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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

1) Thinner means that it's not as wide. The blade is not "bendy," just narrower than the scimitar. Narrower than a falchion is probably a better comparasion.

2) And I'm not answering because I'm hesitant to give away all of an NPC's complex backstory in a post to a player of that campaign. Ask your GM for advice; he or she is the one who gets to decide how much of that information you get for free and how much you have to earn in play.

4) Yes, they're allowed, as long as they meet the prerequisites.

5) They do but we haven't described it yet.

6) Ummmm... it sounds like your only criteria is "I don't want to use something I've used before." Roll on the random weapon chart of your choice until you roll a weapon you haven't used before if that's the only criteria. I can't build your character for you. Well... I COULD... but I won't. For time management reasons.

1) Okay. Just to clarify, the width you're referring to is from edge-to-edge, rather than the blade's "thickness" for lack of a better term, right? Just want to make sure I'm on the same page you are.

2) I understand. I confess to being metagamey here, I already own all the Second Darkness books, and am trying to re-read them to figure out the best stuff to use. It's less a matter of not knowing the story and more trying to interpret said story. It's less "what's her backstory" and more "what themes does she as a character represent." I suppose it kind of sounds silly to treat an AP like I'm writing an academic paper on it, doesn't it?

4) Okay, thanks. I suppose he could always say "I haven't betrayed the Swordpact. I just think it's way too narrowly focused on what activities are and are not acceptable to be practical."

5) Okay. I'll just have to be vague when mentioning it then until an official picture's available or something.

6) "Nothing I haven't used before AND nothing too cliche," actually. For instance, it seems cliche for an elf character in a campaign about elves to use a bow. It just seems...unoriginal, cookie-cutter. Know what I mean?

1) Edge to edge, yes. Side to side. Just look at the picture in Ultimate Equipment on page 27 of the curve blade and compare that illustration to the falchion on the exact same page and you'll see that the curve blade has a lesser width. That's all it means.

2) Well... players who read the adventure before playing said adventure are already kinda "cheating." I would rather not play as a GM with players who read the adventure, frankly, so I'm not sure what else to say here without going against my personal convictions. The point of playing a character in ANY campaign isn't to "play the best character in the story" but to "play a fun character and find out along the way how that character is defined and changed by the story." It's not something that you'll know the answer to before you play. It's something you learn BY playing. That's the whole point. It seems to me that you're going about it entirely backwards, and trying to build a character as you want them to exist after the campaign is done. Why play the campaign at all if that's the case? I don't get it.

4) That is, in fact, the type of thing a LOT of them say.

5) Or just work with the GM to make something up. Perhaps a pair of crossed Aldori swords over a green and red diamond? Just to make up something completely out of the blue?

6) I don't really get it, unless what you're asking for is "what do you think is a non-cliche weapon for an elf that I've not yet used?" I can't answer that, really, not having an encyclopediac list of all the weapons your character has used. My suggestion would be to pick a big heavy weapon and make the elf a high-strength elf. Use a scythe or a greatclub or an earth breaker or a harpoon or a dire flail.


I'm throwing Akata at my party in a time-sensitive sidequest; so the question I have is how long would it take a void zombie to turn into an Akata?
If it's up to the GM what would be a reasonable timeframe, a month or less?


Hello James! I have some demon-related questions for you.

1) If you were to recreate Nocticula using a PC race and class, which would you say would most closely approximate her abilities? Maybe a demon-spawn tiefling bard or slayer?

2) Are masquerade balls and opera houses popular in Alushinyrra?

3) What would the offspring of a human(oid) and a cambion be?

4) When you imagine a Demoniac (the Prestige Class) of Nocticula, what race and class seem most iconic?

5) Are followers of Nocticula any less likely to be assaulted by demons while visiting Alushinyrra than other mortals?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hello Mr. Jacobs! I hope that today finds you doing well!

I have been reading about the Whispering Tyrant lately. Most of the information that we know about him, including his rather impressive stat block, paints him out to be the "Big Bad" of the Inner Sea. Yet I couldn't help but wonder if he was truly the villain's villain of the Inner Sea. The Runelords are/were certainly powerful and Areelu Vorlesh is a pretty dangerous villain.

So my question is, in your opinion, which Pathfinder villain (that we know something about) is the "Big Bad" or a villain's villain in the Inner Sea? Runner ups for the position are also welcomed (I mean, adventures do slay a lot of Dark Lords each year)

Also I was curious to know who would win in a fight, Xanderghul or Tar-Baphon?

Have a fantastic week!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Pinkius wrote:

I'm throwing Akata at my party in a time-sensitive sidequest; so the question I have is how long would it take a void zombie to turn into an Akata?

If it's up to the GM what would be a reasonable timeframe, a month or less?

Did we mention anything about that in Pathfinder #14? Can't remember. Feel free to make the timing work however you want for your story though!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Varisian Wanderer wrote:

Hello James! I have some demon-related questions for you.

1) If you were to recreate Nocticula using a PC race and class, which would you say would most closely approximate her abilities? Maybe a demon-spawn tiefling bard or slayer?

2) Are masquerade balls and opera houses popular in Alushinyrra?

3) What would the offspring of a human(oid) and a cambion be?

4) When you imagine a Demoniac (the Prestige Class) of Nocticula, what race and class seem most iconic?

5) Are followers of Nocticula any less likely to be assaulted by demons while visiting Alushinyrra than other mortals?

