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James Sutter

James Sutter's page

Managing Editor. 2,148 posts (2,179 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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MMCJawa wrote:

Hey James

So reading your interview on the blog, I didn't realize you invented most of the Eldest. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions concerning these?

1) What are the odds of getting a campaign setting book focused on the Eldest, ala Chronicles of the Righteous?

2) What are the odds of getting new Eldest?

3) Is there a specific reason why the Eldest vary so much in alignment, but non of them are Good? Any possibility of getting a Eldest with Good in it's alignment?

1. Very, very good. ;)

2. Less good! While there are totally other Eldest out there, I want to focus on the ones closest to Golarion for now in order to keep from cluttering the field too much.

3) The original idea was to make them all neutral in some facet, to reflect the fact that their mindsets are alien and different than ours, unconcerned with our conventional views on morality. That said, I think a lot of them probably have good *aspects*, they're just not dependable in the ways we think of. Are there Eldest out there somewhere with an NG alignment? Quite possibly. But then, I think alignment is an illusion anyway. ;)

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JoelF847 wrote:

James, can't wait to read this one. One burning question about the interview though:

What share of rent does the death ray pay?

Man, the death ray is who we pay rent *to*!

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James Jacobs wrote:

I call upon the internet to photoshop Sutter's beard on to that grippli!!!

GO, INTERNET! GO!

I APPROVE OF JACOBS'S MANDATE.

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CalebTGordan wrote:

When writing rules in English there isn't a gender neutral pronoun, making it difficult to be inclusive to both genders all of the time.

What does Paizo do to be gender inclusive, and do you feel you have been successful?

I noticed that classes and archetypes follow the gender of the iconic, but many other rules use 2nd person. Why is this and is there a reason behind why some class specific rules, like oracle mysteries, use 2nd person instead of 3rd?

Also, I recently have been bitten by the editing bug and am doing some freelance work for a small 3PP. Do you have any advice on how to be good at editing? Where should I go to find more work if I am ever interested in doing more?

We *do* try to be gender inclusive! And while there are always ways to improve, I think we've been pretty successful so far. A lot of our efforts simply involve creating gender balance in our characters and ordering gender-balanced art (and pushing back when artists give us ridiculous chainmail bikinis, etc.). We also try to make sure that there's gender balance within character types as well (so it's not all male fighters and female witches, etc.) In terms of text and pronouns, defaulting to our gender-balanced iconics is pretty effective, or we just try to flop back and forth. Worst-case scenario, you can try to pluralize things or use "he and she," etc. (While I know that such things enforce a false sense of gender dichotomy, we haven't yet found a gender-neutral singular pronoun that doesn't rankle the majority of Grammar Gods, and as editors we feel we have to comply... for now.)

As for the second/third person switches--a lot of those are relics carried over from 3.5, or else based off of similar rules elements that were that way in 3.5. Wooo legacy grammar!

The best ways to get good at editing are:

a) Study it, via books, blogs, school, and just being around editors.

b) Edit! Volunteer to read slush or intern for publications and editors you respect! There's always more work than an editor has time for, and a willingness to do the gruntwork can get you in the door, or at least into the presence of the door.

Good luck!

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LazarX wrote:
scifan888 wrote:

What are the chances on getting the stats for characters from the various novels?

There are several I would like to see.

If I recall correctly did not one of your authors hold a contest for statting the characters in his Jeggare series of novels and posted the results on the Paizo blog? Do you expect that your authors be able to "stat" their cast?

Dave did indeed run a contest to let fans stat up characters, which I think is a great way to do it. While I statted up Radovan in Kobold Quarterly years ago, and you can get short stat blocks in books like Inner Sea Combat and Inner Sea Magic, but while I absolutely expect my authors to know the basic stats of their characters, I'm generally against publishing official stats.

I've written up my reasons before, but they are:

1) Novel characters are always evolving, and stat blocks are static, a snapshot in time. Do you stat up the character at the beginning of the novel? The end? Two books in? Official stats make a character feel frozen to me, and I don't want my authors to feel restricted that way.

2) Publishing an official stat block is just asking people to nitpick. In my mind, there's zero value to publishing a stat block and then having someone say "Actually, in book two you have him climb up that wall, but you never gave him ranks in Climb, so he shouldn't have been able to do that." Too much technical information knocks certain types of readers out of the story.

