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


Off-Topic Discussions

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Grand Lodge

Dear James Jacobs,

What all does an Andoran knighting ceremony entail? Is it a standard ceremony for all or is each ceremony specific for each candidate? Is it actually a ceremony or is it just a letter from the government?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Also why doesn't barbato's have the animal domain when he's the archdevil of animals?
Because he only gets two domains that aren't Law or Evil, and Magic and Travel make more sense for him.

Really? Care to elaborate a little more? I'm interested to understand the thought behind that

Also on an earlier post I've read Botd volume 1 on belial and 2 on Soconbenoth, was kind of why I was asking about both of them as they seem really similar and I couldn't really find a character facet that really felt like it separated them out. I know Belial is an archdevil but he kind of feels off for it, I mean even his home and station as the leader of the 4th layer seem out of place with him running this giant pleasure palace over a fuming sea of foundry ash and smoke. It even mentions that he's kind of not really into his job there and finds himself more interested in pulling out the most attractive souls for his own ends and trying to emulate the process that made him. Now don't get me wrong I love that about him but I'm just wondering if I'm missing something in his writeup that explains his lawfulness outside of being an archdevil or if he's really kind of more lax about that L part of his alignment.

3rd thing, Why does the whore queen doloras have repose, what part of her beliefs does it represent?


1. What's to stop a powerful wizard from using a handmaiden devil to easily purchase and transport slaves from afar? It would certainly seem more practical than slow and easily-targeted caravans.

2. Could a powerful wizard commission a pit fiend's devil shaping? If so then at what price?

3. Could a wizard use charm monster or somesuch to ensure cooperation after casting planar binding?

4. While Sermignatto saw "in [Ileosa] many parallels with his ancient mistress, Sorshen" (Pathfinder #12, p.37), there were also differences. Sorshen seems less envious and more affectionate than Ileosa (which isn't saying much) from what I've gathered. What were the main psychological differences between the two psychos?

5. Given how Sorshen liked to seduce other runelords, that'd leave behind some "Body part, lock of hair, bit of nail, etc." that could be used for nightmare or scrying. Did she have some sort of protection (besides mind blank and spell resistance, which only help so much) or did she simply clean up after herself with prestidigitation?

Contributor

doc the grey wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Also why doesn't barbato's have the animal domain when he's the archdevil of animals?
Because he only gets two domains that aren't Law or Evil, and Magic and Travel make more sense for him.

Really? Care to elaborate a little more? I'm interested to understand the thought behind that

Also on an earlier post I've read Botd volume 1 on belial and 2 on Soconbenoth, was kind of why I was asking about both of them as they seem really similar and I couldn't really find a character facet that really felt like it separated them out. I know Belial is an archdevil but he kind of feels off for it, I mean even his home and station as the leader of the 4th layer seem out of place with him running this giant pleasure palace over a fuming sea of foundry ash and smoke. It even mentions that he's kind of not really into his job there and finds himself more interested in pulling out the most attractive souls for his own ends and trying to emulate the process that made him. Now don't get me wrong I love that about him but I'm just wondering if I'm missing something in his writeup that explains his lawfulness outside of being an archdevil or if he's really kind of more lax about that L part of his alignment.

3rd thing, Why does the whore queen doloras have repose, what part of her beliefs does it represent?

NJJ, but here's my take on it.

In order to understand what makes Socobenoth and Belial different, we need to look at what makes Demon Lords and Archdevils different. I think the big thing that separates Demon Lords and Archdevils is that Demon Lords are very easy to summarize and Archdevils are not; Demon Lords embody something specific while an Archdevil's "domains" are more the methods by which they try to catch mortals in Hell's web. For example, you can easy say that the following sentences summarize their respective Demon Lords.

Socobenoth = Embodiment of satisfying carnal urges.
Nocticula = Embodiment of carnal urges.

Its much harder to do this for Belial. Belial is more about corruption; he ultimately tries to seduce relatively good people into acting on their darkest desires; one of the examples that best exemplifies this is that he will grant youth to the aged in exchange for stealing the youth of the young. The quest for immortal life isn't inherently evil (though some methods may end up annoying Pharasma more than others), but stealing one person's golden years to relive your own is one of the most horrendous things you can do.

Hope that helps.

Contributor

NJJ, but here are some of my takes on the first three (can't pretend to be James and answer character questions, after all. :-P)

AlgaeNymph wrote:
1. What's to stop a powerful wizard from using a handmaiden devil to easily purchase and transport slaves from afar? It would certainly seem more practical than slow and easily-targeted caravans.

Morality and a limited number of uses daily of planar binding. In all seriousness, that seems like the kind of thing that'll damn you forever.

Quote:
2. Could a powerful wizard commission a pit fiend's devil shaping? If so then at what price?

Price of the Plot. If I were GM, I'd ask for a number of Hit Dice of children's souls, contained by trap the soul equal to the number of Hit Dice the wizard wants shaping. Plus the wizard's immortal soul, but if you're willing to kill that many children, you're probably not too worried about your immortal soul.

Quote:
3. Could a wizard use charm monster or some such to ensure cooperation after casting planar binding?

Charm effects make a creature look favorably upon the caster, but they can't force a creature to do something they wouldn't normally do. I'd say that if you wanted to ensure cooperation beyond reasonable doubt, you'd need dominate monster.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:

NJJ, but here are some of my takes on the first three (can't pretend to be James and answer character questions, after all. :-P)

AlgaeNymph wrote:
1. What's to stop a powerful wizard from using a handmaiden devil to easily purchase and transport slaves from afar? It would certainly seem more practical than slow and easily-targeted caravans.

