NOT to sit idly by. They tend to encourage escalation, and as such, I wouldn't be surprised to see the gods of the orcs start to invest their followers with mythic powers as well. AKA: The GM should seek to keep challenging mythic characters if you want to keep playing them.

My suggestion, though? Once you hit tier 10/level 20 at the end of Wrath, you retire those characters and start new characters.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Auspician wrote:

Hey James,

I can't seem to find the rumored legendary stealth FAQ, so I'm hoping you can answer some of our groups queries on the matter before we pull our hair out.

If you're using stealth, and someone spots you, does ducking behind cover allow you another stealth vs perception check to regain your stealth? Or do you need to roll a bluff check first and then stealth with the -10 penalty?

If you're in stealth and nobody beats your stealth check with their perception check, but you end your movement without cover or concealment, does that automatically break your stealth? What if you have Hide in Plain sight?

If you're using stealth in a combat situation, do you need to reroll stealth vs perception checks every round if your enemies are not aware of your presence? What if they are?

What situations automatically break stealth?

Thanks so much for your insight and assistance!

I never felt stealth was a problem. You get to make Stealth checks when the GM says it's possible, and the GM decides when they're possible based on a mix of the situation in game and common sense. Whether or not someone sees through your Stealth check once you make it depends on their Perception check.

I've used that version in my games for years. It's the version my GMs have used as well. I've never seen a problem with it as a GM or a player.

I think the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.

In any event, I don't actually offer "official errata" here, so I'm afraid I can't help you if your GM isn't comfortable just making the call in game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Analysis wrote:

1. I want to include a ghostly palace of Taj Mahal-like proportions made from several Mirage Arcana illusions placed adjacent and/or stacked. In this case, should, in your opinion, disbelieving one automatically prompt (or cause) disbelief in the whole thing, even though they are separate (but aligned) spell effects?

2. Do you have any recommendations for what religious beliefs aranea would have?

Thanks! :)

1) Separate spell effects require separate saves, but when you disbelieve one, the resulting revelation (a huge chunk of a building being fake) should give you a +4 bonus on saves against the others.

2) They're neutral. I'd say they tend to worship the Eldest, but could go pretty much anywhere.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alleran wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

5) She has several 20th level worshipers spread throughout Golarion, and many more beyond. She's got more 20th level worshipers than any other demon lord, in fact, with the exception of Lamashtu.

6) Could be nothing, could be a whole campaign where the Shackles get invaded by vengeful assassin cults of Nocticula. Depends on the nature of the story I'd tell. That said... when the time comes for me to tell this story, I really REALLY doubt it'll take place in the Shackles.

1) Interesting, I didn't think 20th level followers of a demon lord were that common on a single world, even for Nocticula. What's the class spread like for her 20th level followers? What classes would have the most representation among her clergy, and what ones would have the least?

1a) How large a proportion are her Neutral Evil followers?

2) I picked the Shackles in my example because it's out of the way from the main chunk of Avistan, the islands themselves are isolated from one another, and if they set up the cult a little ways inland on the islands then most passing ships won't be as likely to notice. Where would you be more likely to place such a cult?

On the note of assassin cults, because I've been playing some video games:

3) With the Assassin's Creed series, "assassin" has been used a slightly different way to the typical D&D "assassin." Have you played the games?

4) What did you think of them, if so? If not, why not?

5) What alignment would you ascribe to the Assassins and Templars? The game and story seems to give them much more of a Chaos versus Law approach over straight Good versus Evil, to my eye.

1) They're not common. By "several" I mean probably 4 or 5 of them, of which 2 or 3 are probably drow in various Darklands locations. I'm not interested in nailing down the exact number or their locations yet, but Nocticula is the most powerful of the demon lords, so it makes sense that she'd have the most widespread cult of them all. I was saying 20th level clerics too... there's likely several more beyond that who are other classes. Most of those who worship her and get up in level significantly are either clerics, rogues, bards, sorcerers, rangers, witches, swashbucklers, or slayers, I'd guess, with many of them having assassin levels or shadowdancer levels.

