Analysis's page

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Thanks! And yes, "savage" is certainly problematic. I chose it over "primitive" but neither is good.

Then I'll ask: Has wizard magic been invented multiple times independently throughout the history of Golarion?


1. Does that also exist among "savage" peoples in some primitive form?

2. Does all wizardry traditions have a single origin somewhere, or has it been discovered multiple times independently?

3. If the latter, have there been multiple independent discoveries of wizard magic even in the history of Golarion?

4. Are there cases where a deity or other patron teaches a supplicant wizard magic? Or would in those cases the supplicant more likely become a witch?

The Dimensional Occultist witch archetype must choose the Dimensions patron. Can other witches choose it as well? I note Areelu Vorlesh have the patron but not the archetype, but she is exceptional in other ways too.

James Jacobs wrote:

A chaotic neutral cultist of ANY of the Outer Gods will not live a relatively uneventful life. Not if they're halfway serious about their worship. If they're not, and thus don't do anything to distinguish themselves for their deity that they profess to worship, then they'll likely be judged on the harsh end of things, as with all people who profess faith but don't actually follow up on it.

NOTE: There's a difference between saying you're faithful and being lazy about it (sin of sloth) and not being overtly religious but giving lip service to a deity or deities (not a sin).

In any event, it's not useful to list "what sort of judgments Pharasma might list" since that limits the infinite.

Thank you, this makes sense, and I do see those grounds for harsher judgment. Likewise with limiting the infinite, though I have follow-up questions (please answer only if doing so feels meaningful):

- Can any of the outer planes serve equally as both a place of reward and a place of punishment, or is this asymmetrical (e.g.; going to an upper plane is almost always a reward, going to a lower plane is almost always punishment)?

- Alternately put, are people commonly punished/rewarded in the plane of the alignment they would claim to have had, the alignment they actually had, or the alignment best suited for punishing/rewarding them? Or any/all of these, for different cases?

Happy 2017, James! :)

I wanted to ask for a story: consider a chaotic neutral cultist of Yog-Sothoth or Azathoth who lives a relatively uneventful life, then dies. What are some possible judgements Pharasma might pass on them?

(Thinking of chaotic neutral planes there is of course the maelstrom, but not sure whether such a person would be considered to have deserved reward or punishment, and no idea on what constitutes punishment or reward in the maelstrom either...)

Thanks all for your perspectives. What's ckear to me is that there is no consensus, which again makes me eager for a FAQ clarification.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Analysis wrote:
SKR did indeed state that was intent for the Wizard and Alchemist ability, back in 2012, when he still worked for Paizo. But _every_ thread where this is mentioned, several people interpret it differently, such that any ability that does not explicitly say you die from old age (whether you still age or not) still means you die of old age. I really would want this resolved so that the baseline expectation is harmonized between GMs, because whether or not this ever comes up in a game, it is my first priority when designing any character, which I will shape the rest of the build around.
Is it really? You build ALL of your characters as immortals?

More or less, yes. Or at the very least ensuring there is nothing standing in the way that I could have removed, e.g. selecting classes because their capstones or later features make it possible, whether or not the game ever gets there. I realize this is not the most common priority among players, however.

SKR did indeed state that was intent for the Wizard and Alchemist ability, back in 2012, when he still worked for Paizo. But _every_ thread where this is mentioned, several people interpret it differently, such that any ability that does not explicitly say you die from old age (whether you still age or not) still means you die of old age. I really would want this resolved so that the baseline expectation is harmonized between GMs, because whether or not this ever comes up in a game, it is my first priority when designing any character, which I will shape the rest of the build around.

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Every place I look people claim different conclusions about this, so I would really welcome an official ruling. Effectively, do features like the wizard Immortality Arcane Discovery, the alchemist Eternal Youth Discovery, or the Imperious sorcerer Immortal Legend ability, or the Solar oracle Final Revelation let characters live beyond their racial maximum or not?

