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Hiya James, some Legacy of Fire questions for you today!

1) Garavel is mentioned as having a Pactmaster's Favor implanted in his neck, which is described as a sort of bolt which makes certain he can never turn against the Pactmasters, in addition to shielding his mind against domination. I found a thread discussing the fact that it was a magic item that snuck through editing despite being cut from the Dark Markets: A Guide to Katapesh book. My question for you is how crucial do you feel the Pactmaster's Favor item is, as opposed to having Garavel simply be an incredibly loyal follower of Almah's? More specifically, if you had the opportunity, would you want the Pactmaster's Favor included as a canonical Golarion magic item of Katapesh, or do you feel it's ultimately not necessary for the region?

2) The Katapesh guards who accompany Almah (not the mercenaries) are described as being "dressed in the distinctive red chitin-plate armor of the Pactmaster Guard". I was curious about whether this is simply describing the style of the armor, or if there is a specific type of big desert bug which the Pactmasters specifically hunt or harvest for their guard armor use?

3) Xulthos, the Glomeray, is ultimately what caused the demise of Kelmarane 20 or so years previous to Legacy of Fire's start. Unfortunately, the Glomeray Daemon is from the 3.5 book of fiends, and seems to have no canonical place outside of this adventure path in Daemonic lore (such as the Book of the Damned: Horsemen of the Apocalypse). My question to you is if the Glomeray should be considered a canonical creature, or if Xulthos would be better served to be replaced by a different sort of Daemon. The genthodaemon is a contender, but two major things prevent it from quite fitting the role. One is that it lacks the spell-like abilities that allowed Xulthos to dominate Kardswann, which is a pretty significant plot point, and two, it is mentioned that typically, "They have almost no role in corrupting mortals, as they are devoid of interest in the fates of most other creatures."

I'd love to hear a reply as I'm working on updating Legacy of Fire to Pathfinder for my group and would love to have things work out both canonically and smoothly! Thanks, as always!

Grand Lodge

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

JJ, I think I got a real humdinger of a question for ya now:

Given that deities can die, and near-but-not-quite divine creatures such as Great Old Ones, Archdevils, Empyreal Lords, Demon Lords, etc, can grant divine spells... what exactly is the defining characteristic or characteristics of a Pathfinder deity? (aside from the fact you won't stat them out)

I mean in-universe, what makes a deity a deity as opposed to a demigod or demon lord or empyreal lord or whatever other nigh-divine entity?

Since we don't have rules for full-on deities, there aren't rules for what defines them.

Those who are deities are.

Next time, if anyone asks you if you are a God........

Radiant Oath

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

Why are people so quick to assume the worst about various Golarion characters, like how Iomedae now seems to be considered Evil after the events of Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth, or followers of Ragathiel are serial killers (though I think I might have had a hand in that one, I asked Wes how to best accommodate Ragathiel's obedience requiring one to kill an evildoer every day, to which Patrick Renie gave a VERY satisfactory answer that SHOULD have nipped that misconception in the bud)?

It just seems like people rag on the setting's "good guys" as the worst evildoers of all.

My guess? The not-so-proud but long tradition of GMs (and adventures) tricking players by having NPCs the PCs thought were allies betray them. It only takes once to make a player suspect all NPCs, and a lot of GMs (and adventures) pull this stunt far more than once.

Yeah but the complaints that they appear "evil" seem to be less about how the GMs handle them, and more about how they're written in the books. And it seems limited to these boards specifically. Why is that? I don't get it. I thought people here LIKED what you guys create. I certainly do.


How advanced would the people of Arcaidia be compared to the rest of Golarion? Would they be using metals for weapons and armor or still limited to wood, stone and leather? Do most of the core races have a presance there, if so how is their culture compared to their fellow dwarves, elves etc. ? I would love to have a face to face and pick your brain for every detail you have about Arcaidia but Washington is too far to walk.


James Jacobs wrote:
Neongelion wrote:
Should have added onto my top post but: what the heck are rift boots? Illaris Zeleshi in Choking Tower has a pair but I have had no luck at all in figuring out what exactly these boots do.

They were cut from the adventure because they were simply too powerful and too expensive to include in the adventure, but a reference to them snuck through editing, unfortunately.

They were, more or less, boots that allowed teleportation. Not only too powerful and too expensive, but too likely to let the NPC escape and disrupt the plot.

Good to know.

I'm likely to give them a bunch of thoroughly useless powers (Style clash - change color to clash with any other clothing or equipment worn to the point where it clearly draws you attention, Riding boots of comfort - look like normal riding boots but keep your feet warm like snow boots (too warm in the summer, etc...), just to make my players say "WTF? Who would make something like that?"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Nargemn wrote:

Hiya James, some Legacy of Fire questions for you today!

