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Did qlippoth stand near the portal at the devouring court before demons were created?


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Hello,

I just started subscriptions recently (Feb 25, 17248178, 4 subscription starting with extinction curse 2), and added pawn subscription 3/8 (7827205). Age of ashes is in the sidecart, and extinction curse 3 isn't listed anywhere. Is there something I need to do?


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I would bet this is BS...

The GM has no problem rolling with the story, putting a villain in charge, giving a whole community lycanthropy, but is getting hung up on where they are in a jungle?


Is the size of the hoard consistent with wealth by level/recommended treasure or does it exceed it?

I was trying to track what kind of gear players would have at the end, and if the dragon permits a going out of business sale of the hoard, the players can pretty much max out anything they want. Was that the intent?


What was it like being limited to core treasures in age of ashes compared to more options in Return of the Runelords?


James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

I keep thinking about Yog-Sothoth's appearance in the windsong testamemt.

In your head, is the cosmology a story about inevitability? Or is it a cycle that should be broken? Or do you have a sense of that?

My feeling is echoed in the way we've set up the entire campaign setting. There's a LOT that's come before, be it in-world history or the tradition of a cycle of realities that come and go, and that can go back for as long as it needs to. But once you turn all of that into a game setting, we the creators of the fiction give up control and lose the ability to focus the story on our characters as the main characters.

At this point, the PCs are the main characters, and as such we can only set up possible stories or outlines to what MIGHT happen. The introduction of PCs is what destroyed prophecy, what made the future unwritten, and what can determine all of what comes next. PCs represent an element of true chaos and a potential to break from tradition or to follow it, and those choices will vary from table to table. This truth ripples up to the top of everything, including whether or not your table wishes to play a campaign out to the end of time and then decide that time doesn't end and that reality doesn't reset.

It's a cycle that was broken the instant we made the setting an interactive one that cedes control of choice for the main characters to all the potential PCs, in other words.

That is a lovely thought. Thank you!


I keep thinking about Yog-Sothoth's appearance in the windsong testamemt.

In your head, is the cosmology a story about inevitability? Or is it a cycle that should be broken? Or do you have a sense of that?


Erik Mona wrote:

I'm pretty deep in development on the final Absalom manuscript at the moment, and have been tracking/guiding its continuity since the beginning.

There aren't any significant changes in terms of Absalom's history up to the publication of the Guide to Absalom. As others have said, time has passed and the current Absalom has some differences to the version we published originally, but it's based on what has happened SINCE the Absalom book, and doesn't involve going back and saying "what we said about this before was wrong" (a few NPC name spellings/inconsistencies notwithstanding...)

Even the Cornucopias, which we all think are dumb, aren't really "retconned out," they just aren't a part of the modern setting. The in-world lore is that, during the Fiendflesh Siege of 4717 AR (or thereabouts), the High Council tried to call on their power, only to realize they they don't work anymore--most likely a consequence of them being powered by Aroden, a god who died about 100 years ago.

More soon, when the book comes out. ;)

I'm guessing leadership being cornucopia based has also stopped?

Cornucopias were mentioned once a decade ago, never discussed in a product again, and never talked about on this forum. But here you are talking about them before the book comes out. This must be a rule of RPG writing that everything will be brought up again.

Previously I also commented about statue street but that appears to have also been changed in society this year?

If you don't mind me asking, what was the process behind their creation and the change now?


In the ask James Jacobs thread I asked if the cornucopias play a role in extinction curse and he says they are retconned out.


James Jacobs said in his thread that the cornucopias are retconned out. That is an interesting choice.


Which adventure path of yours did you change the most between approval of the idea to the final outline document you send to the AP writers?


We played before most people had the internet, and you could only have one sourcebook. It was fine. We had fun.


If I recall, many people hated wand of Claws.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Blissful Lightning wrote:
Its mechanics might end up different in the new edition, but the flavor of "mythic power" should still exist in 2E, at least as a quality Runelord Alderpash notably lacked but Xanderghul and Sorshen possessed, right?
We won't need to make those decisions until we stat one of them up, but at least as far as NPCS go, they can still be up to level 30 in power.

