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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zaleen wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Roshan wrote:
When you summon a creature using summon monster or summon natures ally, how does it work? Does it conjure a likeness of that creature to fight for you or does it bring a real creature from somewhere?

It summons a "copy" of an idealized incarnation of the creature. A summoned creature doesn't exist before you cast the spell, nor does it exist once the spell expires.

That's the difference between summoning spells and calling spells. Calling spells DO conjure a real creature.

James;

Does a Summoner's Eidolon exist with the same context, or does the Eidolon have an existence somewhere else independent of the PC?

My take is that the eidolon exists in the same context, but the power of the summoner allows the eidolon to recall and remember previous events while it was active—periods of it being inactive pass, to the eidolon, in the blink of an eye.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AtomicGamer wrote:

Hey, I've got a question about the Conjuration school and spell resistance.

The general consensus where I've asked around is that Conjuration manages to be far too powerful when compared to the other schools because unlike say necromancy, evocation or transmutation, it's spells tend to bypass spell resistance.

I get that the rationale for it is "Well, after you create the acid, it's just acid, not magic acid, so why should spell resistance count?" and such.

But it just strikes me as such a huge balance anomaly, especially at higher levels where spell resistance checks are harder.

Has there been any thought towards considering all attacks by conjured items or creatures 'magical' for purposes of Spell Resistance? Especially if, like the summoned creatures you describe for summon monster, they aren't an actual creature or substance pulled from somewhere, but an idealized version created by magic?

Of course, this wouldn't apply to Planar Ally or Gate that actually summon an actual creature from somewhere.

It's something we inherited from 3rd edition, and when we were building Pathfinder, it's not something we felt was worth changing. In fact, giving spellcasters a school that they can rely upon when facing creatures with spell resistance is good for the game. As such, and particularly for that last reason, we have not thought at all about changing how conjuration works. It is, in other words, working entirely as intended.

Of course, if it's not right for your home game, you should ABSOLUTELY change things so it is.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alan_Beven wrote:
The Pathfinder rules call for various environmental effects to do non scaling by level hit point damage. For example extreme cold and suffocation do 1d6 damage per time unit of exposure (in the case of suffocation 15 minutes). I am interested in your thoughts as to how in game this works when PCs have around 100 hit points vs 1st level characters with say 10hp. The survival difference is 45 minutes compared to 420 minutes which seems to be quite variable.

It's working entirely as intended. Something that would be a great danger to a low level PC isn't something that should be a danger at all to high level. It's part of how the game works. If everything in the game scaled according to level, then in-game there'd be no difference between being low and high level, and the whole point of leveling goes away. When you get higher level and things like heat stroke or frostbite aren't as frightening and are just nuisances... that's when you go to adventure places like the Plane of Fire or inside a volcano where things are so deadly that the only reason you CAN adventure there is because you're high level.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Milo v3 wrote:
Are there any plans for Sarusan or is it going to continue to stay as a more mysterious land with no specific stuff listed?

No plans at this point.

Liberty's Edge

Hypothetical situation for James Jacobs:

A first level sorcerer is standing in a hallway, and a swarm of centipedes is coming down the passageway in the character's direction.

The sorcerer casts hydraulic push, sending a wave of water down the hallway at the centipedes.

Will the centipedes will ignore the wave and keep moving forward? (swarms are immune to bull rushes)

or

Will the swarm of tiny crawling bugs be washed away by the violent wave of water barreling down on them?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Given your long association with Pathfinder and D+D, have you played any of the Neverwinter online games?
Nope. I kinda lost interest in all things Faerun once Eilistraee went away.
Since she is officially dead in Faerun, would it be possible to create a minor goddess like her for Golarion? Perhaps a drow woman who became an Azata and then one of the Empyreal Lords?

Way ahead of you.

Sarenrae is pretty much my take on her—a female goddess of redemption and swordfighting. I swapped moon elements out for sun elements, but otherwise... Sarenrae is VERY much my take on Eilistraee. With Desna, of course, helping out with other elements along the way.

The lack of a Drow element is a big difference. Also isn't Sarenrae is much more of a core divinity than Eilistraee was?

I am curious though? What made Elilistraee so important a personage to you? And how did you feel about the way she was written out?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Tacticslion wrote:

Which actually brings me to my actual question (which explains why the above is necessary to state first): James, do you tend to agree with the above consensus? Why or why not? Do the design principals Paizo adheres to tend to consider these types of opinions, or do you guys purposefully "tune out" those kinds of debates or ideas in order to better focus on what you're doing?

I mean this both from a rules-design paradigm as well as a story-design paradigm, both individually and at the same time.

