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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Alundrell wrote:

HI James

Do you feel that evil characters are capable of Ellington love for someone else, or being in love with someone else? Also do you think falling in love could be a big milestone in the path of redemption for an evil person?

Would Strahd Von Zarovich in the Ravenloft modules and setting, be a major "no" for that question?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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DJEternalDarkness wrote:
Are there any thoughts on doing an Australian style continent? Or does Goloran have an Australian equivalency?

The continent of Sarusan is more or less our Australia style continent, but it's also our Terra Incognito continent; a place where there be proverbial dragons off the edge of the map. It's going to be the LAST continent we visit and explore... if ever.

In the meantime, you'll see some Australia-type stuff pop up all over the place... be they thylacines in the River Kingdoms, Meganalias in a Bestiary, or other elements in the Wandering Isles of Minata in Tian-Xia.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lou Diamond wrote:

James, would be expensive for Pazio to publish its books in the Ibooks format? Would it be possible for Pazio to put the tilte of the book first in the PDF instead of the Pazio number for the PDF. I have to change every book title when I use Good Reader to read the PDF's I buy.

What PDF viewer do you use?

Part of the reason we haven't done much with iBooks is, under my understanding, that Apple takes too big of a cut from the profits for us to want to do so. Now that we've a deal with Tor, that may change some day, since Tor has a lot more clout and connections.

As for putting the title of the book first instead of the Paizo number... I don't know who you'd need to talk to about that but Customer Service would be a good start.

I use Adobe Reader or Preview.

Speaking of the PDFs, does anyone proofread how they view in two page display? I like to read them on my 24 inch monitor at home and it's pretty much a tossup whether they will view properly in spine in as opposed to spine out view. In spine out view the two page chapter art spreads are absolutely ruined.

We obviously make sure the books look good in "two page display" for print products, but I'm not sure that the same process is involved in the preparing of the books as PDFs for consumers. That's something to bring up with customer service... if the PDF viewer itself can't adjust for the fact. (PDF creation is really outside of my area of expertise, so I can't really help you there.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alundrell wrote:

HI James

Do you feel that evil characters are capable of Ellington love for someone else, or being in love with someone else? Also do you think falling in love could be a big milestone in the path of redemption for an evil person?

I'm not sure what you mean by "Ellington love." Please rephrase or explain that part.

I think that falling in love is ABSOLUTELY a big step in the move from evil to good, and it's part of the Arueshalae redemption elements in Wrath of the Righteous, in fact. Love is a huge part of being good aligned. I'd say that evil creatures who think they are in love are either...

1) Truly in love and on the possible path to redemption, or...

2) Misunderstanding love entirely, be it through ignorance or calculation.

Shadow Lodge

The Doomkitten wrote:
the number of stripperific outfits for female characters *cough*Seoni*cough*

I just assumed that the fact that her clothing stayed on was proof of her magical abilities.

Am I right in this assumption?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kerney wrote:
The Doomkitten wrote:
the number of stripperific outfits for female characters *cough*Seoni*cough*

I just assumed that the fact that her clothing stayed on was proof of her magical abilities.

Am I right in this assumption?

How it stays on is up to the GM, frankly.

At a certain point, the believably of a fantasy character's gear or outfit, be it a skimpy robe like Seoni's, the giant sword Amiri carries, or whatever is not the point. The point is to portray cool and compelling characters, not so much real world stuff


James Jacobs wrote:
Alundrell wrote:

HI James

Do you feel that evil characters are capable of Ellington love for someone else, or being in love with someone else? Also do you think falling in love could be a big milestone in the path of redemption for an evil person?

I'm not sure what you mean by "Ellington love." Please rephrase or explain that part.

I think that falling in love is ABSOLUTELY a big step in the move from evil to good, and it's part of the Arueshalae redemption elements in Wrath of the Righteous, in fact. Love is a huge part of being good aligned. I'd say that evil creatures who think they are in love are either...

1) Truly in love and on the possible path to redemption, or...

2) Misunderstanding love entirely, be it through ignorance or calculation.