1a) less than 1%, but she has FAR more neutral evil followers than chaotic neutral ones.

2) Varisia, the Worldwound, Ustalav, Taldor, the Darklands, Andoran, Nex, Katapesh, Nidal.

3) Yes.

4) Loved them all, except the 1st one, which I didn't play. Black Flag was probably my favorite, but the 2nd Enzio one is a CLOSE second. I'm really frustrated with Ubisoft's stance on women characters in the franchise though, and until they change their tune, I'm done playing the games. Fortunately, there's plenty of other games out there to play instead who aren't afraid to have female playable characters.

5) I tend to avoid ascribing alignments to anything outside of the game, since things outside of that philosophical bent generally don't work and it generally only causes internet arguments. If you held a gun to my head, though, I'd peg the Templars as lawful evil and the assassins as lawful neutral.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Callum wrote:
Is there any chance you might share your Pathfinder conversion notes for Necropolis with us? Or, if you don't have any, your process for running it in Pathfinder?

I do them pretty much all on the fly, with the exception of building a few stat blocks here and there before hand. I've adjusted pretty much EVERY encounter... some slightly, some significantly, and some I've completely changed or re-written or adjusted... but again... all on the fly, pretty much. So there's not really much to share alas.

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j b 200 wrote:
how did the Paizo game go last night?

I can't speak for Owen's game since I wasn't in it.

My game went quite well. The players handled two pretty complicated rooms with the skill I expect from gaming professionals!

Well... MOSTLY.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CorvusMask wrote:

1) Actually, keep is replacement for save file imports. So if you want to import save file, you need to import it to keep and THEN to inquisition. That is because in past games it became apparent some flags always get imported wrong, so now you can always check everything gets imported right. Yeah, not really a question, sorry

2) Huh, really, you guys would do even underwater/ocean campaign? ._. And no ships and such I mean, I mean lots of diving and underwater combat and such

3) Actually, yeah, is there a reason why golarion setting can't have both types so that players/gm can choose whatever they want to play/use in encounters without gm who wants to be accurate having to change things?

4) Speaking of xfolks, do xfolk races call themselves that or is that just what core races call them?

5) Do you personally prefer rolling stats or point buy system when you play/gm?

1) Oh! Excellent. I'll have to look into it then. Does it allow transfer of info from Xbox360 to XboxOne?

2) Sure! I'd love to do an AP like that some day.

3) Just my opinion, but as creative director, that's a significant reason.

4) It varies.

5) Rolling is more fun, but only if all the players in the group are mature enough to handle power discrepancies between characters.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:

1)Are there any good werewolves on Golarion?

2)What do you think of a Mythic pc with the Divine source power being a Neutral good god of good lycanthropes and the moon?

3)Is there a limit on how many things a god can have in there Divine Portfolio

4)Would you let a Mythic pc with the Divine source power have influence or power over the things in there Divine Portfolio?

1) Yes.

2) Not my thing, but it's possible. (I prefer evil werewolves, since that's the role they play in the best stories and movies I've seen about werewolves.)

3) No, but for sake of ease we generally limit it to only a few things.

4) Not immediately, but perhaps in time if they proved to me in play over the course of a campaign that they were really into becoming a god and didn't just pick up the thing for some free spell-like abilities. ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lou Diamond wrote:

Hi James, I was wondering if there are any Dwarves in the Fangwood Forest in Nthramas? I have a Dwarven Hunter and am trying to figure out where he came from. The reason he does not live underground like most Dwarves is that when he was young he was trapped by a cave in for several days before he was rescued and now has a fear of being underground and in

enclosed places.

There are certainly dwarves and dwarven cities and settlements in the nearby Mindspin Mountains, but not a lot of dwarf-only settlements in the forest. There's absolutely dwarves living among humans in the towns and villages of the region, but not in significantly huge numbers—the region is predominantly a human one.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Varisian Wanderer wrote:

Hi James!