It's certainly interesting (to me) that neither of the only two runelords to exist for the whole empire included Sloth...

Also, is there any part of the d20 system that you would more heavily alter to be different from 3.5 than you did, but were more faithful due to backwards compatibility? (I feel like you've answered this recently, but I'm afraid I don't recall where, or how.) If so which is the thing you'd most like to change?

Also: thanks for the thread, James! Really cool insights!

Even if you do ask a question at the end of a wall of text... please try not to do that. If you really do need to reply to someone, either start a new thread or send a PM to that person; this isn't the right thread to have long discussions. I want to keep it as focused as possible on questions (for me) and answers (from me). If only because that makes it easier for me to reply to threads without having to fight against how this forum truncates long quotes or how walls of text make it difficult to reference original questions when I'm trying to answer in the same text window.

As I answered in the upthread reply, yes I agree that the point of conjuration attacks is to give spellcasters an option against SR foes. Whether or not one school is more powerful than another depends greatly on your game play style. In a game like giantslayer, enchantment suddenly becomes VERY powerful (due mostly to things like charm and hold person being viable against so many foes), but in a game where there's lots of undead and constructs and vermin (say, Mummy's Mask), enchantment is nearly worthless. There's no one "always right" answer.

If I'd had the free reign and bravery to make a significant change to the d20 system and not worry about backwards compatibility or gamers' fear of change, three things I'd change would be:

1) Removal of iterative attacks—replace them with automatically gained vital strike type rules.
2) Paladin would be a prestige class.
3) Caster level would accrue for all classes in the same way as base attack, even if a class can't cast spells.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alayern wrote:

How horribly illegal would it be for someone to make an "unofficial" Pathfinder video game under the premise that they would never ever see any money from it?

If such a game were created, law be damned, and it were good, would you play it?

Not illegal at all, I assume, provided you abide by the community use policy.

If it were created, wether or not I would play it would depend on how good it looks and my free time.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Psiphyre wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The first two plots have been translated into Pathfinder APs already—Curse of the Crimson Throne and Serpent's Skull. I've not yet translated the third into one yet, because I don't think management will let me kill off Irori with a transplanar supernatural immense faith parasite monster that siphons belief and digests it into anti-belief and then shoots it across the planes to kill a god.
What about Abadar?

So...

That's not what happened to Aroden, then?... o.O?

;p

Carry on! ^^

--C.

<edit> Emphasis added. </edit>

Nope, it's not. Specifically since that's not how belief and faith work in Golarion.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Given your long association with Pathfinder and D+D, have you played any of the Neverwinter online games?
Nope. I kinda lost interest in all things Faerun once Eilistraee went away.
Since she is officially dead in Faerun, would it be possible to create a minor goddess like her for Golarion? Perhaps a drow woman who became an Azata and then one of the Empyreal Lords?

Way ahead of you.

Sarenrae is pretty much my take on her—a female goddess of redemption and swordfighting. I swapped moon elements out for sun elements, but otherwise... Sarenrae is VERY much my take on Eilistraee. With Desna, of course, helping out with other elements along the way.

The lack of a Drow element is a big difference. Also isn't Sarenrae is much more of a core divinity than Eilistraee was?

Yes. There's a lot of other differences as well.

Sarenrae was INSPIRED by Eilistraee. She was never intended to be a replacement Eilistraee. Since Sarenrae was never intended to be in the same game world as Eilistraee, and when I created Sarenrae, Eilistraee was still very much alive and would be for a few decades and thus I didn't see a need to replace her.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cuchulainn wrote:

Hypothetical situation for James Jacobs:

A first level sorcerer is standing in a hallway, and a swarm of centipedes is coming down the passageway in the character's direction.

The sorcerer casts hydraulic push, sending a wave of water down the hallway at the centipedes.

Will the centipedes will ignore the wave and keep moving forward? (swarms are immune to bull rushes)

or

Will the swarm of tiny crawling bugs be washed away by the violent wave of water barreling down on them?

Hydraulic push can only target one creature or object. If you cast the spell at a swarm, the spell creates a high stream but narrow and tiny beam of water and, essentially, pushes away ONE of the creatures in the swarm. AKA: it doesn't work at all on swarms. Has nothing to do with the fact that a swarm is immune to bull rushes, and everything to do with the fact that swarms are immune to spells that target single creatures.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
3) Caster level would accrue for all classes in the same way as base attack, even if a class can't cast spells.

How would that work? Does this mean Fightes and Rouges would acquire caster levels, and if so what would they use them for?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Your comments about caster level remind me of the Book of Nine Swords, which did something similar for "initiator level".

