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How common were elementalists wizards in Azlant?
What about Thassilon?


Are there any beings more powerful or beyond deities?

Such as greater deities or over-gods


1- Does being turned into an corporeal undead affect the person's soul or just their body?
2- What about mindless undead?
3- How can Mindless creatures (such as Zombies) be evil? Don't they need a mind to make any sort of moral decision?
4- How do you roleplay alignment for mindless creatures without making them... Uh... Not mindless.

5- Do the gods of Golarion know how the universe begun?
6- How do gods feel about mortals rising to godhood?
7- Can a god suffer such a bow that it becomes mortal?


A quick search of the Iron Gods Player's Guide didn't turn up a single instance of "dinosaur".

So, in which AP, if any, would a dinosaur riding barbarian be least inappropriate?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Can a deity live forever? you know if they are not killed by something
Depends on how you define "forever," but generally, no. Everything dies eventually. But that eventually might not come until after existence changes so fundamentally that it no longer would be recognizable as existence to anyone today.
But what kills them then? old age?

Nope. Other things. We'll reveal more when we want to reveal more. For now... let the ones we HAVE revealed serve as examples.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Can a deity live forever? you know if they are not killed by something
Depends on how you define "forever," but generally, no. Everything dies eventually. But that eventually might not come until after existence changes so fundamentally that it no longer would be recognizable as existence to anyone today.

1)Do the gods fear this form of death?

2)have any gods ever tried to find a way around this form of death

1) Some do, some don't.

2) Some have, some have not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ral' Yareth wrote:

James,

I believe I've found an error in the advanced class origins:

arcanist new exploit wrote:


Face Thief (Su): The arcanist can expend 1 point from her arcane reservoir to assume an illusory disguise as disguise self. If she expends 2 points from her arcane reservoir instead of 1, the duration of the effect increases to 10 minutes per level.

The thing is, disguise self already has a 10 min /level duration.

What would be your advice for fixing it, as the book said exploit is in doesn't belong to the Core line?

That certainly does look like an error.

My suggestion would be to just ignore Face Thief. If you absolutely HAVE to have it.. then just say that expending 2 points extends the spell's duration as if it got metamagiced.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ral' Yareth wrote:

How common were elementalists wizards in Azlant?

What about Thassilon?

Rare in Azlant. Pretty much not there at all in Thassilon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:

Are there any beings more powerful or beyond deities?

Such as greater deities or over-gods

The category of "deity" has no cap to power.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ZanThrax wrote:

A quick search of the Iron Gods Player's Guide didn't turn up a single instance of "dinosaur".

So, in which AP, if any, would a dinosaur riding barbarian be least inappropriate?

Serpent's Skull

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Lemmy wrote:

1- Does being turned into an corporeal undead affect the person's soul or just their body?

2- What about mindless undead?
3- How can Mindless creatures (such as Zombies) be evil? Don't they need a mind to make any sort of moral decision?
4- How do you roleplay alignment for mindless creatures without making them... Uh... Not mindless.

5- Do the gods of Golarion know how the universe begun?
6- How do gods feel about mortals rising to godhood?
7- Can a god suffer such a bow that it becomes mortal?

1) Whether or not the undead you're turned into is corporeal or not doesn't make a difference.

2) Mindless undead only use a tiny fragment of the soul. That's enough to prevent a creature from being resurrected, but not enough to prevent them from being judged.

3) Because they're infused with evil to an extent that even though they are mindless, they're so infused with the stuff that they are evil in action. It's a supernatural side effect of being undead, if you will. They don't have minds, but they also don't have free will; unlike things like vermin which exist on a purely instinct level of life, mindless undead are instinctively evil.

4) Like zombies in any zombie movie you see.

5) Some do. Most do not. And no, I'm not ready to reveal which ones do and which ones don't.

6) Some welcome new friends and allies. Some resent the crowding of the pool. Some don't care. Some encourage it to get new friends and allies or to crowd the pool. It varies by deity.