What class(es) would you recommend for someone looking to recreate the flavor of a Thrall of Graz'zt in Golarion?

Cleric or bard.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Malficus wrote:

What do the gods of Golarion actually do aside from giving clerics spells? Are they basically just super strong adventurers and monsters that give people spells?

What does Cayden Cailean being god of bravery, ale, freedom, and wine do for those things? What were those like before he became a god? Or Calistria and Lust, Revenge and Trickery?

How direct or indirect are the gods?

Inner Sea Gods should help answer those questions.

They don't directly interact with the mortal world, for the most part—that's what their worshipers are for.

They serve as ideals for PCs and NPCs to admire and aspire to.

They serve as background elements of immense power to enable all sorts of story lines.

They serve as flavor for the world. They serve as the "stars" of our setting since they're the only characters in Golarion who really can override your PCs and can't themselves be killed—whereas the iconic characters serve as examples for the various classes, they really only stand in for your PCs. The gods themselves don't—they're the "face" of the world.

They serve as inspiration for characters and organizations and regions and plots.

They serve as creators and protectors and enemies and mythological legends to give the world of Golarion something more than just a place where you kill monsters and take their stuff.

They're ways that the GM can directly interact with the setting as well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
... I suspect we'll never do a full-on erotic adventure, but beyond that, I don't think there's a "niche" we would stay away from...
What about an AP involving Sorshen?
There's much more to Sorshen than erotica.

Care to elaborate on that?

I imagine Sorshen as utterly self-absorbed and manipulative, not viewing people as people but as a combination of puppets and a captive audience, that their only reason for being is to serve and adore her, that while erotica IS pleasurable for her, it's a lot more about controlling others, making them desire her so badly that they beg her to abuse them against all reason. Would this be an accurate interpretation of how Sorshen thought and acted? I ask because I've seen similar qualities in the behavior of various characters in several webcomics I read (one's a spinoff of the other, and they're written by the same person for the same universe), and wondered if that was why Sorshen, master of a school generally regarded as weak by powergamers, was the greatest Runelord besides Xanderghul (whom I imagine was more equal to Sorshen than better than her, the only thing backing up his claim to being the greatest being his own ego).

Sorshen is a mythic 20th level enchanter. I'm not sure I need to elaborate more than that, but there's PLENTY of other things a character like that can do other than be a porn star.

Beyond that, and beyond what hints we've dropped in things like Curse of the Crimson Throne or Shattered Star, I actually DON'T care to elaborate yet. The time's not yet right. Some day it will be, but I'm not in the habit of revealing every secret at once.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kevin Mack wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Dang old posts can't be edited? <_<; Ah well

4) Do both catgirl and beast like catfolk exist in the setting or is that yet undecided? ._. Bit confused by different artistic interpretations

5) So if resurrection is matter of large money amount and/or good enough wizard in the setting, doesn't that basically mean that as long villains' backer is willing they can be brought back as "easily" as players? <_<

4) We've had some trouble getting the catfolk look nailed down, but the one in the Bestiary is the closest to the way I want them to look. More human, less bestial. The bestial "catfolk" look is served, in my opinion, by weretigers and similar lycanthropes.
How about Kanya's art from asylum stone that about right as well?

Not my favorite, no.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Dragon Age: Inquisition is the next game I'm really looking forward to

Ah, so you decided what race-class you are going with first? I am more than likely going to make a human female mage first (using my very "Templar friendly, Pro-Chantry" Warden and Hawke (in fact, my Hawke kind of got to a "mages all need to die..." mentality especially with the events with Orsino so she allowed Meredith to kill Bethany!) playing a mage in a world state where the mages are pretty much screwed over since the Blight will be fun!)... but definitely want to make a Qunari too.

Then on a side note, what do you think of Dragon Age Keep instead of the save file imports?

Probably the same one I went with in the first Dragon Age: female elf rogue.

I have no idea what "Dragon Age Keep instead of the save file imports" means, though.