Morality and a limited number of uses daily of planar binding. In all seriousness, that seems like the kind of thing that'll damn you forever.

NJJ here too, but what are minion for? Sure, if I want powerful guy XX I could bargain with a powerful devil for her services, but to move some hundred of common slaves? That is underminion 27 job, not mine.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Also why doesn't barbato's have the animal domain when he's the archdevil of animals?
Because he only gets two domains that aren't Law or Evil, and Magic and Travel make more sense for him.

Really? Care to elaborate a little more? I'm interested to understand the thought behind that

Also on an earlier post I've read Botd volume 1 on belial and 2 on Soconbenoth, was kind of why I was asking about both of them as they seem really similar and I couldn't really find a character facet that really felt like it separated them out. I know Belial is an archdevil but he kind of feels off for it, I mean even his home and station as the leader of the 4th layer seem out of place with him running this giant pleasure palace over a fuming sea of foundry ash and smoke. It even mentions that he's kind of not really into his job there and finds himself more interested in pulling out the most attractive souls for his own ends and trying to emulate the process that made him. Now don't get me wrong I love that about him but I'm just wondering if I'm missing something in his writeup that explains his lawfulness outside of being an archdevil or if he's really kind of more lax about that L part of his alignment.

3rd thing, Why does the whore queen doloras have repose, what part of her beliefs does it represent?

NJJ, but here's my take on it.

In order to understand what makes Socobenoth and Belial different, we need to look at what makes Demon Lords and Archdevils different. I think the big thing that separates Demon Lords and Archdevils is that Demon Lords are very easy to summarize and Archdevils are not; Demon Lords embody something specific while an Archdevil's "domains" are more the methods by which they try to catch mortals in Hell's web. For example, you can easy say that the following sentences summarize their respective Demon Lords.

Socobenoth = Embodiment of satisfying carnal urges.
Nocticula = Embodiment of...

The problem I have with all that is it more explains his devilishness and not his lawfulness. It's written that devils get their kicks from infecting the minds of others with sinful thoughts and damning themselves but with Belial we don't really have a good example of what makes him lawful like his kin. In fact he feels like he has a bit more in common with Nocticula and her brother which is why I ask, I would love to either have some good examples and character explanations to show their differences or a further affirmation of similarity. To be really honest I would love to hear that he is potentially more laid back on the law aspect then his kin as it makes some interesting play between him and some of the demons like the aforementioned. I would love to find out that he has some of the strongest allies amongst the demons of any devil and thanks to his more lazi fair attitude he can associate with them at least partially.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Are most of the whore queen's cleric's female or do they usually get an even split? Also what is the gender breakdown for the other archdevils and Asmodeus in particular?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Luna_Silvertear wrote:
James, I am trying to create a world for my game that is flat with two moon and a sun rotating around it. I can't fully explain or even comprehend the climatic effect that this would have upon the world (Seasons, tides, climates, etc.). I COULD say 'because I'm the GM, it is what it is, but I think that would suspend belief. Would you approach it scientifically ( such as real world explanations) or in a Magical/mythological (Persephone going to be with Hades during which her mother is sad, thus causing winter) sort of way? Also, what happens when you sail off the side of the world? <.< >.> I bet you'd land on a turtle's shell in a pile of elephant dung. ^_^

That's the reason Golarion (and my homebrew setting) is round, the same size as Earth, has one Moon sized moon, and is 1 AU from the sun.

If you want to make a world that breaks some or all of these rules... you need to either have players that are as willing to suspend disbelief as you are (and aren't the types to try to tell you how things would work in your setting just because they happen to be an astrophysicist or whatever)...

...OR you just have to be smarter than all your players and be ready to answer their questions about what happens when you go over the edge of the world.

IF I were to build a world that has fundamentally different features like this... I'd likely approach it as magical or mythological, since I'm not smart enough in science to explain how a flat world with two moons might, say, influence tides.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Icyshadow wrote:
Lucent wrote:
An Insane T-Rex wrote:


Mythic's got its own capstone monsters. Demon lords, kaiju, arch devils, Cthulhu
Heart stopped in chest

Oh hell yeah, someone ordered some sushi.

And we get to legitimately DEFEAT him, actually?

No "surprise twist, you lose" or anything included?

That's up to your GM, whether or not we publish stats for Cthulhu.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alleran wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It's because she's smarter than most of us, for one thing, and because she keeps track of her clones, and if she's active, she'd know pretty quickly if one of her clones has gone off the ranch. I'm not really willing to reveal much more about Sorshen at this point though...

So Ileosa keeps track of Sorshen's clones? That sounds... very interesting indeed.

Any hints about just which Shattered Star adventures to look forward to in particular?

Also, how would some of the other "20+" wizards compare with the Runelords on a scaling list? For example, Xanderghul is the most "powerful" Runelord, but where would Nex and Geb sit in comparison? Jetembe? Or Tar-Baphon?

One last question regarding Sorshen, but this one aimed at demonic interaction, what sort of relationship did she share with Alaznist? Other than the openly antagonistic, that is. Sorshen obviously wasn't shy about making deals with particular demon lords (e.g. Nocticula), though it seems to have been Alaznist's "game" moreso than it was hers. Were there many clashes between the two of them based on their interaction with demons? Alaznist using demons to try and one-up Sorshen and make a separate deal with Nocticula, Sorshen doing the same in return, and that sort of thing? Sorshen herself wasn't particularly devout, basing her "worship" on convenience and necessity rather than actual piety, but if she could have taken a solid shot at either Alaznist or Xanderghul via demon "worship" or deals, would she have done so?

