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James Jacobs wrote:
the format of our adventures don't really allow for us to say things like "THIS INFORMATION CORRECTS INFORMATION WE PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED").

What is it about the format that stops you from doing that? It sounds as if it would be useful.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Think about every movie or story you've read that involves someone with mind control powers. Let me know if you can come up with any that portray the mind controller as anything other than a monster or a villain.

Would the Jedi in Star Wars count? (Perhaps the very transitory nature of ‘Jedi mind tricks’ makes that the exception that proves the rule.)


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How much do you expect future Golarion content to assume the “canonical” ending to adventure paths?

E.g. if in someone’s local version of Golarion the PCs kill Belimarius, or don’t ascend Casandalee, or set someone other than Tessa Fairwinds up as Hurricane King, or someone other than Anastasia up as Queen of Irrisen, will that be a problem for future content, or are these choices going to stay in the background?

(Those are all intended to be plausible examples of how an AP might go down - as opposed to, say, killing Sorshen or allying with the Technic League.)


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"There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself" - Gandalf.

"You are more worthy to wear the armour of elf-princes than many that have looked more comely in it." - the elvenking.

"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure" - Thorin.

(I need to ask a question, so: is that the sort of thing you have in mind when you call Bilbo 'extraordinary'?)


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What's the intended use case for a CR 25 creature like Treerazer? They seem to be off the scale of what a L20 party could handle (CR 24 counts as 'extreme'; XP values are only listed for creatures within 4 levels of the party).


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Thanks! - I really appreciate the responses. (My day job is philosophy of physics, it's hard not to worry about these things.) & as I say, it's an awesome adventure path. Running it is a few years away as I haven't done Shattered Star yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

Since this thread is for questions: How much of the Runelords trilogy did you have mapped out when you wrote Burnt Offerings, and how much was filled in later?


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Time travel question 5/5:

...or am I overthinking this? (One reading of Return of the Runelords is that the timeline is damaged by Alaznist, not just changed, and things are intentionally confusing and contradictory.)


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Time travel question 4/5:

In Runeplague, we're told that "as a result of actions the PCs take in the final adventure while they are in the Dimension of Time" Alaznist isn't aware of them earlier in the AP - what actions are those? I couldn't find them in Rise of New Thassilon.


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Time travel question 3/5:

Secrets of Hollow Mountain seems to imply that the PCs are now in the alternate timeline created by Alaznist's manipulations, but they still remember the old timeline because their own future actions insulate them. And that seems compatible with Runeplague and Temple of the Peacock Spirit - especially with Xanderghul's worry about time being changed. But then in book 6 it turns out that Sorshen is trapped in the Everdawn Pool in the alternate timeline, so that her simulacrum couldn't be present (unless the simulacrum could have escaped the Everdawn Pool while the real Sorshen stays trapped? - but that doesn't seem to fit what book 6 says) and similarly the Sihedron doesn't exist in the alternate timeline, so that the Sihedron Council couldn't know about it. That seems to imply that the PCs are in the old timeline (but remembering the new timeline) until they emerge from Crystilan in book 6 - but then, how is that reconciled with Xanderghul's knowledge that history has been changed?


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Time travel question 2/5:

In Runeplague, Ayavah's vision has the PCs and Sorshen facing off against the Oliphaunt - but the PCs actually meet the Oliphaunt while Sorshen is still in the Everdawn Pool. Again, is that intentional, or just AP design evolution?


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Reposting wall-of-text time travel questions (sorry about that).

1) The early adventures give the impression of a special role for the Oliphaunt of Jandaley - e.g. the "runelord legacy" section in Secrets of Roderick's Cove talks about the Oliphaunt's arrival as the thing Alaznist is waiting for, and Runeplague's introduction says that Alaznist alters the timeline in seven places and *in addition* brings the Oliphaunt forward. But by book 6, the Oliphaunt's being brought forward is just one of Alaznist's interventions, and not even the most significant (from a PC perspective). Is this just the AP evolving in the design process, or is there something going on in-world?


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Some more questions trying to get clear on how the time travel aspects of Return of the Runelords works (I'll ask them all in the same comment because I think some of the answers might be connected).

1) The early adventures give the impression of a special role for the Oliphaunt of Jandaley - e.g. the "runelord legacy" section in Secrets of Roderick's Cove talks about the Oliphaunt's arrival as the thing Alaznist is waiting for, and Runeplague's introduction says that Alaznist alters the timeline in seven places and *in addition* brings the Oliphaunt forward. But by book 6, the Oliphaunt's being brought forward is just one of Alaznist's interventions, and not even the most significant (from a PC perspective). Is this just the AP evolving in the design process, or is there something going on in-world?