7) Yes.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
Can a deity live forever? you know if they are not killed by something
Depends on how you define "forever," but generally, no. Everything dies eventually. But that eventually might not come until after existence changes so fundamentally that it no longer would be recognizable as existence to anyone today.

And so it was said. that that the End would come even to the Endless, as Death takes the closed book from Destiny and turns the lights out on the Universe.


James Jacobs wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
4- How do you roleplay alignment for mindless creatures without making them... Uh... Not mindless.
4) Like zombies in any zombie movie you see.

I've never seen any zombie movie where the zombies had any sort of morality or displayed any sense of alignment as we understand it via Pathfinder rules.

They only ever display hunger, which is not evil.

Are non-undead things that share the same sort of "unnatural hunger" also considered [Evil]? Things like parasites, insects, diseases, etc.?


James Jacobs wrote:
AOKost wrote:

James, I've been wondering about many of the races that have come out in the suplementals in reference to Advanced Race Guide as to how they might "add up" as it ewere with RP, and how other monstrous traits (such as Mariliths (and other creatures from the Biestiaries) Multiweapon Mastery for example) might cost in RP. I've also wondered how much Templated features might cost or if it is possiblet to ad a RP cost to the features gained from a template that is added to a character.

I see that you are a very busy person, so if and when you are able to answer these questions or point me in the right direction I will be cery greatful! Thank you for your time and patience!

I would STRONGLY recommend you don't apply the race building rules to monsters that powerful. Monsters as a whole are designed not to be played by player characters, and as such, a lot of their powers, particularly when you get to more powerful monsters like mariliths, are simply and completely inappropriate for a PC race to have.

Furthermore, using the race building rules to build monsters isn't a good idea because it unnecessarily hinders and blocks creativity. For monsters, you don't have to worry about how their powers add up—it's as much (if not more) art as it is science and math to build a great new monster, and in my opinion, something like the race builder guide hampers the art of monster design.

Thank you for replying... Though I don't think you understood my intent... What I was trying to get at was more along the lines of abilities. Some things can easily be found in Advanced Races, such as flight, regeneration, spell resistance, etc. But some things are not, as an example the Xill, and Mariliths Multiweapon Mastery. I'm not trying to build monsters using Advanced Races... My intent was to build a race that had Multiweapon Mastery and 4 arms, similar to the Kasatha. I understand the reasoning for not having a multi-weapon progression that includes improved, greater, and superior like in 3.5 (even if I don't personally agree with it, I understand). Some abilities creatures from the Bestiaries would be nice to incorporate into a new character race, like Web (the ability to "throw" a web a number of times per day as a touch attack that entangles enemies, and the like. Another example would be having multiple heads, or other abilities that are not listed in Advanced Races.

This was then extended a bit further to incorporate and include RP values for abilities found in templates that could be added to characters... There are a few examples of these, one being Half-Demon template that is similar to Half-Fiend, but involving demons... Most of the things found in templates are easily added to a race, such as flying, regeneration, and the like, but some are not found in Advnaced Races...

So to sum it up, and I'm sory for being so long-winded, I'm hoping to find an extended version of features that have RP values that can be added to player-character race creation...

If there is something along these lines, I would greatly appreciate being guided to its location.

Thank you for your time and patience once again!


I have two questions and two disclaimers. Disclaimers first... I saw no guidelines or rules for asking questions, so please forgive me if I'm unwittingly breaking any. Second, being that I don't have time to wade through 50K posts, please also forgive questions you may have already answered a few (or a hundred) times.

Without further adieu.

1. Boon Companion - I plan to take three Animal Companions with my Packmaster Hunter. If I take Boon Companion three times (5th, 7th, and 9th levels, once for each animal), does that give me three level 5 ACs at 9th level, or would I have to be 15th level to have three level 5s?