The last Shattered Star adventure has an article about the runelords... so that would be one of them.

As for how the powerful wizards compare in power... not 100% sure yet, but I'd say both Sorshen and Xanderghul would be more or less on par with Tar-Baphon and Jetembe, but Nex and Geb would be a little less powerful.

Sorshen and Alaznist's realms were pretty much in a cold war, more or less. Sorshen enjoyed how Alaznist and Karzoug were at war all the time, and as such was content to let them hurl their resources at each other while she continued to build her power.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lord Embok wrote:

Hi again.

James Jacobs wrote:
No Adventure Path is canon except with respect to itself. (The only exception being Shattered Star, which assumes Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, and Second Darkness have all taken place.)
Could this be problematic if I were to run Shattered Star? The Rise of the Runelords campaign I'm playing in isn't very far in yet. (Also, could it affect my ability to play in Curse of the Crimson Throne or Second Darkness in the future?)

Only if you're concerned that you maintain internal continuity between your games, and if you're concerned with players getting spoiled on plot elements in the earlier adventure paths.

But no more so than, say, watching Return of the King before you watch Lord of the Rings. Some surprises might be spoiled, but Lord of the Rings is still a great movie.


Do you think a person can be good despite taking immense joy in the suffering of others?

Last time I had to read the last rites to a dead child at a funeral, I felt like laughing out loud.

Not because the situation was absurd, but because the sight of the people mourning amused me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

judas 147 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Matrixryu wrote:

James,

So, you're pretty outspoken about not liking summoners, and you and a lot of other GMs seem to be banning them from games because people think they are disruptive or overpowered.

Personally, Summoner is my favorite class in the game just because of the flavor and variety you get can out of it, so I have to ask this: have you heard anything about any plans to somehow address the perceived issues with the class? I would rather it be nerfed or rewritten than outright banned from so many tables.

At this point, no—it's already in print and has been in play for years. The genie's out of the bottle, and cramming it back in would do more harm than good. If your GM is fine with the summoner, then you're good to go. If your GM is not, I would recommend playing a druid instead—they don't grant the ability to build a wacky outlandish minion, but in basic game play, they're probably the closest to what a summoner does.

Which, I suppose, is good news for anyone who really likes the summoner, because my required changes to the class would only disappoint and anger those gamers.

i can say something?

i guess theres are a lot of reason to not set a class with a lot of uniques spells, but in the case of alchemist... i dont know, the class is good. Did u notice the witcher system in the pc? he makes potions and mutagens and it dwell good in pfrpg (if not i recomend u to point of reference) and the system for bombs from assassins creed revelations?

i drop youre options for the alchemist which in the best of the case is: another wizard with another way to launch a spell (i make the adaptation to those i mencioning, if u want. but are in spanish)

i really love the class, but im so tired for the spellcaster classes doing or emulating the same spell at all.

The witcher is the primary inspiration and influence on the alchemist, in fact.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

JoelF847 wrote:

First of all, happy Thanksgiving!

What do you think about the movie, The Man with the Iron Fists? Either based on seeing it or based on previews?

Haven't seen it. Was disappointed at its reviews, but I'll still be seeing it at some point. Probably not till it hits Netflix though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Diego Rossi wrote:

A question about Windy escape:

PRD wrote:

Windy Escape

School transmutation [air]; Level bard 1, druid 1, magus 1, sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 1 immediate action
Components V, S
Range personal
Target you
Duration instantaneous

You respond to an attack by briefly becoming vaporous and insubstantial, allowing the attack to pass harmlessly through you. You gain DR 10/magic against this attack and are immune to any poison, sneak attacks, or critical hit effect from that attack.

You cannot use windy escape against an attack of opportunity you provoked by casting a spell, using a spell-like ability, or using any other magical ability that provokes an attack of opportunity when used.

The few posts that I have seen about this spell all assume that it can cast only before the attack roll, i.e. between the time in which the target is announced and the GM announce if the hit connect or not.

Honestly that interpretation seem to make the spell practically useless. Its duration is instantaneous so you benefit from it only if you are hit and then the protection isn't anything stellar unless, by chance, you are casting it exactly when the enemy get a critical hit. The only exception is against a rogue flanking you.

On the other hand casting it after you know that a hit is a critical make it too strong.

- * -

PRD wrote:


Ring of Force Shield

Aura moderate evocation; CL 9th
Slot ring; Price 8,500 gp; Weight —
Description

An iron band, this simple ring generates a shield-sized (and shield-shaped) wall of force that stays with the ring and can be wielded by the wearer as if it were a heavy shield (+2 AC). This special creation has no armor check penalty or arcane spell failure chance since it is weightless and encumbrance-free. It can be activated and deactivated at will as a free action.

This ring give a shield bonus to AC or an untyped bonus that stack with everything?

"wielded by the wearer as if it were a heavy shield" mean that your hand is encumbered when wielding the ring?

An interpretation that makes a spell useless is, I would hope, not the right interpretation.

Windy escape is cast as an immediate action. That means you can cast it whenever you want, before or after an attack roll. I'd say before the damage is rolled, though, because once damage is rolled, it sticks. You can't cast it once you're under critical threat, because that second roll already ensures you're hit, but you can certainly cast the spell once that die roll comes up a threat.