The regular monk and druid Timeless Body ability explicitly says with those abilities you still die of old age, you just don't take aging penalties.

The Time oracle Final Revelation explicitly says you don't die from old age, as does the living monolith capstone and the effects of Numerian Fluids, and the Longevity mythic path ability.

At least one published NPC (Jatembe) has the Immortality wizard Arcane Discovery and is thousands of years old.

So for the abilities that do not say either way, which is it? Will a character with those die of old age or not?

It relates into several existing ones: create demiplane and resplendent mansion, mostly. It's intended to make persistent (as with demiplanes) mage towers which can be moved relatively effortlessly between locations (as with the resplendent mansion).

Align demiplane
School: Conjuration; Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 9, Witch 9
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Components: V, S, F (specific demiplane key)
Range: Long
Target, Effect, Area: See text
Duration: 1 day / level
Saving throw: None
Spell resistance: No (harmless)

This spell anchors a demiplane temporarily to a location on another plane, creating a boundary zone such that the outer edges of the demiplane all lead onto the host plane. The area of the host plane thus occupied by the demiplane becomes inaccessible for the duration, during which it cannot be affected in any manner and during which no time passes for it. Should this area contain anything other than mundane terrain, the spell automatically fails - this spell cannot be used as an offensive weapon in any way.

Before this spell can be employed, the caster must have access to a demiplane, this requirement would typically be met by creating one using castings of the Create Demiplane line of spells, along with Permanency as necessary. The resulting demiplane key // plane shift "tuning fork" can then be used as focus for the present spell.

The typical use of this spell is to make a demiplane act as a temporary real-world location. Demiplane islands can be placed into lakes, seas or oceans, demiplane towers or fortresses called up from mountaintops or plains, demiplane oases placed onto desert dunes, and demiplane caves made to open from tunnel complexes or mountainsides.

The demiplane remains a separate plane, retaining all planar properties, and remaining another plane for the purpose of adjudicating plane shift, scrying or teleportation effects. However, all points in the demiplane gains lines of sight and effect onto the parent plane in all direction, unless where blocked by walls or other physical obstacles.

Arbane the Terrible wrote:

The players were told it was an E6 no-magic game, but that appears to have been a bait-and-switch by the GM.

An Expert 1/Ranger 5. High intelligence.
Ranger 6. Very good physical stats.
Ranger 1/Synthesist Summoner 5+. Charisma is too low to cast any spells, but has a very powerful Eidolon.

All three use the same combat style, have the same favored enemy, and have some archetype that trades Animal Companion and spells for some extra skills and proficiencies.

Armin Arlert, Mikasa Ackerman, Eren Jaeger?

Are you familiar with the Castel del Monte? (If name rings no bell: very iconic castle/palace in rural Italy, octagonal courtyard inside octagonal keep with eight octagonal towers on the corners, very geometric, very symmetric, no crenellations of any kind; made by emperor Barbarossa, possibly inspired by Muslim architecture and the Temple of Solomon; appeared in Baldur's Gate as the "High Hedge" location;,_Apulia)

If something looking like that was found in Golarion, what architectural tradition (ancient or modern) might it have come from?

I'm considering a character who is a sorcerer, but who is even more intelligent than they are charismatic. As you see the game and setting, does this make sense (as an unusual case), or is it too far outside type to fit?

Is it possible to ask questions of Mythos deities via Contact Other Plane? Or must one use Commune or the like since they are on the material plane? (... and if the latter, can material plane deities be Contacted if the spell is instead cast when on another plane, like a demiplane?)

Interesting! I have some questions:

- What does the Divine Communion and Minor Miracle feats do, and do you need to be a divine spellcaster to take them?

- Are the meditative spells divine only?