3) I want to leave a certain amount of flexibility for future stories. If a sorcerer character knows five spells but only uses three of them in Book A, then I want to leave those empty slots well and truly open so that they can be whatever they need to be for Book B. It would be a shame to publish a stat block that fills in those spells known at random, then have the character be unable to cast a certain spell that we need for the plot of Book B.

In short, the answer is that I always lean toward creative freedom and intriguing mysteries. :)

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Alexander Augunas wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
I think the thing that scares me the most (in terms of irrational fears) is the idea of the old-school "gray" aliens peering in my windows at night.

I saw an alien abduction fakeumentary (one of those what-ifs that stations like Discovery like to do) when I was eight years old in the 90s; absolutely terrified me of aliens. I thought nothing would ever scare me the way that alien abductions did ... until I started watching Marble Hornets.

You know that stereotypically Lovecraftian phenomena in which a narrator writes about cosmic horrors while being slowly devoured by that which he cannot understand? That was me with Slender Man. I was obsessed with finishing the series by day, praying for a happy ending but there is none. There were nights where I was literally unable to sleep without the lights on for fear that he was watching me. Just standing there, staring down at me while I was unaware with his faceless gaze. My own overactive imagination only served to fuel the horror that I was spiraling down into with no hope of return.

I got better, but man, that experience deadened me to the horror genre in general. Now I'm a scarred, soulless adult like everyone else! Yay!

Oh man, Marble Hornets! I watched a few select episodes of that with Wes and was like "THIS IS SO COOL AND I'M NEVER ALLOWED TO WATCH THIS."

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Christopher Anthony wrote:

Robot Chris: Sutter is a new class?

Gary: every party needs a sutter
...
Robot Chris: so sutters are so frickin rad?
Robot Chris: are we agreed?
CS Erik: Yep, it'll make both monks and rogues obsolete

I approve of this message.

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Haladir wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Sometimes the easiest way to run a company with a bunch of creative types is just to focus on publishing material *everyone* is excited about, and leave contentious issues on the table. :D

Like Mengkare's alignment?

;-)

Someone's been paying attention. :)

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In case I seemed too brusque before (I was honestly caught of guard!), I'd like to reiterate that we *are* very careful in how we deal with sensitive issues, specifically violence against children, rape, etc. For instance, you're never going to see a rape scene in a Pathfinder Tales novel. Just not going to happen.

That said, I *do* think it's important to remember that while some of the Pathfinder books may be appropriate for children, our world has never been branded as child-safe. Whether you think a given issue is too mature for a given child is totally up to you. I *can* say that I don't think anything we print is anywhere near as potentially objectionable as best-sellers like Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, etc. (We don't even use the F-word, which is more than can be said of PG-13 movies.)

Darkness has a place in Pathfinder. For this book in particular, it was important to me that we not soft-sell the Kalvamen, the cannibal raiders that even badass vikings are afraid of. So yes, there is cannibalism. There is death (though I didn't feel like it was the grisliest warfare we've seen in Pathfinder Tales so far). There is even a three-word reference to rape, one that neither the author nor I took lightly, and which we thought several times about cutting. But in the end, we gambled and opted to leave it in, because as much as rape is a terribly overused and often harmful crutch in fiction, and should generally be left out of a story unless you're prepared to treat the issue with the gravitas it warrants, it felt disingenuous to us to gloss over that aspect of the raiders completely.

Did we choose poorly? Perhaps we did, and I apologize to those who were disappointed or triggered by the book. But I'd also like to hear the opinions of as many folks as possible, to help us better calibrate to what all of you want to read. Because this is as much about your opinions as it is about ours.

So what do you think?

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Pathfinder Wiki knows all.

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Mikaze wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Prediction:

Iron Gods is a smash it.
A few years down the line, Distant Worlds AP is announced.
Mikaze faints, Drejk and I get drunk.

I would not faint.

...

I would stand out on the balcony of my open air bedroom, my hands resting upon the parapet as I gazed longingly at the infinite stars shining in the night sky and my hair flows in the cool breeze.

And behind me I hear the door open. Distant Worlds is there, its shirt unbuttoned. Its hair is flowing in the breeze too even though it's in the bedroom.

