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Hey James,

Just read thru the Player's Guide to Hell's Rebel and now I can not wait to play it. It is very well written.

I have no questions at this time just wanted to give some compliments.

Grand Lodge Contributor

James, from one GM to another, how much crafting time or downtime do you think is reasonable in an average campaign or Adventure Path? Obviously that's a 'whatever feels right' kind of question, but I just wondered if you have a ballpark length of time that you personally try to stick to.


Where would be a good place for non-dwarf geokineticists to originate, other than Vudra?

What is the general technology level of Golarion, excluding weird places such as Nex, Numeria, and the Mana Wastes? (i.e. Medieval, Renaissance, etc.)


What PC classes and levels would the characters from the Hobbit movies be at the beginning of each movie?

What character class or classes and levels would Sauron be prior to his losing the One Ring?

Do you like anime hair ie hair that is a weird color like green, purple, blue, orange, etc?

Are there plans for APs where we adventure to dwarven ruins and retake a dwarven kingdom?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

John Kretzer wrote:

Hey James,

Just read thru the Player's Guide to Hell's Rebel and now I can not wait to play it. It is very well written.

I have no questions at this time just wanted to give some compliments.

Yay! Thanks for the kind words! :-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shaun Hocking wrote:
James, from one GM to another, how much crafting time or downtime do you think is reasonable in an average campaign or Adventure Path? Obviously that's a 'whatever feels right' kind of question, but I just wondered if you have a ballpark length of time that you personally try to stick to.

I generally allow crafting to take place between sessions, so "crafting time" is kinda meaningless. It also sometimes happens while everyone's shopping. But what's reasonable? Something that lets the players be satisfied with their choices, frankly. If you as the GM allow Item Crafting feats, you should let the players have chances to use them. Remember, a player character doesn't need to craft non-stop; she can pause and pick up if she's working on a bigger project, and can even craft at a slower pace while doing other things.

But reasonable = enough for the player character to make what she wants, given the passage of time and requirements and all that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Doomkitten wrote:

Where would be a good place for non-dwarf geokineticists to originate, other than Vudra?

What is the general technology level of Golarion, excluding weird places such as Nex, Numeria, and the Mana Wastes? (i.e. Medieval, Renaissance, etc.)

The Darklands, I guess? Or anywhere there are impressive mountains? Or perhaps a vast desert? Or a large canyon? Anywhere there are impressive works of earth basically. Let your imagination run wild.

General technology level is as you see in the books—mostly early renaissance, for the most part, but there are some exceptions (syringes and pianos, for example). It doesn't map perfectly to the real world, because the real world has no magic and formed organically over a few billion years rather than all at once over a decade or so.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

SCKnightHero1 wrote:

What PC classes and levels would the characters from the Hobbit movies be at the beginning of each movie?

What character class or classes and levels would Sauron be prior to his losing the One Ring?

Do you like anime hair ie hair that is a weird color like green, purple, blue, orange, etc?

Are there plans for APs where we adventure to dwarven ruins and retake a dwarven kingdom?

Dunno. I'm really not a fan of the Hobbit movies... the more I saw them, the less I liked them all. Bilbo is a rogue, of course. The dwarves are all fighters, I guess, with identical stats so that you can't tell them apart. Gandalf is a druid/bard with some sort of cheater template or non-human race or something.

Sauron? He'd be a unique monster.

I do! Crazy anime hair is fun!

There are NUMEROUS plans for APs that we may or may not some day reveal. At this point in time, though, there are no plans to do a dwarf-centric AP anytime soon.


If the Inner Sea Pantheon replaced the religions of the Real World, but otherwise it was exactly the same, what deity's followers do you think would get the most negative media coverage on Fox News?


1. You've mentioned that Shensen started out as a drow, and Shenshen from Elfquest is dark-skinned. Did you base Shensen's original appearance on her? (And did she start as a good drow or an evil drow?)

2. Do Golarion's gnomes have a special name for their own race, other than "gnome"?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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LazGrizzle wrote:

If the Inner Sea Pantheon replaced the religions of the Real World, but otherwise it was exactly the same, what deity's followers do you think would get the most negative media coverage on Fox News?

Not really interested in slinging mud at Fox News.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Andrew Crossett wrote:

1. You've mentioned that Shensen started out as a drow, and Shenshen from Elfquest is dark-skinned. Did you base Shensen's original appearance on her? (And did she start as a good drow or an evil drow?)