"Ellington" was supposed to be "feeling" and I didn't notice te wierd auto correct change till after I posted my question

Thanks for the response!


Hi James,
I was hoping for some more information about one of your previous answered questions.
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=385?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Qu estions-Here#19247

One of my players wants to wield a Launching Crossbow, as an Alchemist, which would theoretically lets him add his int mod to damage for a single attack twice.

As per Alchemist Throw anything(Ex), an alchemist adds his Intelligence modifier to damage done with splash weapons.

As per Focused Shot (Combat), you may make an attack with a bow or crossbow and add your Intelligence modifier on the damage roll.

Wielding Launching Crossbow, which is designed to launch splash weapons.

One argument for them stacking is they are separate sources, of damage, one splash, one impact.

Two against: the crossbow does not do any dmg and it is one attack roll so all attack bonuses need to be from different sources.

Would this situation fall under the statement that a modifier can't stack with itself?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

error_null pointer wrote:

Hi James,

I was hoping for some more information about one of your previous answered questions.
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=385?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Qu estions-Here#19247

One of my players wants to wield a Launching Crossbow, as an Alchemist, which would theoretically lets him add his int mod to damage for a single attack twice.

As per Alchemist Throw anything(Ex), an alchemist adds his Intelligence modifier to damage done with splash weapons.

As per Focused Shot (Combat), you may make an attack with a bow or crossbow and add your Intelligence modifier on the damage roll.

Wielding Launching Crossbow, which is designed to launch splash weapons.

One argument for them stacking is they are separate sources, of damage, one splash, one impact.

Two against: the crossbow does not do any dmg and it is one attack roll so all attack bonuses need to be from different sources.

Would this situation fall under the statement that a modifier can't stack with itself?

Those would not stack. You don't get mystically smarter by using two things you're good about at the same time—your Int mod doesn't double when you double up like this.


Hi James,

I have a couple questions about the nature of Good and Evil in PF. I have read a lot of stuff about objective Good vs objective Evil. There are also rules that seem to portray a very objective view of Good vs Evil; for instance Evil spells which are always Evil no matter who casts them or why. On the other hand, the PRD, d20pfsrd, and even back in 3.5 there are sections written about alignment that are highly subjective (mirroring real world morality).

1. So, is the PF alignment system supposed to be a strictly objective system, strictly subjective, or mainly subjective with elements of objectivity?

2. In other words, do actions themselves carry a certain karma* despite the reasons they are performed? Or is it the pairing of action with reasoning/motive/attitude that creates a unique karmic consequence (whether G, N, or E) for each case by case scenario?

*Karma is just the best word I could think of to describe the idea I am getting at.


Are Draconal Agathions (Bestiary 2) and the draconic gods (Apsu, Tiamat, Dahak) related in some way?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

T.A.U. wrote:
Are Draconal Agathions (Bestiary 2) and the draconic gods (Apsu, Tiamat, Dahak) related in some way?

Not really.

And Tiamat is pretty much out of direct Golarion continuity. There's really only 2 active dragon deities on Golarion: Apsu and Dahak.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Shadowlord wrote:

Hi James,

I have a couple questions about the nature of Good and Evil in PF. I have read a lot of stuff about objective Good vs objective Evil. There are also rules that seem to portray a very objective view of Good vs Evil; for instance Evil spells which are always Evil no matter who casts them or why. On the other hand, the PRD, d20pfsrd, and even back in 3.5 there are sections written about alignment that are highly subjective (mirroring real world morality).

1. So, is the PF alignment system supposed to be a strictly objective system, strictly subjective, or mainly subjective with elements of objectivity?

2. In other words, do actions themselves carry a certain karma* despite the reasons they are performed? Or is it the pairing of action with reasoning/motive/attitude that creates a unique karmic consequence (whether G, N, or E) for each case by case scenario?

*Karma is just the best word I could think of to describe the idea I am getting at.

