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Hello James and thank you for your time.

My questions are pretty simple but they are covered under grey area and since me and my DM are not native English speakers, it rises a lot of arguments and bitter hearts between us.

Is a Spiked Shield a weapon or not?
Is it by itself a weapon or is it merely being treated as one?
Can it be enhanced with Weapon enhancements like "Impact" on top of Shield enhancements like "Bashing" or not?
If yes, then what is the price of it? Is the price for "Bashing" being counted as an Armor enhancement and the price for "Impact" as a Weapon enhancement separately?
Since the spikes are considered to be Ammunition, how does this affect the pricing of enhancement?

The main reason why this is a concern for us, is that while the "Shieldbash" belongs to the close weapon group for the fighter and the Ultimate Equipment refers to the "shield spikes" as turning the shield into a martial weapon, there is no section of a spiked shield in the weapons category at all.

Thank you very much in advance!

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Will we ever see an AP where the various goblinoid races are prominent?
Probably not, since the idea of goblinoid remaining a threat up to 16th level or so isn't really what Golarion is about. I suppose there could be a big bad end guy who was a hobgoblin or something someday, but fighting goblinoid all the way through? I highly doubt it.

Perhaps as the focus of maybe the first one or two parts of an AP? Much as gnolls were in Legacy of Fire? With a few more powerful or unique ones showing up later?


How do you deal with headaches?

And how many cups of coffee do you drink on average per day?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Aberzombie wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Will we ever see an AP where the various goblinoid races are prominent?
Probably not, since the idea of goblinoid remaining a threat up to 16th level or so isn't really what Golarion is about. I suppose there could be a big bad end guy who was a hobgoblin or something someday, but fighting goblinoid all the way through? I highly doubt it.
Perhaps as the focus of maybe the first one or two parts of an AP? Much as gnolls were in Legacy of Fire? With a few more powerful or unique ones showing up later?

As I noted Above, Jade Regent does this using Oni with Goblin subtypes. Gobs, Hobgobs and oni-gobs through the entire AP.

==Aelryinth


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Have you seen any art by Richard Luong? He does a lot of Cthulu artwork, think you'd enjoy his stuff.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sorry if you've already answered this one, it's a long thread.

If you had to give your real world self an alignment, what would it be?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Handaxe Beak wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Handaxe Beak wrote:
How does the older faith of Anubis influence or relate to current worship of Pharasma in Osirion, given that they've got such similar outlooks?
As a subservient faith that's mostly left to do its own thing. I've always seen Anubis as one of Pharasma's best minions. In any event... Pharasma and her faith have been around a LOT LOT LOT longer than Anubis has.
Could someone be, for example, a cleric of Anubis and an inquisitor of Pharasma at the same time? If so, would they be accepted by their church(es)?

No.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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High Priest of Razmir wrote:
For James: Why does your puny bug goddess with a starlit twinkle in her eye keep attacking our priests! It's rude I say!

You're confused. Those are Desnan inquisitors. But since you obviously have a deeply-seated misunderstanding and ignorance of how faith and deities function, I suppose I'll excuse you for making this entry-level first-timer mistake in misidentifying inquisitors of Desna for Desna herself.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

xavier c wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
xavier c wrote:
How would other deities react to a god living openly among mortals?
Depends entirely what that god did. And how can you be sure that situation isn't already in play? Gods are pretty good at keeping secrets from us.

1)What would happen if every one was aware that such a person was a god?(This question is in setting)

2)What if this deity was the king/queen of a Nation?

1 and 2) We'd have a different campaign setting, or at the very least a very different nation in the current setting. I'm not going to design a whole nation to answer the question, and since "what would happen" would depend entirely upon the direction I wanted to take the story (Would it be a group of nonbelievers who built a "real" version of Razmiran? Would the nation be a bunch of zealots eager to expand their god's realm aka the Worldwound? Would it be relatively self-contained and overwhelmingly magic like Irrisen? Would it be subtle and unassuming? Would it be something else entirely? Would it cause other gods and goddesses to manifest physically in the world and create a divine arms race that would edge out and overwhelm mortal life and render them and all PCs irrelevant?), I can't really answer in detail.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
So I'm bit curious about why Lost Cities of Golarion details Xin Shalast after events of RotR ._. I don't remember any other campaign setting book detailing a location after AP, why is that an exception to the "Books always assume APs didn't happen yet" rule?