Haven't used it yet but Keep is apparently a massive choose your own past program that you can fill out and upload to to your Inquisition game rather than go back and play through both earlier games to get the previous choices that affect the world to be what you want them to be.

But if I have those previous choices theyr'e good to go. SO I don't need this Keep thingy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
... I suspect we'll never do a full-on erotic adventure, but beyond that, I don't think there's a "niche" we would stay away from...
What about an AP involving Sorshen?

There's much more to Sorshen than erotica.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Okay, how about the narrative themes and ideas in Shattered Star?

The number 7. Old dungeons with various sin elements. Dungeons and NPCs aligned to specific sins. Repurcussions of previous APs. Building upon a growing Runelord threat. Using ancient magic to fight ancient threats. Pathfinders.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Dragon Age: Inquisition is the next game I'm really looking forward to

Ah, so you decided what race-class you are going with first? I am more than likely going to make a human female mage first (using my very "Templar friendly, Pro-Chantry" Warden and Hawke (in fact, my Hawke kind of got to a "mages all need to die..." mentality especially with the events with Orsino so she allowed Meredith to kill Bethany!) playing a mage in a world state where the mages are pretty much screwed over since the Blight will be fun!)... but definitely want to make a Qunari too.

Then on a side note, what do you think of Dragon Age Keep instead of the save file imports?

Probably the same one I went with in the first Dragon Age: female elf rogue.

I have no idea what "Dragon Age Keep instead of the save file imports" means, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ErixCale wrote:
I think it was asked once before in the thread but since I just recently rolled up a new Warpriest of Gorum in my group's game I would like to know if the Gorumskagat has ever been written up? Would love to have it for RP as it would make me feel more into character.

It has not, as far as I know.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CorvusMask wrote:

Dang old posts can't be edited? <_<; Ah well

4) Do both catgirl and beast like catfolk exist in the setting or is that yet undecided? ._. Bit confused by different artistic interpretations

5) So if resurrection is matter of large money amount and/or good enough wizard in the setting, doesn't that basically mean that as long villains' backer is willing they can be brought back as "easily" as players? <_<

4) We've had some trouble getting the catfolk look nailed down, but the one in the Bestiary is the closest to the way I want them to look. More human, less bestial. The bestial "catfolk" look is served, in my opinion, by weretigers and similar lycanthropes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alleran wrote:

This set of questions is on Nocticula and her cult/church:

1) Heretical followers of her (who believe in the seeking-to-escape-as-CN concept, like Ayavah) are mentioned, but how widespread are they?

2) Do they ever come together in a more organised form, as a small sect, cult or similar?

3) If one were to spring up, how fast would Nocticula's followers find out? Is it possible that they might not find out at all?

3a) Would Nocticula herself inform others of people venerating her in that form? Her writeup does indicate that she grants them spells, but nothing about what else she does to help or hurt them.

4) Is there a reason why the majority of her other followers who know about the spell-granting haven't yet begun to question why she's providing magic to people who are "doing it wrong" according to the mainstream tenets? It seems to be causing discontent, but not much true questioning in what's been published so far.

5) Could you provide an indication of what the likely level for Nocticula's highest-level priest on Golarion is? I'm not looking for a name or anything, just an indication of what ballpark you'd place them in.

6) What immediate challenges could you see facing this plot hook/story concept: a small group of these heretical followers come to the Shackles (it's a bit out of the way, and the island separation allows greater isolation than the mainland would), set up a small village (or hide their cult in a larger settlement), and are given protection by a pirate lord of the island. How much punitive force is the mainstream cult of Nocticula likely to direct their way if/when they find out?

On a different subject, however:

7) Would you allow a Miracle spell to replicate Gate as an exceptional request? What sort of limitations or caveats might you place on it?

1) Not widespread at all. We've pretty much presented one NPC who worships her in this way since first mentioning Nocticula's name in Pathfinder #18, so take that as an example of how rare they are.

