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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Do the elves (particularly of Kyonin) attribute any particular symbolic meaning or personal qualities to boars? Like, if they were to compare a person to a wild boar, would it be a statement of respect, and what traits would inspire such a comparison?

Not really.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ledan The Red wrote:

So, I'm playing a paladin with VMC life oracle in a pbp on the giantitp forums, and I was wondering how viable a dex-based weapon finesse paladin is and how to build it. This'll be my first campaign and I have very little experience with the game, as I have only played a couple of society modules at the convention I was volunteering at.

TL;DR: How can I build a good weapon finesse paladin?

VMC? Not sure what that means. I don't speak fluent Internet Acronym.

Paladins already have a lot of ability requirements, and adding Dexterity to that list tends to complicate things. You can do it, but you need to accept the fact that you won't be as good at it as a rogue or a swashbuckler or even a fighter.

If you're in PFS, then my standard advice is to avoid unusual character builds and focus on making your character stand out not by the rules you use by the way you play it. Make your character memorable via personality or action or appearance. The PFS campaign is a HUGE one and the way it works more or less means that the more outlandish or complex your rules builds are, the more likely it is that you'll run into problems when there are unusual rules interactions or complexities that a PFS GM simply doesn't feel comfortable or enabled to make rulings on. It's best, in my opinion, to save complex builds like this for home games.

In this case, I'd suggest you NOT build a paladin if you want to build a Dex build character, but instead build a lawful good swashbuckler or rogue and play the character according to a paladin code of your choice.

In any event, my methods of character creation are pretty incompatible with the temperament and zeitgeist of PFS, and my advice for how to build a Dex Build Paladin would probably get your character laughed at or mocked for being non-optimized. I'm sure there's a way TO build a a "PFS-approved optimized dex paladin" but I'm not sure I'm the one who knows how to do it.

PFS-related questions are best asked, in other words, on the PFS boards.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

David knott 242 wrote:

The new Pathfinder Campaign Setting product for Cheliax names House Henderthane ruling the Archduchy of Sirmium. Wasn't all of that house wiped out as a result of the events in the serial story contained in the Council of Thieves adventure path? Or was it just one branch of the family, leaving some distant cousin of the named characters as their heir? If the entire house was wiped out, who would have replaced them?

I actually had very little to do with building that book—this is a better question for Mark Moreland at this point.


VMC is short for Variant Multi-Classing from Unchained.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When you're building or developing adversary-type NPCs for an adventure path, how does building an effective combatant factor into your thinking vs story considerations? Is how tough of a CR ___ you want an NPC to be a significant consideration, something you circle back to and tweak once you have made choices true to the character, or an afterthought?

(with standard disclaimers that the difficulty of challenges can swing wildly depending on party composition, playstyle, preparation, etc.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

QuidEst wrote:
VMC is short for Variant Multi-Classing from Unchained.

Ah. That explains why I didn't get it—I've not read a single word about variant Multiclassing in Unchained—it isn't something I need to know about for building Golarion products and adventures, nor is it something that is being used in any games I play or run, so it (along with most of Unchained, in fact) is simply not something I've had the time to check out yet at all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Berinor wrote:

When you're building or developing adversary-type NPCs for an adventure path, how does building an effective combatant factor into your thinking vs story considerations? Is how tough of a CR ___ you want an NPC to be a significant consideration, something you circle back to and tweak once you have made choices true to the character, or an afterthought?

(with standard disclaimers that the difficulty of challenges can swing wildly depending on party composition, playstyle, preparation, etc.)

I generally do my best to make the NPC hit all the expected CR values from Table 1–1 in the Bestiary—sometimes this requires having the NPC take time to cast prep spells or use some of her/his gear to buy bolstering items or use some feats on things like Toughness or the like, so building the NPC to hit a specific CR is one of the more important factors. Of course, if the NPC isn't intended to be a combat encounter, these concerns largely go away and I build the NPC as makes sense for her intended role.

No need for your standard disclamer parenthetical, in any event. That's what table 1–1 is all about, giving us a baseline to build toward so that we DON'T have to worry about the fact that challenges swing wildly depending on party composition, playstyle, and all that. We build to a standardized baseline with the aid of tools like Table 1–1. Making sure that individual party compositions and playstyles and the like are accounted for is pretty much the GM's job.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm curious about the design decision to have Aroden die. What was the reason for choosing this event as THE event to shape the campaign setting. Was there something in particular that you wanted to do with his death? Was it just a cool idea that everyone liked so you stuck with it?


What have you used or plan to use from Unchained?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

j b 200 wrote:
I'm curious about the design decision to have Aroden die. What was the reason for choosing this event as THE event to shape the campaign setting. Was there something in particular that you wanted to do with his death? Was it just a cool idea that everyone liked so you stuck with it?

Lots of reasons, but mostly to start the setting off on a dramatic note, where heroes are very much needed. It's a humanocentric setting, and having the god of humanity die off is a huge kick into uncharted territory for the future.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
What have you used or plan to use from Unchained?

I use the unchained summoner for print stuff when I do summoners these days, and I've got an unchained rogue in my Temple of Elemental Evil game. That's pretty much all.


James Jacobs wrote:
Desril wrote:

It's been a few years since Wrath of the Righteous, I can't expect you to spill all the juicy secrets, but is there anything else about Nocticula that you're willing to share that isn't known yet?