And the ring of force shield gives you a shield bonus to AC. And the ring specifically says that the shield is weightless and encumbrance-free, so it doesn't mean that your hand is encumbered.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
kevin_video wrote:

James, question about the Elysian Titan from Bestiary 2. It says that it's a CR 21, but by making it a Prophet Elysian Titan, it gains the spells of a 20th level cleric for +1 CR? How? That's way to low an adjustment. Is it a typo? Do those spells replace the spell-like abilities? That'd make it a little easier to swallow. Or is that on top of the SLA? I know they don't get the domains or bonus spells from that, but that's still a lot of spells.

To put it in perspective that gives her 4/7/6/6/6/6/5/5/5/5. Having access to Antimagic Field, Fire Storm, and Implosion up to 5/day should be worth more than just a +1 CR.

It's not a typo that giving her 20th level spellcasting gives her a +1 CR. The elysian titan's already really REALLY strong at CR 21, and if you give her lots of spellcasting power... that certianly drastically increases her options and versatility in a battle, but she's still only doing one set of actions per round. When she's casting things like fire storm and antimagic field and implosion, she's not doing her titan stuff; she's basically just functioning like a 20th level spellcaster, which is a CR 19 creature... two points lower than the non-spellcasting titan.

Now... if that extra spellcasting came with 20 class levels of feats, skill ranks, hit dice, BAB and save adjustments, and all that... THAT would be worth a lot more.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ulgulanoth wrote:
I've been looking at pathfinder society game and I thought, I like the idea of prestige points, but I have no idea how to award them to my players in non-PFS games, how would you do it?

Check out Shattered Star for an example. The short version—the PCs earn 4-6 Prestige each time they level up.

The Faction Guide has more rules for how to use prestige in a non PFS game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Haladir wrote:

Happy Thanksgiving, James!

What's your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Thanks!

AND: Pumpkin Pie.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LoreKeeper wrote:

Hi James, I've enjoyed the NPC Codex and it made me formulate new character ideas. I would like some input on what you think is appropriate action cost for the following concept: imagine I'm running a monk that wears multiple amulets of mighty fists at the same time, in a form of monastic rosary (picture the guy on page 61 in Ultimate Combat). The different amulets would be tied to different elements (i.e. a flaming amulet, a freezing amulet, and so forth). Naturally the monk only benefits from one at a time - the question is, what is an appropriate cost to switch the active amulet?

(I picture it taking 2 move actions, one to "take off" the prior amulet, and a second one to "put on" the follow-up amulet. But I'm keen to hear your perspective on this.)

Standard action to switch. For someone wielding a lot of different weapons, they would normally free action to drop the current weapon, then draw the new weapon as a standard action. They could speed things up with Quick Draw.

By simply having the monk make a Standard action to switch, that more or less puts this tactic right between those two extremes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

akitayne wrote:

Dear James Jacobs,

What all does an Andoran knighting ceremony entail? Is it a standard ceremony for all or is each ceremony specific for each candidate? Is it actually a ceremony or is it just a letter from the government?

Different ceremonies for different knighthoods. They're pretty similar overall, but the details vary.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

doc the grey wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Also why doesn't barbato's have the animal domain when he's the archdevil of animals?
Because he only gets two domains that aren't Law or Evil, and Magic and Travel make more sense for him.

Really? Care to elaborate a little more? I'm interested to understand the thought behind that

Also on an earlier post I've read Botd volume 1 on belial and 2 on Soconbenoth, was kind of why I was asking about both of them as they seem really similar and I couldn't really find a character facet that really felt like it separated them out. I know Belial is an archdevil but he kind of feels off for it, I mean even his home and station as the leader of the 4th layer seem out of place with him running this giant pleasure palace over a fuming sea of foundry ash and smoke. It even mentions that he's kind of not really into his job there and finds himself more interested in pulling out the most attractive souls for his own ends and trying to emulate the process that made him. Now don't get me wrong I love that about him but I'm just wondering if I'm missing something in his writeup that explains his lawfulness outside of being an archdevil or if he's really kind of more lax about that L part of his alignment.

3rd thing, Why does the whore queen doloras have repose, what part of her beliefs does it represent?

All deities get the domain associated with their alignment; deities with a Neutral component end up with more domain variety as a result. Wes would be the one to talk to for the details about why Barbatos ended up without Animals, but the basic thing is that Animals aren't as infernal as the other two choices.

The big thing that separates Belial and Socothbenoth is the fact that one's a devil and one's a demon. Devils prefer to prey upon a mortal's mind and faith, whereas demons prefer to prey upon a mortal's body and emotions. So... while the two are pretty similar in themes, their personalities and methods and end goals are quite different.

As for Doloras and Repose... that's DEFINITELY a Wes question.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AlgaeNymph wrote:

1. What's to stop a powerful wizard from using a handmaiden devil to easily purchase and transport slaves from afar? It would certainly seem more practical than slow and easily-targeted caravans.

2. Could a powerful wizard commission a pit fiend's devil shaping? If so then at what price?

3. Could a wizard use charm monster or somesuch to ensure cooperation after casting planar binding?

4. While Sermignatto saw "in [Ileosa] many parallels with his ancient mistress, Sorshen" (Pathfinder #12, p.37), there were also differences. Sorshen seems less envious and more affectionate than Ileosa (which isn't saying much) from what I've gathered. What were the main psychological differences between the two psychos?

5. Given how Sorshen liked to seduce other runelords, that'd leave behind some "Body part, lock of hair, bit of nail, etc." that could be used for nightmare or scrying. Did she have some sort of protection (besides mind blank and spell resistance, which only help so much) or did she simply clean up after herself with prestidigitation?

1) Nothing... although as with most outsiders, the handmaiden devil can't really teleport with her captured victims.