1) Ummm... I suppose a demon-spawn bard/assassin. I guess. Or maybe just check out Areelu Vorlesh in the last Wrath of the Righteous. That said... why bother making her out of a PC race when she actually has stats already?

2) Yes.

3) A half fiend or a cambion or a tiefling. Probably a tiefling.

4) Drow bard.

5) Probably.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Generic GM wrote:

Hello Mr. Jacobs! I hope that today finds you doing well!

I have been reading about the Whispering Tyrant lately. Most of the information that we know about him, including his rather impressive stat block, paints him out to be the "Big Bad" of the Inner Sea. Yet I couldn't help but wonder if he was truly the villain's villain of the Inner Sea. The Runelords are/were certainly powerful and Areelu Vorlesh is a pretty dangerous villain.

So my question is, in your opinion, which Pathfinder villain (that we know something about) is the "Big Bad" or a villain's villain in the Inner Sea? Runner ups for the position are also welcomed (I mean, adventures do slay a lot of Dark Lords each year)

Also I was curious to know who would win in a fight, Xanderghul or Tar-Baphon?

Have a fantastic week!

He's not "the" big bad. Just one of the big bads. There are multiple options. The tarrasque, Treerazer, Nightripper, Baba Yaga, Deskari... pretty much all of the end bosses for the APs, all are potential big bads. There's not one specific intended villain to be the only main bad guy of hte game.

I'd probably say Karzoug would be the best choice.


James Jacobs wrote:
Varisian Wanderer wrote:
1) If you were to recreate Nocticula using a PC race and class, which would you say would most closely approximate her abilities? Maybe a demon-spawn tiefling bard or slayer?
1) Ummm... I suppose a demon-spawn bard/assassin. I guess. Or maybe just check out Areelu Vorlesh in the last Wrath of the Righteous. That said... why bother making her out of a PC race when she actually has stats already?

I guess I worded that weird. I should have asked, "How would a PC best be able to imitate Nocticula's abilities?" Though I suppose anyone capable of seducing and murdering someone would come close enough! Thanks for the answers, James! Demon-spawn bard/assassin sounds accurate!

The Exchange

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James Jacobs wrote:
Varisian Wanderer wrote:


3) What would the offspring of a human(oid) and a cambion be?

3) A half fiend or a cambion or a tiefling. Probably a tiefling.

James, no snarkiness intended...

I thought I'd recently read that a tiefling has fiendish blood that's been inherited but if one of his parents were a fiend that would make him a half fiend by definition. The logic goes that a tiefling has trace amounts of fiendish blood that can surface even generations later but a half fiend literally has 1/2 of the blood from each parent.

Q: Does that modify your response or is your response still good?

(and I apologize if this sounded impertinent - it's late :-) )


Hey James,

How are you doing?

Anyway some questions regarding Drow and Nocticula.

Are there any heretical drow worshipers of Nocticula?

If Nocticula redeems herself and becomes a non-evil, non-evil deity...what effects do you think that would have on her major areas of drow worshipers?

Grand Lodge

Alchemical Tools wrote:
Though associated with the woad plant, the alchemical ingredients of this blue paste can vary considerably. You can blend material spell components into the paste to paint the components directly on your flesh. Similarly, more complex woad designs can mimic the gestures needed to cast spells, allowing you to prepare stilled spells. Painting a symbol takes 10 minutes, and each gesture requires its own symbol. Symbols used to replicate gestures must be applied when preparing spells; doing so requires a Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 15 + the spell's level. Once you cast a spell, the effects of the woad paint are spent.

Do you think woad paint has to be visible for you to use the effects of it? For example, if you were wild-shaped into another form, would a spell painted on you pre-wildshape be usable without the normal somatic needs?

Silver Crusade

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

1) Thank you. I just wasn't sure because the pictures were profiles and didn't give a real indication of how thick they were.

2) I can't learn by playing if I don't have an opportunity to play in the first place. What I'm trying to do (and this is the reason I keep asking you about an APs narrative themes and stuff) is create first level PCs for each Adventure Path with plans prepared for how they'll level, that align as closely as possible to the narrative of the AP and established canon, so that as soon as someone proposes a play-by-post of an AP here on the boards I can post a character ready to go and maximize my chances of getting selected for the game, instead of scrambling to write something quickly and then finding someone else has posted a similar concept that's better than mine, or the recruitment thread gets so many applicants that when I invariably bring up the rear my entry's more likely to be ignored. I also want to ensure that the narrative stuff in an AP is addressed by at least one character, otherwise it feels like the narrative is cheapened. I'm in a Serpent's Skull game on a different board and I'm going nuts because all the other characters feel so disconnected and random. For me, the game is fun when the story that is crafted as a result is good, and I feel like I can't trust other players to do that so I have to do it myself.

4) Thanks.

5) Again, I don't want to violate canon. What if a book that contains the official symbol is released while playing and I've been saying it's something else?

6) Thanks.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

eldergod0515 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Varisian Wanderer wrote:


3) What would the offspring of a human(oid) and a cambion be?

3) A half fiend or a cambion or a tiefling. Probably a tiefling.

James, no snarkiness intended...

I thought I'd recently read that a tiefling has fiendish blood that's been inherited but if one of his parents were a fiend that would make him a half fiend by definition. The logic goes that a tiefling has trace amounts of fiendish blood that can surface even generations later but a half fiend literally has 1/2 of the blood from each parent.

Q: Does that modify your response or is your response still good?