1) Garavel is mentioned as having a Pactmaster's Favor implanted in his neck, which is described as a sort of bolt which makes certain he can never turn against the Pactmasters, in addition to shielding his mind against domination. I found a thread discussing the fact that it was a magic item that snuck through editing despite being cut from the Dark Markets: A Guide to Katapesh book. My question for you is how crucial do you feel the Pactmaster's Favor item is, as opposed to having Garavel simply be an incredibly loyal follower of Almah's? More specifically, if you had the opportunity, would you want the Pactmaster's Favor included as a canonical Golarion magic item of Katapesh, or do you feel it's ultimately not necessary for the region?

2) The Katapesh guards who accompany Almah (not the mercenaries) are described as being "dressed in the distinctive red chitin-plate armor of the Pactmaster Guard". I was curious about whether this is simply describing the style of the armor, or if there is a specific type of big desert bug which the Pactmasters specifically hunt or harvest for their guard armor use?

3) Xulthos, the Glomeray, is ultimately what caused the demise of Kelmarane 20 or so years previous to Legacy of Fire's start. Unfortunately, the Glomeray Daemon is from the 3.5 book of fiends, and seems to have no canonical place outside of this adventure path in Daemonic lore (such as the Book of the Damned: Horsemen of the Apocalypse). My question to you is if the Glomeray should be considered a canonical creature, or if Xulthos would be better served to be replaced by a different sort of Daemon. The genthodaemon is a contender, but two major things prevent it from quite fitting the role. One is that it lacks the spell-like abilities that allowed Xulthos to dominate Kardswann, which is a pretty significant plot point, and two, it is mentioned that typically, "They have almost no role in corrupting mortals, as they are devoid of interest in the fates of most other creatures."

I'd love to hear a reply as I'm working on updating Legacy of Fire to Pathfinder for my group and would love to have things work out both canonically and smoothly! Thanks, as always!

First of all... it's been over half a decade since I've had my head in Legacy of Fire, so I'm not sure how insightful my answers will be...

1) It was pretty crucial to Erik that the bolt be a physical thing that ensures his loyalty, and I do try to preserve the author's original intents as much as possible. That said... fitting the adventure into that volume was a challenge (You'll note that this is the first volume of Pathfinder that did not have 2 support articles), and squeezing in rules for a minor magic item simply wasn't in the cards. I think the adventure works fine without the nitty gritty details for the item.

2) It's simply describing the style of the armor.

3) The glomeray is still a part of the setting, and should remain in the adventure. Most daemons have no role in corrupting mortals, so that fits fine with the flavor.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Why are people so quick to assume the worst about various Golarion characters, like how Iomedae now seems to be considered Evil after the events of Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth, or followers of Ragathiel are serial killers (though I think I might have had a hand in that one, I asked Wes how to best accommodate Ragathiel's obedience requiring one to kill an evildoer every day, to which Patrick Renie gave a VERY satisfactory answer that SHOULD have nipped that misconception in the bud)?

It just seems like people rag on the setting's "good guys" as the worst evildoers of all.

My guess? The not-so-proud but long tradition of GMs (and adventures) tricking players by having NPCs the PCs thought were allies betray them. It only takes once to make a player suspect all NPCs, and a lot of GMs (and adventures) pull this stunt far more than once.
Yeah but the complaints that they appear "evil" seem to be less about how the GMs handle them, and more about how they're written in the books. And it seems limited to these boards specifically. Why is that? I don't get it. I thought people here LIKED what you guys create. I certainly do.

Welcome to the internet, where most folks tend to come to complain rather than compliment.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Triphoppenskip wrote:
How advanced would the people of Arcaidia be compared to the rest of Golarion? Would they be using metals for weapons and armor or still limited to wood, stone and leather? Do most of the core races have a presance there, if so how is their culture compared to their fellow dwarves, elves etc. ? I would love to have a face to face and pick your brain for every detail you have about Arcaidia but Washington is too far to walk.

Some are less advanced, some are more advanced, some are equally advanced. AKA: On average, they're just as advanced on average on a continental scale as the rest of the world. We'll talk more about Arcadia some day, but not today. Or tomorrow. Or this year. We'll see about next year. Or not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ElterAgo wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Neongelion wrote:
Should have added onto my top post but: what the heck are rift boots? Illaris Zeleshi in Choking Tower has a pair but I have had no luck at all in figuring out what exactly these boots do.

They were cut from the adventure because they were simply too powerful and too expensive to include in the adventure, but a reference to them snuck through editing, unfortunately.

They were, more or less, boots that allowed teleportation. Not only too powerful and too expensive, but too likely to let the NPC escape and disrupt the plot.