2) He could. It would cost a LOT. Probably more than it's worth if the pit fiend were roleplayed properly. And probably not just in gold. The final price should be determined via roleplaying...

3) Yup. Although that's a great way to more or less guarantee whatever you're dealing with will be really angry at you when all the spells wear off...

4) Sorshen is stronger and smarter and more beautiful and more elegant, but Illeosa is scrappier and more impulsive and takes bigger risks.

5) A lot of both.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alexander Augunas wrote:
In order to understand what makes Socobenoth and Belial different, we need to look at what makes Demon Lords and Archdevils different. I think the big thing that separates Demon Lords and Archdevils is that Demon Lords are very easy to summarize and Archdevils are not; Demon Lords embody something specific while an Archdevil's "domains" are more the methods by which they try to catch mortals in Hell's web.

Anyone who assumes demon lords are easy to summarize and don't have surprises in games I run ends up in trouble fast! :P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

doc the grey wrote:
The problem I have with all that is it more explains his devilishness and not his lawfulness. It's written that devils get their kicks from infecting the minds of others with sinful thoughts and damning themselves but with Belial we don't really have a good example of what makes him lawful like his kin. In fact he feels like he has a bit more in common with Nocticula and her brother which is why I ask, I would love to either have some good examples and character explanations to show their differences or a further affirmation of similarity. To be really honest I would love to hear that he is potentially more laid back on the law aspect then his kin as it makes some interesting play between him and some of the demons like the aforementioned. I would love to find out that he has some of the strongest allies amongst the demons of any devil and thanks to his more lazi fair attitude he can associate with them at least partially.

Well... I can talk forever about the demon side of things... but I'm not the devil expert at Paizo. Wes handles that stuff; he'd be the one to talk to about Belial's specific details.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

doc the grey wrote:
Are most of the whore queen's cleric's female or do they usually get an even split? Also what is the gender breakdown for the other archdevils and Asmodeus in particular?

The bulk of the Whore Queen worshipers are female, while the majority of all the worshipers of other archdevils and Asmodeus are male. Devils are, by and large, pretty misogynistic, and lots of those traits tend to get carried into their church hierarchies.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sotiria Spiros wrote:

Do you think a person can be good despite taking immense joy in the suffering of others?

Last time I had to read the last rites to a dead child at a funeral, I felt like laughing out loud.

Not because the situation was absurd, but because the sight of the people mourning amused me.

I do not. To me, "taking immense joy in the suffering of others" is pretty much the definition of evil.


James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
What's to stop a powerful wizard from using a handmaiden devil to easily purchase and transport slaves from afar? It would certainly seem more practical than slow and easily-targeted caravans.
Nothing... although as with most outsiders, the handmaiden devil can't really teleport with her captured victims.

But her greater teleport stats say "(self plus 1 entrapped creature and 50 lbs. of goods only)," and I checked both the SRD and Bestiary 2.


James Jacobs wrote:
Sotiria Spiros wrote:

Do you think a person can be good despite taking immense joy in the suffering of others?

Last time I had to read the last rites to a dead child at a funeral, I felt like laughing out loud.

Not because the situation was absurd, but because the sight of the people mourning amused me.

I do not. To me, "taking immense joy in the suffering of others" is pretty much the definition of evil.

So, I'm cursed into a damned existence in spite of my insistence of protecting others from harm and helping those in need?

I wouldn't personally say she registers as Evil, since her behaviour is all Neutral Good while her thoughts are pretty Evil on occasion.
The only active hurting she does is against undead, and when she jokes about something exceptionally morbid. And of course her earlier example.


Alleran wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It's because she's smarter than most of us, for one thing, and because she keeps track of her clones, and if she's active, she'd know pretty quickly if one of her clones has gone off the ranch. I'm not really willing to reveal much more about Sorshen at this point though...
So Ileosa keeps track of Sorshen's clones? That sounds... very interesting indeed.

I'm pretty sure he meant to say that Sorshen kept track of her clones, if only because I wouldn't describe Ileosa as smart.


James Jacobs wrote:
Luna_Silvertear wrote:
James, I am trying to create a world for my game that is flat with two moon and a sun rotating around it. I can't fully explain or even comprehend the climatic effect that this would have upon the world (Seasons, tides, climates, etc.). I COULD say 'because I'm the GM, it is what it is, but I think that would suspend belief. Would you approach it scientifically ( such as real world explanations) or in a Magical/mythological (Persephone going to be with Hades during which her mother is sad, thus causing winter) sort of way? Also, what happens when you sail off the side of the world? <.< >.> I bet you'd land on a turtle's shell in a pile of elephant dung. ^_^

James' Answer:
That's the reason Golarion (and my homebrew setting) is round, the same size as Earth, has one Moon sized moon, and is 1 AU from the sun.

If you want to make a world that breaks some or all of these rules... you need to either have players that are as willing to suspend disbelief as you are (and aren't the types to try to tell you how things would work in your setting just because they happen to be an astrophysicist or whatever)...

...OR you just have to be smarter than all your players and be ready to answer their questions about what happens when you go over the edge of the world.

IF I were to build a world that has fundamentally different features like this... I'd likely approach it as magical or mythological, since I'm not smart enough in science to explain how a flat world with two moons might, say, influence tides.

Thank you very much James. Your sagacious advice is much appreciated. I give a nod to you in reverence.


James Jacobs wrote:
As it turns out, that information DID get into Lords of Madness. It's right there on page 28. The fact that I couldn't just use those names for the elder evils is what annoyed me, but being able to put that section in anyway was a good consolation prize.