I run my hand through my hair. "I was worried you would never come." A tentative step forward.

Distant Worlds approaches with less hesitation. "You knew I couldn't stay away."

We are face to cover now. I shudder as it steps into the moonlight, the scent of packing styrofoam hanging thick about it. "I knew."

Distant Worlds places its hands on my shoulders and draws near, but then pauses. "But what about Wrath of the Righteous? And Mummy's Mask, and the others?"

"Shhhhh..." I place a finger upon its lips. "Allow us this one night. This one night under the stars."

Distant Worlds pulls me closer.

I whisper in its ear. "Take me to the stars. And tell me that you'll keep me safe from the terrible secret of space."

Distant Worlds begins to open its cover.

The stars shine in the night sky, but upon this earth upon that night, there was a supernova.

(づ。◕‿‿◕。)づ *♥:・゚✧ *♥:・゚✧

This is the greatest and weirdest compliment I have ever received.

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Kairos Dawnfury wrote:
I'd like some more Hellknight stuff. They're frequently used as antagonists, but they were used very effectively in Noble Sacrifice as a protagonist!

Granted. :D

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I can assure you that we will be watching this thread with great interest. :)

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MaxXimenez wrote:
Quandary wrote:

So not only part-humans are OK, but non-humans as well? E.g. Dwarves, Elves, Hobgoblins, Tengu, etc?

If those are being brought into the experiment, then is there an intention to bring ALL demihumans in?
Or only certain races? It would seem strange to be random about such a thing.

I actually remember now that some Paizo dev said that the age statistics for Plane-Touched are Errata (adulthood at 60, which would put them longer lived than Dwarves), and I presume they are on par with Half-Elf/Half-Orcs (depending on the Planetouched type). Is that true? Very long lifespans was the thing that seemed most disruptive to a human-centric social/breeding experiment.

I remember reading that Mengkare did indeed invite small amounts of non-human races, but I imagine that they have to be the kind of races that can breed with a human which would preclude, hopefully, any oviparous creatures like Nagaji or Tengu, and since they would be invited there you couldn't really put Steaming Sea as your region of origin.

Yeah, the point of Mengkare inviting non-humans or part-humans there is for the good of the overall human perfection experiment, so while I suppose he might invite the occasional exotic race to come teach or otherwise help facilitate, his main focus is the breeding program.

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Mavrickindigo wrote:
I'm not sure if the people of Geb are white or not, but Nex and his arclords are pretty black, and they are by far the better magi than Geb's crew.

Both Geb and Nex are populated predominantly by black people. While not all of our art has reflected this--it can be surprisingly difficult to get fantasy artists to paint non-Caucasians, and sometimes you have to go to print with the art that you have--the intention has always been that that area (and Alkenstar, for that matter) is overwhelmingly black/POC.

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We've said on various occasions that Mengkare is cool with adding periodic dashes of non-human or part-human races to his experiment in order to bring out the best of humanity. Plus, given how many different races can breed with humans, combined with the long length of human history, I'd venture that *most* folks probably have a non-human somewhere in their family tree, it's just a question of how much and how far back. So "human" is kind of in the eye of the beholder.

In short: go for it!

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I just want to point out that players arguing the morality and philosophy of Rahadoum in pretty much the same way as in-world people would argue them makes me cackle with glee. :)

Even when we're not playing the game, we're still playing the game!

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Aw, thanks Neongelion! And yeah, Iron Gods does a bunch with the intersection of magic (specifically faith) and science.

To me, arcane magic (at least as wizards practice it) has always seemed like an extension of science, rather than in opposition to it. There's a consistent system of natural laws and principles, and you do your best to learn and exploit them. So my suspicion would be that, in most societies, technology and science would grow together, each specializing in the areas where it's most effective/cheapest. (If it's hard and expensive to teleport ten tons of grain, you keep trying to build a better barge, but if a cleric can heal your disease with a prayer, germ theory probably doesn't get a lot of attention.)

All of which is to say that I'd presume advanced technology like Apostae's blends the two seamlessly. I mean, heck, we're starting to see useful quantum computers in the real world right now, and that's basically magic to me! :D

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Crystal Frasier wrote:
Judy Bauer wrote:
Not reptilian, but there's a queer avian-mammal pairing in Shattered Star (harpy/catfolk).