(and I apologize if this sounded impertinent - it's late :-) )

As a general rule, the vast majority of tieflings are indeed born to parents who have some sort of fiendish blood in their "DNA" or whatever you wanna call it. That could be from having a fiend mix with the family 4 generations back, 40 generations back... or even just 2 generations back. Having a half-fiend parent is more or less a guaranteed way to get a tiefling. And a cambion is a special sort of case of half-fiend.

Half fiends generally only come about if one parent is a fiend and one parent is not. But, two half fiends who have a kid might well have a half-fiend or tiefling, depending on all sorts of situations. Cambions, again, are special cases. There's a lot of variability there, intentionally so, so the GM has leeway to do what he or she wants for the story.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

John Kretzer wrote:

Hey James,

How are you doing?

Anyway some questions regarding Drow and Nocticula.

Are there any heretical drow worshipers of Nocticula?

If Nocticula redeems herself and becomes a non-evil, non-evil deity...what effects do you think that would have on her major areas of drow worshipers?

Doing pretty good!

It's theoretically possible that there are some heretical drow worshipers of Nocticula, but in practice, I'd say no.

If she becomes chaotic neutral... the effects would be SIGNIFICANT in drow society. What would probably happen is that those who worship Nocticula would lose their powers. Most would probably convert to various other demons. Some would stubbornly worship her as chaotic evil and would become the new heretics. The whole family would be so torn apart and scattered though that they'd be swiftly eradicated.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kroama wrote:
Alchemical Tools wrote:
Though associated with the woad plant, the alchemical ingredients of this blue paste can vary considerably. You can blend material spell components into the paste to paint the components directly on your flesh. Similarly, more complex woad designs can mimic the gestures needed to cast spells, allowing you to prepare stilled spells. Painting a symbol takes 10 minutes, and each gesture requires its own symbol. Symbols used to replicate gestures must be applied when preparing spells; doing so requires a Spellcraft check with a DC equal to 15 + the spell's level. Once you cast a spell, the effects of the woad paint are spent.
Do you think woad paint has to be visible for you to use the effects of it? For example, if you were wild-shaped into another form, would a spell painted on you pre-wildshape be usable without the normal somatic needs?

Nothing in that description implies that anyone else needs to see the paint for it to work. It's pretty inwardly-aimed, since it only augments your own spellcasting. Visibility, I'd say, doesn't matter.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

1) Thank you. I just wasn't sure because the pictures were profiles and didn't give a real indication of how thick they were.

2) I can't learn by playing if I don't have an opportunity to play in the first place. What I'm trying to do (and this is the reason I keep asking you about an APs narrative themes and stuff) is create first level PCs for each Adventure Path with plans prepared for how they'll level, that align as closely as possible to the narrative of the AP and established canon, so that as soon as someone proposes a play-by-post of an AP here on the boards I can post a character ready to go and maximize my chances of getting selected for the game, instead of scrambling to write something quickly and then finding someone else has posted a similar concept that's better than mine, or the recruitment thread gets so many applicants that when I invariably bring up the rear my entry's more likely to be ignored. I also want to ensure that the narrative stuff in an AP is addressed by at least one character, otherwise it feels like the narrative is cheapened. I'm in a Serpent's Skull game on a different board and I'm going nuts because all the other characters feel so disconnected and random. For me, the game is fun when the story that is crafted as a result is good, and I feel like I can't trust other players to do that so I have to do it myself.

4) Thanks.

5) Again, I don't want to violate canon. What if a book that contains the official symbol is released while playing and I've been saying it's something else?

6) Thanks.

2) It's the GM's job to make sure that the PCs align to any adventure. For Adventure Paths, we provide the Players' Guides specifically to aid the GM in that job; a player can read one of those guides and know everything they need to know about how to create an appropriate character for the AP. A lot of the time, the suggestions in a player's guide are specifically given to set up a PC that would match an element of the adventure down the road we don't want to blatantly reveal to the player. Rather than say "Your character should be one who wants to kill the red dragon Garglebomb," we'll say "Legends speak of a powerful red dragon named Garglebomb who once dwelt in the mountains near town," so that the information is there without outright saying Garglebomb is gonna be a foe you face in the AP. So... by using the Player's Guide as advice, you'll be able to create a PC that fits the AP's themes, and then the GM takes it from there.

What you're trying to do by reading the entire AP and building the perfect PC for it is actually NOT building a PC. You're trying to build a perfect NPC to fit into the established story, rather than a character meant to follow the themes but to take the story in a new direction or to FINISH the story.

Perhaps the problem is that you'd rather be the GM?

5) The simple act of creating a PC and playing even in one encounter "violates canon," in that you introduce something we didn't create and interact with the world in ways we couldn't predict. Again... it really is starting to sound like, from all the questions you've been asking over the past several months, that you actually want to be GMing a game rather than being a player.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

2) It's the GM's job to make sure that the PCs align to any adventure. For Adventure Paths, we provide the Players' Guides specifically to aid the GM in that job; a player can read one of those guides and know everything they need to know about how to create an appropriate character for the AP. A lot of the time, the suggestions in a player's guide are specifically given to set up a PC that would match an element of the adventure down the road we don't want to blatantly reveal to the player. Rather than say "Your character should be one who wants to kill the red dragon Garglebomb," we'll say "Legends speak of a powerful red dragon named Garglebomb who once dwelt in the mountains near town," so that the information is there without outright saying Garglebomb is gonna be a foe you face in the AP. So... by using the Player's Guide as advice, you'll be able to create a PC that fits the AP's themes, and then the GM takes it from there.