Did you like or dislike the Book of Nine Swords? The fluff, the mechanics, w/e.

Did you think it was overpowered in 3.5? Do you think it is in Pathfinder (where many classes got buffed)?

Also, as an Eilistraee fangirl, I don't know how she was killed/written out, nor do I care to. I knew there was something I liked about Ashava though. So, thank you for that.

Thank you (again)! :)

Silver Crusade

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

What would you say it is about truly devoted CG characters that makes them ineligible for paladin-like powers granted by like-minded powers such as Cayden Cailean or Desna? I know they technically have ways to do so, such as with warpriests or the chevalier prestige class, but some have asked, why is a CG character not considered "moral enough" to be empowered by their own dedication to things like freedom and the casting down of oppression as paladins are by their dedication to justice and honor (which you've implied by stating that a paladin's powers aren't granted by a deity)?


Response:
James Jacobs wrote:
Even if you do ask a question at the end of a wall of text... please try not to do that. If you really do need to reply to someone, either start a new thread or send a PM to that person; this isn't the right thread to have long discussions. I want to keep it as focused as possible on questions (for me) and answers (from me). If only because that makes it easier for me to reply to threads without having to fight against how this forum truncates long quotes or how walls of text make it difficult to reference original questions when I'm trying to answer in the same text window.

Fair enough (I also generally agree with the general reasoning). My reasoning was to build off of it to make a different question that I felt would seem passive-aggressive (because it would by implying that a poster's premise was wrong while ignoring said entirely). My apologies - I was trying to be polite! I'll... try and figure a different way, next time.

(D-: But... but how will I survive without Walls of Text?!)

((^ See? See?! Question: BAM!))

I am curious: have you played Neverwinter Nights or any of the expansions (like Shadows of Undrentide or Hordes of the Underdark)? What about Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansions (like Mask of the Betrayer)? What did you think of these?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
3) Caster level would accrue for all classes in the same way as base attack, even if a class can't cast spells.
How would that work? Does this mean Fightes and Rouges would acquire caster levels, and if so what would they use them for?

They would use them if they multiclassed, so that just as levels in Wizard would help but barely with their BAB, so would levels in Fighter help but barely with a Wizard's caster level. And it opens up some neat possibilities in how caster levels for magic items might work too. And even helps set up the possibility of earning a single spell via a feat or the like.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kalindlara wrote:

Your comments about caster level remind me of the Book of Nine Swords, which did something similar for "initiator level".

Did you like or dislike the Book of Nine Swords? The fluff, the mechanics, w/e.

Did you think it was overpowered in 3.5? Do you think it is in Pathfinder (where many classes got buffed)?

Also, as an Eilistraee fangirl, I don't know how she was killed/written out, nor do I care to. I knew there was something I liked about Ashava though. So, thank you for that.

Thank you (again)! :)

I wasn't a fan of the Book of Nine Swords. Mostly because its flavor was not the type of flavor I enjoyed for the game.

And YAY for Eilistraee!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would you say it is about truly devoted CG characters that makes them ineligible for paladin-like powers granted by like-minded powers such as Cayden Cailean or Desna? I know they technically have ways to do so, such as with warpriests or the chevalier prestige class, but some have asked, why is a CG character not considered "moral enough" to be empowered by their own dedication to things like freedom and the casting down of oppression as paladins are by their dedication to justice and honor (which you've implied by stating that a paladin's powers aren't granted by a deity)?

It's more a concern of poaching powers from the paladin than it is whether or not those powers are appropriate for other classes.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:

If I'd had the free reign and bravery to make a significant change to the d20 system and not worry about backwards compatibility or gamers' fear of change, three things I'd change would be:

1) Removal of iterative attacks—replace them with automatically gained vital strike type rules.
2) Paladin would be a prestige class.
3) Caster level would accrue for all classes in the same way as base attack, even if a class can't cast spells.

These are all really interesting ideas, especially (3). Are you saying that a rogue 2/bard 3 would have CL 5th?

Follow-up: Do you use any of the house rules that were introduced in Unearthed Arcana? There are a couple in there that I have used and I really like (fractional BAB and base save bonuses, for instance) that I was reminded of by your post.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Tacticslion wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

I am curious: have you played Neverwinter Nights or any of the expansions (like Shadows of Undrentide or Hordes of the Underdark)? What about Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansions (like Mask of the Betrayer)? What did you think of these?

Yup; I played all of those Neverwinter Nights games. I quite enjoyed them, but the part about those games I liked the MOST was how they allowed fans to create their own adventures. There were quite a few fan creations that exceeded the quality of the official campaigns. I suspect mostly because these high-quality fan creations were able to do things with their stories that weren't shackled by the licensor's restrictions on content.