2. Do Golarion's gnomes have a special name for their own race, other than "gnome"?

1) That part's more of a coincidence. Shensen was more based on my favorite FR deity, Eilistraee, than anything else, with the exception of her name. She started off as a chaotic good worshiper of Eilistraee, in any case.

2) "Gnome" is their word for their race.


Hey James, How do you think a Anti-Paladin of Calistria would fit in Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You of course can tell me it is a year away, but is Ninshabur and thus the Pit of Gormuz in the Parchlands or is that going to be a separate area?

Liberty's Edge

The Campaign Setting said serpentfolk follow the ways of the Old Cults, but obviously the canon had changed a bit by the time of Serpent's Skull (it also, for example, said that the Coils of Ydersius were trying to resurrect the nation of "Ydersius"). I'm wondering, what would be a good way to incorporate Old Cultists into Serpent's Skull? Serpentfolk cultists might have been at odds with Ydersius' followers during the heyday of their empire, they might have been a tolerated minority that paid lip service to Ydersius (much as Abadar-worshipping Chelaxians pay lip service to Asmodeus), or they might have only sprung up after Ydersius' fall. Which would be most interesting, and easiest to work into the adventure path?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

John Kretzer wrote:
Hey James, How do you think a Anti-Paladin of Calistria would fit in Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance?

Pretty poorly for Hell's Rebels. Save it for Hell's Vengeance, where it should work fine.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Justin Franklin wrote:
You of course can tell me it is a year away, but is Ninshabur and thus the Pit of Gormuz in the Parchlands or is that going to be a separate area?

The Parchlands are their own region of the continent. I believe they are adjacent to Ninshabur, but maybe not. Hasn't really been decided yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Gark the Goblin wrote:
The Campaign Setting said serpentfolk follow the ways of the Old Cults, but obviously the canon had changed a bit by the time of Serpent's Skull (it also, for example, said that the Coils of Ydersius were trying to resurrect the nation of "Ydersius"). I'm wondering, what would be a good way to incorporate Old Cultists into Serpent's Skull? Serpentfolk cultists might have been at odds with Ydersius' followers during the heyday of their empire, they might have been a tolerated minority that paid lip service to Ydersius (much as Abadar-worshipping Chelaxians pay lip service to Asmodeus), or they might have only sprung up after Ydersius' fall. Which would be most interesting, and easiest to work into the adventure path?

Which "Campaign Setting" are you talking about?

In any event, the serpentfolk primarially follow Ydersius, but just as not every human worships Aroden and not every elf worships Calistria, not every serpentfolk worships Ydersius. The serpentfolk themselves are VERY heavily inspired by Robert E. Howard's stories and some adjacent Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith stories, so the idea of some serpentfolk worshiping the Great Old Ones or the Outer Gods is a perfectly fine one.

If I were you, I'd have a group of the degenerate serpentfolk in Saventh-Yhi (NOT in the city below) worship someone like Shub-Niggurath or Azathoth.


James Jacobs wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Hey James, How do you think a Anti-Paladin of Calistria would fit in Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance?
Pretty poorly for Hell's Rebels. Save it for Hell's Vengeance, where it should work fine.

Mmm... considering that Calistria has been outlawed in Cheliax I am wondering how a Anti-Paladin of Calistria would function as a agent of Thrune...I can think of reasons why the character would...just wondering how the Cheliax government would trust and deal with such a character or for that matter any body who worships a chaotic deity.

I'll probably will have to wait for the Player's Guide...

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Which "Campaign Setting" are you talking about?

Sorry, I meant the Pathfinder Chronicles one. I think the Inner Sea World Guide came out after Serpent's Skull.

Thanks for the response!


Hi James,

How do you/does one pronounce Trunau, the town from Giantslayer? My group and I were wondering if the first syllable rhymes with "run" or "boon".

Thanks in advance!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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John Kretzer wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Hey James, How do you think a Anti-Paladin of Calistria would fit in Hell's Rebels and Hell's Vengeance?
Pretty poorly for Hell's Rebels. Save it for Hell's Vengeance, where it should work fine.

Mmm... considering that Calistria has been outlawed in Cheliax I am wondering how a Anti-Paladin of Calistria would function as a agent of Thrune...I can think of reasons why the character would...just wondering how the Cheliax government would trust and deal with such a character or for that matter any body who worships a chaotic deity.

