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

Do you use (or have used, if only once) the Harrow Deck (or something similar) in your own games.


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

Did you like The Black Panther?


It seems that you created Xhamen-Dor. But I thought only those created by Lovecraft and his circle of peers can be considered canon. Then, can I assume that Xhamen-Dor is non-canon?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Caleb Garofalo wrote:
Any chance we'll get more Catfolk content?

This question seem out of the blue.

Maybe. Maybe not. New PC options aren't where I focus my attentions much lately—it's been mostly Runelords and Planar Adventures and stuff of late.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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captain yesterday wrote:
Do you use (or have used, if only once) the Harrow Deck (or something similar) in your own games.

I have. I adore using the Harrow Deck, be it in ways like I built into Curse of the Crimson Throne, or as more generic hero cards. I hand out a card to everyone and then when they play the card to get out of a dire situation, I use the alignment and suit and name of the card to help determine how effective the ploy is. For extra fun, when I don't want the players to know their fate and game the system, they don't get to see the card before they play it!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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captain yesterday wrote:
Did you like The Black Panther?

I did. One of the better Marvel movies... probably in my top 3 Marvel movies (the other two at that tier probably being Logan and the first Guardians of the Galaxy).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
It seems that you created Xhamen-Dor. But I thought only those created by Lovecraft and his circle of peers can be considered canon. Then, can I assume that Xhamen-Dor is non-canon?

The very concept of what is and isn't "canon" for ANYTHING depends entirely on what topic you're talking about.

Lamashtu as a demon lord is canon for Pathfinder, but not for D&D, and certainly not for the real world mythology she comes from, for example.

For Pathfinder, Xhamen-Dor is as canon as Cthulhu. As canon as pretty much everything we publish.

What is and isn't canon for the expanded shared-universe of Lovecraft's writings depends entirely on personal taste. Certainly, Lovecraft himself encouraged his friends and fellow writers (his circle of peers) to trade names and make up new names and use names he or others created, since it helps to create verisimilitude when you see names like "Necronomicon" or "Cthulhu" or "Azathoth" pop up all over the place. I know I've got my own head-canon of which of the hundreds of different authors who have added to the mythos over the past 150 years or so are "canon" for me or aren't.

But all that said, you're here on the Paizo boards, talking to the creative director for Pathfinder, so when you ask if something is "canon" I will assume you're asking if it's canon for Golarion. In this case, yes, as I mention above, Xhamen-dor is canon.


Is Xhamen-Dor the only one that can be classified as a plant among the Outer Gods and the Great Old Ones?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is Planar Adventures a Paizo Con release item?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dragon78 wrote:
Is Planar Adventures a Paizo Con release item?

If it gets back from the printer in time for us to sell it at Paizo Con, yeah. I can't predict the future of how unpredictable things like sinking ships or worker strikes or stuff can impact release dates, nor do I actually personally track release dates for our products. For me, it's the day we ship the files to the printer that take up precious space in the gray matter. ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Is Xhamen-Dor the only one that can be classified as a plant among the Outer Gods and the Great Old Ones?

Of the ones we've published so far, yes. There are others out there I'm sure. Vulthoom comes to mind (but I doubt we'll ever do anything with Vulthoom at all since he's specifically tied to Mars and is a relatively obscure entry in the lore).


What Grows Within said that Xhamen-Dor is reborn again when one of two events occurs: the blot fired into space impacts a planet, or one of its surviving seeded returns to Carcosa and resurrects as the Great Old One. Then if the PCs destory and burn every blot expelled from the core of its mass and kill every last remaining seeded, Xhamen-Dor would truly die and cannot return ever again?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
What Grows Within said that Xhamen-Dor is reborn again when one of two events occurs: the blot fired into space impacts a planet, or one of its surviving seeded returns to Carcosa and resurrects as the Great Old One. Then if the PCs destory and burn every blot expelled from the core of its mass and kill every last remaining seeded, Xhamen-Dor would truly die and cannot return ever again?