Good to know.

I'm likely to give them a bunch of thoroughly useless powers (Style clash - change color to clash with any other clothing or equipment worn to the point where it clearly draws you attention, Riding boots of comfort - look like normal riding boots but keep your feet warm like snow boots (too warm in the summer, etc...), just to make my players say "WTF? Who would make something like that?"

Easier to just ignore them, frankly. The adventure doesn't need them at all, and you're just making busywork for yourself, I think, by trying to justify a typo.


James Jacobs wrote:
Triphoppenskip wrote:
How advanced would the people of Arcaidia be compared to the rest of Golarion? Would they be using metals for weapons and armor or still limited to wood, stone and leather? Do most of the core races have a presance there, if so how is their culture compared to their fellow dwarves, elves etc. ? I would love to have a face to face and pick your brain for every detail you have about Arcaidia but Washington is too far to walk.
Some are less advanced, some are more advanced, some are equally advanced. AKA: On average, they're just as advanced on average on a continental scale as the rest of the world. We'll talk more about Arcadia some day, but not today. Or tomorrow. Or this year. We'll see about next year. Or not.

GAAAHHHH! The constant tease. *shakes tiny little rat fist at the big ol' dinosaur*


Oh great T-Rex Master,

Have you heard of this Google Chrome Easter Egg?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
shintsurugi wrote:

Oh great T-Rex Master,

Have you heard of this Google Chrome Easter Egg?

I have not.

Switching default browsers to Chrome FOREVER.


Does using the Aid Another action to grant an ally a bonus to hit break invisibility? If the answer is yes, I believe that means you're actually attacking that enemy. If you do indeed break invisibility, would you also apply any on-hit effects with aid another?


Hi James,

I'm sure you've gotten this question a million times, but I'm a n00b who is tired of running around with this discussion. I've read nearly everything dealing with (Mithral) Celestial Armor, but I still have a question or two.

I'm going to be as basic as possible, for posterity (Even if I know some of the answers already). Thank you for your time.

1. Is Celestial (Plate) Armor made from Mithral?

2. If not, can it be?

3. If it can, do its enhancements stack with those applied to Mithral armor?

4. If not, why?

5. Are Celestial (Plate) Armor's special enhancements directly tied to what it's made out of?

6. If its material is changed, are its enhancements compromised?

7. If its enhancements ARE compromised if the material is changed, then why isn't this mentioned in its crafting description? (Should we expect an update/FAQ/Eratta addressing this?)

8. If so, why is it not listed as an exception in the crafting section of its description? Or, in the Special Materials section? Are there other exceptions?

9. Can it be enhanced using the standard rules for adding new properties to existing magic items?

10. What is your personal opinion on this armor?

Thank you again for your consideration and your (highly) valuable time.

-Daniel

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Triphoppenskip wrote:
How advanced would the people of Arcaidia be compared to the rest of Golarion? Would they be using metals for weapons and armor or still limited to wood, stone and leather? Do most of the core races have a presance there, if so how is their culture compared to their fellow dwarves, elves etc. ? I would love to have a face to face and pick your brain for every detail you have about Arcaidia but Washington is too far to walk.
Some are less advanced, some are more advanced, some are equally advanced. AKA: On average, they're just as advanced on average on a continental scale as the rest of the world. We'll talk more about Arcadia some day, but not today. Or tomorrow. Or this year. We'll see about next year. Or not.

You're starting to sound like Matt Smith. :)

"Imagine the universe is like a bananna, no, forget the bananna, the banana is a lousy idea."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Roshan wrote:
Does using the Aid Another action to grant an ally a bonus to hit break invisibility? If the answer is yes, I believe that means you're actually attacking that enemy. If you do indeed break invisibility, would you also apply any on-hit effects with aid another?

Good question for the rules fourm and an FAQ.

In my games, yes, it breaks invisibility.

Scarab Sages

Baruch atah, James Jacobs:

Can you create a rock so heavy even YOU cannot lift it?

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? How are you at painting with all the colors of the wind?

Does Golarion have a Flying Spaghetti Monster?

If prismatic spray extended into infrared and ultraviolet, what would those colors do?

What are Jack Skellington's Pathfinder stats?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

WombattheDaniel wrote:

Hi James,

I'm sure you've gotten this question a million times, but I'm a n00b who is tired of running around with this discussion. I've read nearly everything dealing with (Mithral) Celestial Armor, but I still have a question or two.

I'm going to be as basic as possible, for posterity (Even if I know some of the answers already). Thank you for your time.