If we are talking about high powered characters, I really liked the mythic iconic art. I always wanted to see one piece of art after an adventure path where iconics look like the corpse looters that players are. Like a last page ROTRL picture where Seoni is wearing the robes of xin shalast and Merisiel has the scribbler's +1 cold iron returning dagger.


When you GM and players start debating a plan, and this debate seems like it is going to go on for a while, do you (assuming it isn't affecting your enjoyment)

A) let them go on...it is how they are choosing to have fun

Or

B) stop them...they don't realize they are doing it


James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

Are we getting more info on the cornucopias of Absalom in the upcoming content?

I guess they won't technically work during extinction curse because the city wont be under siege?

Nope. The cornucopias are kinda getting ret-conned away, I believe. They cause more problems, theme- and story-wise, than they solve or create. If they AREN'T going away, then they're being adjusted significantly. So if there is going to be more about them in the upcoming books, they'll play very different roles.

But my understanding at this time is that they're being phased out. Edition changes are the best time to abandon ideas that we ended up not liking or that weren't working as intended, after all. Fortunately, there's not a lot of these... but there are a few.

That is funny. All the way back in Feb 2017 I asked you about the cornucopias here.

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1364?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your- Questions-Here#68155

I think your post is probably the most ever written about them, anyway.

In that old post I brought up another weird thing about Absalom. Is statue street still going to be around?

It could be cool in the Absalom cops Adventure path if you bust a stone cold menace in part 1, send them to prison for decades, only for them to survive the Gorgon and be on the streets in part 4 a legitimate citizen.


Are we getting more info on the cornucopias of Absalom in the upcoming content?

I guess they won't technically work during extinction curse because the city wont be under siege?


Wait, if I buy a Griffin can I ride it?


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shroudb wrote:
Aricks wrote:
graystone wrote:
Bastress wrote:

That's extremely handy to know of if you're in a party that's complaining about you holding them back.

and it's really nice that you can pass that item around on a daily basis to make sure that the party isn't slowed down by someone when you're doing long treks through the wilderness, then hand it back to the superfast one when you expect a fight against whatever you're tracking.

Now the alchemist can keep up when carrying his basic gear! :P

This makes me laugh, and that's good because laughing helps me cover up the crying.

I say that because for an item only 7 levels higher (level 9) and 50 gp less (110 gp) you can have that same speed buff in the form of an elixir that only works once and only lasts an hour! Crafting costs being what they are that means that an alchemist would probably be better off picking up the craft magic item feat and cranking out wands than they would making alchemical items in their downtime.

Yet another example of alchemical awesomeness.

consumables are WAAAAAY overpriced in general.

when it costs like 5-6 consumables for a same level permanent item, it means that within a week of usage you are already ahead, let alone a month or two...

Consumables need to be at minimum halved in base cost to be even slightly worth it...

There is a much larger pool of possible consumers for an elixer than a wand, right? Now someone who is not arcane has to spend a feat and train a skill.


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Hello,

Some of the freelancers and team members at Paizo may have had their most formative gaming years on products you have created. As a writer/developer, what new things have you learned from junior freelancers?


James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

When you play, gm, or develop adventures, do you like to call attention to how far beyond mortals the PCs achieve?

(Sheriff hemlock says, "six months ago we could have rounded you four up. Now you can slaughter the whole town. Is that nuts or what?)

Or do you prefer to leave it unstated?

If the world doesn't react to the PCs' growing power and fame, then I'm doing my job wrong as a GM.

A fair amount of people have problems with the implications of the sheer amount of power characters gain in the game.

There isn't a question here and I don't have answers. These things were so much easier when I was 14.


When you play, gm, or develop adventures, do you like to call attention to how far beyond mortals the PCs achieve?

(Sheriff hemlock says, "six months ago we could have rounded you four up. Now you can slaughter the whole town. Is that nuts or what?)

Or do you prefer to leave it unstated?


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I was watching the Star Trek episode "paradise syndrome" today. That is the one where native Americans think Kirk is a god because he performed CPR. That led me to googling and finding out resuscitation research is only a couple hundred years old and CPR is from 1960.