Silver Crusade

As usual, thanks for answering our questions!

I've got a bit of potentially indepth one..

How would you go about running a birthright style game with the Ultimate Campaign rules, where each PC was essentially the ruler or big-mover/shaker of his own kingdom?
a. Do you think there'd be a place for normal party shennigans when everyone's a monarch of a separate country?
b. How would you go about trying to keep them from getting into a more PvP focused area?

I'm asking because I once again found myself reading the Birthright Playtest notes and it made me think of stuff like Kingmaker (where everyone's part of one kingdom instead of every PC getting to be a ruler onto themselves) but noticed the Birthright Playtest notes had nothing to do with the common day-to-day adventuring and everything to do with realm management.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The Fox wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

If I'd had the free reign and bravery to make a significant change to the d20 system and not worry about backwards compatibility or gamers' fear of change, three things I'd change would be:

1) Removal of iterative attacks—replace them with automatically gained vital strike type rules.
2) Paladin would be a prestige class.
3) Caster level would accrue for all classes in the same way as base attack, even if a class can't cast spells.

These are all really interesting ideas, especially (3). Are you saying that a rogue 2/bard 3 would have CL 5th?

Follow-up: Do you use any of the house rules that were introduced in Unearthed Arcana? There are a couple in there that I have used and I really like (fractional BAB and base save bonuses, for instance) that I was reminded of by your post.

A rogue 2/bard 3 would likely have CL 4th.

I don't use any Unearthed Arcana rules, no.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Spook205 wrote:

As usual, thanks for answering our questions!

I've got a bit of potentially indepth one..

How would you go about running a birthright style game with the Ultimate Campaign rules, where each PC was essentially the ruler or big-mover/shaker of his own kingdom?
a. Do you think there'd be a place for normal party shennigans when everyone's a monarch of a separate country?
b. How would you go about trying to keep them from getting into a more PvP focused area?

I'm asking because I once again found myself reading the Birthright Playtest notes and it made me think of stuff like Kingmaker (where everyone's part of one kingdom instead of every PC getting to be a ruler onto themselves) but noticed the Birthright Playtest notes had nothing to do with the common day-to-day adventuring and everything to do with realm management.

Kingmaker is how I'd do it.

That's where the Ultimate Campaign rules came from, after all. And Kingmaker was very much me wanting to do a Birthright-style campaign for Pathfinder, and needing to invent rules for kingdom building and management to support the story.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would you say it is about truly devoted CG characters that makes them ineligible for paladin-like powers granted by like-minded powers such as Cayden Cailean or Desna? I know they technically have ways to do so, such as with warpriests or the chevalier prestige class, but some have asked, why is a CG character not considered "moral enough" to be empowered by their own dedication to things like freedom and the casting down of oppression as paladins are by their dedication to justice and honor (which you've implied by stating that a paladin's powers aren't granted by a deity)?
It's more a concern of poaching powers from the paladin than it is whether or not those powers are appropriate for other classes.

You mean if there were such a thing as "paladins of freedom" or "paladins of balance" it'd make the standard paladin less "special?" Just clarifying.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would you say it is about truly devoted CG characters that makes them ineligible for paladin-like powers granted by like-minded powers such as Cayden Cailean or Desna? I know they technically have ways to do so, such as with warpriests or the chevalier prestige class, but some have asked, why is a CG character not considered "moral enough" to be empowered by their own dedication to things like freedom and the casting down of oppression as paladins are by their dedication to justice and honor (which you've implied by stating that a paladin's powers aren't granted by a deity)?
It's more a concern of poaching powers from the paladin than it is whether or not those powers are appropriate for other classes.
You mean if there were such a thing as "paladins of freedom" or "paladins of balance" it'd make the standard paladin less "special?" Just clarifying.

That's exactly what I mean.

Grand Lodge

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

** spoiler omitted **

I am curious: have you played Neverwinter Nights or any of the expansions (like Shadows of Undrentide or Hordes of the Underdark)? What about Neverwinter Nights 2 and its expansions (like Mask of the Betrayer)? What did you think of these?

Yup; I played all of those Neverwinter Nights games. I quite enjoyed them, but the part about those games I liked the MOST was how they allowed fans to create their own adventures. There were quite a few fan creations that exceeded the quality of the official campaigns. I suspect mostly because these high-quality fan creations were able to do things with their stories that weren't shackled by the licensor's restrictions on content.

The present version of Neverwinter Nights not only retains that function in the Foundry, it's also true for Champions Online and Star Trek Online.


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1)Who are the gods known as the Shoal?

2)On Androffa what where the Shoal like?(alignment and personality)

3)How many Shoal are there?


