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>>Ask *James Jacobs* ALL your Questions Here!<<


Off-Topic Discussions

70,801 to 70,850 of 70,903 << first < prev | 1409 | 1410 | 1411 | 1412 | 1413 | 1414 | 1415 | 1416 | 1417 | 1418 | 1419 | next > last >>

Hi James,

Could you please share with us the design decisions that led to writing in the Age of Lost Omens's cessation of prophecy?

It's just that from my outsider's perspective, it seems like you inexplicably deprived yourselves of a potent thematic and narrative tool.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aenigma wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
I'm not sure it is just me or everyone feels the same, but the illustration of Arlantia in the cover of Prisoners of the Blight looks like a very low resolution picture to me. Did Paizo make a mistake of putting a wrong picture in the book, or it was the right picture and I deluded myself?
Sometimes, we make mistakes, and that includes the accidental publication of low-resolution art.
I thought that Paizo would republish the book with the correct cover art once it finds out the error but it did not. Will there be any chance for us to see the original, high-resolution cover art of Arlantia?

It's not viable (economically or time management wise) tor reprint a Pathfinder volume for even something like a low-res cover image. The error has to be MUCH larger for us to pull the reprint lever, and I'm not sure an error COULD be that big, considering how impactful and disruptive that would be to the volume's profits. Sorry.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
AlgaeNymph wrote:
How would an extremely powerful psychic (~L20) who doesn't know about their powers discover them?

If the psychic is a PC, that's not really possible. That's not how the game works. You'd need significant GM buy-in and aid.

But if it's an NPC... read every other Stephen King book for an example of how a person discovers their powerful supernatural mental abilities.

In a weird case like this, it's best to make it a HUGE event rather than standardize it to something samey. It needs to be customized to the character, and it needs to be the primary focus of that particular story.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Joana wrote:

I asked this in Mark Seifter's thread, and he said you and James Compton were the lead developers on this book, so I'll ask you:

In regards to the Adventurer's Guide Lore Warden: What was the logic behind excluding Appraise from their class skills? It's already one of the least-used skills in the game, so it doesn't seem like it would have been a balance issue, and the skill actually seems flavor-appropriate in that Pathfinder agents ought to be able to recognize the correct MacGuffin they're searching for. It seems odd that the only Int-based skill excluded from their list was Appraise, so I'm assuming there was a reason to single it out.

The Lore Warden was a pick-up class from a previous product; it's been around for a long time and I'm not sure who was the original developer or writer, so the initial reason for no Appraise is lost to time. My guess? Oversight, because Appraise is clutter.

If you want it to be a class skill in your game, add it. It's not a balance issue at all. The only thing Appraise really does to impact game play is make it less enjoyable because it forces GMs and players to deal with extra paperwork of tracking item values when the Appraise check fails.

My opinion: Games go much easier if you just tell the players how much things are worth when they find them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Blissful Lightning wrote:

Hi James,

Could you please share with us the design decisions that led to writing in the Age of Lost Omens's cessation of prophecy?

It's just that from my outsider's perspective, it seems like you inexplicably deprived yourselves of a potent thematic and narrative tool.

Prophecy is the most overused and most obnoxious and most unsatisfying of all the cliches the fantasy genre uses. We cut it from Pathfinder because we didn't want the cliche in the game, and we didn't want our writers to think we wanted it in the game, and we didn't want players to think it was part of the game.

Prophecy simply DOES NOT WORK when you have a collaborative story like a tabletop RPG. It works (but is cliched, as mentioned above) in a novel or movie or the like because the characters in that story have no agency. Their choices are made for them by the writer, who can make all those choices to make the prophecy come true.

In an RPG, a prophecy is the worst kind of railroad a GM can inflict. It's something that not only a GM can use to justify making things just happen for no reason other than to fulfill the prophecy, but it can subtly influence and pinch off player creativity in the choices they make for themselves.