2) That's kinda what all cults eventually do, so yes.

3) Depends ENTIRELY on how effective the cult was at being secret, but a cult is harder to keep secret than one worshiper's faith.

3a) She wouldn't take sides at first. She might take sides eventually, when she feels the time is right. But in cases where there's schisims like this in a church, the deity almost always lets the faithful play it out.

4) Very few of her followers know about that for starters, and those who do generally dismiss it as rumor or the like. Those few who know it to be true are often themselves regarded as crackpots. Just because we tell the GMs that something is true doesn't mean that the NPCs in-world all know it to be true. It's also a relatively new development. In time, I hope to explore it more than we did in Magnimar or Wrath of the Righteous, but those two were there to set UP the plotline, not explore it to the end.

5) She has several 20th level worshipers spread throughout Golarion, and many more beyond. She's got more 20th level worshipers than any other demon lord, in fact, with the exception of Lamashtu.

6) Could be nothing, could be a whole campaign where the Shackles get invaded by vengeful assassin cults of Nocticula. Depends on the nature of the story I'd tell. That said... when the time comes for me to tell this story, I really REALLY doubt it'll take place in the Shackles.

7) Yes. I would limit it to conjuring or traveling to places that were on-theme for the spellcaster's religion. A worshiper of Lamashtu wouldn't be able to cast gate to travel to Heaven or to conjure an angel, for example. Unless, I guess, she gave up a significant enough sacrifice.

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CorvusMask wrote:

1) So is it a goal of paizo to design modules/APs with particular genres/story types/hemes in mind or do you guys do that just start writing and see what happens? Like, do you guys collectively decide "Okay, time to do underwater/western/horror/shipwrecked/scifi/adventure set in [x location/adventure involving [x thing of the setting(like devils)]/etc adventure" and then start designing adventure after that concept or do you guys just start writing and sometimes they end up like that?

2) Speaking about that, are there a niches paizo won't ever do? Like, I'd guess you guys' wouldn't fill the evil party campaign/module niche, but anything else besides that?

3) Does wordcasting exist in the setting? How common is it and how well known it is? Who would use it?

1) When I create an adventure path, I do try to incorporate multiple themes and ideas and such into the plot to help give the whole thing some additional weight when taken together, so that it's not just the storyline itself that ties the six parts to a whole but several different elements. We don't collectively decide much at all. The plotting of an AP is pretty much done by one person, either myself or Rob McCreary. We do run it by each other and Adam Daigle and management for feedback, but it's not a collaborative project in those early days before the six parts are sent off to individual authors to write. And usually, it's up to me to weave in or strengthen the cross-adventure themes once the authors are done—I generally do a relatively sizable amount of writing for all six adventures during their development.

2) I wouldn't say we'd never do an evil campaign at all. We've published several books to support evil characters, actually, and it would be nice to some day do an adventure where players could use books like the Books of the Damned, Faiths of Corruption, or the like when building their characters. I suspect we'll never do a full-on erotic adventure, but beyond that, I don't think there's a "niche" we would stay away from.

3) No, it doesn't exist in Golarion. It doesn't really fit the flavor of the world, and it's too complex to enumerate in a stat block.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

More theme questions!

What are the themes and narrative ideas explored in Skull & Shackles (besides PIRATES!)?

I didn't work much on that one, nor have I read it. I developed part 5 and played through part 1 and half of part 2.

My takeaway would be that the primary ideas are revenge, greed, and the amassing of power.

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Big Justin wrote:
has anybody ever killed themselves with a hammer?

Yes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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equinoxmaster wrote:
Why does walkena , a lawful evil kid who is also a god who likes torturing people have gondwi, a chaotic good cleric/Druid as one of his most trusted advisers?

The best, most up-to-date information about Walkena can be found in Undead Unleashed.