Do people on Golarion know CPR?


Sir,

When you run a game, what does it mean to be a "god of X?" (Sun, farming, assassination, dwarves). I'm having trouble coming up with a good way to present a god like sarenrae who is concerned with the sun, but doesn't appear to affect the sun.


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At the end of book 4 of rise of the runelords, I took 30 minutes for a quick scene of the church of abadar, calistria, and the Lord mayor making the transfer of funds and church/government purchase of an army's worth of loot taken in jorgenfist.

How do you like to handle this aspect of higher level adventuring? Do you make it no big deal in the world? Say it happens off screen? Provide a justification?

As an aside, it feels like RPGs get less leeway on suspension of disbelief than other media.


On know direction awhile back James Jacobs discussed always wanting to do a golarian almanac. I wonder if this represents a development of more projects like that.


Baron Iveagh wrote:
Cpt_kirstov wrote:


no, the statement is self-fulfilling. If the soul is not destined to be raised, then she judges it, and even if you try it won't come back.

But those Fate and Destiny words keep coming up, and the setting almost expressly throws them out the window.

Cpt_kirstov wrote:


Based on the scene from Lord of Runes, its more the soul itself decides when it it ready to stay in the aferlife (I believe there is an entire article in one of the adventure paths on this by the way, so I could be totally wrong)
That sounds like something I'd like to read, if you remember where you read it, please share. However, I'll point out that becoming undead after hundreds, or even thousands, of years dead would seem to toss that right out the window too.

Prophecy doesn't work for mortals/outsiders. If aroden knew he was going to die, and neither him nor any other god told anyone, it doesn't change that prophecy failed.


Tunnels. Earthnavel doesn't descend all the way to orv. It is described as tunnels once you get to the bottom. It is probably smaller than Bingham canyon mine...Earth's biggest man made pit.


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James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:
It seems like they announced your book of the damned product the same week that you announced you wrapped primary development on it. Did the crimson throne and book of the damned development overlap or was it more like completing one then starting the other?

I didn't announce my finishing development until after it was announced, not the other way around.

Crimson Throne and Book of the Damned didn't overlap. Adventurer's Guide was in between them.

Curse of the crimson throne, adventurer's guide, book of the damned, and bestiary 6 all in a row? That is a hefty set of hardcovers.


It seems like they announced your book of the damned product the same week that you announced you wrapped primary development on it. Did the crimson throne and book of the damned development overlap or was it more like completing one then starting the other?


Mr. James Jacobs,

Along with expanding material, did you take this opportunity to recast things we knew in a different light?


John Mechalas wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:
Do you have a layer of the high definition map "below" that you are using to trace this out? If a person has a copy of their own map, is there a procedure that can be used to add that back in?

What you describe here is georeferencing. For images, there's no way to generically provide georeferencing parameters because they are are only valid for that exact instance of an image (it's size/resolution and of course the contents). If my map image is cropped differently than yours, for example, then the two won't line up if you try and use the same parameters and the scaling in one direction will also be wrong. If my map is at a different resolution than yours, then the whole image scale will definitely be wrong.

Unless you are willing to dive into something like QGIS and do the georeferencing (which is not hard, but it can be tedious, and there's a learning curve to GIS applications), you are probably better off lining up the map images with the data layers after-the-fact in something like Photoshop.

If I used georeferencing in qgis, is that information that can be saved as a kml file? I'm willing to learn that if it would then be easy to look at it in something more friendly.


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UnArcaneElection wrote:

This is cool! Now you just need to get it to give you a Google Maps style zoom-in from views like that to overhead views of the cities at sub-block resolution, and in the far future have the street view option . . . .

Wait a minute . . . do either of you happen to actually work for Google?

Speaking of which, that is something you can do in Google Earth right now. You can't really do a region map (too much stretching), but you can make image overlays of the city maps and scale them on there after loading the kmz files.


Do you have a layer of the high definition map "below" that you are using to trace this out? If a person has a copy of their own map, is there a procedure that can be used to add that back in?