First off: The results of your actions determine your alignment if you're not an outsider. If you're an outsider (and not a NATIVE outsider like a tiefling or aasimar), this is reversed. Your actions are DEFINED by your alignment, pretty much. That's why it's so rare to see a non-native outsider who's "off alignment." That defined... your specific answers follow.

1) It's objective. Evil is evil. Good is good.

2) The actions carry karma, yes. They don't care WHY. If you perform a lot of evil acts and tell yourself those evil acts are for the greater good... you're still evil, and still perpetrated a lot of evil in the world, which means that your "greater good" was probably you deluding yourself. A truly good creature would have either found a way to achieve your goal without doing evil, or would have realized that your goal is actually evil since the only way to make it happen is to perpetrate a lot of evil.


Hi James,

For a weapon to be considered a two handed weapon, for the purposes of feats and such, does it need to be listed under the two handed weapon category? A long bow for example can only be fired with two hands.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

error_null pointer wrote:

Hi James,

For a weapon to be considered a two handed weapon, for the purposes of feats and such, does it need to be listed under the two handed weapon category? A long bow for example can only be fired with two hands.

It needs to be listed under the two-handed weapon category, yes. That's a big part of WHY we have those categories, after all.


Since you backed the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter, I'm going to assume that you recently gained access to the PDF of Sandy Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors.

Have you had a chance to download and browse through the PDF?

If so, what's your impression of the visual presentation of the creatures featured in the book?


Have you ever thought about a not-combat oriented AP?
I ran a campaign for almost 4 years and we had maybe 3 fights in it, all of the other conflicts were pure social encounters. lots of great roleplay moments

Silver Crusade

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

I found you another mug!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

What's the worst part of your job day-to-day?
How about big picture stuff (maybe some responsibility you have that you really wish was someone else's)?

I'm interested in the best bits too - but I suspect that's easier to guess.


James Jacobs wrote:
T.A.U. wrote:
Are Draconal Agathions (Bestiary 2) and the draconic gods (Apsu, Tiamat, Dahak) related in some way?

Not really.

And Tiamat is pretty much out of direct Golarion continuity. There's really only 2 active dragon deities on Golarion: Apsu and Dahak.

Thank you for your answer!

About after-life petitioners of Apsu and Dahak: are those souls shaped in some kind of draconic outsider once judged and sent to those deities'realms?

Orbs of Dragonkin (the lesser draconic race versions of Orb of Dragonkind) "can be destroyed only from the breath weapon of a true dragon of the same alignment" (Artifacts and Legends). Does it means that an Orb of Pseudodragon (NG) is practically indestructible since there aren't any species of NG true dragons?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Heine Stick wrote:

Since you backed the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter, I'm going to assume that you recently gained access to the PDF of Sandy Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors.

Have you had a chance to download and browse through the PDF?

If so, what's your impression of the visual presentation of the creatures featured in the book?

I do indeed have that PDF but I haven't looked at it yet. I prefer the printed page for game books, PARTICULARLY flavor-heavy books, so I'm waiting for my print copy. Haven't looked at it yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Hythlodeus wrote:

Have you ever thought about a not-combat oriented AP?

I ran a campaign for almost 4 years and we had maybe 3 fights in it, all of the other conflicts were pure social encounters. lots of great roleplay moments

No, because the game is built to be a combat simulator above all else. That said, the game is at it's BEST when there's a healthy mix of combat, exploration, roleplay, and character growth.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rysky wrote:
I found you another mug!

Nice!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:

What's the worst part of your job day-to-day?

How about big picture stuff (maybe some responsibility you have that you really wish was someone else's)?

I'm interested in the best bits too - but I suspect that's easier to guess.

The worst part? That it often turns my favorite game into frustrating work, and that makes it difficult sometimes to have fun playing the game. Actually, that's tied for worst part with interacting with toxic customers and "fans."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

T.A.U. wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
T.A.U. wrote:
Are Draconal Agathions (Bestiary 2) and the draconic gods (Apsu, Tiamat, Dahak) related in some way?

Not really.

And Tiamat is pretty much out of direct Golarion continuity. There's really only 2 active dragon deities on Golarion: Apsu and Dahak.