If they did, then yes, but since there's always one more blot out there to find, it's not something the PCs can ever win at. One of the themes of Lovecraftian horror is the insignificance of humanity in the grand scheme of the cosmos, after all, and unless you want to abandon that element and allow the PCs to kill a Great Old One (all of them are built SPECIFICALLY so that this can ONLY be done if a GM allows it in their individual game, by the way), then no, the PCs can't kill Xhamen-Dor forever. The best they can hope for is to delay him long enough that the next generation of heroes will have time to delay him as well when and if he returns his attention to Golarion.


Hi James! You may remember as the guy from Humboldt with the players from Mendocino, running Rise of the Runelords in the actual Lost Coast.

2 things. We are finishing RotR next week! Its been a great game. Any news of a collection, like an anniversary edition, of Shattered Star coming out before Return of the Runelords to drum up interest?

Secondly, in the past few months, due to the various genetic testing sites, I found out I am a Gygax. Only a 4th cousin to the man himself, Gary Gygax. The family has welcomed me in, and while I can't go to GaryCon this year, I'm going next year!

So I ask you, what do I DO with this information? I feel like I should shout it from the rooftops....but people would think I'm crazy, and we don't have tall buildings in Eureka anyway.

Some advice on how to constructively channel my newfound pedigree would be helpful.

Maybe I will start up GaryCon West. LostCon!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Roycilo wrote:

Hi James! You may remember as the guy from Humboldt with the players from Mendocino, running Rise of the Runelords in the actual Lost Coast.

2 things. We are finishing RotR next week! Its been a great game. Any news of a collection, like an anniversary edition, of Shattered Star coming out before Return of the Runelords to drum up interest?

Secondly, in the past few months, due to the various genetic testing sites, I found out I am a Gygax. Only a 4th cousin to the man himself, Gary Gygax. The family has welcomed me in, and while I can't go to GaryCon this year, I'm going next year!

So I ask you, what do I DO with this information? I feel like I should shout it from the rooftops....but people would think I'm crazy, and we don't have tall buildings in Eureka anyway.

Some advice on how to constructively channel my newfound pedigree would be helpful.

Maybe I will start up GaryCon West. LostCon!

We won't be releasing Shattered Star as a collected volume before Return of the Runelords is out later this year.

And a convention out west would be RAD. There needs to be more gaming conventions held in full view of the Pacific Ocean! GaryCon West!! Do it!


Have you seen the movie Thelma?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kryzbyn wrote:
Have you seen the movie Thelma?

I have not.


It's pretty good, I think you'll like it. It's a good supernatural story.
It is subtitled, though. Do you prefer subbed or dubbed?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kryzbyn wrote:

It's pretty good, I think you'll like it. It's a good supernatural story.

It is subtitled, though. Do you prefer subbed or dubbed?

I can't watch most dubbed movies. Subtitles are superior in every way.


James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
To clarify, what is fate?
A mystery that becomes less interesting if it's defined.
Hrm. Don't you think it's important to define something so fundamental to the setting?

Nope. Not when it's something that could easily be defined as "This is the thing that will happen to your character in the game because I, the GM, say it is fated to happen to you, so you as a player have no agency in determining your own character's future."

No thanks. That's the worst kind of railroading. Better to leave it mysterious and use the currently existing dictionary definitions for the word rather than define it with rules.

Wait, what? No, no, I'm certainly not meaning that. How would defining fate take away free will when you yourself said that it's a direct result of an individual's choices? Specifically, "Fate is what we make of it, in life or in game. Free will lets us make our own fate, and that fate is what we always deserved. Fate does not make us choose, it is the result of our choices. "

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
To clarify, what is fate?
A mystery that becomes less interesting if it's defined.
Hrm. Don't you think it's important to define something so fundamental to the setting?

Nope. Not when it's something that could easily be defined as "This is the thing that will happen to your character in the game because I, the GM, say it is fated to happen to you, so you as a player have no agency in determining your own character's future."

No thanks. That's the worst kind of railroading. Better to leave it mysterious and use the currently existing dictionary definitions for the word rather than define it with rules.