James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:
I have a hellknight/cheliax question and the creative process. In the fiction, they existed before cheliax became a devil worshipping nation. Was there an earlier iteration in the creative process where that was switched?

Nope.

Cheliax's association with devils didn't just suddenly manifest when Thrune took over. Thrune was a powerful family in the nation for centuries before and their influence (and some others) had long associated Asmodeus with Cheliax... it wasn't in a state & church sort of way, but it was still there.

I was wondering more in the writer's room sense. Did it start with someone saying the devil nation should have knights from hell? Are the knights as a concept older than the idea of cheliax? We're they two independent ideas brought together?

My favorite part of threads like this are the insights into the creative process.


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This thread is keeping my attention until more campaign setting line books are announced. Not as many campaign setting lovers as rule lovers out there.


I have a hellknight/cheliax question and the creative process. In the fiction, they existed before cheliax became a devil worshipping nation. Was there an earlier iteration in the creative process where that was switched?


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Wayne Reynolds wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

I have been mulling over a question about strange aeons art in general then I saw your 1930s iconics in the blog post.

How do you approach art for a project like that? Flipping through them, the art is the the most "modern" looking dress and design of the golarian setting. How do you push the fantasy tradition while still maintaining the feel?

Hi Bob, I didn't work on any of the imagery for Strange Aeons. The "1930s" versions of the Iconics were beautifully rendered by a different artist. (Miguel Regodón Harkness)

Ugh. I can never read artist signatures.


James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

Absalom has always struck me as a little strange among first/primary cities (is there a term for fantasy metropolis settings are interwoven around). A few of the stranger ideas are the puddles, statue street (weird for lawful neutral), and the 12 magic cornucopias. It seems like the hobby traditionally skews more conventional for the prime city.

What are your thoughts on prime cities in general and Absalom specifically?

Strange = interesting.

I think Absalom deserves a $300.00 box set.

Did you design anything for Absalom?

I will stop there. I can pontificate about Absalom all day.


Absalom has always struck me as a little strange among first/primary cities (is there a term for fantasy metropolis settings are interwoven around). A few of the stranger ideas are the puddles, statue street (weird for lawful neutral), and the 12 magic cornucopias. It seems like the hobby traditionally skews more conventional for the prime city.

What are your thoughts on prime cities in general and Absalom specifically?


I have been mulling over a question about strange aeons art in general then I saw your 1930s iconics in the blog post.

How do you approach art for a project like that? Flipping through them, the art is the the most "modern" looking dress and design of the golarian setting. How do you push the fantasy tradition while still maintaining the feel?


You are right that chaotic is not a good fit for the elder mythos. But that makes sense. Chaos as only bound by whim is an aspect of the outer planes (Elysium, Maelstrom, and abyss). The elder mythos are Gods of the material plane and do not seem to form connections with the outer planes. So the alignment system doesn't reflect their soul or cosmic ideology, they don't have one, but their consequences of destruction and madness.


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For the rest of us without any skills, I cannot understate how great these look when loaded into Google Earth.


John Mechalas wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

I understand that Absalom is on the prime meridian, but that is all relative. Maybe shift everything about 1200 miles to the East so it is mostly over Europe and Africa? That way we can look at the underlying countries. Since most players are in the US, maybe a new world version over the US and Mexico would also work.

Have you considered adding a darklands layer? I think"into the darklands" is still the main source for those maps.

I was using earth's continents as a reference when I was just getting started just to see how the two lined up. Once I get all the vector layers in place I may generate a couple of maps overlaid this way just for fun.

I don't have any of the Darklands supplements, but it's a good idea to get a Darklands layer. I assume the right one would be Darklands Revisited since it's PFRPG instead of 3.5. Anyone own this? Are there enough maps to make it worth the purchase price?

Nasif is right that into the darklands is the best source. If you like maps, I think it is a great book.

I also like maps and have been hesitant to pick up the new qadira book. It looks like it adds about 100 miles east into casmaron?


John Mechalas wrote:
Just a quick update for those following at home. I am getting closer to releasing my GIS data layers as ESRI shapefiles and KML. Progress has been a little slow this week in part because my employer expects me to work (the horror!) but it's coming along. However, I can share a little teaser: a vector map of the Inner Sea region. This map image is a week old (the river layer has made a lot of progress since it was generated) but that should show you where things are headed.