Thank you for your answer!

About after-life petitioners of Apsu and Dahak: are those souls shaped in some kind of draconic outsider once judged and sent to those deities'realms?

Orbs of Dragonkin (the lesser draconic race versions of Orb of Dragonkind) "can be destroyed only from the breath weapon of a true dragon of the same alignment" (Artifacts and Legends). Does it means that an Orb of Pseudodragon (NG) is practically indestructible since there aren't any species of NG true dragons?

It's sort of unclear what happens to non-humanoid souls, but my preference is that they do indeed take on some sort of similar shape to their real-world persona when they become petitioners. They'd still have the same stats as any other petitioner, so an ancient gold wyrm who dies and becomes a petitioner in Apsu's court would be a Medium CR 1 outsider. It'd look different, but it'd have the same stats as any other fresh new petitioner.

There's no such thing as an orb of pseuddodragons, and if you put one in your game you'll need to adjust the rules.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Just got my copy of Dance of the Damned, and I love the art of Merisiel and Kyra in courtly dress. Did you request that piece specifically?

Thank you! ^_^

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
There's no such thing as an orb of pseudodragons, and if you put one in your game you'll need to adjust the rules.

embarrassed cough

It's in Artifacts & Legends, on page 34.

Shadow Lodge

Thought of a "Let Laori Vaus solve all your problems here" thread.

Or a
"Let Grandmaster Torch find you love?" thread.

What other threads where pathfinder npcs give advice could you think of?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:

Just got my copy of Dance of the Damned, and I love the art of Merisiel and Kyra in courtly dress. Did you request that piece specifically?

Thank you! ^_^

I request ALL of the art in the adventures specifically, in fact. One of the themes I went with in Hell's Rebels is that for each adventure, there's at least one half-page illustration of Kyra and Merisiel doing something together. Glad you liked it!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
There's no such thing as an orb of pseudodragons, and if you put one in your game you'll need to adjust the rules.

embarrassed cough

It's in Artifacts & Legends, on page 34.

Bleh. Reason #2,001 why I'm increasingly frustrated with how much products we're putting out, I guess.

Not a direction I would have taken the artifact had I been designing or developing it, but whatever.

You'll still need to adjust things for the rules if you use it in your game.

Anyway, in the future, if someone asks a question about something relatively obscure in a non AP book, it'd be helpful to note what book you're looking at. My knowledge of all our product is not what I would call encyclopedic. If anything it's something I would call "increasingly overwhelmed and uninformed."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kerney wrote:

Thought of a "Let Laori Vaus solve all your problems here" thread.

Or a
"Let Grandmaster Torch find you love?" thread.

What other threads where pathfinder npcs give advice could you think of?

Lots... but I prefer it when everyone else comes up with those.


Hi James, are there any plans for a class that is dedicated to shapeshifting? or a druid archetype that sacrifices spells or an animal companion or both for added wildshapes and the ability to use Giant Form, Form of the Dragon and Undead Anatomy?

Seems to me like there is a gap here to fill for a dedicated shapeshifter class or at the very least an archetype. It would be an interesting class/archetype to play with a lot of versatility and depth.

Also, thanks again for answering all our questions.


James Jacobs wrote:
Little Skylark wrote:

Hi James,

What was your favorite one-shot ever? What made it so good?

Uhh... I have no idea what you mean by "one-shot" here. I need context.

I meant very short adventures, about a day or so.


Thank you for all the previous answers!

I understand that all those variants to the most known artifact where not coming from your ideas, and maybe there are too much of them now... But do you think that, in Golarion, an Orb of Dragonkin working on Kobolds should be an appropriate lesser version of the main dragons Orbs?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

icantfallasleep wrote:

Hi James, are there any plans for a class that is dedicated to shapeshifting? or a druid archetype that sacrifices spells or an animal companion or both for added wildshapes and the ability to use Giant Form, Form of the Dragon and Undead Anatomy?