Because Rise of the Runelords already covered Xin-Shalast in greater detail than any 10-page entry in "Lost Cities" could ever hope to do so, and thus if we DIDN'T do what we did, we'd just end up with an unsatisfying repetition of a few elements of the city that only scratched the surface of what Pathfinder #6 did. Furthermore, this was the first time we tried doing anything that built upon the events of a prior adventure's timeline, so we wanted to try that out as an experiment to see how folks reacted and to see how tough it would be to pull off.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Samy wrote:
Have there been cases of nations going bankrupt on Golarion, and what happened to them then?

Taldor. It's still in the process though. A long slow lingering demise.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Albatoonoe wrote:
I asked the question about the god of a setting turning out to be evil. In a similar vein, but to a lesser extent, what do you think of a campaign focused around discovering a renown hero is actually evil?

THAT is much more interesting to me than tricking the players into finding out a good god is actually evil. Not only is a "reveal the good guy is evil" (or vice-versa) a great story (see Game of Thrones), it's one that doesn't rip the rug out of any character in the party down to a fundamental rules level.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

DrGlass wrote:
With all of these new classes since the release of the last NPC Codex, and the fact that we've have so many monster books in years recent. Do you think we'll be seeing another big book of NPC stats anytime soon?

Unlikely. But we'll see.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Swashbucklersdc wrote:

James,

My character, a devout worshipper of Desna, is having a ** spoiler omitted ** crafted for him.

How would a "typical" fanatic of Desna act?
Thank you for any insight you can provide, =)

A typical fanatic of ANY deity would try to BE that deity. Think of it as cosplaying your favorite character and abandoning your own personality to become that character. You could even go as far as to claim that you WERE that character, or in this case, claim that the character WAS Desna.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Samy wrote:

If there was a situation where Good Golarion deities were forced to cooperate with Evil Forgotten Realms deities (some sort of Rovagug situation, perhaps, or the like?), which Good/Evil pairings would you see working together the best/managing to kill each other the least/at least producing the most entertaining interactions?

How about vice versa, Good FR deities and Evil Golarion deities?

I'm about 10 years behind the times for Forgotten Realms. I didn't pay attention to the 4th edition realms once Eilistraee was killed off, and never really went back, so all my FR deity lore is 3rd edition and prior.

I'm not gonna list all the ones I think would work well together or would make an interesting buddy cop show, since that's a deep rabbit hole and I'm already scrambling to get caught up on email and stuff after my vacation before getting to work, so...

I'd like to see Desna team up with Mask.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Who's your favorite Greek deity?

Athena.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
I asked the question about the god of a setting turning out to be evil. In a similar vein, but to a lesser extent, what do you think of a campaign focused around discovering a renown hero is actually evil?
THAT is much more interesting to me than tricking the players into finding out a good god is actually evil. Not only is a "reveal the good guy is evil" (or vice-versa) a great story (see Game of Thrones), it's one that doesn't rip the rug out of any character in the party down to a fundamental rules level.

Along those lines, have you read the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aelryinth wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Will we ever see an AP where the various goblinoid races are prominent?
Probably not, since the idea of goblinoid remaining a threat up to 16th level or so isn't really what Golarion is about. I suppose there could be a big bad end guy who was a hobgoblin or something someday, but fighting goblinoid all the way through? I highly doubt it.

I'm surprised you didn't mention Jade Regent, James.

Goblinoids are prominent in three of the four books up through book 4, about 10-12th level. Helps that Oni can have the Goblin subtype.

A lot of the 'basic soldier' oni in the later books are goblin-type Oni, although not the bosses.

So FE: Goblin comes in useful for over 2/3 of that AP!

==Aelryinth

I didn't mention Jade Regent because goblinoids aren't a recurring theme all the way through—they really just show up in the 1st one and the 4th one and not in any directly connected way, and the fact that many in the 4th one are oni kinda makes them NOT really goblinoids.