1. Is Celestial (Plate) Armor made from Mithral?

2. If not, can it be?

3. If it can, do its enhancements stack with those applied to Mithral armor?

4. If not, why?

5. Are Celestial (Plate) Armor's special enhancements directly tied to what it's made out of?

6. If its material is changed, are its enhancements compromised?

7. If its enhancements ARE compromised if the material is changed, then why isn't this mentioned in its crafting description? (Should we expect an update/FAQ/Eratta addressing this?)

8. If so, why is there an entire section of the Core RB dedicated to crafting items out of other materials if there are exceptions?

9. Can it be enhanced using the standard rules for adding new properties to existing magic items?

10. What is your personal opinion on this armor?

Thank you again for your consideration and your (highly) valuable time.

-Daniel

First of all, celestial armor is chainmail. I'm not sure where you're getting the plate mail version from. So, all of the answers below are for the standard version from the core rulebook, which is a suit of chainmail. That said, a plate male version would follow the exact same rules as below.

1) It can be.

2) Yes.

3) Nope.

4) Celestial armor is a specific kind of armor—once you make it, the properties of the material it's made of are overwritten by the armor's specific qualities. The material, in this case, becomes cosmetic.

5) Nope.

6) Nope... but it'd be weird an nonsensical to make it out of something you normally wouldn't make chainmail out of.

7) Because that's a level of detail the game does not really benefit from, and because regardless of what you make it out of, the end result is celestial armor. If you wanted a suit of celestial armor with, say, the qualities of cold iron or noqual or some other material... then that's a new magic item, not celestial armor, and you'd have to design it as such. No update/FAQ/errata needed, since it's a non-issue.

8) Because the building items out of other materials rules are for things that aren't specific unique things. You use those rules to adjust chainmail, not celestial armor.

9) That'd be up to the GM, but if so... it becomes a different magic item that needs to be developed and designed as a new magic item. One that uses celestial armor as its baseline and shares many of its features... but it's a new item nevertheless. The category of "Specific armor & shields" (and the corresponding one for weapons) is not really intended to be further modified by unusual materials, other special abilities, or the like. That's what makes them "specific."

10) It's cool!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Triphoppenskip wrote:
How advanced would the people of Arcaidia be compared to the rest of Golarion? Would they be using metals for weapons and armor or still limited to wood, stone and leather? Do most of the core races have a presance there, if so how is their culture compared to their fellow dwarves, elves etc. ? I would love to have a face to face and pick your brain for every detail you have about Arcaidia but Washington is too far to walk.
Some are less advanced, some are more advanced, some are equally advanced. AKA: On average, they're just as advanced on average on a continental scale as the rest of the world. We'll talk more about Arcadia some day, but not today. Or tomorrow. Or this year. We'll see about next year. Or not.

You're starting to sound like Matt Smith. :)

"Imagine the universe is like a bananna, no, forget the bananna, the banana is a lousy idea."

Not seeing a question there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:

Baruch atah, James Jacobs:

Can you create a rock so heavy even YOU cannot lift it?

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? How are you at painting with all the colors of the wind?

Does Golarion have a Flying Spaghetti Monster?

If prismatic spray extended into infrared and ultraviolet, what would those colors do?

What are Jack Skellington's Pathfinder stats?

Yup.

Nope. Pretty good, I hope!

Nope.

Things that we as humans couldn't interact with.

Human skeletal warrior bard 3 with the over-hyped template.


James Jacobs wrote:


4) Celestial armor is a specific kind of armor—once you make it, the properties of the material it's made of are overwritten by the armor's specific qualities. The material, in this case, becomes cosmetic.

So does this mean that any special materials used to create specific magic armors are all cosmetic?


Can a Magus combine spell combat, spellstrike with Precise Strike via the Arcane Deed (Ex), and use the damage bonus?

The Exchange

hello Mr. Jacobs what would you think of fighting an evil druid over a half frozen lake while awakened wizard sharks fire scorching rays out of their eyes?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

WombattheDaniel wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


4) Celestial armor is a specific kind of armor—once you make it, the properties of the material it's made of are overwritten by the armor's specific qualities. The material, in this case, becomes cosmetic.

So does this mean that any special materials used to create specific magic armors are all cosmetic?

More or less. But don't interpret that as a blatant disregard for verisimilitude. Celestial armor's description says it's made of gold or silver. That's what you should use to make the base suit of chainmail that then gets turned into the magic armor. Mithral would be a fine substitution, since it's more or less "super silver." But other materials? I'd honestly say, in my game, that they just won't work.

The core rules don't really take into account materials as prerequisites for item creation, mostly because that would unnecessarily clutter the book. There's a point where adding additional layers of info passes the point of diminishing returns and the game buckles under its own weight.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Caosbot wrote:
Can a Magus combine spell combat, spellstrike with Precise Strike via the Arcane Deed (Ex), and use the damage bonus?