What you're trying to do by reading the entire AP and building the perfect PC for it is actually NOT building a PC. You're trying to build a perfect NPC to fit into the established story, rather than a character meant to follow the themes but to take the story in a new direction or to FINISH the story.

Perhaps the problem is that you'd rather be the GM?

5) The simple act of creating a PC and playing even in one encounter "violates canon," in that you introduce something we didn't create and interact with the world in ways we couldn't predict. Again... it really is starting to sound like, from all the questions you've been asking over the past several months, that you actually want to be GMing a game rather than being a player.

2) People have asked me that in the past, but every time I've tried to GM (mostly because the other people haven't wanted to GM) I've failed. I feel like I can't juggle that many different personalities for NPCs and give them all the detail they deserve, the math gets frustratingly time-consuming and every time there's a combat, I freeze up and just handwave it because I can't keep it all straight and moving forward. Plus, I have a selfish desire to grandstand as the big hero. If I were to GM, there'd be too much temptation to have a GMPC, because as I said, I can't trust other players to address the narrative ideas and themes, so I'd want to play something myself so they ARE addressed. It's why I want to have ready-made characters: The sooner I get in, the sooner I can play the character I want to play so I can address the themes I want to, rather than filling a role no one else wants to play and watching in frustration while other players ignore the narrative and the story ends up feeling disjointed and shallow.

5) But as I've said, I've TRIED to be a GM, and I suck at it because I'm too lazy, selfish and disorganized. :(


James Jacobs wrote:
Seannoss wrote:

Hmm, could be hard to phrase as a question but...

If enough of us suggested that you should read Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, would you?

Probably not.

I'm a voracious reader... but I'm an even MORE voracious book buyer. I've got dozens of still-unread books I've bought over the past days/weeks/months/years that are waiting for me to pick up and read, and it's tough for me to set aside a book that I decided I want to read to instead read a book someone else recommended, unless I know that person personally and that person knows me personally and thus knows my tastes well enough that I can trust those tastes to be accurate.

And I'll tell you right off the bat... fantasy is NOT my favorite genre to read unless it's really dark and gritty and mature—like George Martin's stuff is. I much prefer horror.

I haven't read any of his work, but I don't think I have ever heard anyone consider Brandon Sanderson's (or Wheel of Time) as gritty. I have never read Joe Abercrombie, but if anything he has been accused of being even MORE gritty than George R.R. Martin.

Scott Lynch's Locke Lamora series is good and probably something you would like. It's game of thrones, only if the major characters were con artists/rogues, not nobles.

Anyway thought I would throw that out, since AFAIK we have pretty similar literary interests (I too mostly have been reading short horror fiction anthologies, and I am currently on one of Ellen Datlow's yearly volumes).

Anyway, actual question time: How much interstellar contact does Golarion have. Obviously their is the Androffa crash, Migo, and the Dominion of the Black. However volume three of Iron Gods introduces an advanced expansionist ooze race from outside the Golarion system. How many interstellar powers have an interest in Golarion or the solar system it exists in?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Why do you prefer dark and gritty fantasy? Is it related to your love of horror.

And do you know that it sounds odd to hear that you don't like reading fantasy when it seems to lay so close to your job?

For gritty I would recommend Abercrombie. I found it nearly unreadable because of that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

MMCJawa wrote:


Anyway, actual question time: How much interstellar contact does Golarion have. Obviously their is the Androffa crash, Migo, and the Dominion of the Black. However volume three of Iron Gods introduces an advanced expansionist ooze race from outside the Golarion system. How many interstellar powers have an interest in Golarion or the solar system it exists in?

A fair ammount. In fact... a LOT. Elves are from another planet, after all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Seannoss wrote:

Why do you prefer dark and gritty fantasy? Is it related to your love of horror.

And do you know that it sounds odd to hear that you don't like reading fantasy when it seems to lay so close to your job?

For gritty I would recommend Abercrombie. I found it nearly unreadable because of that.

I suspect that I prefer dark and gritty fantasy for the same reason you prefer your preferences. Because it's what I grew up reading.

It's very much related to my love of the horror genre, and just my personal preferences. I grew up reading Stephen King, Clive Barker, Lovecraft, F. Paul Wilson, Dean Koontz, Robert E Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, etc... all writers who write dark or gritty stuff.

And have you looked at our adventure paths? They tend to be pretty dark and gritty!

That said, I've been playing D&D since like 1981. That's where I've been getting the bulk of my fantasy genre itch scratched. And that said, I HAVE read a lot of fantasy. I never said "I don' t like reading fantasy," or if I did, I mis-spoke. Horror is my favorite genre. Fantasy is probably my second favorite, with science fiction as my third. Second favorite is not the same as Hate!

I've read many of Feist's books, The Lord of the Rings, Fritz Leiber, Morecock, Robert E Howard, the Belgariad, Game of Thrones, a lot of Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms books, and on and on and on. I've been reading for well over 30 years. The bulk of that has been horror, but a not insignificant part of that HAS been fantasy stuff (and science fiction as well).

I do actually have a fair amount of fantasy stuff on my bookshelves of unread books as well. The Black Company comes to mind, but I've also got several other books and series on the shelves to read as well.