Seems to me like there is a gap here to fill for a dedicated shapeshifter class or at the very least an archetype. It would be an interesting class/archetype to play with a lot of versatility and depth.

Also, thanks again for answering all our questions.

No plans as far as I know.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Little Skylark wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Little Skylark wrote:

Hi James,

What was your favorite one-shot ever? What made it so good?

Uhh... I have no idea what you mean by "one-shot" here. I need context.
I meant very short adventures, about a day or so.

Oh. Hmm... none immediately come to mind, honestly, because I much prefer campaign play. I suppose my favorite was a game of Dread where I got so into the game that I hurt my finger?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

T.A.U. wrote:

Thank you for all the previous answers!

I understand that all those variants to the most known artifact where not coming from your ideas, and maybe there are too much of them now... But do you think that, in Golarion, an Orb of Dragonkin working on Kobolds should be an appropriate lesser version of the main dragons Orbs?

Nope. Kobolds are dragon-themed, but are not dragons.


LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lou Diamond wrote:

James, would be expensive for Pazio to publish its books in the Ibooks format? Would it be possible for Pazio to put the tilte of the book first in the PDF instead of the Pazio number for the PDF. I have to change every book title when I use Good Reader to read the PDF's I buy.

What PDF viewer do you use?

Part of the reason we haven't done much with iBooks is, under my understanding, that Apple takes too big of a cut from the profits for us to want to do so. Now that we've a deal with Tor, that may change some day, since Tor has a lot more clout and connections.

As for putting the title of the book first instead of the Paizo number... I don't know who you'd need to talk to about that but Customer Service would be a good start.

I use Adobe Reader or Preview.

Speaking of the PDFs, does anyone proofread how they view in two page display? I like to read them on my 24 inch monitor at home and it's pretty much a tossup whether they will view properly in spine in as opposed to spine out view. In spine out view the two page chapter art spreads are absolutely ruined.

In Adobe Acrobat, under View > Page Display, there should be an option for "Show Cover Page in Two Page View." If the double page spreads aren't displaying correctly, switch that setting. (If it's off, turn it on. If it's on, turn it off.) That should take care of the problem, though you may need to readjust it for each pdf.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KSF wrote:
LazarX wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lou Diamond wrote:

James, would be expensive for Pazio to publish its books in the Ibooks format? Would it be possible for Pazio to put the tilte of the book first in the PDF instead of the Pazio number for the PDF. I have to change every book title when I use Good Reader to read the PDF's I buy.

What PDF viewer do you use?

Part of the reason we haven't done much with iBooks is, under my understanding, that Apple takes too big of a cut from the profits for us to want to do so. Now that we've a deal with Tor, that may change some day, since Tor has a lot more clout and connections.

As for putting the title of the book first instead of the Paizo number... I don't know who you'd need to talk to about that but Customer Service would be a good start.

I use Adobe Reader or Preview.

Speaking of the PDFs, does anyone proofread how they view in two page display? I like to read them on my 24 inch monitor at home and it's pretty much a tossup whether they will view properly in spine in as opposed to spine out view. In spine out view the two page chapter art spreads are absolutely ruined.
In Adobe Acrobat, under View > Page Display, there should be an option for "Show Cover Page in Two Page View." If the double page spreads aren't displaying correctly, switch that setting. (If it's off, turn it on. If it's on, turn it off.) That should take care of the problem, though you may need to readjust it for each pdf.

Yes I did find that and thanks for pointing that out... but I'd rather be reading my PDFs in Preview. Preview's interface isn't the distraction filled mess, Acrobat's is. It also takes up far less resources. also on a 1080p monitor Adobe limits 2 page display to 79 percent and only allows single page on full screen mode whereas I can get 100 percent view in 2 page and full screen in Preview.


is their any plan for a primal magic sorcerer archetype?