Dunno. Good question for the Rules forums and an FAQ.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

countchocula wrote:
hello Mr. Jacobs what would you think of fighting an evil druid over a half frozen lake while awakened wizard sharks fire scorching rays out of their eyes?

Goofy.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
countchocula wrote:
hello Mr. Jacobs what would you think of fighting an evil druid over a half frozen lake while awakened wizard sharks fire scorching rays out of their eyes?
Goofy.

Have you ever been tempted to make a magical version of the Sharknado?

Radiant Oath

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

I just read the Familiar Folio, and I must say, it is all kinds of awesome! So much cuteness! I wanna play SO many familiar having characters now! Thank you! :)

Dark Archive

On a scale of 1-10, how much runelordy stuff is there going to be in the Giantslayer AP?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
countchocula wrote:
hello Mr. Jacobs what would you think of fighting an evil druid over a half frozen lake while awakened wizard sharks fire scorching rays out of their eyes?
Goofy.
Have you ever been tempted to make a magical version of the Sharknado?

Nope.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I just read the Familiar Folio, and I must say, it is all kinds of awesome! So much cuteness! I wanna play SO many familiar having characters now! Thank you! :)

Glad you like it!

Don't thank me though. I pretty much had NOTHING to do with it other than approvals at the start and end of the process. Patrick was the one who did the most work on it, I believe.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ThedreadedSoole wrote:
On a scale of 1-10, how much runelordy stuff is there going to be in the Giantslayer AP?

With a 1 being nothing at all and a 10 being more than there was in Rise of the Runelords?

1.


Sometime ago i asked you if outsiders like angels and Demons can reproduce sexually among themselves and you said yes. How does that work? lets say Archons, what happens if the parents are different types of Archons like a Hound archon and a trumpet archon. Will the child be a mix of the two or will the child be one type or the other? and does the child grow up like mortal children do?

Also Sometime ago i asked you if outsiders like angels and Demons can have the Young Creature template and you said no does this mean you have changed your opinion?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is there anywhere I can learn more about the Chapel of Rent Flesh?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Squeakmaan wrote:
Is there anywhere I can learn more about the Chapel of Rent Flesh?

The Numeria 64 page campaign setting book has a little more info, but apart from that, we've not said much more at all about it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:

Sometime ago i asked you if outsiders like angels and Demons can reproduce sexually among themselves and you said yes. How does that work? lets say Archons, what happens if the parents are different types of Archons like a Hound archon and a trumpet archon. Will the child be a mix of the two or will the child be one type or the other? and does the child grow up like mortal children do?

Also Sometime ago i asked you if outsiders like angels and Demons can have the Young Creature template and you said no does this mean you have changed your opinion?

As a general rule, they do NOT reproduce among themselves for procreation, but merely for pleasure or power. The vast majority of children born from an outsider had a mortal parent as well, and are half-fiends or half-celestials or whatever.

In the incredibly rare case wehre an outsider has a child with another outsider... the resulting child is a child who grows VERY fast. It's relatively uncommon for this to actually work, and relatively difficult for an outsider and an outsider to conceive a child; the vast majority of outsiders form from souls by manifesting on the outer planes, and in order for two outsiders to have a child, strange energies and fluctuations to how the quintessence of the outer planes has to essentially allow and aid that conception in having.

What I meant by "no Young Creature templates" was more that, in my opinion, the "young creature template" is insufficient at creating child creatures and fraught with perils. Just apply it to a shadow and you'll see what I mean. MUCH better to use the young creature rules or a variant of them from Ultimate Campaign.

That said, 99.9999999% of outsiders created this way grow up VERY fast and are very unlikely to ever be encountered except as full grown; this is, again, the outer planes and the nature of quintessence basically forcing the immortal outsider into its typical "ecological" role in the outer planes.

Child versions of established outsiders are rare enough that I doubt you'll ever see us put one in an adventure or even really talk about them much in print. It's just not the way life works on the outer planes for the most part... but it CAN work that way since the Outer Planes are so varied and multifaceted and near-infinite in their possibilities.

EDIT: This whole post, more than most others I make here, is HIGHLY subject to me changing things later. This isn't a topic I've thought much about, and the above is mostly just me spitballing and brainstorming possibilities. Before anything about this topic would ever see print, I'd brainstorm and chat about it with Wes and Erik and several other folks at Paizo to come to a consensus, which may very well be what I posted above, but could just as easily be something else entirely different.

SO: Use that above info as you will for your games, but just don't expect to ever see in-print "official" support for that interpretation any time soon.