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Atarlost wrote:

Intelligent item (+500 gp)

+6 dex/con/wis (144000 gp) (x1.5 multiplier for two of the stats included)
resistance +5 to all saves (37500 gp) (x1.5 multiplier included)
+5 enhancement bonus to AC (37500 gp) (x1.5 multiplier included) (base item cost exceeds 200001 gp giving 12 ego)
CL is 20 because it's a custom item made by a level 20 wizard who wants its CL as high as possible because that's the CL of the spells it casts. If he has CL boosting gear or mythic abilities it may be higher.

Custom Special Purpose: defend the daughters of the crafter or avenge them (+2 ego, +4 against people acting against the purpose)
cha 10
int 20 (8000 gp) (+5 ego)
wis 20 (8000 gp) (+5 ego)
telepathic (1000 gp) (+1 ego)
blindsense (5000 gp) (+1 ego)
casts prestidigitation at will (1000 gp) (+1 ego)
casts mage hand at will (1000 gp) (+1 ego)
casts magic aura on itself at will (2000 gp) (+1 ego)
casts liberating command 3/day (1200 gp) (+1 ego)
casts feather fall 3/day (1200 gp) (+1 ego)
casts air bubble 3/day (1200 gp) (+1 ego)
casts resist energy 3/day (2400 gp (+1 ego)
item has 10 ranks of sense motive (10000 gp) (+2 ego)
item can change shape into one other form of the same size (leotard suitable for use as either swimwear or sleepwear) (10000 gp) (+2 ego)
item casts dimension door 1/day (11200 gp) (+2 ego)
item can cast nondetection 3/day (18000 gp) (+2 ego)
item can use true resurrection on wielder, once per month (200000 gp) (in service of its purpose only) (+2 ego)
ego 42 (46 against a wearer acting against its purpose)

Total 499700 gp not including the dress itself. 300gp is adequate for a dress befitting the daughter of an archmage, bringing the total up to a half million even.

That's assuming that's a million gp for two dresses, not a million each. If it's a million each dress we can add a few purpose bound high level spells at will. And a bunch more cheap ego raising abilities because the whole point of this item is to have such a high ego that nobody can survive using it after...

This, very much. Though could have it as jewelry that can also shapeshift into dresses or armours.

Perhaps this is nitpicking, but curious on how it's being called: the Blood Arcanist arcanist archetype lets you choose one bloodline from those "offered through the sorcerer bloodline class feature". But for bloodlines like Imperious that are not available to every sorcerer, is this condition still fulfilled, even for a human arcanist? The reason I am unsure is because the bloodline "is available for human sorcerers" but thus not for just any sorcerer, and the arcanist is not a human sorcerer. Can a human Blood Arcanist choose Imperious for her bloodline (or analogously for the Kobold bloodline, etc.)?

James Jacobs wrote:
Analysis wrote:
In Ancient Osirion, were there witch cults worshipping Mythos deities? If so, which deities would be likely to be represented?
Absolutely. Nyrlathotep for certain, but also Yog-Sothoth and then some less widespread Mythos deities such as Chaugnar-Faugn or Mordiggian or Rhan Tegoth.

Mordiggian! :D Mordiggian is known on Golarion? That is so awesome! And makes me have a followup question: is there rivalry between groups of ghouls worshipping Kabriri and worshipping Mordiggian?

In Ancient Osirion, were there witch cults worshipping Mythos deities? If so, which deities would be likely to be represented?

For Faith Magic, should it be read as, you select a spell once you take the Discovery, or you can select a new spell each day within those restrictions? [Hoping the designer may be reading this! ^^ ]

So, in the (marvellous) Occult Adventures book, there is a level 9 spell on the psychic list called Major Mindswap, which swaps your mind with that of another creature of your race.

Do you see this as the Pathfinder version of Asenath Waite/Thing on the Doorstep-type longevity through moving into new successive bodies when the previous ones grow old and frail?

Can it be used multiple times in succession, moving through a chain of several new bodies, or does the psychic need to return back to her original body each time before moving into a new one?