I'll probably will have to wait for the Player's Guide...

Those questions will be (I hope) addressed in the Hell's Vengeance AP. The short version is that Thrune is willing to bend some rules if the villains that they recruit for aid (the PCs) are willing to help and can get the job done.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

toxicpie wrote:

Hi James,

How do you/does one pronounce Trunau, the town from Giantslayer? My group and I were wondering if the first syllable rhymes with "run" or "boon".

Thanks in advance!

I say "TRUE now." First syllable thus rhymes with "boon."


James Jacobs wrote:
toxicpie wrote:

Hi James,

How do you/does one pronounce Trunau, the town from Giantslayer? My group and I were wondering if the first syllable rhymes with "run" or "boon".

Thanks in advance!

I say "TRUE now." First syllable thus rhymes with "boon."

Thanks a lot!


Okay...this is probably too far in the future to get a answer...but I'll try it.

Will the Hell's Vengeance AP have romance option with NPCs?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

John Kretzer wrote:

Okay...this is probably too far in the future to get a answer...but I'll try it.

Will the Hell's Vengeance AP have romance option with NPCs?

No more so or less so than any other AP, but that's more of a question to pose to Rob, since he's the one doing that AP.

As for Hell's Rebels, while romance options are hinted at here and there, the nature of any PC/NPC relations are left to each group. That said, Hell's Rebels has more non-combat PC/NPC interaction than any other AP we've done yet, I think... NPCs play a pretty significant role, and there should be plenty of choices for PCs to latch on to!

I'm relatively sure that this'll be less of a theme in Hell's Vengeance. It's a different AP with different themes, after all. Hell's Rebels is more about forming friendships and alliances, while Hell's Rebels is more about serving and being served.


James, recently I've been reading the Temeraire series. I don't know if you've heard of it, but it's an alt-history/fantasy series set in the Napoleonic Era but with dragons - a pretty silly idea that's very well thought out and very well executed.

I was thinking about how to run a game in this setting, where players could play both as a dragons and the dragons' attendant crews. They obviously have very different power levels and areas of focus. If you want to infiltrate an enemy fortress, a dragon isn't any good at sneaking down tunnels, but a human isn't any good at wrecking enemy ships.

Can you think of a way to equalize this in an rpg system, or of any system that could accommodate this difference in abilities?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Bill McGrath wrote:

James, recently I've been reading the Temeraire series. I don't know if you've heard of it, but it's an alt-history/fantasy series set in the Napoleonic Era but with dragons - a pretty silly idea that's very well thought out and very well executed.

I was thinking about how to run a game in this setting, where players could play both as a dragons and the dragons' attendant crews. They obviously have very different power levels and areas of focus. If you want to infiltrate an enemy fortress, a dragon isn't any good at sneaking down tunnels, but a human isn't any good at wrecking enemy ships.

Can you think of a way to equalize this in an rpg system, or of any system that could accommodate this difference in abilities?

I haven't heard of that series.

I'd suggest looking at the old D&D Council of Wyrms products for inspiration on how to run a game where the players are dragons. Beyond having adventures with different power levels... they'd have to be more or less entirely alien to typical adventures anyway, since dragons can't fit in most dungeons, or wield weapons, or sleep in beds, or do most anything that a human does. It changes the fundamental baseline of the game so much that I almost think it's better to try running a game like this with either its own custom-built system or a very rules-light system like Dread.

As for mixing it up so that some players are dragons and others are not... I really don't know to be honest. That disconnect between power levels seems custom-built to foster player jealousy. Your biggest problem with that game, I suspect, won't be finding rules to simulate it, but finding the right mix of players who'll be willing to let one or two of their number be dragons and not be jealous of that.


How did the House of Thrune get Thrice-Damned added to its name?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Foiled Again wrote:
How did the House of Thrune get Thrice-Damned added to its name?

That's something that gets covered in the upcoming Cheliax book and/or the Hell's Vengeance AP. Not gonna spoil it yet (especially since it's still not quite set in stone), but by this time next year, folks will know.

Silver Crusade

The Samsaran's Mystic Past Life alternate race trait reads thus:

Advanced Race Guide, Samsaran wrote:
Mystic Past Life (Su): You can add spells from another spellcasting class to the spell list of your current spellcasting class. You add a number of spells equal to 1 + your spellcasting class's key ability score bonus (Wisdom for clerics, and so on). The spells must be the same type (arcane or divine) as the spellcasting class you're adding them to. For example, you could add divine power to your druid class spell list, but not to your wizard class spell list because divine power is a divine spell. These spells do not have to be spells you can cast as a 1st-level character. The number of spells granted by this ability is set at 1st level. Changes to your ability score do not change the number of spells gained. This racial trait replaces shards of the past.