Shadow Lodge

Hi James,

I've been spending time GMing the beginning of Reign of Winter, and somehow I've gotten interested in how Irrisen's ecology works (please note for anyone else reading, this post includes minor spoilers regarding the weather in parts of the Adventure Path, although most of my information comes from the Campaign Setting books). I am wondering whether your thoughts on it are similar to my conclusions, or if not, where I've gone off-base.

It started when I realized that none of the rivers (nor the lake) in Irrisen are frozen, and ballooned from there. At this point, I've spent a couple days researching the hydrological cycle, plant activity during winter and supplementing my own knowledge about winter. Here are my questions, and my conclusions so far:

1) What is the temperature range in Irrisen? How frequently is it above 32°F and for how long? Does it get colder during winter, or does the supernatural weather keep the temperature range roughly constant throughout the year?
It is stated, at least in year 4713, that the summer temperature in Irrisen has highs and lows between 40°F and 0°F (Fort saves every 10 minutes). I assume that the winter months frequently go below -20°F, unless the supernatural weather prevents this. Regardless, this means that there is some snowmelt any time the temperature increases above 32°F, resulting in a short melt season. It is unlikely that the ground will absorb the snow melt very far due to the sheer amount of snow present and the thick permafrost (which forms when the average temperature of a region is below 36°F) that is going to be pervasive throughout the entire country. A water table might develop during the summer? Overall, this means that the majority of the snowmelt will be absorbed into the air, run into a nearby river, or just refreeze as ice in place.

2) How frequently does it snow in Irrisen?
My guess is quite a bit, especially during summer, when the warm winds carrying large quantities from the oceans west of the Land of the Linnorm Kings (LotLK) hit the magical temperature barrier on Irrisen's border. This sudden temperature drop should result in a large amount of precipitation (as snow) as the air's capacity of water vapor drops. There is likely less snowfall in the winter months when the LotLK's own air temperature is low and more precipitation occurs there.
I find that this actually would create a large problem where, in combination to my conclusions to 1), above, there is a large amount of precipitation, and very few ways of removing said snow from the country (the very short melting season). This means that after 1400 years of precipitation, Irrisen is likely sitting on top of a glacier. Even worse, the towns and cities are either continually manually cleared of snow (luckily most of them are on a river where they can dump it) and sit in a valley compared to the surrounding countryside (which has 1400 years of snow build-up), or they must be continually built up.
Interestingly, if the eternal winter is removed from Irrisen at this point, massive flooding would occur during the spring and summer with the likelyhood of most towns in Irrisen and those in the LotLK near the Rimeflow would be wiped out, with many resulting deaths.
This conclusion precedes the existence of any other mitigating factors (one of which is discussed below).

3) Why are none of Irrisen's waterways frozen?
Glacier Lake is fed by underwater hot springs. There are apparently enough to keep the water above 0°C. The lake is primarily fed by the two rivers, the Marbleflow and the Frozen Road. The Frozen Road only starts permanently freezing once it enters Irrisen from the Realm of the Mammoth Lords (RotML). This means that any ice that forms is continually pushed ocean-ward by new water from the RotML. The Gullik/Foxflow Rivers should behave similarly. Despite this, ice builds up in the river, and it is expressly stated that the Frozen Road is continually ice cleaved (ice is manually broken up with breaker barges). I can only assume this occurs on all the rivers, especially the Rimeflow river that is at least as long as the Frozen Road but whose only tribuataries are the Glacier Lake, kept just above freezing by the hot springs, and the Iceflow River, whose only source would be glacier melt from north of Irrisen's borders during the summer. Incidentally, this should mean that the Iceflow is completely frozen during the winter months. The Marbleflow River begins on the Irrisen side of the Kodar mountains. With very little snowmelt in the mountains (due to the supernatural winter), the Marbleflow must be entirely sourced by hot springs or be completely frozen year round.

4) How much plant life exists in Irrisen?
It is stated that most plants aside from the winteryew are either dormant or dead. My inclination goes towards everything on land is dead except for the winteryew. With an average temperature far below the melting point, in the very first year, any seasonal plants would have died with their adaptation for repopulation in the spring never taking place. Evergreens would have gone dormant, then died of thirst as the water stored eventually left the plant via transpiration, with no waterway remaining for nutrients to keep itself fed aside for a very small water supply during the melt season. I think 1400 years of winter is enough to kill even the hardiest dormant trees. From 1), the massive build-up of snow would eventually cover most of the plants and they would disappear from sight.
With the hot springs in Glacier Lake, it likely contains a decent variety of hardy underwater plants that would provide for the lake fauna and surrounding settlements.
That leaves the winteryew, which uses magic to sustain itself in some way. Assuming that the tree acts like a plant (and doesn't just conjure nutrients & water for itself), the magic likely finds some way to convert the ice in the ground into water so transpiration can take place indefinitely. The simplest way would be for the roots to be a magical heat source that thaws the ground around it so that water can flow, and nutrients can be absorbed. Similarly, the winteryew seeds that are so necessary as a food source for both the wildlife and the human population might be heated so that once dropped they melt through the snow before taking root in the ground. This doesn't need to be much, as they could germinate during the melt season, but they do need to reach the ground beneath the snow itself, then be able to grow back out of it.