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

Have you read Authentic Thaumaturgy, by Isaac Bonewits?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would you say it is about truly devoted CG characters that makes them ineligible for paladin-like powers granted by like-minded powers such as Cayden Cailean or Desna? I know they technically have ways to do so, such as with warpriests or the chevalier prestige class, but some have asked, why is a CG character not considered "moral enough" to be empowered by their own dedication to things like freedom and the casting down of oppression as paladins are by their dedication to justice and honor (which you've implied by stating that a paladin's powers aren't granted by a deity)?
It's more a concern of poaching powers from the paladin than it is whether or not those powers are appropriate for other classes.
You mean if there were such a thing as "paladins of freedom" or "paladins of balance" it'd make the standard paladin less "special?" Just clarifying.

That's exactly what I mean.

Makes sense to me.

What's your favorite fruit?


James Jacobs wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

Makes sense! Very interesting ideas, though.

Any other relations between them?

I'd actually be curious to see any other parallels you'd draw with Eilistraee and Sarenrae or Desna.

Desna's got the night and the sensuality and the chaos aspects of Eilistraee represented, while Sarenrae's got the "swordfighting is art and dance" and the redemption angle covered. Beyond that, though... Sarenrae and Desna are very much their own deities whose areas of interest and faiths go beyond what Eilistraee covers. That said, one of the few Empyreal Lords I invented, Ashava, also has some Eilistraee elements to her as well.

But beyond those inspirations... that's pretty much as far as I would go. All of these deities are more interesting if they share some common inspirational ground but have lots of their own things to stand on.

Oh, hey, reading up on Ashava (who is awesome, by the way), the following was mentioned:

Quote:
Her most common minions include half-celestial werewolves, lunar nagas and pegasi.

My question (regarding the bolded parts) is: hoooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww........?

I can see lunar nagas - entire populations of them exist after all.
I can see pegasi - again, entire populations of them exist.

Both could easily fill the niche of "most common minions".

... but half-celestial werewolves?! That's... that... it's... my mind is pretty blown, and I'm wondering how you envision that to work, exactly.

Also, is the "wolf" part the half-celestial part (leaving a normal-looking <insert mortal race here>), or is the "<insert mortal race here>" part the half-celestial part (leaving a potentially normal-looking wolf*)?

* Bonus related: if it's the latter, does it look normal?

Or are they both half-celestial? Or what?

Basically, my mind is blown by the fact that "half-celestial werewolves" can be the "most common" of anything in any instance whatsoever, outside of this post (which keeps referring to them because half-celestial friggin' werewolves!).

So, "Cool story bro!" (with none of the sarcasm that occasionally implies)... and could you elaborate on "half-celestial werewolves" as a concept and execution?

Thanks!


James Jacobs wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
The Pathfinder rules call for various environmental effects to do non scaling by level hit point damage. For example extreme cold and suffocation do 1d6 damage per time unit of exposure (in the case of suffocation 15 minutes). I am interested in your thoughts as to how in game this works when PCs have around 100 hit points vs 1st level characters with say 10hp. The survival difference is 45 minutes compared to 420 minutes which seems to be quite variable.
It's working entirely as intended. Something that would be a great danger to a low level PC isn't something that should be a danger at all to high level. It's part of how the game works. If everything in the game scaled according to level, then in-game there'd be no difference between being low and high level, and the whole point of leveling goes away. When you get higher level and things like heat stroke or frostbite aren't as frightening and are just nuisances... that's when you go to adventure places like the Plane of Fire or inside a volcano where things are so deadly that the only reason you CAN adventure there is because you're high level.

Thanks James, used your advice to great effect in tonight's game. In doing so I had some creatures wrest a PCs +4 axe from his grasp and toss it into lava destroying it. My players took it well enough, but I am interested in your position on destroying PCs items. I don't make a habit of it, but I feel at high level (this is a level 16 game) the GM gets to play hardball as the PCs have some pretty amazing powers at hand. What is your position on this?


Hey James,

Due to some rather poor DMing on my part(I split the party) the start of Skulls and Shackles gut suprimely messed up and now two of my players want to out right murder the first mate with the captains permission...

Worse yet is there is absolutely no party cohesion and I have a table of 7 players that are going in different directions...well except the two that are mentioned above.

Would you recommend swapping out Book 1 of Skulls and Shackles for book 1 of Serpents Skull instead in this case?

Don't read if you intend to play Serpents skull:
that way Iesha could be replaced with the first mate so the hunt could continue but being stranded on an island I'm kind of hoping will force party cohesion since they need to work together to survive and not be eaten by the cannibals.