Reading it as this, does it work with the new psychic magic? I would be inclined to believe it does, because they psychic classes came out long after the ARG, so psychic magic would have no reason to be called out, but I'm curious as to what your take is.


It's been a while since I last stopped by, but I'm curious about how you adjudicate converting an NPC's alignment (and, as a result, often patron deity as well) in-game. Is it necessarily a long-term thing that should take place over a lengthy period, or could it differ very strongly from NPC to NPC?

Additionally, on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is "impossible" and 10 is "extremely easy"), how would you rate the "ability to be converted" of the following NPCs?

1) Ameiko Kaijitsu from CG (and Shelyn to a similarly-aligned Good deity)
2) Merisiel from CN (either towards a Good-aligned deity or Evil-aligned one)
3) Arueshalae from CG (from Desna to another CG, or a NG, deity)

(The NPCs in question are, I think, all ones that you either developed or have had a very heavy hand in developing, hence my using them as examples.)

I also noticed a strong propensity towards Chaotic alignments in your design (Merisiel, Ameiko, Shensen, Arueshalae, and so on). Would it be accurate to say that CG or CN is your preferred player character alignment? Or have you played all across the alignment spectrum fairly evenly? And are there any alignments you particularly dislike playing as or with?

Silver Crusade

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

Does the Shoanti language have a written form like pictographs or runes or something, or is everything communicated orally?

Dark Archive

James, do you do anything special for a player if you're running a game on their birthday? And if so, what?


What are the chances of the AP line going to Arcadia in 2017?
What are the chances of the AP line going to Varisia in 2017?


Unrelated to my questions above, while re-reading Demons Revisited (copied over into the below spoiler, since you wrote it presumably a while back and have possibly/probably moved on from it since):

Spoiler:
"Perhaps the vilest option is when a succubus returns to certain realms within the Abyss with the gathered life energy or seed of a mortal she has seduced. All manner of strange, pulsing sac-like organs can be found in these ripe regions of the Abyss; by entering one and depositing her stolen essences within the raw Abyssal protoflesh within, the succubus can create nearly any type of demon. The strength of the demon formed depends more on the potency of the mortal essence than the succubus's skill, but nonetheless, this talent affords succubi a rare position of respect among many of even the most powerful of demons - a rare gift indeed for creatures that normally respect only themselves or those more powerful than they."

With regards to this, and assuming essence doesn't solely have to be physical (I get the implication of seed, assuming that's the implication, but life energy can just be what she's drained):

1) Would the essence of a high-level mortal be more likely to form a stronger demon? (In essence, the higher HD of the mortal, the stronger the result will be.)

2) What about potency from other factors? Such as intense faith/belief, high intelligence, the celestial heritage of Aasimar, that sort of thing.

3) Would essence/seed from a mythic creature be more likely to form a mythic demon? Considering the way it addresses strength of the essence/seed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Phylotus wrote:


The Samsaran's Mystic Past Life alternate race trait reads thus:
Advanced Race Guide, Samsaran wrote:
Mystic Past Life (Su): You can add spells from another spellcasting class to the spell list of your current spellcasting class. You add a number of spells equal to 1 + your spellcasting class's key ability score bonus (Wisdom for clerics, and so on). The spells must be the same type (arcane or divine) as the spellcasting class you're adding them to. For example, you could add divine power to your druid class spell list, but not to your wizard class spell list because divine power is a divine spell. These spells do not have to be spells you can cast as a 1st-level character. The number of spells granted by this ability is set at 1st level. Changes to your ability score do not change the number of spells gained. This racial trait replaces shards of the past.

Reading it as this, does it work with the new psychic magic? I would be inclined to believe it does, because they psychic classes came out long after the ARG, so psychic magic would have no reason to be called out, but I'm curious as to what your take is.

It works fine for psychic magic. I didn't include it in the Samsaran's initial write up half a decade ago because, as you point out, there was no such thing yet as psychic magic.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alleran wrote:

It's been a while since I last stopped by, but I'm curious about how you adjudicate converting an NPC's alignment (and, as a result, often patron deity as well) in-game. Is it necessarily a long-term thing that should take place over a lengthy period, or could it differ very strongly from NPC to NPC?