The more folks recommend Abercombie, the more likely it is that I'll try those books out, but again... I really REALLY tend to skew my new authors to in-person recommendations. Maybe because I'm old fashioned, but also because it's an artificial way of preventing myself from going broke buying books other people think I might like.


The empyreal lord Olheon as god of Nobility how would she view the Eagle Knights as they seek to destroy Nobility?


Hi James

I've noticed that in APs, many of the monsters are "variant" forms of monsters in the bestiary. What kind of things, and how many things, can be changed before it can no longer be considered a variant, but must be considered an entirely new creature? Also, are there guidelines available somewhere for variant creatures, above and beyond the monster advancement appendices in the bestiaries?

Thanks

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:
The empyreal lord Olheon as god of Nobility how would she view the Eagle Knights as they seek to destroy Nobility?

no.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Guang wrote:

Hi James

I've noticed that in APs, many of the monsters are "variant" forms of monsters in the bestiary. What kind of things, and how many things, can be changed before it can no longer be considered a variant, but must be considered an entirely new creature? Also, are there guidelines available somewhere for variant creatures, above and beyond the monster advancement appendices in the bestiaries?

Thanks

If the changes are extensive enough that we need to print a full stat block for the creature, then it's a variant.

There are no guidelines available beyond the Bestiary appendices, because you get to do ANYTHING YOU WANT if you're making a variant monster.

Basically, when you see "variant" in print, that's us saying "We changed and tinkered with this monster in a few ways to make it fit the adventure's story better, so if you go try to compare its stats to the version in whatever Bestiary, don't freak out."


James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
The empyreal lord Olheon as god of Nobility how would she view the Eagle Knights as they seek to destroy Nobility?
no.

"no" what?


Using a throw away account for this question as its so strange I'd rather it not be associated with the account I usually use.

Two members of my group have gotten into an argument recently, a white necromancer following Pharasma and a blind Oracle following Naderi, the goddess of suicides.
They've been at odds for quite some time, due to the former believing firmly in living life to the fullest (But accepting death and loss) and the other believing that love never dies (He's kind of a NG version of Heathcliff from Wuthering heights)

Recently the subject has gotten very heated about desecration and corpses, after it was revealed that the cleric once danced with his lovers corpse after her suicide, which the Necromancer basically compared to necrophillia.
At which point the Oracle pointed out that bringing back the dead (Albeit temporarily) is a massive desecration in and of itself.

The necromancer didn't take his work being compared to necrophillia very well and now both are asking me (backed by their huge Knowledge religion rolls) which is worse in the eyes of the Lady of Graves.
The Necromancers argument is that as long as its spirits that are willing to come back and used for her greater glory (Mostly punching other less benevolent undead back into the grave) then Pharasma wouldn't mind as much, while necrophillia is an utterly selfish and hedonistic act, it can never be justified because it serves no greater purpose.
The Oracles argument is that there is no greater act of desecration than having your corpse get up and wander about, even if its not animated by your own trapped soul, let alone intelligent undead and that while Necrophillia is a disgusting act, its not something that Pharasma actively preaches against and so isn't as terrible as raising the dead.

I wouldn't ask such a strange question, but the argument is getting fairly heated (Only in character of course) and I'd rather know canonically where she stands, rather than having to double back later.
So, what is worse in the Lady Boneyard's opinion? White necromancy (Touching on Grey at times, the Necromancer certainly dabbles on the edge of things, but he's always checked first, complete with springing coin on a Phylactery of Faithfulness, first time I've ever seen one used by a non-paladin) or Necrophillia?
What about full on Urgathoan/Whispering Way style necromancy?

Dark Archive

What are your thoughts on the recently announced Tales novel Forge of Ashes?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
The empyreal lord Olheon as god of Nobility how would she view the Eagle Knights as they seek to destroy Nobility?
no.
"no" what?

Oh; misread your question.

He would not have Eagle Knight worshipers, but he and his church would not seek out or pursue a war/assault against the Eagle Knights. Neither would the Eagle Knights wage war on his followers. They're both good aligned outfits, after all. They'd argue and clash and likely seek non-violent methods to convince the other side that they're wrong (debates, subterfuge, politics, etc.) but that's as far as that would go. BOTH of them have bigger enemies to worry about than bickering with each other.

In the end, it's a case where the two organizations (the demigod's church and the Eagle Knights) just probably don't interact much at all. They're not friends, but they're not enemies.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
justonequestion wrote:

Using a throw away account for this question as its so strange I'd rather it not be associated with the account I usually use.

Two members of my group have gotten into an argument recently, a white necromancer following Pharasma and a blind Oracle following Naderi, the goddess of suicides.
They've been at odds for quite some time, due to the former believing firmly in living life to the fullest (But accepting death and loss) and the other believing that love never dies (He's kind of a NG version of Heathcliff from Wuthering heights)

Recently the subject has gotten very heated about desecration and corpses, after it was revealed that the cleric once danced with his lovers corpse after her suicide, which the Necromancer basically compared to necrophillia.
At which point the Oracle pointed out that bringing back the dead (Albeit temporarily) is a massive desecration in and of itself.

The necromancer didn't take his work being compared to necrophillia very well and now both are asking me (backed by their huge Knowledge religion rolls) which is worse in the eyes of the Lady of Graves.
The Necromancers argument is that as long as its spirits that are willing to come back and used for her greater glory (Mostly punching other less benevolent undead back into the grave) then Pharasma wouldn't mind as much, while necrophillia is an utterly selfish and hedonistic act, it can never be justified because it serves no greater purpose.
The Oracles argument is that there is no greater act of desecration than having your corpse get up and wander about, even if its not animated by your own trapped soul, let alone intelligent undead and that while Necrophillia is a disgusting act, its not something that Pharasma actively preaches against and so isn't as terrible as raising the dead.