If I were to do this what changes would this force to Skull and Shackles?

You ever have a bad night like this where the plot gets totally thown out the window?

Silver Crusade

James Jacobs wrote:
Spook205 wrote:

As usual, thanks for answering our questions!

I've got a bit of potentially indepth one..

How would you go about running a birthright style game with the Ultimate Campaign rules, where each PC was essentially the ruler or big-mover/shaker of his own kingdom?
a. Do you think there'd be a place for normal party shennigans when everyone's a monarch of a separate country?
b. How would you go about trying to keep them from getting into a more PvP focused area?

I'm asking because I once again found myself reading the Birthright Playtest notes and it made me think of stuff like Kingmaker (where everyone's part of one kingdom instead of every PC getting to be a ruler onto themselves) but noticed the Birthright Playtest notes had nothing to do with the common day-to-day adventuring and everything to do with realm management.

Kingmaker is how I'd do it.

That's where the Ultimate Campaign rules came from, after all. And Kingmaker was very much me wanting to do a Birthright-style campaign for Pathfinder, and needing to invent rules for kingdom building and management to support the story.

Ah, so you're a supporter of the idea of all players being associated with the same kingdom as opposed to ruling over allied or even potentially enemy kingdoms?

I assume therefore the default answer to the subquestions I asked was 'Don't split the party that much?' :)

I kind of figured that might be the your opinion given that you said you don't like groups of PCs where the PCs have loyalties outside and above 'the party.'

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Let's say that Paizo gives a greenlight to develop a Souls-style computer game for Pathfinder. As the Creative Director, where in Golarion would you campaign for the game to take place?


Hello James,

Going off of your previous post about summoned monsters not truly existing before and after you use them, I have a potential alignment opinion question for you.

If a cleric summons a creature, (Sarenrae in this case, because favorite deity), specifically for potentially setting off something that you know could be potentially dangerous, would that be considered an evil act in one of your games?

Like, for example, in one of the APs, we went into a basement of a castle, and there was this green mist. We didn't know what the mist was, and were pretty sure it might be detrimental to us. Is it evil to summon something to fly into the mist to see if it's harmful?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:

1)Who are the gods known as the Shoal?

2)On Androffa what where the Shoal like?(alignment and personality)

3)How many Shoal are there?

1) They're part of my campaign setting and I haven't made public who they were yet, nor do I have plans to do so anytime soon.

2) See above.

3) See above.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ed Reppert wrote:
Have you read Authentic Thaumaturgy, by Isaac Bonewits?

No.

Contributor

What traits do you seek when picking a freelancer to write part of an Adventure Path?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would you say it is about truly devoted CG characters that makes them ineligible for paladin-like powers granted by like-minded powers such as Cayden Cailean or Desna? I know they technically have ways to do so, such as with warpriests or the chevalier prestige class, but some have asked, why is a CG character not considered "moral enough" to be empowered by their own dedication to things like freedom and the casting down of oppression as paladins are by their dedication to justice and honor (which you've implied by stating that a paladin's powers aren't granted by a deity)?
It's more a concern of poaching powers from the paladin than it is whether or not those powers are appropriate for other classes.
You mean if there were such a thing as "paladins of freedom" or "paladins of balance" it'd make the standard paladin less "special?" Just clarifying.

That's exactly what I mean.

Makes sense to me.

What's your favorite fruit?

Raspberry.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tacticslion wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:

Makes sense! Very interesting ideas, though.

Any other relations between them?

I'd actually be curious to see any other parallels you'd draw with Eilistraee and Sarenrae or Desna.

Desna's got the night and the sensuality and the chaos aspects of Eilistraee represented, while Sarenrae's got the "swordfighting is art and dance" and the redemption angle covered. Beyond that, though... Sarenrae and Desna are very much their own deities whose areas of interest and faiths go beyond what Eilistraee covers. That said, one of the few Empyreal Lords I invented, Ashava, also has some Eilistraee elements to her as well.

But beyond those inspirations... that's pretty much as far as I would go. All of these deities are more interesting if they share some common inspirational ground but have lots of their own things to stand on.

Oh, hey, reading up on Ashava (who is awesome, by the way), the following was mentioned:

Quote:
Her most common minions include half-celestial werewolves, lunar nagas and pegasi.

My question (regarding the bolded parts) is: hoooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww........?

I can see lunar nagas - entire populations of them exist after all.
I can see pegasi - again, entire populations of them exist.

Both could easily fill the niche of "most common minions".

... but half-celestial werewolves?! That's... that... it's... my mind is pretty blown, and I'm wondering how you envision that to work, exactly.