Favored enemy does come in useful there for 2/3 of the AP, yeah... but I wouldn't call that "Goblins are the prominent race" in the AP.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

skypse wrote:

Hello James and thank you for your time.

My questions are pretty simple but they are covered under grey area and since me and my DM are not native English speakers, it rises a lot of arguments and bitter hearts between us.

Is a Spiked Shield a weapon or not?
Is it by itself a weapon or is it merely being treated as one?
Can it be enhanced with Weapon enhancements like "Impact" on top of Shield enhancements like "Bashing" or not?
If yes, then what is the price of it? Is the price for "Bashing" being counted as an Armor enhancement and the price for "Impact" as a Weapon enhancement separately?
Since the spikes are considered to be Ammunition, how does this affect the pricing of enhancement?

The main reason why this is a concern for us, is that while the "Shieldbash" belongs to the close weapon group for the fighter and the Ultimate Equipment refers to the "shield spikes" as turning the shield into a martial weapon, there is no section of a spiked shield in the weapons category at all.

Thank you very much in advance!

I don't think this is a gray area at all.

The spike on a spiked shield (AKA a shield spike) is a weapon. It's listed on the weapon table. The shield itself is a shield, and is thus listed on the weapon table.

The shield spike is the weapon part. The shield is not.

The shield spike can be enhanced with weapon enhancements, but "Bashing" won't help a shield spike, since when you attack with a shield spike it functions as a shield spike, and when you do a shield bash it functions as a shield bash. Separate weapons. They happen to be attached to the same overall physical object, but that doesn't make a difference.

Spikes as ammunition makes no sense and I'm not sure where you're coming from with that claim. They are NOT ammunition.

It's not cost effective to put bashing on a shield with shield spikes, in other words. They are separate weapons.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aberzombie wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Will we ever see an AP where the various goblinoid races are prominent?
Probably not, since the idea of goblinoid remaining a threat up to 16th level or so isn't really what Golarion is about. I suppose there could be a big bad end guy who was a hobgoblin or something someday, but fighting goblinoid all the way through? I highly doubt it.
Perhaps as the focus of maybe the first one or two parts of an AP? Much as gnolls were in Legacy of Fire? With a few more powerful or unique ones showing up later?

Meh.

Goblins to me are best suited as lower level foes. Not long-standing all the way through an AP foes. Hobgoblins are more appropriate for that role, since they're all about armies and their niche and themes make it less goofy to have a high level one.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Icyshadow wrote:

How do you deal with headaches?

And how many cups of coffee do you drink on average per day?

I don't get headaches often. When I do, I pop a few headache pills and they usually go away. When they don't I try to just lie down in a dark room and relax and wait for them to fade... that has very rarely happened though.

On average, I drink about 3–4 mugs of coffee a day.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Seannoss wrote:
Have you seen any art by Richard Luong? He does a lot of Cthulu artwork, think you'd enjoy his stuff.

I'm familiar enough to have thrown in a big pile of money to his kickstarter. So... Yes. ;-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Redelia wrote:

Sorry if you've already answered this one, it's a long thread.

If you had to give your real world self an alignment, what would it be?

I'd like to think I'm chaotic good, but I'm probably more neutral good.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Seannoss wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
I asked the question about the god of a setting turning out to be evil. In a similar vein, but to a lesser extent, what do you think of a campaign focused around discovering a renown hero is actually evil?
THAT is much more interesting to me than tricking the players into finding out a good god is actually evil. Not only is a "reveal the good guy is evil" (or vice-versa) a great story (see Game of Thrones), it's one that doesn't rip the rug out of any character in the party down to a fundamental rules level.
Along those lines, have you read the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson?

Nope, I have not.

I generally only really read horror. When I do read fantasy, it's usually because I first read that author's horror stuff. Be that author Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, or George Martin.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yup, remember you mentioning the horror part before and Mistborn isn't horror but it does tie into a big misdirect from other's questions. It also takes place in a world where the 'bad guy' won.