Frankly... I'm of a mind to say that Sangoma-Priest Gondwi is all an error and that whole character should just be removed from Mzali, not only because as a chaotic good character it doesn't fit into Mzali, but because it's also an illegal character. Druids can't be chaotic good. Certainly, Mzali is strengthened by that character being removed from the setting.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

equinoxmaster wrote:
What are the Mzali deities other than Walkena?

Walkena is the main thing worshiped there—there's not really a pantheon to speak of. He's pretty much it.

There might be some people who secretly worship other deities who live in Mzali, and those religions could conceivably be drawn from any of those listed in Inner Sea Gods. Those faithful would have to hide their true faith from public view, though, and would likely be destroyed if their secret got out. Certainly, no religion has yet risen in power enough to challenge Walkena's rule over the city's faith.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would you say are the themes and ideas explored in Serpent's Skull, aside from the whole Indiana Jones, pulp-adventure feel?

The duality of two lost cities.

The duality of physical strength versus mental strength.
NPC interaction and how that influences the interaction of larger factions.
Discovery of ancient secrets, and decisions on what ancient knowledge might best STAY forgotten.
Which two lost cities? I know Saventh-Yhi is one but what's the other one?

Ilmurea, which is directly under Saventh-Yhi, and is even more lost than Saventh-Yhi.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Would you allow a pc with the divine source mythic power to hear the Prayers of there worshipers. Or allow them to send visions to there worshipers?
Yes. That's the point of the ability as far as I'm concerned; to have worshipers you can guide and influence.
What other things would you allow that the rules don't say anything about or say you can do?

Anything that makes the game more fun to play.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Tels wrote:
How do you handle reading the final book in a series, knowing there won't be any more books after this one? I'm having a hard time reading such a book, because I know it's the end, but if I don't read it, I won't know the end :(

Doesn't bother me, actually. There's always other series to start. And also, I try to remember that the journey to the last part is as important, if not MORE important, than the last part. That way, even if the last part is disappointing, I still have fond memories of GETTING to it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would you say are the themes and ideas explored in Serpent's Skull, aside from the whole Indiana Jones, pulp-adventure feel?

The duality of two lost cities.

The duality of physical strength versus mental strength.
NPC interaction and how that influences the interaction of larger factions.
Discovery of ancient secrets, and decisions on what ancient knowledge might best STAY forgotten.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Stebehil wrote:
I just had the question coming up where the bridge trap CR (Area C 9 in Thistletop) comes from. According to the trap calculating rules, it would have a negative CR, and even calculating it according to the old 3.5 rules gives me a zero. In the original adventure, it is given an CR of 2, in the anniversary it has a CR 4. I could not find anything about the trap CR on these boards. Does it have its CR boosted due to the challenge of falling into the ocean?

The trap math breaks down thusly:

Perception DC 15: –1
Disable Device DC 15: –1
DC 13 Reflex: –1

Average Damage 14 lethal (round to 10), multiple targets (x2): +2

Liquid (falling into the ocean): +5

Total CR = 4

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Triphoppenskip wrote:
What has been one of the hardest encounters you have ever come across as a player?

The one where Jason Bulmahn's gang of thieves ambushed us in a tavern and half the party died because they rolled low Initiative scores.

He might have well just saved an hour and given us read-aloud text like, "You are ambushed and slaughtered by thieves in the night."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TwiceGreat wrote:
It's just fine. Actually, writing all that out ended up solving a few blocks I was suffering - so inadvertently, I solved my own problem in a big way. Later.

Perfect! Glad to help! :P

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Dragon78 wrote:
So who are the Paizo staff that are working on the 6 new classes from Occult Adventures?

The Design Team. In fact, they're pretty much the ONLY people who work on new classes here. Others of us might provide rough drafts or ideas, such as how I provided them with initial drafts for the alchemist and the gunslinger, but the design team is who you're looking for: Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Logan Bonner, and Mark Sifter.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TwiceGreat wrote:

Hey James. I am still running Rise of the Runelords and I have been building up a side story that connects to both the main story and a characters back story. I'll spoiler tag it, but I would love to hear some input on how to pull it all together!