2. Assuming you can answer Mythic questions, does the Mythic Champion path ability Precision apply to all iterations of a monks Flurry of Blows? For example: at level 17 (normally +15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5/+0) would that be +15/+15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5, or +15/+15/+15/+15/+10/+10/+5?

Thanks!


In Curse of the Crimson Throne (Edge of Anarchy), after the PCs exit the fishery after defeating Gaedren Lamm, the city is in chaos. It's described as being on fire, with shouts, screaming, fighting, and even a sable company marine and his hippogryph crash into a statue and die in the suggested description. Frankly the description makes it sound like a war has suddenly broken out, but Ileosa isn't set to really start messing things up until Seven Days to the Grave.

All of this seems pretty extreme, especially to occur within only a few minutes of King Eodred's Death. The city was obviously normal (or at best, the news of his death hadn't reached the PCs) by the time they set out for the fishery, and navigating the lair and defeating it's inhabitants wouldn't likely take more than half an hour at most for your average adventuring party.

So why is the city so suddenly thrown into such chaos? Especially among the lower class of the area the PCs are in, I wouldn't imagine the death of a monarch (especially one who had been in obvious ailing health) would have such an immediate, adverse affect on the population.

Shadow Lodge

this question is in regards to the spellslinger Archtype and Technological Weapons

playing Iron Gods AP I just got my hands on an inferno pistol and there is an ability the spellslinger gets that I'm cureious how it interacts with tech weapons

Arcane Gun - I have quoted the section of the ability that gives me pause

SRD wrote:
If any of the spells’ attack rolls result in a natural 1 (a misfire), or a natural 20 is rolled on any saving throw made against the spell by a target (an overload), the arcane gun gains the broken condition.

Technological weapons don't have a misfire rate - would a Natural 1 still incur the broken condition ?


James Jacobs wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
4- How do you roleplay alignment for mindless creatures without making them... Uh... Not mindless.
4) Like zombies in any zombie movie you see.

So... carnivorous? I never considered zombies to be any more evil than, say... A lion hunting its prey.

I suppose it could be said that they are evil because they don't need to eat to "survive" (well, some do), but I don't think they are aware of that.

Anyway, thanks for the answers.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wraith235 wrote:

this question is in regards to the spellslinger Archtype and Technological Weapons

playing Iron Gods AP I just got my hands on an inferno pistol and there is an ability the spellslinger gets that I'm cureious how it interacts with tech weapons

Arcane Gun - I have quoted the section of the ability that gives me pause

SRD wrote:
If any of the spells’ attack rolls result in a natural 1 (a misfire), or a natural 20 is rolled on any saving throw made against the spell by a target (an overload), the arcane gun gains the broken condition.
Technological weapons don't have a misfire rate - would a Natural 1 still incur the broken condition ?

Most definitely yes, and given the extra complexity of tech and magic, for me, it would be a 1 or a 2.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Neo2151 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
4- How do you roleplay alignment for mindless creatures without making them... Uh... Not mindless.
4) Like zombies in any zombie movie you see.

I've never seen any zombie movie where the zombies had any sort of morality or displayed any sense of alignment as we understand it via Pathfinder rules.

They only ever display hunger, which is not evil.

Are non-undead things that share the same sort of "unnatural hunger" also considered [Evil]? Things like parasites, insects, diseases, etc.?

Nonetheless, a mindless undead "roleplays" its alignment by relentlessly attacking foes, even when doing so would put it at risk. That's how most zombies work in movies, and how they work in Pathfinder. The fact that they're evil is explained by the overwhelmingly evil magic that creates them. They're mindless, so they don't really have any agendas or goals, and as such... they're not really good subjects to "roleplay" in the first place.

Non-undead beings like parasites and insects aren't evil. If they were, they would have alignments to match. Arguing semantics isn't going to result in a rules-wide change in this case.

I get it that some folks would like to see Pathfinder be a game that presents mindless undead as non-evil, but that's not the game I'm the Creative Director of.