And NOW we're back on track!

Also, stashing this one in my fantasies drawer...

Two months late to the party, but it's not every day that I discover something I wrote is in Crystal's Fantasies Drawer. 0_o

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It's true! We *do* read the boards pretty thoroughly, but we also try to spend our time well by answering the questions that we feel would most help people, while at the same time not undermine our business.

So, for instance, since I'm more of a world guy than a rules guy, I get asked a lot about the campaign setting, and I do my best to answer. What I *don't* do, however, is create new canon on the messageboards, because a) selling new information about the setting is what pays the bills, and b) a random thread on the messageboards isn't a good way to disseminate new information--it helps a few people, but not the thousands of others who would see it if it was in a book.

So yeah, we're here for ya, within limits. :D

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Robert Brookes wrote:

Sutter, can we get a huge poster of that photo for the banquet hall at Paizocon?

I think it would be most appropriate.

You mean like the one that's covering a whole wall of my living room?

/just kidding

/probably

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Sean is a great guy to work with, and a fabulous friend. While I'm excited for him to be taking this step, we'll miss him greatly.

I'd write more, but I think this picture sums up my feelings.

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Ryu_Hitome wrote:
...perhaps a female Dhamphir Investigator? If not Dhamphir, then I'd love to see a female dwarf be a main character.

As it happens, you're going to get everything you want. Keep an eye on 2015. :D

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Irish Wet Dog wrote:

Radovan is dead dead, but somehow escapes the afterlife. Pharasma makes Salim go find him. Varian finds that the only way to make Radovan not dead dead is to reunite him with his big knife. The Winter Witches have the knife (Long Story). So: Varian hires an adventuring party to go get it. The party includes: Elyana, Gad, Krunzle, Alaeron, and Luma. To get to Irrisen, the party has to take a ship that has a Naga Navigator. While they are waiting at the inn for the ship, they meet a halfling named Tantaerra, and a Goth kid named Isiem. Kagur wants to go with them as well, but they don't let her because a mammoth on a pirate ship would be just ludicrous. Later we find out that Rodrick is also looking for the big knife because (get this!) the big knife is actually intelligent AND Hyrm's long lost son. Hijinks ensue.

Also, somebody from that new dagger book shows up, but I haven't read that one yet, so could be anybody.

Or I like books about clerics and gods, where the gods are characters, A Cayden book would be cool, but I digress.

HA! This is hilarious, and I would totally read that fanfic. :D

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Kajehase wrote:
By a margin even Tom Rex would be proud of! :p

Oh man, you get 100 bonus points for remembering Tom Rex. :D

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Rysky wrote:
After reading People of the Sands what are the chances that Salim has levels of Cavalier?

Possible! Salim is complicated, since he's really operating as an inquisitor now but had a mishmash of more martial levels earlier in life, which often still come in handy. There's a hint in The Redemption Engine about a new class he might be acquiring, though, so I'm curious to see if anyone will pick up on it. :D

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donato wrote:
Sutter, where do you find the motiviation to write? I find mine comes at the most inopportune times and when I want to write, I haven't the spirit for it. Can you 'train' your motiviation?

Training your motivation and setting your own deadlines is the most important part of being a professional writer, and the hardest to learn, especially since school courses--by virtue of having deadlines--never really teach you how to structure your own time and force yourself to work.

My answer is very reminiscent of Yoda or Nike: you simply have to do it. If you sit down and force yourself to write, on a set schedule or otherwise, you'll get better at it. "Creativity on command" is a muscle that you have to exercise, and even if it seems worthless in a given instance, it adds up.

For example, right after college, when I was briefly unemployed, I tried an experiment: I told myself that I was going to write a story every day until I got a job. Each time I sat down, it was brutal--the blank screen, the total lack of words in my head. But I just grabbed at something--an image, a phrase, anything--and started writing. Something would lead to something else, and after a few false starts I'd usually end up with something resembling a story. I happened to get a job at the end of that week, but after some polish, at least one of the stories written during the experiment actually sold.

So really, the best advice I have is: Force yourself. Don't wait for inspiration. Writing is a job that you do even when you hate it--and if you're lucky, you'll usually find (like me) that it's the first few minutes of writing that takes 95% of the effort. Once that ball is rolling, you can just run along behind it. It's all about learning to conquer the inertia.