** spoiler omitted **...

I know this was huge and long and drawn out, but what do you think? How would you pull it together? I am blanking on specifics and a way to tie it all together by the end of Rise of the Runelords. I plan to continue with Shattered Star, which I've read. Help me, Mr. Jacobs, you're my only hope (as someone who designs the exact kind of games I've always wanted to run!)

It's awesome that you're getting so into Rise of the Runelords, but alas... I can't comment on how I would pull it together—mostly out of time management concerns but also because I don't want to set a precedent for this kind of question/answer. It's something I would LOVE to answer, but I generally don't like answering questions with design work, be it "Could you build me a new monster for this situation?" or "What would be a good feat to design for a swashbuckler?" or "What kind of character should I build for this campaign," or even, in this case, "How should I write the end of a side story I started for this campaign?"

Those kind of questions tend to take a LONG time to answer right, but more to the point, they involve actual design work, and I prefer not to spend time designing and devloping here, since that's my day job and I'd rather not blur those lines.

My suggestion would be to post your question in one of the Runelords threads—there's a LOT of really creative GMs active in there. Sorry I can't provide advice of my own.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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xavier c wrote:
Would you allow a pc with the divine source mythic power to hear the Prayers of there worshipers. Or allow them to send visions to there worshipers?

Yes. That's the point of the ability as far as I'm concerned; to have worshipers you can guide and influence.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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

1) A talented king can handle all that. It would be unusual for a paladin of Erastil to also be the king of a nation, but less unusual if the kingdom is small or rural—the kingdom built during the Kingmaker campaign would be a good example of where a paladin of Erastil as king might work well, since that's still a relatively small nation.

2) Use what now? Please keep in mind that I answer a lot of questions in this thread and things that aren't directly referenced or noted in a recurring list of questions like this tend to get lost.

1) Kingmaker was exactly what I had in mind! Thanks for the vote of confidence!

2) The morion style of helmet.

3) Have you read Glen Cook's Black Company series? If so, what do you think of it?

4) What's a good way to pick a surname for a half-orc?

1) ok!

2) Ok, but re-ask the question too.

3) No, but I own it. It's on my bookshelf of 100+ books I want to read next.

4) By deciding if he grew up among orcs or humans, and then deciding where that was at, and then picking a surname to match that society.

2) Where on Golarion might the morion style helmet be worn by military types? Molthune? Taldor? Cheliax? Sargava?

3) Story of my life. *sigh*

4) Okay, what would the surnames for someone from Trunau (that stubborn holdout town in Belkzen where the Giantslayer AP's gonna start) be like?

2) ah! Okay. Nowhere, really. It's not a style we adopted for any of the regions, because we don't use conquistador themes.

4) Towns of Golarion has a whole article about Trunau, which includes a lot of sample surnames.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

1) A talented king can handle all that. It would be unusual for a paladin of Erastil to also be the king of a nation, but less unusual if the kingdom is small or rural—the kingdom built during the Kingmaker campaign would be a good example of where a paladin of Erastil as king might work well, since that's still a relatively small nation.

2) Use what now? Please keep in mind that I answer a lot of questions in this thread and things that aren't directly referenced or noted in a recurring list of questions like this tend to get lost.

1) Kingmaker was exactly what I had in mind! Thanks for the vote of confidence!

2) The morion style of helmet.

3) Have you read Glen Cook's Black Company series? If so, what do you think of it?

4) What's a good way to pick a surname for a half-orc?

1) ok!

2) Ok, but re-ask the question too.

3) No, but I own it. It's on my bookshelf of 100+ books I want to read next.

4) By deciding if he grew up among orcs or humans, and then deciding where that was at, and then picking a surname to match that society.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Evan Tarlton wrote:

Would the players of a "Dawnflower Heresy" AP get to meet Sarenrae, or would something like that really be limited to Mythic APs?

ETA: Assuming that such an AP wouldn't be Mythic, that is.