If you want non-evil skeletons or zombies, the solution is to transform a body into an animated object or other construct. Things like carrion golems, flesh golems, and bone golems, for example, or simple animated objects made from dead bodies are mindless but not evil. Another variant that's not evil would be the "zombies" created by yellow musk creepers.

There are, in other words, variants that do what folks want. You just can't create those variants via necromancy.

It's not just how the rules work. It's how we've decided, as the owners of the intellectual property that is Golarion, how it works. Obviously... you can change it in your world if you want. But asking questions here, of me, the creative director, will not get answers for your home game or your campaign setting. I'm not the expert there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AOKost wrote:

So to sum it up, and I'm sory for being so long-winded, I'm hoping to find an extended version of features that have RP values that can be added to player-character race creation...

If there is something along these lines, I would greatly appreciate being guided to its location.

Ah; gotcha. Nope, there's not anything along those lines that we've created, nor do we have plans to do so.


Hi James!

Lemme just say that I think its awesome that you take the time to do this (even if you don't get a chance to look at mine!).

Maybe this is a question for the rules forum, but here goes. Feats and animal companions. Is there any limit to the feats an animal companion can take, besides the sheer numbers of the prereqs (like Dex 15+)? Was it intended for animal companions to be able to take any feat they qualify for, numbers wise?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CKorfmann wrote:

I have two questions and two disclaimers. Disclaimers first... I saw no guidelines or rules for asking questions, so please forgive me if I'm unwittingly breaking any. Second, being that I don't have time to wade through 50K posts, please also forgive questions you may have already answered a few (or a hundred) times.

Without further adieu.

1. Boon Companion - I plan to take three Animal Companions with my Packmaster Hunter. If I take Boon Companion three times (5th, 7th, and 9th levels, once for each animal), does that give me three level 5 ACs at 9th level, or would I have to be 15th level to have three level 5s?

2. Assuming you can answer Mythic questions, does the Mythic Champion path ability Precision apply to all iterations of a monks Flurry of Blows? For example: at level 17 (normally +15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5/+0) would that be +15/+15/+15/+10/+10/+5/+5, or +15/+15/+15/+15/+10/+10/+5?

Thanks!

Rules questions like these should be asked in the appropriate rules forum/thread, so that the design team will see them and so that folks can tag them with an FAQ click.

I have on occasion answered rules questions like these, but too many times folks (often associated with PFS, it seems) have used my answers to fuel distressing and non-productive rules arguments. Further, at times my interpretation of the rules differs from the design team; this doesn't mean my interpretation is wrong or that theirs is right, but that disconnect bothered some folks on these boards enough that they complained and as a result...

... I don't really answer rules questions here. Sorry.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Nargemn wrote:

In Curse of the Crimson Throne (Edge of Anarchy), after the PCs exit the fishery after defeating Gaedren Lamm, the city is in chaos. It's described as being on fire, with shouts, screaming, fighting, and even a sable company marine and his hippogryph crash into a statue and die in the suggested description. Frankly the description makes it sound like a war has suddenly broken out, but Ileosa isn't set to really start messing things up until Seven Days to the Grave.

All of this seems pretty extreme, especially to occur within only a few minutes of King Eodred's Death. The city was obviously normal (or at best, the news of his death hadn't reached the PCs) by the time they set out for the fishery, and navigating the lair and defeating it's inhabitants wouldn't likely take more than half an hour at most for your average adventuring party.

So why is the city so suddenly thrown into such chaos? Especially among the lower class of the area the PCs are in, I wouldn't imagine the death of a monarch (especially one who had been in obvious ailing health) would have such an immediate, adverse affect on the population.

War HAS broken out, in a way, but it's not a lasting war. The chaos passes quickly and Korvosa settles into an uncomfortable and increasingly martial law type situation as Illeosa strengthens her grip.