The spell does say that a Miracle or Wish can revert it, returning both minds to their original bodies, which seems like it makes for an interesting weakness for villains using this spell. If a psychic can transmigrate multiple times consecutively and the spell is thus reversed, would this just revert the last transmigration, or would it return her to her (perhaps long dead) most original body?

Thank you for your time and your great work. ^^

So, book is awesome. Particularly liking occult rituals, skill unlocks, mixture of traditions, ley lines & witch, psychic including spell list. Missing Lovecraftian elements but feeling faith psychics make ideal cultists.

Minor question: should overwhelming presence be a fourth level spell for psychics? Or typo?

Minor question: should ley line witch have a spells known human favoured class bonus like other spontaneous casters do?

Major question: Major mindswap!
- Finally something which lets someone achieve longevity by periodically stealing new young bodies. Great with same race requirement to circumvent true mind switch shenanigans like in 3.5.
- Is it intended to allow this? If so I wonder to what extent previous body is a liability:
-- It builds off mindswap which builds off possession. So can be read as that if previous body dies, the mind displaced to there, controlling it as per possession, returns to its original body, displacing and killing me. Is this a correct reading or does instantaneous status override?
-- If this is a factor, would one need to keep that body alive but in stasis to prevent?
-- If not, there is still the risk of someone wishing for the reversal of the spell as an Achilles heel for the user. Would this warrant a save against the Wish?

ChrisLKimball wrote:
Hey does anyone know if there is a way /archetype that nets an Occultist a Familiar?

Two feats from Familiar Folio.

Any new ways of not dying from old age?

Like migration to a new body? If so, who can do it?

Concerning the White Witches, Elvanna has ruled for a century and her older sister ruled before her, but she seems to be a more or less normal adult human. She is not listed as a Mythic character, and there seems to be no class abilities witches (unlike alchemists, monks, sorcerers, oracles and wizards) can take to become able not to die from old age. In case the question would come up on how these witches can live so long (and then also who else may also be using similar methods), how would you prefer to answer it?

You mentioned a while back that due to the critical reception of the Mythic rules from a vocal minority, you at present see those rules as something that works best for monsters. If so, do you include humanoid NPCs as well under that label? E.g. is it still appropriate to think of it as Golarion canon that people like Alaznist, Jaatembe and so on have Mythic tiers, even if you would not do more Mythic APs like WotR?

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Albatoonoe wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Analysis wrote:
Also, for the upcoming Occult Adventures, do you anticipate any new Mythic options for the new classes eventually?
Not so much. There's some Mythos-friendly elements in Occult Adventures, but it's not the book to do full-on Lovecraftian stuff.
I think he was referring to the Mythic Adventures subrules rather than Mythos stuff.

Exactly, I meant things like, how do Psychic Magic users interact with Mythic Paths like Archmage or Hierophant?

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Also, for the upcoming Occult Adventures, do you anticipate any new Mythic options for the new classes eventually?

Have you seen the German film "Die Farbe" based on "The Colour from Out of Space"? If not you might want to. :)

I was looking at the Chain Lightning spell, which has focus components of a glass rod, a bit of fur and a silver pins per caster level. It seems likely to me that the original D&D spell was written like this to suggest a campy scenario where the wizard rubs the fur against the glass rod to generate static electricity, then conduces it along the pins. Same with the gunpowder ingredients for a Fireball spell.

My question then, in the Pathfinder universe as you see it, when a spell like this calls for focus components (or material components) that a spell component pouch is assumed to contain, do you envision the caster doing something particular with the components, or simply needing to have them on their person, or somewhere in between?

Or perhaps alternately, what does it actually look like to a friendly observer when a typical Acadamae or Magaambiyan wizard casts a Chain Lightning spell? What if anything do they do with the components?

If a Shabti was made of a worshipper of the Old Cults deities, would it be sent off to the Dark Tapestry rather than to an outer plane? Did this happen in Old Osirion?