Going off of that... what kind of worlds do you like to game in? As player or GM? Do you emphasize a lot more horror into your fantasy?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Seannoss wrote:
Going off of that... what kind of worlds do you like to game in? As player or GM? Do you emphasize a lot more horror into your fantasy?

I prefer darker, grittier worlds where the heroes have something worth fighting for. But I also prefer those worlds to have regions of beauty and happiness and peace, so that the heroes have time to escape from the grit and the darkness. Golarion is a good example, as it turns out.

I do tend to emphasize horror in my games. Again... Golarion is a good example of that.


James Jacobs wrote:
skypse wrote:

Hello James and thank you for your time.

My questions are pretty simple but they are covered under grey area and since me and my DM are not native English speakers, it rises a lot of arguments and bitter hearts between us.

Is a Spiked Shield a weapon or not?
Is it by itself a weapon or is it merely being treated as one?
Can it be enhanced with Weapon enhancements like "Impact" on top of Shield enhancements like "Bashing" or not?
If yes, then what is the price of it? Is the price for "Bashing" being counted as an Armor enhancement and the price for "Impact" as a Weapon enhancement separately?
Since the spikes are considered to be Ammunition, how does this affect the pricing of enhancement?

The main reason why this is a concern for us, is that while the "Shieldbash" belongs to the close weapon group for the fighter and the Ultimate Equipment refers to the "shield spikes" as turning the shield into a martial weapon, there is no section of a spiked shield in the weapons category at all.

Thank you very much in advance!

I don't think this is a gray area at all.

The spike on a spiked shield (AKA a shield spike) is a weapon. It's listed on the weapon table. The shield itself is a shield, and is thus listed on the weapon table.

The shield spike is the weapon part. The shield is not.

The shield spike can be enhanced with weapon enhancements, but "Bashing" won't help a shield spike, since when you attack with a shield spike it functions as a shield spike, and when you do a shield bash it functions as a shield bash. Separate weapons. They happen to be attached to the same overall physical object, but that doesn't make a difference.

Spikes as ammunition makes no sense and I'm not sure where you're coming from with that claim. They are NOT ammunition.

It's not cost effective to put bashing on a shield with shield spikes, in other words. They are separate weapons.

Oh I see.. Well I guess we had it all figured out wrong. On a follow up question, is it rules-legal to use "Shield Mastery" feat wielding dual shields since I hold both a shield and a weapon (spikes) in my hands?

And as far as the Shield Mastery goes, by RAW it says it eliminates any attack roll penalty. Does this include penalties from Power Attack and debuffs (like Evil Eye) or only the TWF penalties?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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skypse wrote:
...asked questions about shields and spikes...

Actually, as these questions grow more and more concerned with rules minutiae, you really do need to re-ask them in the rules forums so they can both be FAQed and be seen by the design team.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
So I'm bit curious about why Lost Cities of Golarion details Xin Shalast after events of RotR ._. I don't remember any other campaign setting book detailing a location after AP, why is that an exception to the "Books always assume APs didn't happen yet" rule?
Because Rise of the Runelords already covered Xin-Shalast in greater detail than any 10-page entry in "Lost Cities" could ever hope to do so, and thus if we DIDN'T do what we did, we'd just end up with an unsatisfying repetition of a few elements of the city that only scratched the surface of what Pathfinder #6 did. Furthermore, this was the first time we tried doing anything that built upon the events of a prior adventure's timeline, so we wanted to try that out as an experiment to see how folks reacted and to see how tough it would be to pull off.

How did folks react? Was it a hit?

(I loved that entire book, but I'm about as much of a rabid fan of Golarion as you could hope for. Skewed data point, etc.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
So I'm bit curious about why Lost Cities of Golarion details Xin Shalast after events of RotR ._. I don't remember any other campaign setting book detailing a location after AP, why is that an exception to the "Books always assume APs didn't happen yet" rule?
Because Rise of the Runelords already covered Xin-Shalast in greater detail than any 10-page entry in "Lost Cities" could ever hope to do so, and thus if we DIDN'T do what we did, we'd just end up with an unsatisfying repetition of a few elements of the city that only scratched the surface of what Pathfinder #6 did. Furthermore, this was the first time we tried doing anything that built upon the events of a prior adventure's timeline, so we wanted to try that out as an experiment to see how folks reacted and to see how tough it would be to pull off.