Additionally, on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is "impossible" and 10 is "extremely easy"), how would you rate the "ability to be converted" of the following NPCs?

1) Ameiko Kaijitsu from CG (and Shelyn to a similarly-aligned Good deity)
2) Merisiel from CN (either towards a Good-aligned deity or Evil-aligned one)
3) Arueshalae from CG (from Desna to another CG, or a NG, deity)

(The NPCs in question are, I think, all ones that you either developed or have had a very heavy hand in developing, hence my using them as examples.)

I also noticed a strong propensity towards Chaotic alignments in your design (Merisiel, Ameiko, Shensen, Arueshalae, and so on). Would it be accurate to say that CG or CN is your preferred player character alignment? Or have you played all across the alignment spectrum fairly evenly? And are there any alignments you particularly dislike playing as or with?

An NPC changing alignment can take as long or as short as you want. But remember, if it appears that an NPC just switched alignments ten seconds after meeting the PCs, that doesn't mean that NPC hasn't spent the last 5 years agonizing over making that decision.

And if by "ability to be converted" you mean "the likelihood of success for a PC to get an NPC to change alignment," and assuming that you were playing in a game I was running....

1) Ameiko = 1
2) Merisiel = 1
3) Arueshalae = 1

These are all at minimum because I think these characters are more interesting where they are, and because I have put a LOT of work into them as they stand. A PC could in theory convert one of them, but they'd have to work really really hard and roleplay really really well to pull that off.

Chaotic good is hands down my favorite alignment, and it's the one I tend to gravitate toward as a player more often than not for my characters, and also as it turns out for my NPCs. It's also worth noting that I like demons better than devils, elves better than dwarves, and azatas better than archons. Chaos = freedom and creativity and exploration in my mind. I tend to get frustrated with lawful good because players often use that, in my experience (particularly when they play a paladin) to cause party strife, but that's probably just because I'm looking at it from a chaotic viewpoint. Lawful neutral is one of my favorite bad-guy alignments.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Does the Shoanti language have a written form like pictographs or runes or something, or is everything communicated orally?

It has a written language that uses an alphabet of characters. And no, we haven't designed those characters, nor do we plan to, because I don't want artists sneaking in messages in art, I don't want to have to edit artwork when they DO use those runes, and because it's hard enough getting all the words right in one language (English) in a product.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ulgulanoth wrote:
James, do you do anything special for a player if you're running a game on their birthday? And if so, what?

Usually no... but sometimes I"ll bring along a special snack or drink or something if I know about it before hand and I like the person enough!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lawful GM wrote:

What are the chances of the AP line going to Arcadia in 2017?

What are the chances of the AP line going to Varisia in 2017?

I don't drop hints like these. We announce our Adventure Paths at Paizocon and at Gen Con, and so you'll need to wait till next year's conventions to find out what we're doing with the line in 2017.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alleran wrote:

Unrelated to my questions above, while re-reading Demons Revisited (copied over into the below spoiler, since you wrote it presumably a while back and have possibly/probably moved on from it since):

Spoiler:
"Perhaps the vilest option is when a succubus returns to certain realms within the Abyss with the gathered life energy or seed of a mortal she has seduced. All manner of strange, pulsing sac-like organs can be found in these ripe regions of the Abyss; by entering one and depositing her stolen essences within the raw Abyssal protoflesh within, the succubus can create nearly any type of demon. The strength of the demon formed depends more on the potency of the mortal essence than the succubus's skill, but nonetheless, this talent affords succubi a rare position of respect among many of even the most powerful of demons - a rare gift indeed for creatures that normally respect only themselves or those more powerful than they."

With regards to this, and assuming essence doesn't solely have to be physical (I get the implication of seed, assuming that's the implication, but life energy can just be what she's drained):

1) Would the essence of a high-level mortal be more likely to form a stronger demon? (In essence, the higher HD of the mortal, the stronger the result will be.)

2) What about potency from other factors? Such as intense faith/belief, high intelligence, the celestial heritage of Aasimar, that sort of thing.

3) Would essence/seed from a mythic creature be more likely to form a mythic demon? Considering the way it addresses strength of the essence/seed.