It does seem extreme the way you present it here, but I don't have time to go back and examine/study the actual words in the adventure. If it feels too much to you, you should absolutely tone it down in your game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lemmy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
4- How do you roleplay alignment for mindless creatures without making them... Uh... Not mindless.
4) Like zombies in any zombie movie you see.

So... carnivorous? I never considered zombies to be any more evil than, say... A lion hunting its prey.

I suppose it could be said that they are evil because they don't need to eat to "survive" (well, some do), but I don't think they are aware of that.

Anyway, thanks for the answers.

No... as I said in the previous answer... they're singlemindedly eager to consume the flesh of the living. They don't care for dead flesh so much. They don't try to engage in self-preservation. Those are two elements a non-evil scavenger or vermin creature that's mindless won't do. It'll try to save its life and won't mind eating something already dead.

Again... they're evil because the specific effect that created them (in this case, animate dead) is evil. A "zombie" made by a plant (like a yellow musk creeper) or a spell like animate objects would not be evil but would still be mindless.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wraith235 wrote:

this question is in regards to the spellslinger Archtype and Technological Weapons

playing Iron Gods AP I just got my hands on an inferno pistol and there is an ability the spellslinger gets that I'm cureious how it interacts with tech weapons

Arcane Gun - I have quoted the section of the ability that gives me pause

SRD wrote:
If any of the spells’ attack rolls result in a natural 1 (a misfire), or a natural 20 is rolled on any saving throw made against the spell by a target (an overload), the arcane gun gains the broken condition.
Technological weapons don't have a misfire rate - would a Natural 1 still incur the broken condition ?

Nope. Technological weapons don't break on a natural 1 any more than any weapon would. That said, if they're timeworn, they DO glitch if you roll a natural 1.

Playing a gunslinger who uses technologically advanced firearms DOES MEAN that some of the abilities granted by your class or archetype become useless... but that said, the bulk of those abilities exist at low level, where you're unlikely to have that kind of advanced weapon anyway.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LazarX wrote:
Wraith235 wrote:

this question is in regards to the spellslinger Archtype and Technological Weapons

playing Iron Gods AP I just got my hands on an inferno pistol and there is an ability the spellslinger gets that I'm cureious how it interacts with tech weapons

Arcane Gun - I have quoted the section of the ability that gives me pause

SRD wrote:
If any of the spells’ attack rolls result in a natural 1 (a misfire), or a natural 20 is rolled on any saving throw made against the spell by a target (an overload), the arcane gun gains the broken condition.
Technological weapons don't have a misfire rate - would a Natural 1 still incur the broken condition ?
Most definitely yes, and given the extra complexity of tech and magic, for me, it would be a 1 or a 2.

Let's let me do the answering here, please, to avoid cluttering up the thread and to avoid confusing cross-answers or potential arguments over my answers. Thanks!


Would you agree that the fact that zombies don't have to eat also contributes to them being evil? Animals all need to eat to survive, but a zombie most certainly does not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Constantine wrote:

Hi James!

Lemme just say that I think its awesome that you take the time to do this (even if you don't get a chance to look at mine!).

Maybe this is a question for the rules forum, but here goes. Feats and animal companions. Is there any limit to the feats an animal companion can take, besides the sheer numbers of the prereqs (like Dex 15+)? Was it intended for animal companions to be able to take any feat they qualify for, numbers wise?

I try to look at and answer all of them!

The limit to the feats an animal companion can take are blocked by common sense and your GM's permission. A lot of feats imply the ability to make intelligent choices and tactics, require opposable thumbs, and similar things that aren't hardwired into the feats as requirements since the feats are generally assumed to be things taken by PCs for the most part.

For an animal companion (and for monsters that the GM designs), it's important for verisimilitude to avoid giving the creature that breaks believability or seems silly. Even if it doesn't take you out of the immersion in the game, you're not the only one playing the game. A silly or unbelievable feat choice for an animal companion can bother or annoy other players.