How did folks react? Was it a hit?

(I loved that entire book, but I'm about as much of a rabid fan of Golarion as you could hope for. Skewed data point, etc.)

It kinda ended up being a non-event. Not a lot of positive or negative feedback at all about it. And so we more or less decided to avoid doing it in the future, since there was no real measurable fan reaction, which left the metric of difficulty as the only one to measure things by. And in the interests of keeping things simple to aid in hitting deadlines, we haven't done this much since.

Silver Crusade

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

Have you ever had two characters whose names aren't identical (because I know Shensen has had several different incarnations), but are so incredibly similar that people run the risk of mixing them up? How do you handle something like that?


Hello,

I have a question regarding the tailblade weapon.
Could a grippli with the agile tounge racial feat use a tailblade on his tounge to make it do damage?

Thanks for your input

Silver Crusade

More of a general world building ethos question as opposed to golarian specific but..

1.) When developing a nation state or country, do you take the approach of "geography is history" and start with a map as a guide point for developing the culture and relationship of the nation with others, or do you take the approach of trying to build exciting locations even if this causes some geographic weirdness?

2.) As bestiaries expand, and sometimes give us new humanoid races, do you see existing areas getting progressively more 'crowded?' This especially goes with all the giants, since as giants they make a pretty big impact on the local area.

3.) Given that dragons/giants and the like leave such big footprints, do you typically assume that there are say a small handful of them (like three tribes of fire giants in the whole world) or do you not concern yourself with such census questions and instead just have them show up as you need them?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Have you ever had two characters whose names aren't identical (because I know Shensen has had several different incarnations), but are so incredibly similar that people run the risk of mixing them up? How do you handle something like that?

Not that I'm aware of. Although Rob keeps mixing up Bezlarue and Asenath and Sasha Dracktus... that's more of a fault of him not paying attention though, since they're all pretty different characters, I think... But Rob'd probably spin a different story. Too bad he's in Alaska on a cruise with his wife and can't defend himself!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Xavierdarkheart wrote:

Hello,

I have a question regarding the tailblade weapon.
Could a grippli with the agile tounge racial feat use a tailblade on his tounge to make it do damage?

Thanks for your input

No.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Spook205 wrote:

More of a general world building ethos question as opposed to golarian specific but..

1.) When developing a nation state or country, do you take the approach of "geography is history" and start with a map as a guide point for developing the culture and relationship of the nation with others, or do you take the approach of trying to build exciting locations even if this causes some geographic weirdness?

2.) As bestiaries expand, and sometimes give us new humanoid races, do you see existing areas getting progressively more 'crowded?' This especially goes with all the giants, since as giants they make a pretty big impact on the local area.

3.) Given that dragons/giants and the like leave such big footprints, do you typically assume that there are say a small handful of them (like three tribes of fire giants in the whole world) or do you not concern yourself with such census questions and instead just have them show up as you need them?

1) I take an approach of "Geography is destiny." First thing I map is the rivers and coastlines and hills and forests and all that. Just like in the real world. Cities come along later and need to conform to geography. That makes for more interesting cities.

2) We do try really hard to limit the new humanoid races as we do more and more Bestiaries, for that exact reason. As a general rule, new humanoid races (or 0 HD races) these days tend to be from distant or obscure or exotic locations, or tend to be very localized and not widespread. The ghorans and androids and monkey goblins are good examples of ones that are very localized. Giants are a different thing; one giant kinda counts for a LOT of individuals, and they're as much monsters as they are humanoids. I'm willing to suspend disbelief there because they're so fantastic and outlandish; it doesn't bother me to add in new giants as much. They tend to dwell in obscure and remote regions already so that helps.