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- Do you have any plans for elaborating on the religions of Ninshabur? Would it draw on Mesopotamian deities like Osirion with Egyptian?
- With many current fiends named from that mythology, would it make sense there was a lot of fiend worship in Ninshabur?
- What about the Mythos deities, where some stories attempt to link them to Sumerian mythology? Were they notably worshipped in Ninshabur as well?

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1. The Imperious sorcerer bloodline for humans corresponds to descent from ancient human empires. Which societies (and corresponding present-day peoples) in Golarion would you say are most likely to give rise to such scions?

2. If a (likely rare) lich wanted to experience mortal sensations like food, sex, drugs etc.; how would it go about it? Could a lich use polymorph magic to gain living senses and reactivities? Could it magic jar into a proxy living servant to use its body? What would be most thematic in your opinion?

I came across something in the Wake of the Watcher Old Cults article which surprised me, which was that only three entities (Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Hastur) have cults of witches serving them. Or is it just that other Old One/Outer God witch cults are (even) rarer?

James Jacobs wrote:
Analysis wrote:

Do you have any recommendations for what a Divine Obedience feat for Yog-Sothoth should be like? E.g. the rituals called for, the boons bestowed (or which major deities inspiration for said boons could be drawn from)?

Also, do you have any suggestions for Planar Ally options for Yog-Sothoth?

Happy New Year! :)

I kinda like the idea that the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods DON'T reward worshipers with boons, frankly.

And they likely wouldn't really have any one planar ally option either. They're very much Material Plane creatures. Which argues further for us to have new spells that are akin to planar ally but for non-extraplanar creatures...

Thanks, this makes sense! :)

1. Then what about them having Mortal Heralds (as per Mythic Origins)? Randolph Carter post Gate of the Silver Key seems a little like one, having pacted personally with Umr at Tawl (sp?), as does Keziah Mason hanging out with the Black Man. Would it be at least rarer than for more approachable deities?

2. When the Old Cults are referred to as "Old,what cultures does that hearken back to? Ancient Kellid of Ustalav? Or much older? I guess I wonder, which historical periods and geographic regions were Tapestry worship hotspots that present day cultists inherited from?

3. Can non-Mi-Go build their tech if taught or are their unique physiologies required?

4. For the new types of summoning/binding you suggest, any of chance of this for Occult Adventures?

Happy 2015! :)

Do you have any recommendations for what a Divine Obedience feat for Yog-Sothoth should be like? E.g. the rituals called for, the boons bestowed (or which major deities inspiration for said boons could be drawn from)?

Also, do you have any suggestions for Planar Ally options for Yog-Sothoth?

Happy New Year! :)

If one is searching on Golarions for evil-tolerant hirelings with very particular skillsets, is there some good place to start for this? Is that a service the Aspis Consortium might market?

Is there any relationship between Sivanah and the Outer Gods, either directly or in overlap of worshippers?

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It would be awesome to have ways to call Dark Tapestry/Mythos creatures moreso than outsiders...

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Very interested so far. :)

What was really nice with the Advanced Class Guide was how the new classes had many options for previously available classes to access them, there were plenty of hybrid class-like archetypes like the ones providing spirit access to other classes.

Since the things here fit thematically with many existing options for summoning, spirit communication, magic and so forth, having something similar for these would be great, e.g. ways for shamans to access the medium spirits, summoners to access spiritualist phantoms, archetypes giving psychic magic-type casting to arcane and divine classes, and so on.

Additionally, it would be good to have rules from the start for which mythic paths work for psychic characters, including perhaps some new path abilities offering similar things that already exist for specifically arcane and divine spellcasters. Similarly, some sort of theurge-type prestige classes would also be interesting.

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

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

Thanks! :)

Do you have any suggestions on using Pathfinder magic to transport large buildings like castles or keeps between distant locations, including between planets or even planes? Could Miracle or Wish work? Making the building an Animated Object and use the Call Construct spell to summon it? Other solutions?

As always, thank you for your great work! :)

I was wondering about this. How about Call Construct? It seems to have no size limit, and should explicitly work with objects you have animated.