We didn't deprive ourselves of a potent thematic and narrative tool. We saved ourselves from a tired old cliche and writing crutch and allowed all of your characters to make choices YOU want rather than choices the GM or the adventure writer forces you to make.


Dear Mr. Jacobs,

Who of the staff is the most fond of corgis?

In an unrelated note, what address would I send freshly baked cookies to, if they might be addressed to this person? PMs are okay.

In an unrelated, unrelated note, what do you think of a Corgi Aspect to the shifter? Perhaps even done in a blog post?

Thank you,

MV

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
MuddyVolcano wrote:

Dear Mr. Jacobs,

Who of the staff is the most fond of corgis?

In an unrelated note, what address would I send freshly baked cookies to, if they might be addressed to this person? PMs are okay.

In an unrelated, unrelated note, what do you think of a Corgi Aspect to the shifter? Perhaps even done in a blog post?

Thank you,

MV

One question at a time. There IS someone who's the biggest fan of corgies on staff... but it's not me, and I think a corgi aspect to the shifter is goofy.


James Jacobs wrote:
MuddyVolcano wrote:

Dear Mr. Jacobs,

Who of the staff is the most fond of corgis?

In an unrelated note, what address would I send freshly baked cookies to, if they might be addressed to this person? PMs are okay.

In an unrelated, unrelated note, what do you think of a Corgi Aspect to the shifter? Perhaps even done in a blog post?

Thank you,

MV

One question at a time. There IS someone who's the biggest fan of corgies on staff... but it's not me, and I think a corgi aspect to the shifter is goofy.

And now I got to research. :D


Veiled master and omnipath are human terms for racial subspecies of alghollthus. For example, thalassic architects are known as uldraaghus in the language of alghollthus. Then what is the proper term for the veiled masters and omnipaths in the language of alghollthus?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do you use pawns, or do you mostly rely on minis.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aenigma wrote:
Veiled master and omnipath are human terms for racial subspecies of alghollthus. For example, thalassic architects are known as uldraaghus in the language of alghollthus. Then what is the proper term for the veiled masters and omnipaths in the language of alghollthus?

We haven't yet revealed those terms yet, as far as I know.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
Do you use pawns, or do you mostly rely on minis.

Minis. Although I generally don't agonize too much over whether or not the miniature is an accurate representation of the creature in the fight.


Currently, aboleths and veiled masters are arcane creatures. Veiled masters are treated as 12th level sorcerers, for example. But in 3.5, the psionic aboleth detailed in Expanded Psionics Handbook was considered canon, according to Lords of Madness. Do you think aboleths and veiled masters should be created as psychic monsters instead? In other words, if Paizo published Occult Adventures before Bestiary, would you have made them as psychic monsters instead of arcane monsters? And what about intellect devourers, neh-thalggus, neothelids and vespergaunts? Do you think they should have been made as psychic monsters as well?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aenigma wrote:
Currently, aboleths and veiled masters are arcane creatures. Veiled masters are treated as 12th level sorcerers, for example. But in 3.5, the psionic aboleth detailed in Expanded Psionics Handbook was considered canon, according to Lords of Madness. Do you think aboleths and veiled masters should be created as psychic monsters instead? In other words, if Paizo published Occult Adventures before Bestiary, would you have made them as psychic monsters instead of arcane monsters? And what about intellect devourers, neh-thalggus, neothelids and vespergaunts? Do you think they should have been made as psychic monsters as well?

No, I absolutely do not.

3.5 is a different game than Pathfinder. If anything, I kinda wish we'd made MORE changes to those monsters to make them more our own.


what would the knowledge (nature) dc of determining that a pile of brown stuff is in fact guano?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

How does transferring golem's control from creator to another work? Like, I assume Golemworks has to have some sort of method to do it because otherwise that means they could decide to take golem back from customer if they wanted to. And if customer wants to further give the golem to someone else... So yeah, wondering how that works :D Thank you for answer in advance

Paizo Employee Creative Director

6 people marked this as a favorite.
wordelo wrote:
what would the knowledge (nature) dc of determining that a pile of brown stuff is in fact guano?