3) I generally don't concern myself over much with "census questions." They show up when needed for adventures. The game's a game, after all, not a serious attempt to model a real-world ecosystem. Turns out, we've already got a world like that to play in.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Have you ever had two characters whose names aren't identical (because I know Shensen has had several different incarnations), but are so incredibly similar that people run the risk of mixing them up? How do you handle something like that?
Not that I'm aware of. Although Rob keeps mixing up Bezlarue and Asenath and Sasha Dracktus... that's more of a fault of him not paying attention though, since they're all pretty different characters, I think... But Rob'd probably spin a different story. Too bad he's in Alaska on a cruise with his wife and can't defend himself!

But will he bring you back some fish?


Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Have you ever had two characters whose names aren't identical (because I know Shensen has had several different incarnations), but are so incredibly similar that people run the risk of mixing them up? How do you handle something like that?
Not that I'm aware of. Although Rob keeps mixing up Bezlarue and Asenath and Sasha Dracktus... that's more of a fault of him not paying attention though, since they're all pretty different characters, I think... But Rob'd probably spin a different story. Too bad he's in Alaska on a cruise with his wife and can't defend himself!
But will he bring you back some fish?

Pretty sure I've got some in my freezer I could share...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Have you ever had two characters whose names aren't identical (because I know Shensen has had several different incarnations), but are so incredibly similar that people run the risk of mixing them up? How do you handle something like that?
Not that I'm aware of. Although Rob keeps mixing up Bezlarue and Asenath and Sasha Dracktus... that's more of a fault of him not paying attention though, since they're all pretty different characters, I think... But Rob'd probably spin a different story. Too bad he's in Alaska on a cruise with his wife and can't defend himself!
But will he bring you back some fish?

I doubt it. Fortunately, fish is pretty easy to come by round these parts.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Have you ever had two characters whose names aren't identical (because I know Shensen has had several different incarnations), but are so incredibly similar that people run the risk of mixing them up? How do you handle something like that?
Not that I'm aware of. Although Rob keeps mixing up Bezlarue and Asenath and Sasha Dracktus... that's more of a fault of him not paying attention though, since they're all pretty different characters, I think... But Rob'd probably spin a different story. Too bad he's in Alaska on a cruise with his wife and can't defend himself!

So basically I should try to find a name that doesn't sound so similar to the other character's?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Have you ever had two characters whose names aren't identical (because I know Shensen has had several different incarnations), but are so incredibly similar that people run the risk of mixing them up? How do you handle something like that?
Not that I'm aware of. Although Rob keeps mixing up Bezlarue and Asenath and Sasha Dracktus... that's more of a fault of him not paying attention though, since they're all pretty different characters, I think... But Rob'd probably spin a different story. Too bad he's in Alaska on a cruise with his wife and can't defend himself!
So basically I should try to find a name that doesn't sound so similar to the other character's?

That's a good call for ANY character naming task, frankly. Identical or very similar character names in fiction tend to cause confusion or suggest connections you don't intend.

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:
Have you ever had two characters whose names aren't identical (because I know Shensen has had several different incarnations), but are so incredibly similar that people run the risk of mixing them up? How do you handle something like that?
Not that I'm aware of. Although Rob keeps mixing up Bezlarue and Asenath and Sasha Dracktus... that's more of a fault of him not paying attention though, since they're all pretty different characters, I think... But Rob'd probably spin a different story. Too bad he's in Alaska on a cruise with his wife and can't defend himself!
So basically I should try to find a name that doesn't sound so similar to the other character's?
That's a good call for ANY character naming task, frankly. Identical or very similar character names in fiction tend to cause confusion or suggest connections you don't intend.

I just wish I had more creativity so I'm not constantly cribbing names from classical antiquity and obscure mythology. I'm running out of options that people haven't heard of before!

How do you do it, just make up names that flow and make sense?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
How do you do it, just make up names that flow and make sense?

Through a combination of lots of reading, lots of naming, knowledge of how the language works (and thus how words are constructed), internet name generators, spelling words backwards and rearranging letters, and lots more reading. Practice, in other words. I've been making up names for things in this regard for coming up on 35 years now.


James, I've noticed you seem to often indicate your preference that story and characterization and other "fluff" elements are way more important than mechanics, optimization, and other "crunch" elements.