I wouldn't ask such a strange question, but the argument is getting fairly heated (Only in character of course) and I'd rather know canonically where she stands, rather than having to double back later.
So, what is worse in the Lady Boneyard's opinion? White necromancy (Touching on Grey at times, the Necromancer certainly dabbles on the edge of things, but he's always checked first, complete with springing coin on a Phylactery of Faithfulness, first time I've ever seen one used by a non-paladin) or Necrophillia?
What about full on Urgathoan/Whispering Way style necromancy?

FIrst off... opening your question like that is a great way to distract me from the question and instead wonder what your ACTUAL plan/question is, and that makes me nervous about how you're going to use my answer.

I'll answer anyway, but I really do hope you aren't planning on using what I put here as ammo to fight against your GM's ruling or to try to strongarm a Pathfinder Society GM into letting you play an inappropriate character. You might have legitimate reasons for opening your question the way you did... but that's not what it looks like from this side.

Anyway.

Spoiler:
You have two character concepts that are diametrically opposed philosophically but not alignment-wise, which is fun! Makes for some delightful roleplaying opportunity, character growth, and the like... as long as it doesn't devolve into disruptive PVP! (Non-disruptive PVP is, of course, fine!)

In Pharasma's eyes, restoring someone to life is not blasphemous. The person who comes back to life gets to choose if they want to go, and Pharasma knows if they deserve to go back anyway. In the case of a PC, the PCs' choice as to whether or not they get brought back to life is ALWAYS the same as Pharasma's decision. In an NPC's situation, her choice is ALWAYS the same as the GM's choice. When she allows a resurrection... and she allows ALL OF THEM that actually happen... it's because she knows that the soul is fated to come back to life, and that's all part of the complex cycle of life and death. She knows that eventually, all souls will some day stop dying and resurrecting and will stay dead, after all.

If there were a way to forcibly cause someone to come back to life against their will, she would be against that. There is NOT an effect like that in Pathfinder. Well... there is... and that's making someone undead. Which is indeed something she's against.

Necrophilia is indeed a desecration of the memory of the dead, as well as the desecration of the body of the dead. Whether or not it's evil or not is a personal opinion, but I would argue that it is VERY MUCH a chaotic act, which is just as far from Pharasma's alignment as evil. And as such, her church does not condone necrophilia.

TL/DR: Necrophilia is MUCH worse in the eyes of the church of Pharasma than resurrection, which is not an issue at all, and is in fact condoned by the church entirely. Full on undead creation is even worse than necrophilia.

In the end... your GM makes the call, not me. I hope you're providing this answer to him or her and then will go with however your GM rules. I hope you AREN'T planning on printing this out and using it as a bludgeon to force the player of the other character to feel bad, because that other player is in fact playing their character perfectly.

This is not an argument you'll win in game, in other words. Turn it into something positive—a disagreement between two PCs that makes those two characters at odds, but at some point in the future find a way to accept the other character and set aside your differences. (Assuming you're not in a PVP sanctioning game, in which case... FIGHT!)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Justin Sluder wrote:
What are your thoughts on the recently announced Tales novel Forge of Ashes?

It's being produced and published by us, which is another way of saying I've approved the outline. My thoughts are that it's about time we did a novel that focuses on dwarf stuff!

I'm probably not going to read it. But then again, I don't have time to read most of the novels we publish, alas.


James Jacobs wrote:

FIrst off... opening your question like that is a great way to distract me from the question and instead wonder what your ACTUAL plan/question is, and that makes me nervous about how you're going to use my answer.

I'll answer anyway, but I really do hope you aren't planning on using what I put here as ammo to fight against your GM's ruling or to try to strongarm a Pathfinder Society GM into letting you play an inappropriate character. You might have legitimate reasons for opening your question the way you did... but that's not what it looks like from this side.

I managed to forget the password for the throw away account in the past few hours sadly. But in this case I am the GM, which is why I was hoping for some official word on how I should answer their questions on which one Pharasma is more against. They're playing through Carrion Crown at the moment and having general gothic horror fun. I just felt rather strange having a question about necrophillia associated with my usually fairly boring account. It just felt odd.

Still, thank you for the answer. Luckily the Necromancer is a (Kobold Press style) White Necromancer, so we can keep some of the drama of neither being totally in the wrong or right, after all, his undead are non-evil and willing (And in the current arc most of them are one time victims of the monsters they're facing). I doubt it will devolve into PvP, but it has devolved into an in character philosophy debate. Which are always entertaining to watch between (and last session while they were) fighting vampires.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Are we there yet?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
justonequestion wrote:

Two members of my group have gotten into an argument recently, a white necromancer following Pharasma and a blind Oracle following Naderi, the goddess of suicides. They've been at odds for quite some time, due to the former believing firmly in living life to the fullest (But accepting death and loss) and the other believing that love never dies (He's kind of a NG version of Heathcliff from Wuthering heights)

Recently the subject has gotten very heated about desecration and corpses, after it was revealed that the cleric once danced with his lovers corpse after her suicide, which the Necromancer basically compared to necrophillia. At which point the Oracle pointed out that bringing back the dead (Albeit temporarily) is a massive desecration in and of itself.