EDIT: Also, perhaps Plane Shift in and out of a demiplane?

What kind of properties of a hex do Amplify Hex affect?

Could the witch hex "Hidden Home" or the Mirage Arcana spell it refers to be used to create an illusory (if intangible) castle or tower, or is it intended only for camouflage?

As so often these years, continually happy to see/read/play the great fruits of your work! :)


- Oracles can do pantheon worship; does this make sense for witches? Or are their patrons always singular entities?

- Having seen "Maleficent" recently: can a spellcaster with a familiar temporarily polymorph that familiar into a humanoid? If so, would it be able to speak, and would it still display the familiar bond while so transformed?

1. For the spirits that the Shaman class associates with; are those always "minor" nature/ancestral/whatever spirits, or could they also be facets of existing demigods or deities? In other words, could there in Golarion exist (say) a pantheon-worshipping Shaman who relates to Sarenrae as their primary spirit (Flame), but with Iomedae as their wandering spirit (Battle)? And if so, would this be a workable way besides the Oracle to represent a cleric-like character that pays homage to multiple related gods?

2. Should we expect more Shaman spirits anytime soon?


Spells to call/summon/bind Mythos creatures would be so fun! I hope you will release them sometime soon! :)


Dear James,

I have some questions on how spellcasting summoned creatures relate to the real thing, which I'll try to put in context:

Suppose I am a mighty evil wizard, with armies of greedy mercenaries out scouring the Elven lands after the young heroine who escaped with "my" artifact. The elves are covering her tracks and my mercenaries often return with bow wounds, poisoned or diseased after Elven druids got to them. Being a wizard I know no healing spells, and I've exhausted potential allies in the region when I stole that artifact from the temple of the deity with the least reason to hate me. However, I can cast Summon Monster IX which lets me summon several types of celestial with the ability to cast cleric spells.

1. If I summon a Trumpet Archon (say) and ask it to heal my soldiers, will it?
2. If so, will it recognize the larger context of my evil plans and express disapproval of the act even as it heals, or will it just be focused on what it is asked to do?
3. If I do this repeatedly (this campaign takes months), will the archon remember and become wise to how its magic is used for evil purposes?
4. For that matter, will whatever deity the archon gets spells from become wise to it and stop either those spells or the summoning (even if arcane) itself?
5. Since I'm a level 20 Conjurer, I can keep a single summon on for prolonged duration, so I can ask the archon to pray for a new spell selection. If I ask it to prepare and cast speak with dead spells for me to interrogate the dead elves my soldiers keep bringing in for the whereabouts of the heroine, will it do so? Will it complain? Will its deity eventually cut me off?
6. Since I'm repeatedly casting a Good-tagged wizard spell, will I find myself growing more compassionate and eventually shift alignment to Neutral or Good as a result of this?
7. Are there more thematic ways for me (or any similar Golarion wizard villains) to achieve these goals that you would suggest?

Ross Byers wrote:
I'm surprised no one has said anything about the unlettered arcanist.

Still waiting for the book, but is this the witch spell list on an Arcanist chassis? If so that seems incredibly awesome.

Even if it does not explicitly have a patron, does it still make sense, as for the witch, to treat it as having a pact or communion with some outside source? In other words, would it make sense to have an unlettered arcanist as e.g. an Old Cults priestess in the same way as a standard witch can be seen like that?

James Jacobs wrote:
TwiceGreat wrote:

Hey James, :)

1) If you had to offer a Pathfinder-based class/level for Randolph Carter post-Dream Quest (moreso as the King of Ilek-Vad and less as whatever appears in 'Through the Gates of the Silver Key.), what would you offer?

1) I'd probably make him a sorcerer with the Dreamspun bloodline

On this note, would you be willing to suggest some Pathfinder options (feats, archetypes, prestige classes, etc.) that would make sense for a sorcerer that sees themselves as a priest of the Dark Tapestry entities?

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