Wait, what? No, no, I'm certainly not meaning that. How would defining fate take away free will when you yourself said that it's a direct result of an individual's choices? Specifically, "Fate is what we make of it, in life or in game. Free will lets us make our own fate, and that fate is what we always deserved. Fate does not make us choose, it is the result of our choices. "

Fate is a confusing topic; one that's confounded FAR more brilliant minds than my own. Since it appears that I'm incapable of answering your question in the way you want, let's move on to other questions and topics entirely. AKA: This is the ask James thread, not get in philosophical discussions/debates with James thread.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Hi James,
I'm creating a PC for an AP for the first time (always been the GM before now) and decided on a Summoner (unchained version), calling on a minor representative of his god, who he worships devoutly.

I'm enjoying creating the character, but I'm just curious about one thing... why is the Summoner an arcane caster, rather than divine? The flavour of the class seems to lean more towards divine magic, calling upon a celestial beings and fighting for a cause they agree with. Did you consider making it a divine magic class?

Thanks in advance for your answer!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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shadram wrote:

Hi James,

I'm creating a PC for an AP for the first time (always been the GM before now) and decided on a Summoner (unchained version), calling on a minor representative of his god, who he worships devoutly.

I'm enjoying creating the character, but I'm just curious about one thing... why is the Summoner an arcane caster, rather than divine? The flavour of the class seems to lean more towards divine magic, calling upon a celestial beings and fighting for a cause they agree with. Did you consider making it a divine magic class?

Thanks in advance for your answer!

That's a decision Jason and the design team made. It's pretty arbitrary; summoning is something that both arcane and divine casters do more or less equally well. I wasn't really involved in making that decision.


1) Looking back over nearly ten years of Pathfinder, are there things you wish you could go back and fix? Specifically, are there rules, design elements, or bits of canon (that are now pretty much a fixed part of the game, core rules or whatever) that today you really wish had been done differently?


2) Related but different question: is there a rule, design element, or bit of canon that COULD be fixed (because it's not core rules or whatever) but hasn't yet, that you really wish someone would get around to fixing?


3) And speaking of ten years: does anyone at Paizo yet have any plans for Pathfinder's 10th anniversary next year?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

1) Looking back over nearly ten years of Pathfinder, are there things you wish you could go back and fix? Specifically, are there rules, design elements, or bits of canon (that are now pretty much a fixed part of the game, core rules or whatever) that today you really wish had been done differently?

Of course there is.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
2) Related but different question: is there a rule, design element, or bit of canon that COULD be fixed (because it's not core rules or whatever) but hasn't yet, that you really wish someone would get around to fixing?

Perhaps.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:


3) And speaking of ten years: does anyone at Paizo yet have any plans for Pathfinder's 10th anniversary next year?

That sounds like a next year question to me. Still have plenty going on this year to keep me distracted.


Hi James! Will we get more info on the recent... um... "development" in Nocticula and Socothbenoth's relationship?


James Jacobs wrote:
Gauss wrote:

James:

Two questions about reach (I know you answered Lunes questions but mine, while related are different or restated for clarification purposes):

CRB p141 wrote:
Reach Weapons: Glaives, guisarmes, lances, longspears, ranseurs, and whips are reach weapons. A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren’t adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder’s natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. A typical Large character wielding a reach weapon of the appropriate size can attack a creature 15 or 20 feet away, but not adjacent creatures or creatures up to 10 feet away.

Please note the bolded section for the following questions.

1) A tiny or smaller creature has a reach of zero. Double of zero = zero.
1A) What is the reach of a tiny or smaller creature with a longspear? 1B) If greater than zero can the tiny or smaller creature attack in his own square or adjacent squares?

2) A Small or Medium creature using a Whip has a reach of 15'. This is not 'double natural reach' but is in fact triple the natural reach.
2A) What is the reach of a Large creature with a natural reach of 10 when using a whip? (20feet is double, 30feet is triple)
2B) What is the reach of a Huge creature with a natural reach of 15 when using a whip? (30feet is double, 45feet is triple)
2C) What is the reach of a Tiny or smaller creature with a natural reach of 0 when using a whip? (0feet is double, 0 feet is triple, see question 1)

Thanks for your time as always and welcome back!

- Gauss

First off... all of these situations are strange corner cases that the rules don't specifically address, really, but here's how I'd answer all of them:

1) Giving a tiny or smaller creature a reach weapon allows it to attack adjacent foes as if it were a Small or Medium creature.

2) Small is a weird size category that, for...