Oh my bad ! Sorry. I missed that. Anyway, I think that adding the Cthulhu mythos in D&D or Pathfinder is a great idea. And since I love Lovecraft's writings, all the better for me. ^^


James Jacobs wrote:
LoreKeeper wrote:

Hi James, I've enjoyed the NPC Codex and it made me formulate new character ideas. I would like some input on what you think is appropriate action cost for the following concept: imagine I'm running a monk that wears multiple amulets of mighty fists at the same time, in a form of monastic rosary (picture the guy on page 61 in Ultimate Combat). The different amulets would be tied to different elements (i.e. a flaming amulet, a freezing amulet, and so forth). Naturally the monk only benefits from one at a time - the question is, what is an appropriate cost to switch the active amulet?

(I picture it taking 2 move actions, one to "take off" the prior amulet, and a second one to "put on" the follow-up amulet. But I'm keen to hear your perspective on this.)

Standard action to switch. For someone wielding a lot of different weapons, they would normally free action to drop the current weapon, then draw the new weapon as a standard action. They could speed things up with Quick Draw.

By simply having the monk make a Standard action to switch, that more or less puts this tactic right between those two extremes.

Thanks!

Perhaps keep this in mind for NPC Codex 2; a CR 15 monk "lord of the bling" that uses this kind of mechanic. ;)


James Jacobs,
Is the 'Wrath of the Righteous' mythic AP concerning the Worldwound going to take players to level 20 and/or mythic tier 10? I know you said part of the problem with building an AP getting characters to that level is that you run out of room/pre-built things to throw at characters around levels 15 or 16. Seems with all the wacko demons and such involved, that might not be a problem in this AP.
Also, I'm thinking of taking a look at either Second Darkness or Curse of the Crimson Throne. Which do you think is cooler? Any shortcomings that would make them difficult to run or unenjoyable to players I should know about, so as to modify them?
Lastly, if you could wild-shape into a dinosaur, but NOT a T-rex or similar species, which would it be? How about if it had to be an herbivore?
Many thanks!


Cerberus Seven wrote:

James Jacobs,

Is the 'Wrath of the Righteous' mythic AP concerning the Worldwound going to take players to level 20 and/or mythic tier 10? I know you said part of the problem with building an AP getting characters to that level is that you run out of room/pre-built things to throw at characters around levels 15 or 16. Seems with all the wacko demons and such involved, that might not be a problem in this AP.
Also, I'm thinking of taking a look at either Second Darkness or Curse of the Crimson Throne. Which do you think is cooler? Any shortcomings that would make them difficult to run or unenjoyable to players I should know about, so as to modify them?
Lastly, if you could wild-shape into a dinosaur, but NOT a T-rex or similar species, which would it be? How about if it had to be an herbivore?
Many thanks!

I would suggest visiting each AP's respective sub-forum and read the GM tips that have been posted there.


Tels wrote:
Cerberus Seven wrote:

James Jacobs,

Is the 'Wrath of the Righteous' mythic AP concerning the Worldwound going to take players to level 20 and/or mythic tier 10? I know you said part of the problem with building an AP getting characters to that level is that you run out of room/pre-built things to throw at characters around levels 15 or 16. Seems with all the wacko demons and such involved, that might not be a problem in this AP.
Also, I'm thinking of taking a look at either Second Darkness or Curse of the Crimson Throne. Which do you think is cooler? Any shortcomings that would make them difficult to run or unenjoyable to players I should know about, so as to modify them?
Lastly, if you could wild-shape into a dinosaur, but NOT a T-rex or similar species, which would it be? How about if it had to be an herbivore?
Many thanks!
I would suggest visiting each AP's respective sub-forum and read the GM tips that have been posted there.

Good point, I forget sometimes that each AP has their own board like that. Still would like to know James opinion on which AP is cooler overall, though!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:
It really makes you wish that J.K. Rowling played more with this cultural aspect of the students. Considering that the Sorting Hat basically casts some combination of detect alignment and detect thoughts when making its choice, you'd think that there would be a lot more prejudice at Hogwarts between the students if not the staff as well.

Maybe. Or maybe it's actually reading the future and putting pieces in place. Or it's actually an artifact designed by a wizard in the past who's playing out a Xanatoisan game of putting chess pieces where he wants them to be.

Also keep in mind that these artifacts (like the Goblet of Fire) can and have been manipulated by others.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi James!

What lies between the Stormspear Mountains/Hills (Linnorm Kings) and the Rimethirst Mountains (Crown of the World)?

I've seen implications that there are 800 miles of unmapped wilderness there, but wanted to confirm for my new Jade Regent campaign.

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
In order to understand what makes Socobenoth and Belial different, we need to look at what makes Demon Lords and Archdevils different. I think the big thing that separates Demon Lords and Archdevils is that Demon Lords are very easy to summarize and Archdevils are not; Demon Lords embody something specific while an Archdevil's "domains" are more the methods by which they try to catch mortals in Hell's web.
Anyone who assumes demon lords are easy to summarize and don't have surprises in games I run ends up in trouble fast! :P

I don't think I ever said that demon lords don't have surprises. My point was that the demon lord's theme is a lot easier to summarize than the archdevil's theme.

Also, forgive me if I make my own assumptions that you're giddy from writing whatever horrible things the demon lord in Wrath of the Righteous will do to the PCs. :-P


Did you have a good Thanksgiving, James?

Since Golarion is round like Earth... Have the people of Golarion discovered how time zones work? Does teleporting to Tian Xia give you jet lag?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
katherinethegreat wrote:
Does teleporting to Tian Xia give you jet lag?