That's something of a shotgun blast of an answer, but there you go! :D

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As the guy who made up the word, I've always pronounced it "EYE-you-DAR-uh."

If you'd like to ruin your sense of wonder and verisimilitude:

Spoiler:

It's pronounced similarly to "ayudar," which is Spanish for "to help." I can no longer remember whether the similarity was intentional, but the elf gates help you get from place to place...

SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF: RUINED

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Fabius Maximus wrote:

I recently dug the book out again and stumbled over the Shobhad. I know what inspired the race, but I wonder what inspired the name.

Can someone shed a light on that?

Honestly? It just felt right. I wanted them to have a strong, warrior-sounding name, but not something too harsh and over-the-top. Similarly, since they're a desert people, I think I gravitated toward things that had sort of a fluid Middle Eastern sort of sound. After that, I did what I always do, which is sit on my bed and smush random syllables together until one feels right in my mouth.

Hope that didn't just kill the mystery and magic for you. :)

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Those erotic flip-books were drawn by Declan from Winter Witch, though I believe they've shown up once or twice since then....

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brad2411 wrote:

Hi James thanks for answering the questions.

So first when will we see the operation banjo thug single? I want to hear more of your stuff (already have the stuff off your site. It is cool.)

Second is there any chance we will be seeing any of the pathfinder tales going to audible?

Third since you are the fiction editor am I completely making an ass of myself to assume you edited the new audiobook of Rise of the Runelords that is suppose to be coming out this year or is that done by bigfinish?

Oh man, I should have checked my thread first--I totally just threadjacked Jacobs to answer you there. In terms of my music, though: thank you for checking it out! I'm actually halfway through recording a debut demo/EP for my new band, Brides of the Lizard God. We're kind of a goofy self-aware hair metal band, but with a ton of different influences--metal and punk and screamo and big arena rock all rolled together with songs about dragons and space battles. :) Hoping to be able to show that to the world in the next few months!

As for Pathfinder Tales and Audible, I'm positive that we'll be getting Pathfinder Tales into audiobook form in the next few years, but exactly how is up in the air right now as we juggle different business options.

Big Finish is producing the Runelords audio drama, but I was indeed involved in the script reviews for that! A lot of times for licensed stuff like that and the comic books, I'm less of a hands-on editor/developer (though there's some of that) and more of an approvals guy, but I'm usually still a part of it, unless I'm totally buried in work (in which case I trust the other folks involved, like Erik, to catch the things I'd catch).

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

What, in your mind, is the coolest melee weapon in all of Golarion?

And what, in your mind, is the cutest and most adorable of all available familiars?

I still have a soft spot for bastard swords, after all these years. Fairly traditional, but so cool!

As for familiars... there are so many good ones, but I'm going to go with the sin seeker from Pathfinder #73. I may, in fact, already have plans for one of those with regard to fiction. The potential for comedy just seems endless. :D

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Itchy wrote:


Lets see some metallic dragons!!

Dave and I have you covered. Stay tuned. :D

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Rysky wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
Has any Paizo product ever depicted a relationship between a reptilian humanoid and a a mammal, homosexual or otherwise?
IIRC there's King Irovetti (Human) and Engelidis (Spirit Naga) from Kingmaker as well as Kerdak Bonefist (Human) and Hyapatia (Lamia Matriarch) from Skull and Shackles.

Don't forget Pirate's Honor, which is a Pathfinder Tales novel all about the romance between a human pirate and his lunar naga navigator!

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Mikaze wrote:


Classic Monsters Revisited has some coverage for Lizardfolk reproduction, specifically their ability to shift sexes if needed, IIRC. No parthenogenesis mentioned, but I honestly wouldn't be surprised if some types of lizardfolk were capable of it.

Actually, I wrote a whole sidebar about lizardfolk parthenogenesis in Classic Monsters Revisited, and y'all can find it on page 38. :)

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This is so awesome! You really have no idea how happy it makes me to see people playing in the city, let alone creating such elaborate art and props. :D

Thanks for posting!

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CNB wrote:


I'd really like to know why the adventure writer designed the encounter the way he did. Did he expect parties won't have something like Gitterdust handy? Because the tactics are laughable.