Spoiler:
In Pharasma's eyes, restoring someone to life is not blasphemous. The person who comes back to life gets to choose if they want to go, and Pharasma knows if they deserve to go back anyway. In the case of a PC, the PCs' choice as to whether or not they get brought back to life is ALWAYS the same as Pharasma's decision. In an NPC's situation, her choice is ALWAYS the same as the GM's choice. When she allows a resurrection... and she allows ALL OF THEM that actually happen... it's because she knows that the soul is fated to come back to life, and that's all part of the complex cycle of life and death. She knows that eventually, all souls will some day stop dying and resurrecting and will stay dead, after all.

If there were a way to forcibly cause someone to come back to life against their will, she would be against that. There is NOT an effect like that in Pathfinder. Well... there is... and that's making someone undead. Which is indeed something she's against.

Hi, James. I'm a little confused about your answer to the above question.

Justonequestion mentioned that the Pharasmin in the story is a white necromancer, which is a third-party base class that uses the powers of necromancy "respectfully" and in a non-evil way to animate the dead. I believe that the class casts non-evil versions of spells like animate dead to ask the departed spirits of the dead to temporarily inhabit their corpses on the short-term. If I were GM, the Pharasmin church would have a major problem with someone animating the dead in Pharasma's name.

I'm pretty sure that's what the Oracle of Naderi meant that "bringing back the dead (albeit temporarily) is a massive desecration." (emphasis added)

I was curious about your take on the concept of "white necromancy," and whether it has a place in your vision of Golarion.

My take:
I've pretty much always been of the opinion that undead creatures are evil-- even mindless ones like skeletons or zombies. The concept of white necromancy doesn't have a place in my campaign world. The closest I come is allowing a good-aligned necromancer to do independent spell research for an arcane version of raise dead as a 7th-level sorcer/wizard spell.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When Charon speaks, does he sound like Pratchett's Death?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Seems to me being evil, or being good, is a choice only sentients can make. Some undead are sentient (liches, for example) so their choice, although it's funny they all seem to choose to be evil. Some undead (most skeletons) aren't sentient, so they can't be evil. They can, of course, be under the control of an evil sentient (alive, dead, or undead). That's my take, anyway.


What's your view on non traditional crossbreeds like Half Elven Orcs (Elf/orc offspring not sure what you would really call that, maybe Half Elf Orcs? That's a question in of itself!) and as a follow up question can you get Tiefling/Assamair versions of other races such as Elves, dwarves, orcs etc?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
Are we there yet?

Yup; Got there 75 minutes ago in fact. Already left, in fact. Did you miss it?


James Jacobs wrote:
He would not have Eagle Knight worshipers, but he and his church would not seek out or pursue a war/assault against the Eagle Knights. Neither would the Eagle Knights wage war on his followers. They're both good aligned outfits, after all. They'd argue and clash and likely seek non-violent methods to convince the other side that they're wrong (debates, subterfuge, politics, etc.) but that's as far as that would go. BOTH of them have bigger enemies to worry about than bickering with each other.

Are you sure that Olheon, who's female last I checked, would oppose a fledgling democracy when her own worshipers include elected officials?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Justonequestion2 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

FIrst off... opening your question like that is a great way to distract me from the question and instead wonder what your ACTUAL plan/question is, and that makes me nervous about how you're going to use my answer.

I'll answer anyway, but I really do hope you aren't planning on using what I put here as ammo to fight against your GM's ruling or to try to strongarm a Pathfinder Society GM into letting you play an inappropriate character. You might have legitimate reasons for opening your question the way you did... but that's not what it looks like from this side.

I managed to forget the password for the throw away account in the past few hours sadly. But in this case I am the GM, which is why I was hoping for some official word on how I should answer their questions on which one Pharasma is more against. They're playing through Carrion Crown at the moment and having general gothic horror fun. I just felt rather strange having a question about necrophillia associated with my usually fairly boring account. It just felt odd.

Still, thank you for the answer. Luckily the Necromancer is a (Kobold Press style) White Necromancer, so we can keep some of the drama of neither being totally in the wrong or right, after all, his undead are non-evil and willing (And in the current arc most of them are one time victims of the monsters they're facing). I doubt it will devolve into PvP, but it has devolved into an in character philosophy debate. Which are always entertaining to watch between (and last session while they were) fighting vampires.

Ah; that makes more sense then.

As for your situation, introducing something like willing undead via a "white necromancer" takes the game into an entirely different realm where I can't really give you advice, beyond something that would be "I am not a fan of the concept of a white necromancer and wouldn't allow them in my game." You're kinda on your own there, in other words! :-P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Haladir wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
justonequestion wrote:

Two members of my group have gotten into an argument recently, a white necromancer following Pharasma and a blind Oracle following Naderi, the goddess of suicides. They've been at odds for quite some time, due to the former believing firmly in living life to the fullest (But accepting death and loss) and the other believing that love never dies (He's kind of a NG version of Heathcliff from Wuthering heights)

Recently the subject has gotten very heated about desecration and corpses, after it was revealed that the cleric once danced with his lovers corpse after her suicide, which the Necromancer basically compared to necrophillia. At which point the Oracle pointed out that bringing back the dead (Albeit temporarily) is a massive desecration in and of itself.

** spoiler omitted **

Hi, James. I'm a little confused about your answer to the above question.

Justonequestion mentioned that the Pharasmin in the story is a...