Does it seem, in retrospect, weird to you that you had a pretty huge hand in creating what is one of the crunch-heaviest RPGs in the industry? I realize you are more the world man than a rules man, but I'm just wondering if it seems...Well, ironic, but in the second, colloquial definition?

For what it's worth I adore the world's depth, and lament it's lack of continued story development (in the sense that you've said it will kinda permanently be in a time freeze), as I really want to know what happens next!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thegreenteagamer wrote:

James, I've noticed you seem to often indicate your preference that story and characterization and other "fluff" elements are way more important than mechanics, optimization, and other "crunch" elements.

Does it seem, in retrospect, weird to you that you had a pretty huge hand in creating what is one of the crunch-heaviest RPGs in the industry? I realize you are more the world man than a rules man, but I'm just wondering if it seems...Well, ironic, but in the second, colloquial definition?

For what it's worth I adore the world's depth, and lament it's lack of continued story development (in the sense that you've said it will kinda permanently be in a time freeze), as I really want to know what happens next!

I also prefer the term "flavor" to "fluff," since "fluff" implies that non-rule material is weightless and without gravity and ultimately not as important as the rules themselves.

My "hand" in the creation of Pathfinder has been largely in the areas of world design and adventure design. I did help create the core game... but the only part of the core rules I actually wrote and designed myself are those you find in chapter 12—the parts that talk about running the game and building adventures and doing campaigns. I was also a LOT more heavily involved in the creation of the Bestiary at the time Jason was more focused on the Core Rules.

But beyond that, the vast majority of my time at Paizo has been spent building up Golarion with the Adventure Paths and the Campaign Setting books. In effect, I've focused most of my energies with the flavor, with taking the tools created by the design team (the Core Rules) and building things with them (Golarion).

And I take issue with your comment about a "lack of continued story development." The Adventure Paths ARE the world's story development; we develop Golarion's story every single month. The fact that it's multiple six-month stories and not one single story doesn't change that fact.

And as for "What Happens Next..." well... that' sup to you and your players. If this weren't a game that was meant to be interactive, we would answer that for you... and would basically be publishing novels or comic books or the like, not a game.


I'm sorry if I offended you. Was not at all my intent. As I said, I have enjoyed the depth displayed thus far!

Do you like cheese? If so, what are your favorites? If not, when did you first take over a human host, you obviously outsider?

Scarab Sages

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James Jacobs wrote:

I also prefer the term "flavor" to "fluff," since "fluff" implies that non-rule material is weightless and without gravity and ultimately not as important as the rules themselves.

I don't even like the former word, and I don't think that the kind of mentality that gave rise to the term "fluff" deserved to be respected as a "playstyle." Respect has to be mutual, and that requires mutual understanding, and this is simply a mentality that Doesn't Get It - and in some cases, seems to be proud of the fact.

ANYWAYS, the new question I came with, Mr. Jacobs:

What do Wayang voices tend to sound like?

Scarab Sages

thegreenteagamer wrote:

Do you like cheese? If so, what are your favorites? If not, when did you first take over a human host, you obviously outsider?

Isn't it obvious? The dinosaur RPG designer likes Monster cheese.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Hi James,

Just trying to flesh out a character concept for an upcoming Hells Rebels game, and was hoping to get some clarity on these questions.

How are Ratfolk viewed in Cheliax? Would they typically be lower class or slaves like half-lings? Or just uncommon citizens? Also how difficult would it be for one to be a practicing follower of Miliani seeing as the faith is most likely forbidden? Would being a follower of Abadar be more likely?

Thanks in advance.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:

I also prefer the term "flavor" to "fluff," since "fluff" implies that non-rule material is weightless and without gravity and ultimately not as important as the rules themselves.

Since we were on this subject, you don't think this mentality is the new normal in gaming, do you? Because that's what scares me. It would be bearable if I could justifiably perceive it as merely a peripheral annoyance, but I worry it's virtually inescapable, and that winds up corroding my own thinking (admittedly, I have some psychological problems such as severe OCD that make it much more difficult to withstand things like this).

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