To be safe, it's best to thus limit your feat choices to those listed on page 53 of the Core Rulebook for animal companions. Obviously, this list doesn't include the billions of feats that have been invented since that book. If you find one that looks good and that makes sense for an animal to have, ask your GM.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Albatoonoe wrote:
Would you agree that the fact that zombies don't have to eat also contributes to them being evil? Animals all need to eat to survive, but a zombie most certainly does not.

No. Because that type of argument can't be won on the internet, unfortunately.

The reason zombies are evil is because the method of creating them is evil.

And I'd rather let the subject drop here, because without fundamentally changing the rules and the last 10 years of development for Golarion and thus ret-conning every zombie encounter we've published, they're going to stay evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Wraith235 wrote:

this question is in regards to the spellslinger Archtype and Technological Weapons

playing Iron Gods AP I just got my hands on an inferno pistol and there is an ability the spellslinger gets that I'm cureious how it interacts with tech weapons

Arcane Gun - I have quoted the section of the ability that gives me pause

SRD wrote:
If any of the spells’ attack rolls result in a natural 1 (a misfire), or a natural 20 is rolled on any saving throw made against the spell by a target (an overload), the arcane gun gains the broken condition.
Technological weapons don't have a misfire rate - would a Natural 1 still incur the broken condition ?
Most definitely yes, and given the extra complexity of tech and magic, for me, it would be a 1 or a 2.
Let's let me do the answering here, please, to avoid cluttering up the thread and to avoid confusing cross-answers or potential arguments over my answers. Thanks!

My mistake I didn't realise what thread this was in.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

What would you say is the easiest non-evil religion to generate a fundamentalist villain from? I mean, lots of PCs fight priests of EVIL religions all the time. That's par for the course. But nothing says "depth and drama" like PCs going up against faithful of a deity that's not as obviously bad, where the villain's wicked deeds can't just be explained away as his being a cultist of an evil God.


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

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would you say is the easiest non-evil religion to generate a fundamentalist villain from? I mean, lots of PCs fight priests of EVIL religions all the time. That's par for the course. But nothing says "depth and drama" like PCs going up against faithful of a deity that's not as obviously bad, where the villain's wicked deeds can't just be explained away as his being a cultist of an evil God.

Druma.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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

Nope.


James Jacobs wrote:
No... as I said in the previous answer... they're singlemindedly eager to consume the flesh of the living. They don't care for dead flesh so much. They don't try to engage in self-preservation. Those are two elements a non-evil scavenger or vermin creature that's mindless won't do. It'll try to save its life and won't mind eating something already dead.

Yeah, I later saw you answer to that question. I didn't mean to imply that rule is a bad one. I was just curious as how you "roleplayed" the Evil alignment in mindless creatures (undead or not, although I can't think of any other type of mindless creature that has an alignment).

You gave me a great answer. Thank you.

The Exchange

James -

1) Is there a question you've been hoping somebody would ask but haven't yet?

2) If so, what is the question?

3) What is the answer?


James Jacobs wrote:
But asking questions here, of me, the creative director, will not get answers for your home game or your campaign setting. I'm not the expert there.

Of course. :)

I only ask in relation to Golarion. I'm the type of person who very much wants to know the *whys* behind creative decisions, so if I come off as "pesky" about a topic (especially a sensitive one like undead) I apologize! [Rule developers tend to drop the, "because that's just the way it is" non-answer. I like picking at creative director brains because you guys and gals tend to give more interesting, and more workable, answers than that. :) ]

That said, I just have one follow up line-of-thought question:

James Jacobs wrote:

The fact that they're evil is explained by the overwhelmingly evil magic that creates them.

*snip*
There are, in other words, variants that do what folks want. You just can't create those variants via necromancy.

So what, specifically in Golarion, is the evil here?

Is all necromancy [Evil], and therefore all necromancy spells should be tagged as such?
Is it only negative energy that is [Evil] and all negative energy spells should be tagged as such?

Simply put, specific to Golarion, why is Animate Dead an evil spell but Harm is not? (Or if this isn't the case, then what IS the case?)