That element is not limited to mythic APs.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Albatoonoe wrote:
Was Andoran placed in the Europe analog (as opposed to the New World) to purposefully avoid "America is built on native genocide" or was that just a happy coincidence?

Neither.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

David knott 242 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
LazarX wrote:
A Mr. Morden would like to know "What do you want?"
That changes at every second, but right now? I'll go with a chocolate chip cookie.
He'll be disappointed with your answer, which is good. Just ask Ambassador Mollari what happens if he likes your answer.
I was confused before, but now I have NO idea what you're talking about.

Mr. Morden was the agent of the Shadows (major villains) on Babylon 5. You should treat the question as though it came from Asmodeus himself. The best answer to his question is the one given by Vir Cotto:

"I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I would look up at your lifeless eyes and wave like this." [gives a mockingly cheerful finger waggle]

Ah; that explains it. I never watched much of Babylon 5; never got into the show due to its terrible 1st season. I know folks say you shouldn't start watching it there, but to start with season 2, but that is not a very good recommendation, and I've got plenty more entertainment options for my time.

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equinoxmaster wrote:
tell me all you can about Zon-Kuthon and all his secrets

Ha. What I can tell you is already in print in all our books. What I can't tell you is what hasn't yet been printed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CorvusMask wrote:

Err, sorry, got carried away, I'll stop myself from doing that in future

1) Are tian xi darklands connected to darkland in the inner sea? Do they also have vaults created by vault builders?

2) Who came up with idea of Wanshou aka the nation ruled by a kraken?

3) Is there anyone besides gods who belong to "No statblocks" category?

4) Who came up with mana wastes and do you know what stuff were inspiration for it?

5) Is it possible for good or evil to "win" in the setting or is the conflict eternal?

6) Now that investigator is a class, you think we might ever see a module where players have to catch a "gentleman/phantom thief"(or whatever those thieves who leave calling cards or state ahead of time what they are going to steal and then proceed to steal things in manner that leaves police baffled)?

(Yeah, I know that investigator class isn't requires for that, just thinking that it'd be cool to have more mystery stories than murder mysteries plus with the class specialized in solving things...)

7) What are the cutest baby dinosaurs?

1) Yes to both.

2) Me.

3) Not that I can think of.

4) I think that was Erik, but not sure.

5) It's possible, but in order for that to happen you have to have player characters play through the plot, so it won't happen in print. Once we say one side wins, then it stops being a dynamic open world and ceases being an option for further input in the form of player character interaction.

6) Perhaps, but mysteries are one of the HARDEST adventures to write, so it's unlikely to be anytime soon.

7) Tyrannosaurus Rexes!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

1) What about the idea of being a king at all? If you're worrying about things like plotting logistics of an army, buttering up diplomats and setting the tax rate, you don't really have time to help Old Lady Merza fix that hole in her roof. I was under the impression that Erastil exhorted his faithful to focus solely on day-to-day villager problems, and that things like politics and civil stability are inherently antithetical to being a follower of Erastil.

2) Which nations might use them? Mothune? Taldor? Cheliax? Sargava?

3) Oh, I see.

4) Ohhhhhh, NOW I get it! I got them mixed up. Thanks for clarifying that. Both are still ridiculously cute, as are ALL moths!

1) A talented king can handle all that. It would be unusual for a paladin of Erastil to also be the king of a nation, but less unusual if the kingdom is small or rural—the kingdom built during the Kingmaker campaign would be a good example of where a paladin of Erastil as king might work well, since that's still a relatively small nation.

2) Use what now? Please keep in mind that I answer a lot of questions in this thread and things that aren't directly referenced or noted in a recurring list of questions like this tend to get lost.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CorvusMask wrote:

...Ahem, anyway yeah, wasn't meaning to write this much <_< But I guess it shows that those three were particularly inspiring races to me. Would be waste to delay my ideas, so I guess I just have to put that nagging feeling in my head that tells me to be as close to lore as possible and just do what would be fun

Yeah... please keep the posts to this thread to being questions for me.

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