Silver Crusade

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

I think I might have a problem:

Most of the long-term plans I seem to develop for my Pathfinder characters turn out to be either founding a knightly order, wizard's guild or mercenary army, or achieving a position of in a similar pre-existing organization becoming a Pathfinder Venture Captain, the Lord-Mayor of a major city, or even ruling an entire kingdom (especially if Kingmaker's involved). Have I been playing too much Dragon Age and various RTS games? Something about my PCs retiring from active adventuring to play politics when the Adventure Path is over and make cameos as quest-givers, mentors and the occasional deus-ex-machina in future campaigns keeps popping up, no matter what kind of character they are. Does that show a lack of creativity, since I don't have characters who simply retire to a cottage just outside town with the person they love to live the quiet life, or use their dragon's hoard to build a big mansion and become one of the idle rich, or sail into the West to finally rest and heal after the physical and emotional torment their journey has put them through, or have them be assassinated by jealous rivals cutting them down at the peak of their fame?

On that note, do you think it's kind of weird for a player to essentially ask the GM "In the Campaign's epilogue, could my character be assassinated, please?" I mean, on the one hand, a PC generally has a lot of time and fun invested in them, and it's hard for an author to kill off a character (unless you're George R.R. Martin), but on the other hand, lots of dramatic stories end with the character triumphing only to be martyred through assassination (Julius Caesar probably being the most famous). It seems to me like in RPGs assassination is something that happens to other people, something that kicks of a plot, regardless of its success (if it succeeds, you tend to be recruited to find the culprit, if it fails, it's likely because you were already recruited to prevent it from happening, or because you were the target and managed to defend yourself and now have to solve the mystery of who wants you dead and why). The only time I can think of where this wasn't the case was in one ending of Mount and Blade: With Fire and Sword, where once you complete the main quest of one particular faction, you're assassinated (something that bugs some fans of the game since by that point you're potentially so high level you could defeat such an assassin in-game easily)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

wabbitking wrote:
is their any plan for a primal magic sorcerer archetype?

Not that I'm aware of, but then again, I don't really keep track of our "plans for upcoming archetypes."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

I think I might have a problem:

Most of the long-term plans I seem to develop for my Pathfinder characters turn out to be either founding a knightly order, wizard's guild or mercenary army, or achieving a position of in a similar pre-existing organization becoming a Pathfinder Venture Captain, the Lord-Mayor of a major city, or even ruling an entire kingdom (especially if Kingmaker's involved). Have I been playing too much Dragon Age and various RTS games? Something about my PCs retiring from active adventuring to play politics when the Adventure Path is over and make cameos as quest-givers, mentors and the occasional deus-ex-machina in future campaigns keeps popping up, no matter what kind of character they are. Does that show a lack of creativity, since I don't have characters who simply retire to a cottage just outside town with the person they love to live the quiet life, or use their dragon's hoard to build a big mansion and become one of the idle rich, or sail into the West to finally rest and heal after the physical and emotional torment their journey has put them through, or have them be assassinated by jealous rivals cutting them down at the peak of their fame?

On that note, do you think it's kind of weird for a player to essentially ask the GM "In the Campaign's epilogue, could my character be assassinated, please?" I mean, on the one hand, a PC generally has a lot of time and fun invested in them, and it's hard for an author to kill off a character (unless you're George R.R. Martin), but on the other hand, lots of dramatic stories end with the character triumphing only to be martyred through assassination (Julius Caesar probably being the most famous). It seems to me like in RPGs assassination is something that happens to other people, something that kicks of a plot, regardless of its success (if it succeeds, you tend to be recruited to find the culprit, if it fails, it's likely because you were already recruited to prevent it from happening, or because you were the target and managed to defend yourself and now have to solve the mystery of who wants you dead and why). The only time I can think of where this wasn't the case was in one ending of Mount and Blade: With Fire and Sword, where once you complete the main quest of one particular faction, you're assassinated (something that bugs some fans of the game since by that point you're potentially so high level you could defeat such an assassin in-game easily)

Playing the same character build over and over again isn't a sign of a "lack of creativity" but a sign that you really enjoy that kind of build. That said, if you're finding that the character trope you're trying to do is constantly being difficult to fit into the setting that your GMs use (in this case, Pathfinder), it might be time to abandon that theme for a while and take the chance to try something new. If you're playing Adventure Paths, read the player's guide and let THAT help you make your decision—build a character that will fit into the AP rather than one that you'll need to push in there that might not fit easily.