Wouldn't that be Gate Lag, instead?

*scnr*

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
What's to stop a powerful wizard from using a handmaiden devil to easily purchase and transport slaves from afar? It would certainly seem more practical than slow and easily-targeted caravans.
Nothing... although as with most outsiders, the handmaiden devil can't really teleport with her captured victims.
But her greater teleport stats say "(self plus 1 entrapped creature and 50 lbs. of goods only)," and I checked both the SRD and Bestiary 2.

Oh! I thought that was in there, but my quick scan of the ability missed it.

So yeah... the only thing stopping a spellcaster from using it to transport slaves and whatever is the fact that it's inefficient if the caster can teleport himself, since teleport's a less complex, lower level spell.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sotiria Spiros wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Sotiria Spiros wrote:

Do you think a person can be good despite taking immense joy in the suffering of others?

Last time I had to read the last rites to a dead child at a funeral, I felt like laughing out loud.

Not because the situation was absurd, but because the sight of the people mourning amused me.

I do not. To me, "taking immense joy in the suffering of others" is pretty much the definition of evil.

So, I'm cursed into a damned existence in spite of my insistence of protecting others from harm and helping those in need?

I wouldn't personally say she registers as Evil, since her behaviour is all Neutral Good while her thoughts are pretty Evil on occasion.
The only active hurting she does is against undead, and when she jokes about something exceptionally morbid. And of course her earlier example.

In Golarion, yes, you'd probably end up being damned in the afterlife unless you managed to outweigh the evil of taking joy in another's suffering with good acts. Keeping that joy hidden and not acting on it certainly helps.

But a character who enjoys the suffering of others but who protects others from harm and helps those in need isn't neutral good, unless the character's insane. If the character is not insane, that alignment feels more lawful neutral to me; someone who enjoys suffering but has a regimented focus on helping others despite the fact that they're secretly a sadist.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AlgaeNymph wrote:
Alleran wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It's because she's smarter than most of us, for one thing, and because she keeps track of her clones, and if she's active, she'd know pretty quickly if one of her clones has gone off the ranch. I'm not really willing to reveal much more about Sorshen at this point though...
So Ileosa keeps track of Sorshen's clones? That sounds... very interesting indeed.
I'm pretty sure he meant to say that Sorshen kept track of her clones, if only because I wouldn't describe Ileosa as smart.

Yeah. Sorshen knows where her clones are and tracks them

Ileosa does not.


More questions, now with numbering!
1) When creating homebrew stuff, when is it best to use existing material from the bestiaries and when is making new monsters or templates a good idea?
2) Following up on that, do know or anyone you know pronounce it as BEASTiary? Tundra, Zhangar, and more of us have been doing that for a while, just realized a couple months ago that's NOT how it's spelled.
3) Why ARE Devils misogynistic? Is it because of something with Saranrae? Or Calistria? Did Desna turn Dispater down for a date? Did a succubus give Asmodeus crotch rot or something back at the dawn of time?
4) Speaking of Gods, how do you determine which gods are more 'multi-versal' as opposed to Golarion specific? For example: Pharasma and Asmodeus deal with souls from pretty much all worlds, whereas Aroden and Norgorber are only specific to Golarion. How do their power levels change with that in mind? Also, which category is Desna in?
5) You've stated before there's nothing like Ley Lines in Golarion...but the Menhir Savant archetype for druids seems to state otherwise. Do they exist but they're simply not anything special and/or you guys don't plan to do anything with them?
6) I was under the impression monsters with a certain type of damage resistance had their natural weapons count as penetrative to that specific type of DR. Ergo, dragons could smack right through each others protective hides to full effect. Is that not the case? If it IS the case, is it just for DR/magic or can other types do it to each other? How about something with DR/adamantine striking through DR/adamantine AND DR/magic with it's natural attacks?
7) Lastly, easy one: do you feel that the proper time for Christmas decorations and songs on the radio is only AFTER Thanksgiving is over?
Thanks, hope you had a good Turkey Day!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cerberus Seven wrote:

James Jacobs,

Is the 'Wrath of the Righteous' mythic AP concerning the Worldwound going to take players to level 20 and/or mythic tier 10? I know you said part of the problem with building an AP getting characters to that level is that you run out of room/pre-built things to throw at characters around levels 15 or 16. Seems with all the wacko demons and such involved, that might not be a problem in this AP.
Also, I'm thinking of taking a look at either Second Darkness or Curse of the Crimson Throne. Which do you think is cooler? Any shortcomings that would make them difficult to run or unenjoyable to players I should know about, so as to modify them?
Lastly, if you could wild-shape into a dinosaur, but NOT a T-rex or similar species, which would it be? How about if it had to be an herbivore?
Many thanks!

At this point, I've got the authors writing Wrath of the Righteous with the assumption that the PCs will end the adventure path at about 20th level and tier 10.

Whether or not that works out, I can't say. The rate of progression of characters through levels once you add mythic to the mix is at this point unclear, and that's something that the Playtest will (I HOPE!!!!) help us sort out.

The fact that gaining tiers doesn't require XP, and that gaining tiers makes you able to fight tougher foes means that you'll be gaining XP at a faster rate, perhaps somewhat exponentially faster. Exactly how things end up in the end, I can't yet say.

Curse of the Crimson Throne has fewer flaws than Second Darkness, although I really like both of the Adventure Paths. The three biggest flaws in Second Darkness that I would fix were I to re-do it:

1) I would make the elves more likable. This would primarily result in a significant rewriting and reorganization of the first half of the fifth adventure, along with a relatively fair amount of rewriting to the third adventure.