I was playing with the KML files in Google Earth (I have one of the free GIS programs to teach my dumb self how to load these in there).

The new protection of the inner sea looks beautiful and indirectly duplicates the historical event it is based on....The linnorm kings are significantly closer to Arcadia.

I understand that Absalom is on the prime meridian, but that is all relative. Maybe shift everything about 1200 miles to the East so it is mostly over Europe and Africa? That way we can look at the underlying countries. Since most players are in the US, maybe a new world version over the US and Mexico would also work.

Have you considered adding a darklands layer? I think"into the darklands" is still the main source for those maps.


WormysQueue wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
If anything, I wish there were a few more 'sacrosanct mysteries' in the setting, that I'd know wouldn't get touched in print. But that's just the canon-nut in me

I guess my main problem is that I can't be sure that it will ever stay this way. Opinions can change over time, as can the necessities of business. I fully believe that Erik, James and Co. mean what they say when they say they won't solve this particular mystery. But I also fully believe that they (or whoever might be in power some years in the future) might one day change their mind about it for whatever (most probably good) reasons.

But more importantly, it's a matter of time and energy. I've been struggling for years now with my homebrew because I don't have time and energy enough to make substantial progress on it. That's one of the more important reasons why I use published settings at all. But if there's a mystery in that setting for which I know there will never be a canonical solution, the fact that I would have to do the solving myself is exactly why I don't even touch it (again, lack of time and energy).

The good thing about it is, that there's a lot of awesome stuff that Paizo actually describes via setting books and adventures, so as far as I'm concerned the lack of a distinct answer regarding the death of Aroden is a problem that is nice to have.

*goes back to memorize all the goodness that is the Qadira setting book*

Why would you have to solve it?


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Herald wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:

Have you read the huge article I wrote about that stuff in Pathfinder #100?

I did, and while I liked it, it felt like I was looking through a knot hole in a fence.

I know more about how the Runelords effected Golarion than I do about what Aroden and his church created.

Just read that and it sounds harsh, I don't mean it that way. But Aroden actually wanted to advance Humanity and yet very little stands as a testament to his work. Yet the Runelords have dams and crumbling bridges and arcs that still stand.

It would seem to me that someone who stood for the advancement of humanity would stand as an example of what it could become and inspire humanity to do great works.

I don't see a whole lot of that. I used to think that it was sort of implied at the beginning of the campaign that was the case, but after reading more of the material I feel like I was mistaken and so that's on me.

So while I don't advocate for Aroden to return or his murder to be solved, I do think that for a god that influenced the world like he did I'd like to some evidence of it where it seems suitable.

Arch of aroden, the taldor expeditions, gallowspire, pushing a demon in a lake, and Absalom are all part of it. I was looking at River kingdom stuff and taldor/aroden influence is there.


Sundakan wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:


The interesting thing to me is more in the "what now" aspect of what happens to the campaign world when "God" dies. What happens to institutions, to culture, etc. Add to that the idea that this also casts prophecy in doubt, and you've got a bunch of inherent questions that are more interesting to me than "who did it."

So why haven't you actually done anything with that concept?

Every adventure path. Aroden's death was the end of prophecy. So, events that were foretold (rising runelords, second earthfall, a genie returning to summon a monster, armag in the river kingdoms) are not being stopped by God intervention or prophecied rescuers. It is up to players/heroes.


I'm working on an alternative and learning a lot in the process. If you try stretching the longitude based on latitude in GIMP or Google earth, it tries which is attempting to maintain parallel lines distorting vertically. I'm trying a script that stretches like a trapazoid to keep distance but distorts what is "north" anywhere on the map.

The most interesting issue is that at 59 degrees latitude, the inner sea takes up 20% of the circumference of the latitude line.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

And we can say, "Oh, but the Golarion cultures aren't carbon copies of the Earth cultures", and that's true, but the parallels are arguably too obvious (and deliberately employed) to just ignore them when they get inconvenient.

I just did. BOOM!

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