Winteryew heat production has a secondary effect: it could provide the country with a water table wherever a gathering of winteryew exists, potentially counteracting the snow build-up discussed in 2). With this, the idea of Irrisen being an "idyllic" winter Siberia can still exist. Snow-fall and blizzards occur, but there is rarely more than a couple feet of snow on top of the ground, as the winteryews melt it behind the scenes. The water flows into the rivers and lakes, further pushing any ice formation ocean-ward, with help from the ice cleaving companies, allowing the rivers to remain unfrozen.

Thanks for reading. I've spent a bunch of time thinking about this, and had to get it in some format.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Serum wrote:

Hi James,

I've been spending time GMing the beginning of Reign of Winter, and somehow I've gotten interested in how Irrisen's ecology works (please note for anyone else reading, this post includes minor spoilers regarding the weather in parts of the Adventure Path, although most of my information comes from the Campaign Setting books). I am wondering whether your thoughts on it are similar to my conclusions, or if not, where I've gone off-base.

It started when I realized that none of the rivers (nor the lake) in Irrisen are frozen, and ballooned from there. At this point, I've spent a couple days researching the hydrological cycle, plant activity during winter and supplementing my own knowledge about winter. Here are my questions, and my conclusions so far:

1) What is the temperature range in Irrisen? How frequently is it above 32°F and for how long? Does it get colder during winter, or does the supernatural weather keep the temperature range roughly constant throughout the year?
It is stated, at least in year 4713, that the summer temperature in Irrisen has highs and lows between 40°F and 0°F (Fort saves every 10 minutes). I assume that the winter months frequently go below -20°F, unless the supernatural weather prevents this. Regardless, this means that there is some snowmelt any time the temperature increases above 32°F, resulting in a short melt season. It is unlikely that the ground will absorb the snow melt very far due to the sheer amount of snow present and the thick permafrost (which forms when the average temperature of a region is below 36°F) that is going to be pervasive throughout the entire country. A water table might develop during the summer? Overall, this means that the majority of the snowmelt will be absorbed into the air, run into a nearby river, or just refreeze as ice in place.

2) How frequently does it snow in Irrisen?
My guess is quite a bit, especially during summer, when the warm winds carrying large quantities from the oceans west of the...

Irrisen is a land of magical winter, which also means that not only is it winter all the time but that same magic allows for non-frozen water and plantlife as desired by the land's rulers.

I can't really answer your questions off the top of my head, because Irrisen isn't an area I'm 100% up to date on. We've actually published lots of information about Irrisen, both in the Reign of Winter AP and in the 64 page Irrisen book. I've not read any of those books, and thus don't know what we have and haven't said to answer those questions.

Rob McCreary, who did the Reign of Winter AP, would be the person to compare notes with on Irrisen.

Looks like you've already done a LOT of thinking on the questions, though... so my suggestion is to go with your answers. I've done close to no work thinking over these questions, and while I could answer... they'd be answers I made up out of the blue, and thus might contradict what we went with in the AP and all that... so I won't answer.

Or to put it another way, my thoughts are not similar to yours at all, since I don't currently have thoughts that are publicly available on the topic. ;-)


So, what does the word "Golarion" mean in the language it originated from, other than being the name of the planet? Why was that word chosen to be the name of the planet? I mean within the campaign setting, of course -- I imagine you just picked it because it sounded cool.

Shadow Lodge

Fair enough, thanks James.


James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:

Sometime ago i asked you if outsiders like angels and Demons can reproduce sexually among themselves and you said yes. How does that work? lets say Archons, what happens if the parents are different types of Archons like a Hound archon and a trumpet archon. Will the child be a mix of the two or will the child be one type or the other? and does the child grow up like mortal children do?

Also Sometime ago i asked you if outsiders like angels and Demons can have the Young Creature template and you said no does this mean you have changed your opinion?

As a general rule, they do NOT reproduce among themselves for procreation, but merely for pleasure or power. The vast majority of children born from an outsider had a mortal parent as well, and are half-fiends or half-celestials or whatever.

In the incredibly rare case wehre an outsider has a child with another outsider... the resulting child is a child who grows VERY fast. It's relatively uncommon for this to actually work, and relatively difficult for an outsider and an outsider to conceive a child; the vast majority of outsiders form from souls by manifesting on the outer planes, and in order for two outsiders to have a child, strange energies and fluctuations to how the quintessence of the outer planes has to essentially allow and aid that conception in having.