2) In Runeplague, Ayavah's vision has the PCs and Sorshen facing off against the Oliphaunt - but the PCs actually meet the Oliphaunt while Sorshen is still in the Everdawn Pool. Again, is that intentional, or just AP design evolution?

3) Secrets of Hollow Mountain seems to imply that the PCs are now in the alternate timeline created by Alaznist's manipulations, but they still remember the old timeline because their own future actions insulate them. And that seems compatible with Runeplague and Temple of the Peacock Spirit - especially with Xanderghul's worry about time being changed. But then in book 6 it turns out that Sorshen is trapped in the Everdawn Pool in the alternate timeline, so that her simulacrum couldn't be present (unless the simulacrum could have escaped the Everdawn Pool while the real Sorshen stays trapped? - but that doesn't seem to fit what book 6 says) and similarly the Sihedron doesn't exist in the alternate timeline, so that the Sihedron Council couldn't know about it. That seems to imply that the PCs are in the old timeline (but remembering the new timeline) until they emerge from Crystilan in book 6
- but then, how is that to be reconciled with Xanderghul's knowledge that history has been changed?

4) In Runeplague, we're told that "as a result of actions the PCs take in the final adventure while they are in the Dimension of Time" Alaznist isn't aware of them earlier in the AP - what actions are those? I couldn't find them in Rise of New Thassilon.

5) (or am I overthinking this? One reading of Return of the Runelords is that the timeline is damaged by Alaznist, not just changed, and things are intentionally confusing and contradictory.)


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James Jacobs wrote:
DavidW wrote:
2) There is a troll in Kaer Maga in adventure #3 who has a clearly-correct prophecy. How can that happen in the Age of Lost Omens?
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day (AKA If you have enough theoretical prophecies bandied about, eventually one will end up "predicting" the final event simply out of chance), but also, the troll in Kaer Maga's prophecy isn't right because it's a magic divination but because of time travel and paradox stuff going on, so it's not really a prophecy at all.

Thanks! - I somehow hadn't caught the time-travel aspect of the troll prophecy.

I'm reminded that I also had a time-travel question from Return of the Runelords. One central reason the party go to Xin-Edasseril is to learn how the timeline was altered by comparing their own historical knowledge with the records there. For some of the timeline alterations (Xin's activities, the runelord schism) it's easy to see how that works. For some others (Alaznist learning more about sinspawn, the Oliphaunt being transported forward in time) one can come up with a story (maybe there are records of the sinspawns' exploits that are less impressive than the party's historians remember; maybe the Oliphaunt is recorded as having rampaged through Xanderghul's legion rather than disappearing). But for two events it's really hard to see how the library could help:

- Alaznist sabotages the Cyphergate - but Karzoug doesn't notice, and he doesn't get around to using it before Earthfall so the sabotage doesn't come to light.

- ALaznist traps Sorshen in the Everdawn Pool- but that happens *during* Earthfall, so it's hard to see how anything relevant to it could get into Xin-Edasseril's records.

Am I missing something about how this is supposed to work?

(Just in case this comes across as critical: I think Return of the Runelords is *wonderful*. I want to understand it as well as I can before using content from it.)


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2) There is a troll in Kaer Maga in adventure #3 who has a clearly-correct prophecy. How can that happen in the Age of Lost Omens?


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I’m just prepping for a Shattered Star campaign. A couple of questions (I’ll do one per post):

1) in my metacampaign, Ileosa is still queen (longrunning, slow moving campaign with out-of-town friends). Is there any serious problem with supposing that the Gray Maidens at the Lady’s Light are still working for her, rather than being renegades?


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James Jacobs wrote:
DavidW wrote:
If you were doing Wrath of the Righteous as a 2e adventure path, do you think the existing system (and 1-20 level range) is sufficient to manage it, or would it require a 2e version of Epic/Mythic?
It'd need something more than the standard 1st to 20th stuff, since the final bad guys will still be level 26 to 30.

Got it... and having reread the Forewords on that AP, I see this was part of why Mythic was developed in the first place.

Anything you can share about whether any kind of Mythic/Epic system is planned for 2e?


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If you were doing Wrath of the Righteous as a 2e adventure path, do you think the existing system (and 1-20 level range) is sufficient to manage it, or would it require a 2e version of Epic/Mythic?