I apologize for bumping this really old question on whips and reach but this is especially important for a campaign I'm in with a disagreement I'm having with my GM. Thankfully he's open to an official ruling (not including from a creative director).

I would like to know what the reach would be for a large creature, huge creature, and colossal creature respectively. Can anybody offer guidance on where I can get an official ruling? Thanks!

EDIT!
There appears to be some inconsistency with your interpretation James as the Balor is known to use a whip although it only has 20ft of reach as a large creature.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Potato disciple wrote:
Hi James! Will we get more info on the recent... um... "development" in Nocticula and Socothbenoth's relationship?

Dunno.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
El_Razor wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gauss wrote:

James:

Two questions about reach (I know you answered Lunes questions but mine, while related are different or restated for clarification purposes):

CRB p141 wrote:
Reach Weapons: Glaives, guisarmes, lances, longspears, ranseurs, and whips are reach weapons. A reach weapon is a melee weapon that allows its wielder to strike at targets that aren’t adjacent to him. Most reach weapons double the wielder’s natural reach, meaning that a typical Small or Medium wielder of such a weapon can attack a creature 10 feet away, but not a creature in an adjacent square. A typical Large character wielding a reach weapon of the appropriate size can attack a creature 15 or 20 feet away, but not adjacent creatures or creatures up to 10 feet away.

Please note the bolded section for the following questions.

1) A tiny or smaller creature has a reach of zero. Double of zero = zero.
1A) What is the reach of a tiny or smaller creature with a longspear? 1B) If greater than zero can the tiny or smaller creature attack in his own square or adjacent squares?

2) A Small or Medium creature using a Whip has a reach of 15'. This is not 'double natural reach' but is in fact triple the natural reach.
2A) What is the reach of a Large creature with a natural reach of 10 when using a whip? (20feet is double, 30feet is triple)
2B) What is the reach of a Huge creature with a natural reach of 15 when using a whip? (30feet is double, 45feet is triple)
2C) What is the reach of a Tiny or smaller creature with a natural reach of 0 when using a whip? (0feet is double, 0 feet is triple, see question 1)

Thanks for your time as always and welcome back!

- Gauss

First off... all of these situations are strange corner cases that the rules don't specifically address, really, but here's how I'd answer all of them:

1) Giving a tiny or smaller creature a reach weapon allows it to attack adjacent foes as if it were a Small or Medium creature.

2) Small is a

...

Ask your GM. She/he has the say in your game.

Otherwise, rules questions need to be asked on the rules forums these days, so they can be FAQed and so the design team will see them.

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Potato disciple wrote:
Hi James! Will we get more info on the recent... um... "development" in Nocticula and Socothbenoth's relationship?
Dunno.

wait, what development?


Dear Mister Jacobs,

As a kind of mind hub of all things Pathfinder, I was curious: Would a Hellknight that embraced the teachings of one of the Great Old Ones or the Outer Gods be a kind of heretic in the eyes of most Hellknights?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Paladinosaur wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Potato disciple wrote:
Hi James! Will we get more info on the recent... um... "development" in Nocticula and Socothbenoth's relationship?
Dunno.
wait, what development?

Read their entries in the hardcover Book of the Damned.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Dear Mister Jacobs,

As a kind of mind hub of all things Pathfinder, I was curious: Would a Hellknight that embraced the teachings of one of the Great Old Ones or the Outer Gods be a kind of heretic in the eyes of most Hellknights?

Hellknights are above all else exemplars of order and law, be it evil or good or neutral. The Great Old Ones and Outer Gods are the source of chaos and entropy.

A Hellknight who embraces the teachings of one of the Great Old Ones or the Outer Gods is beyond a heretic. And certainly NOT a Hellknight.


James Jacobs wrote:
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

1) Looking back over nearly ten years of Pathfinder, are there things you wish you could go back and fix? Specifically, are there rules, design elements, or bits of canon (that are now pretty much a fixed part of the game, core rules or whatever) that today you really wish had been done differently?

Of course there is.

...are there any specific examples you'd be comfortable discussing?


Module question. Currently "Cradle of Night" has a preorder date of September 2018. Is that date a place-holder, or aspirational, or should we take it seriously?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

1) Looking back over nearly ten years of Pathfinder, are there things you wish you could go back and fix? Specifically, are there rules, design elements, or bits of canon (that are now pretty much a fixed part of the game, core rules or whatever) that today you really wish had been done differently?