In that spoiler, the word "seed" is absolutely intended to imply "semen/sperm." That is, after all, one of the mythological functions of the real-world succubus, to gather the sperm of those she corrupts for her own insidious use. Likely because the source of so many myths come from frustrated or frightened-of-women or flat out misogynistic men.

1) Yes.

2) Yes.

3) Yes.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Lawful neutral is one of my favorite bad-guy alignments.

Coincidentally Abadar is probably my most hated Lawful Deity, if not just flat out most hated Deity all together.

What do you think of Outsiders with levels of Spiritualist?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lawful neutral is one of my favorite bad-guy alignments.

Coincidentally Abadar is probably my most hated Lawful Deity, if not just flat out most hated Deity all together.

What do you think of Outsiders with levels of Spiritualist?

I don't yet. Haven't read Occult Adventures or looked at the spiritualist at all yet, so I currently have no opinions on the matter.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lawful neutral is one of my favorite bad-guy alignments.

Coincidentally Abadar is probably my most hated Lawful Deity, if not just flat out most hated Deity all together.

What do you think of Outsiders with levels of Spiritualist?

I don't yet. Haven't read Occult Adventures or looked at the spiritualist at all yet, so I currently have no opinions on the matter.

Ah, I see. My bad.

What about the Vigilante, have you read some of it?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lawful neutral is one of my favorite bad-guy alignments.

Coincidentally Abadar is probably my most hated Lawful Deity, if not just flat out most hated Deity all together.

What do you think of Outsiders with levels of Spiritualist?

I don't yet. Haven't read Occult Adventures or looked at the spiritualist at all yet, so I currently have no opinions on the matter.

Ah, I see. My bad.

What about the Vigilante, have you read some of it?

I glanced at the playtest long enough to wonder how the hell we'd ever stat one up in an adventure without using up two pages of text. Seems like some similar space-hogging issues you get with the summoner, which is unfortunate.

But I haven't had a chance to read it through in detail yet.

Turns out... when you work at Paizo, you spend a lot of time focused on your area of work (In my case, the Adventure Paths and the creative direction of the brand) and that means that other areas of the company (in my case, things like Pathfinder Society or the rulebook line or the player companion line) tend to be off the radar.

And when you're NOT working, reading through other Paizo products isn't high on your list of things to do, since that's too much like work.

It does make for some confusing clashes between gaming as relaxing hobby and gaming as stressful job, unfortunately.

Grand Lodge

James,

How easy is it for you guys to come up with names for PCs and NPCs? What process do you go through for each race? I'm having the darnedest time trying to name stuff. It seems easy for you guys, and they are almost always memorable and fairly easy to roll off the tongue. I've tried name generators, but they seem to love names with no fewer than 20 letters.

Grand Lodge

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


It does make for some confusing clashes between gaming as relaxing hobby and gaming as stressful job, unfortunately.

It gets that way for us volunteers when you finally realize how long it's been since you went to a gaming convention to have just have fun, rather than volunteer full time. So I definitely sympathize with how you feel about the convention experience.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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kevin_video wrote:

James,

How easy is it for you guys to come up with names for PCs and NPCs? What process do you go through for each race? I'm having the darnedest time trying to name stuff. It seems easy for you guys, and they are almost always memorable and fairly easy to roll off the tongue. I've tried name generators, but they seem to love names with no fewer than 20 letters.

Depends on the NPC. Sometimes the perfect name is there and waiting. Usually, naming an NPC takes a bit of work, and now and then it's so tough to come up with a name that no work gets done on a project for several minutes or more while I agonize over the right name for the NPC.

I often take time to fill an entire page in my notebook with names I make up off the top of my head, generate on name generation websites, create by spelling words backwards and then rearranging the letters, and so on, so that I'll have a page full of several dozen names in a bank I can grab from to name minor NPCs.

Part of it also comes from practice, from reading a lot of fiction with made up names, and from knowing how language works and how letters go together to form common regional sounds and syllables that are appropriate for names in the first place.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


It does make for some confusing clashes between gaming as relaxing hobby and gaming as stressful job, unfortunately.
It gets that way for us volunteers when you finally realize how long it's been since you went to a gaming convention to have just have fun, rather than volunteer full time. So I definitely sympathize with how you feel about the convention experience.

I suppose that's true. I've never really gone to a game convention to just have fun—the only exception was a half-day trip to Dundracon back in college. I've never been to a convention to just have fun since I first started working in the industry back in 1999 or thereabouts.

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