2) I would make it less jarring to go from being Riddleport natives who want to run a gaming hall and be kinda scurvy thugs to being do-gooders who want to help the elves.

3) I would build a new adventure to fit in between the 2nd adventure and the 3rd one, to remove the XP gap that currently exists, and to smooth over the transition mentioned in #2 above.

And if I had to become a dinosaur, it would be a deinonychus. But if it had to be a herbivore... probably a stegosaurus or ankylosaurus... but I'd hate it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Scribbling Rambler wrote:

Hi James!

What lies between the Stormspear Mountains/Hills (Linnorm Kings) and the Rimethirst Mountains (Crown of the World)?

I've seen implications that there are 800 miles of unmapped wilderness there, but wanted to confirm for my new Jade Regent campaign.

Between those two regions is a vast tundra of incredible size. There's not a lot going on in the region or a lot of variation in terrain.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
katherinethegreat wrote:

Did you have a good Thanksgiving, James?

Since Golarion is round like Earth... Have the people of Golarion discovered how time zones work? Does teleporting to Tian Xia give you jet lag?

I did have a good thanksgiving; very low-key and relaxing.

Scholars and spellcasters and the like DO know about time zones in Golarion, and teleporting through several of them does give you "teleport-lag."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cerberus Seven wrote:

More questions, now with numbering!

1) When creating homebrew stuff, when is it best to use existing material from the bestiaries and when is making new monsters or templates a good idea?
2) Following up on that, do know or anyone you know pronounce it as BEASTiary? Tundra, Zhangar, and more of us have been doing that for a while, just realized a couple months ago that's NOT how it's spelled.
3) Why ARE Devils misogynistic? Is it because of something with Saranrae? Or Calistria? Did Desna turn Dispater down for a date? Did a succubus give Asmodeus crotch rot or something back at the dawn of time?
4) Speaking of Gods, how do you determine which gods are more 'multi-versal' as opposed to Golarion specific? For example: Pharasma and Asmodeus deal with souls from pretty much all worlds, whereas Aroden and Norgorber are only specific to Golarion. How do their power levels change with that in mind? Also, which category is Desna in?
5) You've stated before there's nothing like Ley Lines in Golarion...but the Menhir Savant archetype for druids seems to state otherwise. Do they exist but they're simply not anything special and/or you guys don't plan to do anything with them?
6) I was under the impression monsters with a certain type of damage resistance had their natural weapons count as penetrative to that specific type of DR. Ergo, dragons could smack right through each others protective hides to full effect. Is that not the case? If it IS the case, is it just for DR/magic or can other types do it to each other? How about something with DR/adamantine striking through DR/adamantine AND DR/magic with it's natural attacks?
7) Lastly, easy one: do you feel that the proper time for Christmas decorations and songs on the radio is only AFTER Thanksgiving is over?
Thanks, hope you had a good Turkey Day!

Yay! Numbering is VERY appreciated.

1) It's best to be comfortable relying on published material a LOT when doing a homebrew campaign, since that allows you to take your time on your homebrew and build it incrementally and without rushing to be ready for the next game session.

2) I've heard it pronounced "BEASTiary" several times. Most often at conventions like Paizocon or Gen Con. It's not a wrong pronunciation, though, but at Paizo we prefer "BEST-ee-air-ee".

3) Devils are misogynistic because of Wes and my observation that Hell's ruled by evil men. There's been female devils now and then, but they've often been afterthoughts or not very feminine looking at all (such as the case with Tiamat). The Abyss, on the other hand, has a very strong feminine element, if only because it's always been portrayed as a fecund realm that's got an endless amount of realms that constantly spawn demons. By taking the stance that Hell is male and the Abyss is female, we set ourselves up with a lot of really interesting themes to build the two realms off of. The ruler of Hell is a guy, after all, and the most powerful 2 demons in the Abyss are female. And when you're talking about men and evil, misogyny is pretty high up on the list, so it's a pretty perfect fit for Hell to be misogynistic.

4) I determine which gods are multi-panthoeon deities by making a case-by-case decision, based partially on what their role is and partially on their themes. I would NOT say Asmodeus is multi-pantheonic, since he's based on real-world myth–he'd have no role at all and would be replaced by a similar deity or set of deities in, say, a realm based on South American myth. Or Asian myth, which is why Asmodeus isn't one of the core 20 deities of Tian Xia. Deity age has a lot to do with it as well. Pharasma's the oldest deity, so she's pretty much a part of every pantheon. Desna is also a really old deity, so she's a part of a lot of them as well.

5) There ARE Ley Lines in Golarion. We just haven't done anything with them before. I just found a spot in an upcoming book to talk about them, finally, though, so info on Golarion's Ley Lines should be coming by the end of next year.

6) It varies according to monster and DR type. You'll see the rules for this usually popping up in monster types and subtypes. It's not automatic. Two lycanthropes cannot bypass each other's DR with their natural attacks, for example, which makes fights between werewolves long and brutal.

7) Yes. I get it that folks love Christmas... but ramp it back! Give other holidays a chance!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Are most of the whore queen's cleric's female or do they usually get an even split? Also what is the gender breakdown for the other archdevils and Asmodeus in particular?
The bulk of the Whore Queen worshipers are female, while the majority of all the worshipers of other archdevils and Asmodeus are male. Devils are, by and large, pretty misogynistic, and lots of those traits tend to get carried into their church hierarchies.

How do they view same sex relationships, particularly those between 2 men?

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