*Edited to put the correct spell*

Paizo Employee Creative Director

eldergod0515 wrote:

James -

1) Is there a question you've been hoping somebody would ask but haven't yet?

2) If so, what is the question?

3) What is the answer?

1) Not really. I prefer to be surprised by questions rather than anticipate them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Neo2151 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
But asking questions here, of me, the creative director, will not get answers for your home game or your campaign setting. I'm not the expert there.

Of course. :)

I only ask in relation to Golarion. I'm the type of person who very much wants to know the *whys* behind creative decisions, so if I come off as "pesky" about a topic (especially a sensitive one like undead) I apologize! [Rule developers tend to drop the, "because that's just the way it is" non-answer. I like picking at creative director brains because you guys and gals tend to give more interesting, and more workable, answers than that. :) ]

That said, I just have one follow up question:

James Jacobs wrote:

The fact that they're evil is explained by the overwhelmingly evil magic that creates them.

*snip*
There are, in other words, variants that do what folks want. You just can't create those variants via necromancy.

So what, specifically in Golarion, is the evil here?

Is all necromancy [Evil], and therefore all necromancy spells should be tagged as such?
Is it only negative energy that is [Evil] and all negative energy spells should be tagged as such?

Simply put, specific to Golarion, why is Raise Dead an evil spell but Harm is not? (Or if this isn't the case, then what IS the case?)

All spells that have the [Evil] descriptor are evil. Not all necromancy spells have this descriptor, but all necromancy spells that create undead do, because creating undead is an evil act.

Negative energy is not [Evil] in and of itself, but the act of using it to create undead is.

The spell descriptions answer the questions, frankly, by putting that [Evil] in there for you.

Note also that's from the Core Rulebook, so it's not just Golarion. It's the assumed norm and baseline for Pathifnder.


So, essentially, "It's evil cuz we said so."

:(

Oh well, that's the only answer this question has ever gotten, so I guess it's the only answer it's ever going to get.
Thanks for the time!


James Jacobs wrote:

All spells that have the [Evil] descriptor are evil. Not all necromancy spells have this descriptor, but all necromancy spells that create undead do, because creating undead is an evil act.

Negative energy is not [Evil] in and of itself, but the act of using it to create undead is.

The spell descriptions answer the questions, frankly, by putting that [Evil] in there for you.

Note also that's from the Core Rulebook, so it's not just Golarion. It's the assumed norm and baseline for Pathifnder.

You could justify that [Evil] spells are evil because evil intent is a important component of the spell, and that undead are evil because the "recipe" used to create them had an evil intent so even if they are mindless, their existence use evil rules that they have to function like killing the living ?


Hey, JJ, in your games, do you treat alignment as a consequence of morals or actions?

e.g.: Would someone be considered evil if only reason for not doing evil stuff is the fear of being caught (or the reward for good behavior), or would their alignment only turn Evil once they actually took action?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Neo2151 wrote:

So, essentially, "It's evil cuz we said so."

:(

Oh well, that's the only answer this question has ever gotten, so I guess it's the only answer it's ever going to get.
Thanks for the time!

Guess what. The entire rulebook and everything we publish is "cuz we said so."

Evil undead aren't anything strange or unusual in that regard.

And since that's the only answer the question has ever gotten, since it's the RIGHT answer, maybe it's time to move on to other questions.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Draco Bahamut wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

All spells that have the [Evil] descriptor are evil. Not all necromancy spells have this descriptor, but all necromancy spells that create undead do, because creating undead is an evil act.

Negative energy is not [Evil] in and of itself, but the act of using it to create undead is.

The spell descriptions answer the questions, frankly, by putting that [Evil] in there for you.

Note also that's from the Core Rulebook, so it's not just Golarion. It's the assumed norm and baseline for Pathifnder.

You could justify that [Evil] spells are evil because evil intent is a important component of the spell, and that undead are evil because the "recipe" used to create them had an evil intent so even if they are mindless, their existence use evil rules that they have to function like killing the living ?