DC 10. With a +10 bonus if you taste it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do you keep up with paleoanthropology?

There's been some really intriguing stuff coming to light in the last few years. First, you had the Denisovans. I think it amounted to a single toe bone or tooth being found in the cave, but the DNA showed it belonged to an entire undiscovered species akin to neanderthals that interbred with humans in east Asia, and yet no bodies or tools or anything have been found in all this time, despite it probably being a huge population. Then you have Homo floresiensis, the "hobbit", originally thought to be basically tiny humans, now understood to be far more primitive, suggesting very early ape-like human ancestors left Africa (think Orang-pendak). Now there's a hotly debated study (by nonetheless well-regarded paleontologists) that suggests a mastodon in California was butchered with stone tools, hundreds of thousands of years before humans lived in America. There's also just a bunch of stories in general that suggest much of what we thought we knew about human ancestry and migration was just a small part of the story.

Sorry to dump all this here. To summarize, I'm not saying Bigfoot is real, but the statement "there would have been fossil evidence" at the very least is not evidence to the contrary anymore.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
How does transferring golem's control from creator to another work? Like, I assume Golemworks has to have some sort of method to do it because otherwise that means they could decide to take golem back from customer if they wanted to. And if customer wants to further give the golem to someone else... So yeah, wondering how that works :D Thank you for answer in advance

Good question. I don't think we've really done rules for that that I know of. For something like the Golemworks, they'd program the golem in question from the start to serve the person who was buying it though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
bixnoodles wrote:

Do you keep up with paleoanthropology?

I do, and yeah, Bigfoot lives.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
bixnoodles wrote:

Do you keep up with paleoanthropology?

I do, and yeah, Bigfoot lives.

Cool. Does he play bridge? :-)


I personally think aboleths should have been created as large instead of huge. Because of their size, it is hard to use them in dungeons or on battlemats. And the aboleths in page 24 of The Dead Heart of Xin look like large to me. So I decided to simply say they are large in my campaign. Then a question arose. If I change the size of aboleths from huge to large, would their stats change as well?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
bixnoodles wrote:

Do you keep up with paleoanthropology?

I do, and yeah, Bigfoot lives.
Cool. Does he play bridge? :-)

No. It's too frustrating playing bridge in the woods 'cause wind gusts mess with the cards.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aenigma wrote:
If I change the size of aboleths from huge to large, would their stats change as well?

Up to you.


Alghollthus and Rahadoumi are both atheists. They both hate the gods. Thus, would they find their religious views have much in common?


I think I read that the Aboleths and the Serpentfolk both claimed to have originated much of arcane magic. Which would you say the magic of Thassilon borrowed more from, Aboleth or Serpentfolk magic?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aenigma wrote:
Alghollthus and Rahadoumi are both atheists. They both hate the gods. Thus, would they find their religious views have much in common?

Not in the slightest.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
bixnoodles wrote:
I think I read that the Aboleths and the Serpentfolk both claimed to have originated much of arcane magic. Which would you say the magic of Thassilon borrowed more from, Aboleth or Serpentfolk magic?

Aboleth magic.


Veiled masters have Swift Transformation special ability. Why did you give them this ability? I really cannot find out the usefulness of it.


James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
How would an extremely powerful psychic (~L20) who doesn't know about their powers discover them?
If it's an NPC... read every other Stephen King book for an example of how a person discovers their powerful supernatural mental abilities.

That's...a lot of work just to answer a quick question. I guessing however it'd be individualized that it'd be traumatic, or at least unsubtle? Is that what you're getting at?


Are there times when you think it works best for GMs/players to adapt something from Pathfinder or the Golarion campaign setting into something different for their own games, but it's also a change that is uncomfortable for you personally as a writer because it conflicts with the original concept?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aenigma wrote:
Veiled masters have Swift Transformation special ability. Why did you give them this ability? I really cannot find out the usefulness of it.