As the adventure writer, I've been avoiding commenting in this thread, as your tone strikes me as insulting and thus doesn't make me want to interact with you. But here's the answer:

As people in this thread have pointed out, every party is different. In this case, your players were particularly adept and well equipped to take on this encounter. Even then, it involved some good rolls (your 50% miss chance). In playtesting this combat, my own party (which runs the gauntlet from total novices to professional game designers) had a longer battle which, while not particularly deadly, lasted longer than yours. (Luonim hit the switch first as the thing that launched them into initiative--before that they were just talking, as he wasn't threatening them, and part of their mission was to rescue the previous expedition. While the party dealt with the centrifuge, Luonim got his invisibility on and moved off the pedestal, and it took them a few shots with glitterdust to find him. So not terribly difficult, but fun for us.)

In my personal opinion, not every encounter is about the tactics. I'm a big fan of storytelling and general weirdness, and for me, a crazy gnome bloatmage in a spinning room is suitably entertaining, even if it ends up being more of a roleplaying encounter than a particularly challenging tactical one. You're welcome to disagree. That's one of the reasons we have a wide variety of authors and adventures. In retrospect, I could have beefed things up a little so that it wasn't single-caster-on-many. I hope that the other 95% of the adventure was more to your liking.

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Just popping in to drop the standard reminder that we never tell you "no" about what you can do in your own games. We may have an official opinion/position for our publications, but you bought the book. It's *yours*. You can redact, modify, or do whatever you want to your copy. If you want all foxes to have Int 6 and speak Common in your home game (though I'm not sure it's worth hearing what they have to say), that's fine with us.

Welcome to Pathfinder. The only limit is your mind...

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Alexander Augunas wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Nonexistent! I already have plans for how he may advance in future novels, with hints dropped in The Redemption Engine... :D

You really need to stop teasing about that book :3
THE TEASING WILL COMMENCE UNTIL ALL COPIES HAVE BEEN PURCHASED. >:-|
Shouldn't that read, "THE TEASING WILL CONTINUE" ? >: )

GRAMMAR WILL BE REINSTATED WHEN ALL COPIES HAVE BEEN PURCHASED.

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Rysky wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Nonexistent! I already have plans for how he may advance in future novels, with hints dropped in The Redemption Engine... :D

You really need to stop teasing about that book :3

THE TEASING WILL COMMENCE UNTIL ALL COPIES HAVE BEEN PURCHASED. >:-|

Paizo Employee Senior Editor/Fiction Editor

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Rysky wrote:
Which of the new classes are you most excited to make stories for?

Hmm... you know, I haven't actually thought about it much yet! I could see the skald being pretty fun--bards in fiction always seem to be the lute-and-floppy-hat sort, and it'd be nice to turn that on its head...

"And the next contestant in 'Kalsgard's Got Talent' is..."

"UNGAR THE MIGHTY IS BEST SINGER!" *smashes judges' table*

"And there we have it! The judges are giving Ungar three not-yet-broken thumbs up! Now for some words from our sponsors..."

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)How do Lashunta men treat non-lashunta woman?

2)How do Lashunta women treat non-lashunta men?

3)Other then elves what do Lashunta think of the core races?

4)What do they think of Catfolk, Ratfolk, Lizardfolk, Grippli, and any other animal based humanoids?

5)Do they have enemies other then Formians?

1 and 2) I suspect they treat them like they'd treat other Lashunta, with the full range of possibilities that implies--there are Lashunta saints and Lashunta jerks, and everything in between, just like other races. That said, I suspect that average Lashunta talking to average humans find the humans a little underwhelming...

3) I think they'd probably get along well with dwarves and half-orcs (so burly!), be fascinated by gnomes and halflings (so small! so different!), be a little bored by humans...

4) Gonna skip this one, as I could write all day about this stuff, but then nothing would get edited. :)

5) Racially? Not really. But then, as I've said before, it's hard for me to talk about race-wide traits, in that it presents races as monocultures, which is something I've never bought into. Individual lashunta are as different from each other as individual humans! As a result, most lashunta enemies are probably other lashunta, or monsters that have harmed them or their homes, etc.

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Mikaze wrote:
Just now got a chance to start reading. Went for Trunau first, because of course I would go for Trunau first.