They're evil because they intrinsically involve exposing yourself to infectious evil or committing evil acts or both.

And again... can you have non-evil mindless undead? Yes. I pointed out the yellow-musk creeper zombie as an example.

Can you have non-evil mindless undead created by animate dead, the way the vast vast vast majority of zombies and skeletons are created? No.

Could there be a new spell that allows this? Absolutely. Don't expect us to publish such a spell, though, since that's at cross-purposes to what we're doing with our products.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lemmy wrote:

Hey, JJ, in your games, do you treat alignment as a consequence of morals or actions?

e.g.: Would someone be considered evil if only reason for not doing evil stuff is the fear of being caught (or the reward for good behavior), or would their alignment only turn Evil once they actually took action?

Alignment is a result, not a cause. Alignment shifts to match your actions, and is essentially a measuring stick of what you do with your free will. The exact moment someone's alignment shifts is left to the GM, but should be after a single significant act or after a cumulation of numerous (the number can vary) minor evil acts.

Folks who want a codified system for tracking when exactly a creature's alignment changes can use the system in Ultimate Campaign.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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In any event... I'm tired of the whole implication of "You were wrong to have zombies and skeletons be evil," element of questions here. It's neither wrong nor right to have that be the norm, but once that decision is made, it needs to stay that way. For the same reason we decided the world is called Golarion, why humans are the dominant race, why the sky in Golarion is blue, and why red dragons still breathe fire. Constant changes to the status quo for no reason other than to appeal to differing aesthetics or opinions not held by the staff that creates the game and world are self-destructive.

Let's keep this thread to questions that have answers folks want to know, rather than answers folks want to argue about; thanks!


Why is golem crafting not evil?

You basically kidnap an elemental spirit from it's home plane, strip it's soul from it's body, torture it until it loses it's mind, imprison it in some man-made shell, and then enslave it to follow your commands.

Bestiary - Golem wrote:

Golems are magically created automatons of great power. They stand apart from other constructs in the nature of their animating force—golems are granted their magical life via an elemental spirit, typically that of an earth elemental. The process of creating a golem binds the spirit to the artificial body, merging it with this specially prepared vessel and subjecting it to the will of the golem's creator.

Being mindless, golems do nothing without orders from their creators. They follow instructions explicitly and are incapable of complex strategy or tactics. A golem's creator can command it if the golem is within 60 feet and can see and hear its creator. If uncommanded, a golem usually follows its last instruction to the best of its ability, though if attacked it returns the attack. The creator can give the golem a simple command to govern its actions in his absence, or can order the golem to obey the commands of another, but the golem's creator can always resume control by commanding the golem to obey him alone.


When determining CR for an encounter, how do you determine the total CR when it falls between two values? For example, a group of five 1/4 CR (100 xp each) creatures plus one 1 CR (400 xp) creature = 900, which falls between CR 2 (600) and CR 3 (800) on the experience points awards chart. Do you round up or down to the nearest whole? And if so, how do you represent that said encounter isn't quite even in a book? (I haven't found any examples of CR 2 1/2 encounters in any AP's, for example)


James Jacobs wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

Hey, JJ, in your games, do you treat alignment as a consequence of morals or actions?

e.g.: Would someone be considered evil if only reason for not doing evil stuff is the fear of being caught (or the reward for good behavior), or would their alignment only turn Evil once they actually took action?

Alignment is a result, not a cause. Alignment shifts to match your actions, and is essentially a measuring stick of what you do with your free will. The exact moment someone's alignment shifts is left to the GM, but should be after a single significant act or after a cumulation of numerous (the number can vary) minor evil acts.

Folks who want a codified system for tracking when exactly a creature's alignment changes can use the system in Ultimate Campaign.

So if someone is evil at heart, but innocent (in the sense that it didn't practice evil yet), then said someone is Neutral?

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