Because it helps to make them really good at shape changing, and keeps them from having to "waste" actions in combat changing forms.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
How would an extremely powerful psychic (~L20) who doesn't know about their powers discover them?
If it's an NPC... read every other Stephen King book for an example of how a person discovers their powerful supernatural mental abilities.
That's...a lot of work just to answer a quick question. I guessing however it'd be individualized that it'd be traumatic, or at least unsubtle? Is that what you're getting at?

If you're doing something as unusual, strange, and potentially important and interesting as having a character suddenly gain the powers of a 20th level character... I'd HOPE you were going to do a lot of work at it!

What I'm getting at is that it needs to be something worth telling a significant story about, not just a throwaway tidbit. It shouldn't be something so easy that you or whoever is tempted to do it all the time, since that'd cheapen and marginalize it and make suddenly gaining 20 levels of power trivial and mundane and boring.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Are there times when you think it works best for GMs/players to adapt something from Pathfinder or the Golarion campaign setting into something different for their own games, but it's also a change that is uncomfortable for you personally as a writer because it conflicts with the original concept?

Yes, very very often, in fact, which is one of the reasons why I tend to prefer to avoid getting involved in giving advice to GMs who are adapting Golarion to their home games. Not only is it tough for me to resist the urge to falsely correct their changes, but it's impossible for me to even suggest things without a lot of GMs or players mistaking my comments for enforced canon. I much prefer to let GMs adapt their games as best fits their tables. I don't know their styles or their table's preferences, after all, and it's not my place to try to "fix" what isn't broken for them. Adapting a published setting to your home table is one of the great pleasures, I think, of being a GM after all; it's a GREAT way to encourage your creativity while also expanding your imagination.

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Do you use pawns, or do you mostly rely on minis.
Minis. Although I generally don't agonize too much over whether or not the miniature is an accurate representation of the creature in the fight.

That’s actually a really great question!!

Follow up: do you play music or other audio during games?


Hey James. Here's my question. The Create Pit spell specifies it's effect as a 10ft-by-10ft hole. However it does not specify it as a square like some other similar effects. Does this mean that the pit can be shaped to the caster's desire or that it has to be a perfectly square pit. This is important since when you take into account climb rules you could lower the DC to climb out of the pit using the "corner with two perpendicular walls" example if it's perfectly square.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Marc Radle wrote:


Follow up: do you play music or other audio during games?

Sometimes I do, but not often.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dire Ursus wrote:
Hey James. Here's my question. The Create Pit spell specifies it's effect as a 10ft-by-10ft hole. However it does not specify it as a square like some other similar effects. Does this mean that the pit can be shaped to the caster's desire or that it has to be a perfectly square pit. This is important since when you take into account climb rules you could lower the DC to climb out of the pit using the "corner with two perpendicular walls" example if it's perfectly square.

Rules questions should be asked in the rules forums so they can be FAQed and so that they'll be seen by the designers.


Regarding the Iron Priest. Does the ability to spontaneously cast Make Whole and Greater Make Whole replace Cure/Inflict Moderate Wounds and Cure/Inflict Critical Wounds? Or would the Iron Priest be able cast either/or depending?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GM Wulfson wrote:
Regarding the Iron Priest. Does the ability to spontaneously cast Make Whole and Greater Make Whole replace Cure/Inflict Moderate Wounds and Cure/Inflict Critical Wounds? Or would the Iron Priest be able cast either/or depending?

Rules questions should be asked in the rules forums so they can be FAQed and so that they'll be seen by the designers.

And yes, this includes rules questions about things I've written or developed, unfortunately.

Silver Crusade

Have you ever considered or have incorporated ideas from this forum into Golarion lore?

Could be from the homebrew section or here even.