Really glad you enjoyed Trunau! Mr. Logue and I ended up working together on that one (since I introduced it originally and had some *strong opinions* on where it should go), and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

And folks who like Solku should give mad props to our own Judy Bauer, as that was her first foray into freelance writing, and she totally knocked it out of the park!

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Also, just a reminder that while we may speak out about what *we* think regarding a given organization, everyone's welcome to do whatever they want in their home games! We just want to sell you books and ideas--what you do with them is entirely up to you. Honestly, I've always thought of our books more as ingredients than prepared dishes, anyway.

If you want the Hellknights to be thoroughly evil-bad-nasty, then they *are* for you! You obviously don't need our blessing, but if you want it, you've got it. :)

Paizo Employee Senior Editor/Fiction Editor

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Memento Mortis wrote:


Also, Mengkare's stat block replaces the product placement normally found in the back of the book. His alignment is included. :p

*takes off Memento Mortis's mask to reveal true identity*

ME: James Jacobs!

JACOBS: And I would have gotten away with it, too, if not for you meddling kids!

*high-fives Scooby and gets back in the Mystery Machine*

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Also, it makes me really happy to see that basically every upcoming book I've ordered (but haven't announced yet) for the line is some combination of the requests on this thread. Glad to see we like the same things. :)

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Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Any chance we can get you to start using "maltheism" instead of "atheism" to describe Rahadoum?

That boat has sailed, but I concede that such a term would be more accurate, and we address that issue outright in Faiths & Philosophies.

Spoiler:

The Rahadoumis reject your attempt to impose dogmatic linguistic principles upon their freedom! :-P

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Hellknights can be anywhere from LG to LE, for all the reason folks have noted. The reason it may seem like there are way more examples/descriptions of Hellknights which seem more LE is due primarily to bias inherent in the authors and adventures. One huge factor is that Hellknights *look* so cool and creepy that it's really tempting to use them as bad guys in adventures (and let's face it: most folks you meet in adventures are bad guys, because we tend not to spend a lot of time describing/illustrating people unless you're going to fight them, due to space concerns).

At the same time, I think there's a definite *in-world* bias against Hellknights by folks who don't really understand the nuance of their lawful nature and how they employ devils rather than worshiping them, etc. Especially when freelancers come to a thing through their own game experiences or preexisting biases about things like devil-binding, it's really easy to end up describing them in a negative light *because that's how people in the world would describe them,* as opposed to in a truly objective fashion. Similar problems happen with groups like the Rahadoumi, Hermeans, and any other morally complicated groups in our world--in trying to convey the in-world prejudices, it's easy to accidentally make them sound like the whole story.

So yeah--even if we've accidentally made the group sound primarily evil, I know that Wes (their creator) would say that the whole thing that makes the Hellknights cool is that they're *not* necessarily evil--just super hard-liner lawful cop-types... with maybe a bit more leaning toward the "Judge Dredd" mindset than we modern folks would be okay with. (After all, I didn't say there *weren't* lots of LE folks in there. :D)

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Amaranthine Witch wrote:

It looks interesting. This will reveal new information on Kaer Maga right? Because the first one seemed as if it expected you to know nothing of Golarion and it's cosmology, beside some little tidbits I hadn't seen anywhere else.

The cover looks good and unusually bright for the figures.

I definitely try to make all the Pathfinder Tales books accessible to folks who know nothing about the setting. So in that sense, we'll certainly be covering some ground that people familiar with Golarion and Kaer Maga already know. There won't be a lot of totally *new* elements invented, but there'll be a lot of deep-diving, elaboration, and questions answered on existing elements, in the sense that things that get a paragraph in City of Strangers will get whole chapters and be major characters, etc.

Oh, and there'll also be some pretty major planar revelations and sightseeing. Hold on to your hats. :D

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Dragon78 wrote:

When did Aucturn first appear in the Golarion solar system?

Also if you could pic 10 monsters from movies/TV shows that you could use for pathfinder without legal issue what would they be?

You can pic anything even if copyrighted.

Aucturn: Ain't tellin'! :D

Monsters: Hmm... I don't have time to think of all ten right now, but I think the top of the list would definitely be the xenomorph from the Alien movies! Followed by a bunch of China Mieville monsters like the khepri... that dude's got a hell of an imagination...

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