I've seen players before ask the GM to kill off their character, either because they'd grown tired of their character or were leaving the campaign for other reasons and wanted the first character to go out with a bang.

But it does sound like you're trying to make Golarion into a world that it's not really trying to be.

Silver Crusade

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

Oh, don't worry, it's not a matter of the characters not fitting. Pathfinder's actually the BEST game for this kind of thing what with Ultimate Campaign and Pathfinder Unchained being as awesome as they are. It's more a fear of stagnation on my part, where essentially ALL my characters tend to aspire to either found or lead an organization in Golarion. Golarion's got a TON of cool organizations, and if my character doesn't fit one of them already they'll just start their own with the fame and wealth they've gotten from adventuring. What I'm afraid of is drawing accusations that it's what EVERY character I play does:

"You know Frodo didn't go on to become king of the Shire."

"Huckleberry Finn ran away again to go west, he didn't stay in town to found an abolitionist group when he grew up!"

"Jack Sparrow didn't make some sort of pirate fleet at the end, he was on his own seeking the next treasure again."

That kind of thing. Note no one's actually SAYING this besides my own inner English Major. But I worry that that's what it'll look like to others. Does that make sense?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Oh, don't worry, it's not a matter of the characters not fitting. Pathfinder's actually the BEST game for this kind of thing what with Ultimate Campaign and Pathfinder Unchained being as awesome as they are. It's more a fear of stagnation on my part, where essentially ALL my characters tend to aspire to either found or lead an organization in Golarion. Golarion's got a TON of cool organizations, and if my character doesn't fit one of them already they'll just start their own with the fame and wealth they've gotten from adventuring. What I'm afraid of is drawing accusations that it's what EVERY character I play does:

"You know Frodo didn't go on to become king of the Shire."

"Huckleberry Finn ran away again to go west, he didn't stay in town to found an abolitionist group when he grew up!"

"Jack Sparrow didn't make some sort of pirate fleet at the end, he was on his own seeking the next treasure again."

That kind of thing. Note no one's actually SAYING this besides my own inner English Major. But I worry that that's what it'll look like to others. Does that make sense?

If you're afraid of drawing accusations that this is what each of your characters do, step out of your comfort zone and try one that does something different. I almost always play bards or clerics or rogues, and for the last game I joined, I decided instead to play a low Dexterity fighter instead and it's been really interesting and fun and weird.


Thank you. I have a few more questions now?

James Jacobs wrote:
1) It's objective. Evil is evil. Good is good.

1. So likewise, Neutral is Neutral then? Or is Neutral a balancing act between Good actions and Evil actions? Or can it be both depending on the character?

James Jacobs wrote:
2) The actions carry karma, yes. They don't care WHY. If you perform a lot of evil acts and tell yourself those evil acts are for the greater good... you're still evil, and still perpetrated a lot of evil in the world, which means that your "greater good" was probably you deluding yourself. A truly good creature would have either found a way to achieve your goal without doing evil, or would have realized that your goal is actually evil since the only way to make it happen is to perpetrate a lot of evil.

Maybe so, I still like a good Evil anti-hero: Waylander (Hero in the Shadows), Joel (The Last of Us), Bryan Mills (Taken), John Creasy (Man on Fire, one of my favorites).

2. Regarding your answer, is it possible for the opposite to be true? If a character performs Good acts (protecting innocents, etc...) but does them for reasons usually associated with Evil (money, greed, self service), is he still Good?

3. How far should you break an action down to reach the objective karmic core?

a. For instance: There are many different words out there to describe different actions resulting in a death, as well as the level of acceptability in those actions. However, most of those words are very subjective (definitions for the same word vary from time period to time period, country to country, state to state, even person to person or judge to judge [ex: self-defense and murder]) and the definitions revolve tightly around the attitudes/reasons/motivations of those who committed the action. If you take away attitudes/reasons/motives, it all boils down to killing. So objectively, the karma attaching itself to your soul should be based on who was killed right? Or am I looking at it in an overly simplistic way?