Also, is the "wolf" part the half-celestial part (leaving a normal-looking <insert mortal race here>), or is the "<insert mortal race here>" part the half-celestial part (leaving a potentially normal-looking wolf*)?

* Bonus related: if it's the latter, does it look normal?

Or are they both half-celestial? Or what?

Basically, my mind is blown by the fact that "half-celestial werewolves" can be the "most common" of anything in any instance whatsoever, outside of this...

In the case of a half-celestial werewolf, it's the whole thing that's celestial. It doesn't look like a normal werewolf; it'd look much cleaner and well groomed with non-frightening eye colors or fur coloration.

Now that said... these are MINIONS, not WORSHIPERS. Her most common worshipers are Varisians. The "minion" category is more akin to "the types of non-PC options that are often associated with the deity." In the typical Ashava cult, you'll see mostly Varisian worshipers (or whatever), but when it comes to their guardians or allies... you know, the one or two or three other things in the group... they're nagas or pegasi or half-celestial werewolves.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alan_Beven wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
The Pathfinder rules call for various environmental effects to do non scaling by level hit point damage. For example extreme cold and suffocation do 1d6 damage per time unit of exposure (in the case of suffocation 15 minutes). I am interested in your thoughts as to how in game this works when PCs have around 100 hit points vs 1st level characters with say 10hp. The survival difference is 45 minutes compared to 420 minutes which seems to be quite variable.
It's working entirely as intended. Something that would be a great danger to a low level PC isn't something that should be a danger at all to high level. It's part of how the game works. If everything in the game scaled according to level, then in-game there'd be no difference between being low and high level, and the whole point of leveling goes away. When you get higher level and things like heat stroke or frostbite aren't as frightening and are just nuisances... that's when you go to adventure places like the Plane of Fire or inside a volcano where things are so deadly that the only reason you CAN adventure there is because you're high level.
Thanks James, used your advice to great effect in tonight's game. In doing so I had some creatures wrest a PCs +4 axe from his grasp and toss it into lava destroying it. My players took it well enough, but I am interested in your position on destroying PCs items. I don't make a habit of it, but I feel at high level (this is a level 16 game) the GM gets to play hardball as the PCs have some pretty amazing powers at hand. What is your position on this?

The game, as written, expects that your characters will have a significant part of their power provided by your gear. In this case, destroying items is more or less the same as removing class features or permanently lowering ability scores. Now, it's not as BAD since, in theory, the players will regain more items. And in a case where a GM realizes too late he's given out way too much treasure, destroying items is a good way to bring the party power level back in line with the GM's expectations.

But do it too often? Don't be surprised if you start losing players.

Destroying items should be done with great caution. If you allow the players to repair and fix and retrieve destroyed items (which is the intention of things like make whole and greater make whole) that's better.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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mathpro18 wrote:

Hey James,

Due to some rather poor DMing on my part(I split the party) the start of Skulls and Shackles gut suprimely messed up and now two of my players want to out right murder the first mate with the captains permission...

Worse yet is there is absolutely no party cohesion and I have a table of 7 players that are going in different directions...well except the two that are mentioned above.

Would you recommend swapping out Book 1 of Skulls and Shackles for book 1 of Serpents Skull instead in this case?

** spoiler omitted **

If I were to do this what changes would this force to Skull and Shackles?

You ever have a bad night like this where the plot gets totally thown out the window?

I've had nights where the plot goes totally askew, and usually I run with it and see where the players take it. I enjoy impromptu adventure design though...

Switching gears to Smuggler's Shiv is certainly an interesting idea. The most important thing to do with that first adventure, apart from making the PCs get to know each other and work as a team (which Smuggler's Shiv does well), is to instill in them a need to become pirates and a need to get revenge on Barnabas. Smuggler's Shiv shouldn't interfere with that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Spook205 wrote:

Ah, so you're a supporter of the idea of all players being associated with the same kingdom as opposed to ruling over allied or even potentially enemy kingdoms?

I assume therefore the default answer to the subquestions I asked was 'Don't split the party that much?' :)

I kind of figured that might be the your opinion given that you said you don't like groups of PCs where the PCs have loyalties outside and above 'the party.'

Absolutely. Pathfinder, like D&D before it, is a "team game." It works best when the players are working together. Splitting the party up is almost always a bad idea... and it becomes a worse and worse idea the longer the split remains.

You could DO a game like this where the players each run a different kingdom... but that's a different game entirely that would benefit from being designed as such from the ground up.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Misroi wrote:
Let's say that Paizo gives a greenlight to develop a Souls-style computer game for Pathfinder. As the Creative Director, where in Golarion would you campaign for the game to take place?