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I've always assumed there are six adventures in an AP not because that's the ideal storytelling number for a campaign, but just because the 3.5 XP system means that's how many adventures you need to get close to maximum level.

So, two related questions: is that correct? And if so, did you consider changing it either when PF1 or PF2 came out? (I ask partly because I find 6 45-page adventures slightly on the long side for a campaign.)


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A question about world design: why did you decide to make Golarion's history as long as it is? 10,000 years (Earthfall-present) is way longer than the gap between even ancient hardly-known civilisations like the early Egyptians and the present, and it seems to cause difficulties in places (e.g., Thassilonian/Azlanti ruins all need to have some kind of magic that's prevented them from decaying; Divinity's tech needs some background work to explain why it lay there for so many millenia without being touched). And while Golarion's history is really rich, it's not obvious (to me at any rate) that it couldn't have been compressed into a third the length.


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Thanks; that makes sense.

Totally different question: I’m running Savage Tide on Golarion (well, actually on a Golarion/Mystara mashup, but let’s pretend it’s Golarion). It’s easy enough to use Demogorgon as-is, but any thoughts as to how to fit the Malcanthet/Shami-Amourae tangle into Golarion succubus lore? (Malcanthet and Nocticula differ in a bunch of ways, and while the Nocticula redemption arc hasn’t happened in my metacampaign yet, it would be nice to not close off the option.) Making Shami-Amourae into Nocticula and letting her depose Malcanthet is my best idea so far, though it still requires fairly significant lore changes.


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2nd Edition seems to have coincided with a fairly systematic decision to move the game away from D&D, in terms of lore as well as mechanics (e.g. your comments about avoiding gnoll ancestries), but I haven't seen it discussed much explicitly: what are the reasons for doing so, insofar as you're allowed to discuss them? In particular, how much is it to do with the OGL not working for you as well as it used to?

(It makes me a bit sad: I'd always seen the OGL as a means of making sure D&D stayed available, and for a long time Paizo's products demonstrated that worked in practice as well as theory, which is why I followed to Paizo after 4e came out.)


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Most of the Adventure Paths seem to be being written into Golarion's history, but Jade Regent seems to be an exception (Sandpoint book is set before it happens; Return of the Runelords avoids the Rusty Dragon to avoid being committed to whether it's happened). Any particular reason?


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What's the rationale for formalizing the adventure paths' events in the setting? Previously we've had specific adventure paths that are written as sequels to earlier ones, and occasional comments in adventure paths about how to handle earlier events, but for the most part they've seemed to happen in isolation. Sometimes this has even been stated explicitly - the foreword of book 6 of Wrath of the Runelords, for instance, says

"remember, we at Paizo make no assumptions about when most Adventure Paths, including this one, begin in relationship to any others. Future Adventure Paths and products published by us will continue to assume that the Worldwound is still open, that Deskari and Areelu are still plotting, and that the crusaders are still traveling north to bolster Mendev’s borders. The time may come when we might decide to do a sequel of sorts to Wrath of the Righteous... but for now, that time is a long way off."

This isn't intended as a "gotcha" question - I can can see reasons for different policies or for changing the policies, and advancing the setting through PC adventures is way better than the old TSR approach of advancing it through novels. I'm just interested in the rationale, especially as it potentially makes it harder for people to run older APs out-of-order, or for Paizo to do future hardback compilations.


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Does the eternal winter in Irrisen mean eternally short days and long nights? Or is it a normal day/night cycle for its latitude, just supernaturally cooled in the "summer"?


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James Jacobs wrote:
DavidW wrote:
Did prophecy stop working across the whole universe at the time of Aroden's death, or just on Golarion?
You assume prophecy worked in the first place and wasn't just something that us mortals were misunderstanding as functional when, in fact, we were reading truth into coincidences.

Okay, let me rephrase:

Before Aroden's death, it was widely believed on Golarion (e.g. by the Azlanti oracular observatories discussed in PF122) that prophecy was real and functional; after Aroden's death, that belief went away. Was there a parallel shift on other worlds?

(I understand and support the design goal of removing prophecy from the game setting given that it doesn't play nicely with PC agency, but I also take it that you had reasons to explicitly deactivate prophecy - or at least, the belief in prophecy! - in the game setting in AR4606, rather than just establishing that it had never worked.)


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Did prophecy stop working across the whole universe at the time of Aroden's death, or just on Golarion?