Of course there is.

...are there any specific examples you'd be comfortable discussing?

Why the curiosity?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

DM_DM wrote:

Module question. Currently "Cradle of Night" has a preorder date of September 2018. Is that date a place-holder, or aspirational, or should we take it seriously?

It's a place-holder.


Are Gunslinger and Trophy Hunter Ranger levels intended to stack for deeds that can be selected?


Hi James,

Where on Golarion could one find Pipefoxes?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Grithen wrote:
Are Gunslinger and Trophy Hunter Ranger levels intended to stack for deeds that can be selected?

1) Ask your GM.

2) If you're the GM, or your GM doesn't want to answer, rules questions need to be posted to the rules question forum where others can tag the question with a FAQ click, where everyone can see that the question is asked and if it has a resolution, and where the design team will notice it in the first place.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Blissful Lightning wrote:

Hi James,

Where on Golarion could one find Pipefoxes?

Minkai.


James Jacobs wrote:

Why the curiosity?

Just that: curiosity. Why do we ask you anything?

More specifically, curious about the creative process, I guess. You've had nearly a decade to think back on it. James Cameron has gone public with second thoughts about Titanic, you know?* But it might not be a good question for this forum; in which case, no offense intended, and the question is withdrawn.

Doug M.

*most are minor, but says he really regrets the suicide of the first officer -- that guy was a real historical person, the suicide was an invention, and his family was legitimately offended.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Douglas Muir 406 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

Why the curiosity?

Just that: curiosity. Why do we ask you anything?

More specifically, curious about the creative process, I guess. You've had nearly a decade to think back on it. James Cameron has gone public with second thoughts about Titanic, you know?* But it might not be a good question for this forum; in which case, no offense intended, and the question is withdrawn.

Doug M.

*most are minor, but says he really regrets the suicide of the first officer -- that guy was a real historical person, the suicide was an invention, and his family was legitimately offended.

Thing is that Golarion and the Pathfinder RPG are not MY game. I am the creative director and I have a lot of influence on what goes into the game, but I also understand that parts of the game are not interesting to me or are things that I would have done differently. But other people really enjoy those parts of the game, and in the position I'm in, it's very difficult for me to say "I don't like this element of the game and wish we could change it" without fellow employees or authors we've hired reading that and interpreting it as "James hates what I do." I've voiced displeasure about things before and it backfires.

So no... there's not anything I'm comfortable discussing in public about specific elements of the game or the setting that I wish had been done differently.

I asked "Why the curiosity" because I'm pretty timid about this thing lately, since I've had some people use my comments out of context or take them too personally or misunderstand my meaning before. No offense intended, but I have no way of knowing if you're honestly curious or if you're trying to bait me into saying something someone can then use later against me, and so I've basically taken the stance going forward of being VERY careful about publicly speaking about parts of the game that I wish I'd done differently.

The major exception to that is things that I've written myself that I wish I'd done differently. I've been pretty vocal on those elements in the past and owned up to my own mistakes, but I'd rather not bring them up again.

If you're REALLY curious, you can always just read through this thread. There's plenty of examples of me throughout this giant thread where I put my foot in my mouth and talk about elements of the game I wish had been done differently that inadvertently ended up offending or angering or depressing or annoying the person who wrote that element.


I'm curious how you would rule this: a wizard with the new nail of blood item from "People of the Wastes" companion book is on a dead magic plane of his making. He casts astral projection, since his physical form is still in a dead magic zone would his astral projection still be able to cast?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CaptSnigs wrote:
I'm curious how you would rule this: a wizard with the new nail of blood item from "People of the Wastes" companion book is on a dead magic plane of his making. He casts astral projection, since his physical form is still in a dead magic zone would his astral projection still be able to cast?

I've not read "People of the Wastes" so I have no idea what a "nail of blood" is or does; I suggest asking this question in the "People of the Wastes" product thread so folks can FAQ it and so you can get feedback from those who have read the book and perhaps from its authors or developers.


Thanks! I was just curious what you thought about it. It essentially let's you cast a small amount of spells in dead magic zones

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