Thassilon, just after Earthfall.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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donato wrote:
What traits do you seek when picking a freelancer to write part of an Adventure Path?

Creativity.

Artistic skill at drawing maps.

Attention to diversity and being progressive in ensuring there's a good mix of gender, race, sexual orientation, and so on among the adventure's NPCs—be it among the good NPCs or the bad ones.

Ability to hit deadlines.

Ability to retain open dialogue with me when you are late on your deadlines.

Lyrical writing that is fun to read.

NPC names that aren't lame.

In-depth knowledge about Golarion.

Strong rules sense.

Attention to detail, and the ability to organize your adventure in our style.

A willingness to learn.

The conviction to stand up for and to defend your ideas, but the humility to realize that when I change the adventures, it's for the good of the adventure or for Golarion.

A passion and love for the game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Viridios wrote:

Hello James,

Going off of your previous post about summoned monsters not truly existing before and after you use them, I have a potential alignment opinion question for you.

If a cleric summons a creature, (Sarenrae in this case, because favorite deity), specifically for potentially setting off something that you know could be potentially dangerous, would that be considered an evil act in one of your games?

Like, for example, in one of the APs, we went into a basement of a castle, and there was this green mist. We didn't know what the mist was, and were pretty sure it might be detrimental to us. Is it evil to summon something to fly into the mist to see if it's harmful?

It would likely be evil. It would ABSOLUTELY be chaotic. Even if a monster only exists for 1 round/level, it still feels pain, and deliberately setting it up to endure pain comes close to torture. It doesn't matter if it's a "temporary" creature, frankly. And in fact, a good-aligned character who summons monsters should take that opportunity to ROLE PLAY their alignment anyway, by NOT doing things that are cruel. If you want to summon monsters to set off traps more than you want to play your alignment, just cut to the chase and worship Nethys or Pharasma or Abadar or Calistria. Someone who's got a mean streak.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In place of alignment, Vampire used a rating for Humanity. which mainly described where a Vampire would "draw the line in the acts it would commit" as listed below:

A Kindred’s Humanity rating reflects how much of a character’s mortal nature remains despite the curse of Caine. It influences how well a character may deny her vampiric state, as well as how effectively she may pass for mortal.

0 - Monstrous (Wight)
1 - Horrific
2 - Bestial
3 - Cold
4 - Unfeeling
5 - Distant
6 - Removed
7 - Normal
8 - Caring
9 - Compassionate
10 - Saintly

Humanity Rating - Moral Guideline
10 - Selfish thoughts
9 - Minor selfish acts
8 - Injury to another (accidental or otherwise)
7 - Theft
6 - Accidental violation (drinking a vessel dry out of starvation)
5 - Intentional property damage
4 - Impassioned violation (manslaughter, killing a vessel in frenzy)
3 - Planned violation (outright murder, savored exsanguination)
2 - Casual violation (thoughtless killing, feeding past satiation)
1 - Utter perversion or heinous acts
0 - No moral guideline: must sleep, must feed, must kill.

What would you think of this as a replacement for alignment in Pathfinder, and what name would you give it?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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What's the best use for charm person/monster?

Silver Crusade

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Mr. Jacobs, thanks again for the response!

I've already got some more questions for you.

1.) What are your opinions on the occasional crazy DMs out there who run concurrent campaigns with the effects of one game having impacts on another (such as one party having their work undone by the other party without either knowing they're interfering with other human players)? Do you view this as a threat to the player agency issue, overly competitive, dishonest, neat?

2.) When you worked on the Golarian campaign setting, or your own table's campaign setting, did you work down or work up? IE: Do you start with the smallest denominator and expand out (village to world map), or do you start with the larger world and work down to where the PCs make their entry (world map to village)?

3.) How much of the Mystery Science Theater mantra ("It's just a (RPG), you should really just relax") do you advise players at your table to use when examining the Pathfinder setting's cosmology or economics?

4.) When designing your pantheons (Golarian and home setting again) did you sit down with the intention of making sure that there were appropriate deities (I need a chaotic evil god, a god who bards can worship, etc) or did you develop a mythology first and foremost?
4a.) Do you think its bad pantheon design if there are 'holes' in the pantheon? For example, my home pantheon lacks a real Lawful Evil deity, so the Lawful Evil folks end up either working with fiends, or worshipping a LN, LN(E) or NE deity.

Silver Crusade

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

If a druid wanted to reestablish the local Green Faith hierarchy in his/her area after it had been destroyed by circumstance (say, in the Worldwound for example), would the Green Faith Acolyte prestige class be required, as advancement in that class indicates advancing rank in the organization, or could they just get away with single-classing druid?

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