I've tried looking at this a few different ways and I am just running into more questions.

b. Also, a lot of those subjective words are legal terms. Wouldn't that be more closely related to whether a thing is Lawful vs Chaotic than whether it's Good vs Evil?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Shadowlord wrote:

Thank you. I have a few more questions now?

James Jacobs wrote:
1) It's objective. Evil is evil. Good is good.

1. So likewise, Neutral is Neutral then? Or is Neutral a balancing act between Good actions and Evil actions? Or can it be both depending on the character?

James Jacobs wrote:
2) The actions carry karma, yes. They don't care WHY. If you perform a lot of evil acts and tell yourself those evil acts are for the greater good... you're still evil, and still perpetrated a lot of evil in the world, which means that your "greater good" was probably you deluding yourself. A truly good creature would have either found a way to achieve your goal without doing evil, or would have realized that your goal is actually evil since the only way to make it happen is to perpetrate a lot of evil.

Maybe so, I still like a good Evil anti-hero: Waylander (Hero in the Shadows), Joel (The Last of Us), Bryan Mills (Taken), John Creasy (Man on Fire, one of my favorites).

2. Regarding your answer, is it possible for the opposite to be true? If a character performs Good acts (protecting innocents, etc...) but does them for reasons usually associated with Evil (money, greed, self service), is he still Good?

3. How far should you break an action down to reach the objective karmic core?

a. For instance: There are many different words out there to describe different actions resulting in a death, as well as the level of acceptability in those actions. However, most of those words are very subjective (definitions for the same word vary from time period to time period, country to country, state to state, even person to person or judge to judge [ex: self-defense and murder]) and the definitions revolve tightly around the attitudes/reasons/motivations of those who committed the action. If you take away attitudes/reasons/motives, it all boils down to killing. So objectively, the karma attaching itself to your soul should be based on who was killed right? Or am I looking at it in an overly simplistic way?

I've tried looking at this a few different ways and I am just running into more questions.

b. Also, a lot of those subjective words are legal terms. Wouldn't that be more closely related to whether a thing is Lawful vs Chaotic than whether it's Good vs Evil?

1) Neutral is just that—Neutral. This CAN include the whole "seeking balance" version, but that's not the standard. Most neutral things are either just not smart enough to be able to understand ethics or morals (such as animals), are just not interested in them, or don't have strong leanings in any direction.

I like anti-heroes as well, and you can ABSOLUTELY have characters like those you mention above who behave EXACTLY as they do in their mediums. They'll still have alignments. Which ones they are would depend entirely on the designer who was tasked with statting that character up in Pathfinder terms, and that opens the door to the endless alignment arguments (aka "What alignment is Batman?").

2) It depends. The three you cite greed, and self-service are not "evil" concepts to me. They're not necessarily GOOD concepts, but they're definitely not evil, despite the fact that they're traits that lots of evil folks cherish. But yes, the opposite is indeed true. Someone who performs lots of actual good acts for reasons normally associated with evil would not become evil—those acts remain good despite the fact that they're typically associated with evil.

3) Not at all. When you run a game, it's best to be fast and loose with how alignments shift. Tracking "alignment points" is needless complexity I think. It's more of an art than a math problem


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Are you excited or worried about Godzilla vs King Kong?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Justin Franklin wrote:
Are you excited or worried about Godzilla vs King Kong?

Mostly annoyed.


James Jacobs wrote:
Alignment clarifications.

Thanks for all the answers.

James Jacobs wrote:
3) Not at all.

My third problem had several possible questions that this could have been an answer to.

1. So objectively, the karma attaching itself to your soul should be based on who was killed right?
2. Or am I looking at it in an overly simplistic way?
3. Wouldn't that be more closely related to whether a thing is Lawful vs Chaotic than whether it's Good vs Evil?

While I get what you're saying about keeping alignment simple, I'm not sure which thing you were saying "Not at all" to.

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