As I mentioned in the previous post, a "white necromancer" is a non-Golarion thing, and it's not something I even knew existed. Something like that fundamentally changes one of the underlying assumptions of the game and the game world in my opinion, and as such it's not something I'm qualified to provide an answer for. Other than, "Not in my world, bub!" ;-P

To me, "white necromancy" would and should be healing, raising the dead, and the like. I know the game sets healing spells up as conjuration. That's a remnant of the 3rd edition D&D design team's decision to make healing into conjuration and not necromancy, and is not a decision I agree with (in earlier editions of the game, healing was necromantic); it confuses things.

But it's the game we inherited, so it is what it is.

The idea of good-aligned undead cheapens the idea of undead in my opinion. Hate it, with the VERY rare exception of a good aligned ghost or vampire or whatever that is the exception that proves the rule.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Misroi wrote:
When Charon speaks, does he sound like Pratchett's Death?

No.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ed Reppert wrote:
Seems to me being evil, or being good, is a choice only sentients can make. Some undead are sentient (liches, for example) so their choice, although it's funny they all seem to choose to be evil. Some undead (most skeletons) aren't sentient, so they can't be evil. They can, of course, be under the control of an evil sentient (alive, dead, or undead). That's my take, anyway.

The choice to become undead is an evil act.

At least, in the Pathfinder game. That's a decision we made and are sticking with. Feel free to change that (or any other aspect of the game) for your home games, but coming here and asking me questions will get you answers as they pertain to the rules as written and the game world as presented.

Not seeing a question there anyway.

Let's keep this thread to questions and answers, rather than discussions—those are best suited for another thread. If you want my input on a discussion... give me a link or let me know via PM or put "James Jacobs Input on this thread please" or the like in the thread's header... but let's keep this thread to questions and answers. Thanks!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lanowar wrote:
What's your view on non traditional crossbreeds like Half Elven Orcs (Elf/orc offspring not sure what you would really call that, maybe Half Elf Orcs? That's a question in of itself!) and as a follow up question can you get Tiefling/Assamair versions of other races such as Elves, dwarves, orcs etc?

Not a fan of half-elf orcs at all. Don't expect to ever see one in print.

You can get tiefling/aasimar versions of other races; this topic is specifically covered in the Blood of Fiends and Blood of Angels player's guides, along with art.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
He would not have Eagle Knight worshipers, but he and his church would not seek out or pursue a war/assault against the Eagle Knights. Neither would the Eagle Knights wage war on his followers. They're both good aligned outfits, after all. They'd argue and clash and likely seek non-violent methods to convince the other side that they're wrong (debates, subterfuge, politics, etc.) but that's as far as that would go. BOTH of them have bigger enemies to worry about than bickering with each other.
Are you sure that Olheon, who's female last I checked, would oppose a fledgling democracy when her own worshipers include elected officials?

No, I'm not sure. I don't have time at this moment to do more research into the demigod though. With the exception of Pulura (who I read up on for Wrath of the Righteous) and Ashava and Soralyon and Ylimancah (who I made up and/or expanded upon for Magnimar), I actually don't have a lot of insight at all into the Empyreal Lords. I wasn't involved in "Chronicle of the Righteous" at all, and the Empyreal Lords in Bestiary 4 were not developed or designed by me.

Wes Schneider's the best person to ask about them.

I feel like I've mentioned this to you or others on this thread several times before... but it IS a big thread, so I guess it bears repeating.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Are we there yet?
Yup; Got there 75 minutes ago in fact. Already left, in fact. Did you miss it?

its my fault really, i knew i shouldn't have blinked:-)

Contributor

Have you gotten to play Warlords of Draenor yet? How are you feeling about the expansion if you have?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
The choice to become undead is an evil act.

Makes sense to me.

"James Jacobs"Not seeing a question there anyway.[/QUOTE wrote:


There wasn't one, but since you bring it up: Does a skeleton choose to be evil? Never mind, I think I found the answer in the Bestiary: a skeleton (or other mindless undead I guess) is evil not because of a choice it (or its living predecessor) made but because the force that animates it is evil. Have I got it right?

James Jacobs wrote:
Let's keep this thread to questions and answers,

Fair enough.


James Jacobs wrote:
Guang wrote:

Hi James

I've noticed that in APs, many of the monsters are "variant" forms of monsters in the bestiary. What kind of things, and how many things, can be changed before it can no longer be considered a variant, but must be considered an entirely new creature? Also, are there guidelines available somewhere for variant creatures, above and beyond the monster advancement appendices in the bestiaries?

Thanks

If the changes are extensive enough that we need to print a full stat block for the creature, then it's a variant.

There are no guidelines available beyond the Bestiary appendices, because you get to do ANYTHING YOU WANT if you're making a variant monster.

Basically, when you see "variant" in print, that's us saying "We changed and tinkered with this monster in a few ways to make it fit the adventure's story better, so if you go try to compare its stats to the version in whatever Bestiary, don't freak out."

Awesome. Follow-up question: Would you happen to remember an example of the most a monster has been changed from the original? (so I can go back and compare the two) Thanks!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alexander Augunas wrote:
Have you gotten to play Warlords of Draenor yet? How are you feeling about the expansion if you have?

I have played it, but Dragon Age is distracting me from Draenor for a bit.

I'm level 91 so far in Draenor.

And so far? It's the best expansion for the game that Blizzard has done yet. It's really REALLY fun, and I'm having the most fun playing it that I've had since Burning Crusade.

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