What I meant by "no Young Creature templates" was more that, in my opinion, the "young creature template" is insufficient at creating child creatures and fraught with perils. Just apply it to a shadow and you'll see what I mean. MUCH better to use the young creature rules or a variant of them from Ultimate Campaign.

That said, 99.9999999% of outsiders created this way grow up VERY fast and are very unlikely to ever be encountered except as full grown; this is, again, the outer planes and the nature of quintessence basically forcing the immortal outsider into its typical "ecological" role in the outer planes.

Child versions of established outsiders are rare...

I thought i was interesting how you said a angel and Devil can breed with each other in an earlier post and produce a hybrid child(by giving an angel the half-fiend template or giving a Devil the half-celestial template).I just wanted to explore the subject more.

If it means anything the write up on genies in Legacy of Fire said genies do reproduce sexually among themselves.


1)was Thron, "The Prince That Howls" a god?

2)How does Shelyn feel about her father Thron being turned into the Prince in Chains?

3)since we know that Easivra is a forgotten god and not dead and is still alive, where did he go?


1)Are Saints common in Shelyn's Religion?

2)what happens to Saints in the afterlife?

3)How does Shelyn feel about Storm giants believing she is the daughter of Gozreh?


1)Why doesn't Shelyn just turn the Prince in Chains back into The Prince That Howls?

2)Iomedae we know has a grim personality(never smiling and is really strict all the time and kind of mean or angry) and yet she has a celestial gold dragon servant that is cheerful and friendly.Is it common of the gods to have Divine servants that have a very different personality then them?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
So, what does the word "Golarion" mean in the language it originated from, other than being the name of the planet? Why was that word chosen to be the name of the planet? I mean within the campaign setting, of course -- I imagine you just picked it because it sounded cool.

That's not something that anyone's put any thought into. I believe it was Erik who made up the word, so you'd have to ask him for more details, but I suspect a big part of it was that it sounded good.

There's not any underlying in-world etymology for it though, and making something up isn't something I really want to do for lots of reasons, not the least of which being I don't want to set a precedent that every nonsense word we invent needs to have centuries of in-world history or justification. The rate at which we invent new words simply doesn't allow us to spend that much time on each of them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:

1)was Thron, "The Prince That Howls" a god?

2)How does Shelyn feel about her father Thron being turned into the Prince in Chains?

3)since we know that Easivra is a forgotten god and not dead and is still alive, where did he go?

1) Unrevealed.

2) Despondent and depressed and sad.

3) Unrevealed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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xavier c wrote:

1)Are Saints common in Shelyn's Religion?

2)what happens to Saints in the afterlife?

3)How does Shelyn feel about Storm giants believing she is the daughter of Gozreh?

1) Saints aren't common in any religion. That's one of the things that makes them special.

2) They become petitioners in their deity's realm, and on average spend much less time AS petitioners before becoming outsiders, and are more likely than non-saints to retain some or all of their living memories or personalities.

3) Amused.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:

1)Why doesn't Shelyn just turn the Prince in Chains back into The Prince That Howls?

2)Iomedae we know has a grim personality(never smiling and is really strict all the time and kind of mean or angry) and yet she has a celestial gold dragon servant that is cheerful and friendly.Is it common of the gods to have Divine servants that have a very different personality then them?

1) Unrevealed... but chances are good that if she could, she would have, or if she could and hasn't, there's a reason why she hasn't.

2) Relatively common, yes.


1) Are Dagon and Cthulhu actually allied? Their cults are called out as allies in Dagon's Bestiary 4 entry. I'm presuming that despite Cthulhu's current status, the two of them could communicate if they really want to.

2) What's Dagon's relationship with Lamashtu? Allies? Rivals? Sometimes lovers? They have some overlapping interests. I'm guessing they don't get along, yet they might also compare monster breeding notes...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zhangar wrote:

1) Are Dagon and Cthulhu actually allied? Their cults are called out as allies in Dagon's Bestiary 4 entry. I'm presuming that despite Cthulhu's current status, the two of them could communicate if they really want to.

2) What's Dagon's relationship with Lamashtu? Allies? Rivals? Sometimes lovers? They have some overlapping interests. I'm guessing they don't get along, yet they might also compare monster breeding notes...

1) They are not particularly allied, but their cults are. They are not particularly enemies either, but they COULD talk if they wanted. A deity and its religion don't always share every quality.

2) Lamashtu has the support of most (but not all) demon lords, some more than others. Dagon's not her most devoted ally, but he's pretty devoted.

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