Given how deities aren't supposed to be directly involved in mortal affairs (due to MAD more than formal law), how would you explain Worldwound-style incursions, or malebranche invasions? Specifically, why aren't there any direct counter-interventions?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Laird IceCubez wrote:

Have you ever considered or have incorporated ideas from this forum into Golarion lore?

Could be from the homebrew section or here even.

In the aspect of looking at customer feedback and requests and weighing that feedback in deciding what to do next or how to expand on a topic, yes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
AlgaeNymph wrote:
Given how deities aren't supposed to be directly involved in mortal affairs (due to MAD more than formal law), how would you explain Worldwound-style incursions, or malebranche invasions? Specifically, why aren't there any direct counter-interventions?

We talk about that to a certain extent in the upcoming Planar Adventures, but the short version is that things like malebranche and the Demon Lord invasion of the Worldwound are made by demigods or quasi-deities, not actual deities. Demigods and quasi-deities have stat blocks, and are thus bound by the rules of the game. More to the point, they can be killed by mortals. A demigod or the like who tries this is inviting death; it's a calculated risk.

There ARE counter-interventions, but mostly in the form of PC-involved stuff at this point since that's the point of the game: to do stories for the players, rather than as novels.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
James Jacobs, AP 102 wrote:
Of course... I do have plans for a particularly epic Adventure Path that has long been close to my heart, one that I’ve been eager to launch for nearly a decade now. It’ll be a few more years until it sees print, but if it works out, it’ll be worth the wait, and maybe—just maybe— it’ll take players to a higher level than ever before.

Sorry if this has been asked before on here, but does this quote refer to Return of the Runelords, or a yet-to-be named AP?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do you remember everything you've published? Like if someone asks about something from years and years ago do you ever think, "I worked on that," or "I have no idea what I put in that?"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
xrayregime wrote:
James Jacobs, AP 102 wrote:
Of course... I do have plans for a particularly epic Adventure Path that has long been close to my heart, one that I’ve been eager to launch for nearly a decade now. It’ll be a few more years until it sees print, but if it works out, it’ll be worth the wait, and maybe—just maybe— it’ll take players to a higher level than ever before.
Sorry if this has been asked before on here, but does this quote refer to Return of the Runelords, or a yet-to-be named AP?

This quote does indeed refer to Return of the Runelords.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
dunelord3001 wrote:
Do you remember everything you've published? Like if someone asks about something from years and years ago do you ever think, "I worked on that," or "I have no idea what I put in that?"

Assuming that you mean "Everything I've written that got published" and not "Everything I've had a hand in editing/designing/developing/hiring freelancers to write that ended up published..."

...well, the answer to both is no.

The first thing I got published was back in Dungeon magazine #12, about 30 years ago. Been a lot of writing since then.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Dear James Jacobs,
Fellow dinosaur fan here - went to Dinosaur National Monument for my birthday! Have you read or seen stuff a few years ago about changing understanding of juvenile dinosaurs? I feel like it's a mixed bag - getting a better picture of the family is great, but it simultaneously means fewer names in the family tree.
Here's a talk about the concepts I'm referring, it's about 18 minutes and change: https://www.ted.com/talks/jack_horner_shape_shifting_dinosaurs?utm_campaign =social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content =talk&utm_term=science
And in game-related stuff, it looks like we already do something in the same vein: Some adventures use the "young" template, while some say, "use monster X instead".
Cheers,
Zachary

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
dunelord3001 wrote:
Do you remember everything you've published? Like if someone asks about something from years and years ago do you ever think, "I worked on that," or "I have no idea what I put in that?"

Assuming that you mean "Everything I've written that got published" and not "Everything I've had a hand in editing/designing/developing/hiring freelancers to write that ended up published..."

...well, the answer to both is no.

The first thing I got published was back in Dungeon magazine #12, about 30 years ago. Been a lot of writing since then.

Have you ever been surprised by finding your name in something you completely forgot you had worked on?

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