Also, I've got an...odd question set of Golarion sexuality questions that are going to be relevant to a WotR game I'm in. (It does have some plot spoilers and imply others so hidden to save the minds of those who haven't gotten to enjoy it yet!)

** spoiler omitted **

Oh, and are you going to see The Force Awakens?

No new secrets yet, apart from any that may have shown up in the entry I did for the bonus NPC I wrote up for Pathfinder #100's NPC retrospective,t hat is. There are of course other Nocticula secrets and plans, but they're not ready to be revealed quite yet.

** spoiler omitted **...

Hrm, interesting. Spin off of the second question;

Spoiler:

Would you have Arueshalae be willing to try an un-even open relationship? Where she's loyal to the one in question, but her partner is allowed to deviate from her, at least until her redemption is complete?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Desril wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Desril wrote:

It's been a few years since Wrath of the Righteous, I can't expect you to spill all the juicy secrets, but is there anything else about Nocticula that you're willing to share that isn't known yet?

Also, I've got an...odd question set of Golarion sexuality questions that are going to be relevant to a WotR game I'm in. (It does have some plot spoilers and imply others so hidden to save the minds of those who haven't gotten to enjoy it yet!)

** spoiler omitted **

Oh, and are you going to see The Force Awakens?

No new secrets yet, apart from any that may have shown up in the entry I did for the bonus NPC I wrote up for Pathfinder #100's NPC retrospective,t hat is. There are of course other Nocticula secrets and plans, but they're not ready to be revealed quite yet.

** spoiler omitted **...

Hrm, interesting. Spin off of the second question;

** spoiler omitted ** [/QUOTE

I would have her be very hesitant about it, but would let the PCs be the ones to help her make the decision.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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James Jacobs wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
I'm curious about the design decision to have Aroden die. What was the reason for choosing this event as THE event to shape the campaign setting. Was there something in particular that you wanted to do with his death? Was it just a cool idea that everyone liked so you stuck with it?
Lots of reasons, but mostly to start the setting off on a dramatic note, where heroes are very much needed. It's a humanocentric setting, and having the god of humanity die off is a huge kick into uncharted territory for the future.

Since this was my character and my idea, please allow me to also add that I specifically HATE the use of prophecy as a cliché in fantasy gaming (or fantasy in general). Killing the god of humanity and screwing up prophecy in one shot was a way to put the onus of heroism directly on the player characters. They aren't heroes because some forgotten book or poem said they would become heroes, but because of their own actions.

I remember spending a lot of time thinking about what to call the current "age" in the world, and this dovetailed with "Age of Lost Omens," which everyone on the staff sounded cool. Everything else we considered was kind of lame, as I remember.

So that's the origin of killing off the god of humanity. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Erik Mona wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
j b 200 wrote:
I'm curious about the design decision to have Aroden die. What was the reason for choosing this event as THE event to shape the campaign setting. Was there something in particular that you wanted to do with his death? Was it just a cool idea that everyone liked so you stuck with it?
Lots of reasons, but mostly to start the setting off on a dramatic note, where heroes are very much needed. It's a humanocentric setting, and having the god of humanity die off is a huge kick into uncharted territory for the future.

Since this was my character and my idea, please allow me to also add that I specifically HATE the use of prophecy as a cliché in fantasy gaming (or fantasy in general). Killing the god of humanity and screwing up prophecy in one shot was a way to put the onus of heroism directly on the player characters. They aren't heroes because some forgotten book or poem said they would become heroes, but because of their own actions.

I remember spending a lot of time thinking about what to call the current "age" in the world, and this dovetailed with "Age of Lost Omens," which everyone on the staff sounded cool. Everything else we considered was kind of lame, as I remember.

So that's the origin of killing off the god of humanity. :)

And as one more note... NOTHING messes up prophecy better than player characters. I've always kind of seen the death of prophecy (and as a result, the death of Aroden) as a direct result of the fact that this is the first time actual PCs are in Golarion. ;-)

And yeah... if I recall correctly, for a while we were actually considering calling Golarion the "Lost Omens Campaign Setting." In the end, calling the campaign setting the same name as our core rules made a LOT more sense, of course. ;-)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, we killed Aroden? :-D


Hey James, after re-alphabetizing my Player's Companion collection, and double checking the site, I notice we lack companions for the letters: J, L, N, X, Y, Z.

J: Jalmeray.

N: Nex.

X: Uh...

Y: Nope.

Z: Zombies!

So, yea, get to getting these out please. I need a full alphabet of books, kthxbai, LOL :)


Let's say I wanted a hair removal spell, because I totally do in real life. Would prestidigitation work? If not, what would?


James Jacobs wrote:
No new secrets yet, apart from any that may have shown up in the entry I did for the bonus NPC I wrote up for Pathfinder #100's NPC retrospective,t hat is.

I have a question on that topic.

Ayavah and other Nocticulan heretics don't receive spells from Nocticula, per the article (PF #100):

"... [Ayavah] ultimately fell in with the Cult of the Redeemer Queen, heretical worshipers of Nocticula - the demon lord of assassins and lust - who believed their Abyssal patron secretly seeks redemption. Regardless of the group's lack of divine magic and the quiet predation the cultists suffered..."

Except this is directly contradicted in Nocticula's own entry from WotR (PF #76):

"The fact that such heretical clerics are granted spells as surely as the rest of her worshipers has caused not a small amount of discontent among her faithful..."

Is this a retcon of her previous status where she does in fact provide spells to her heretical followers? Or is it a mistake that editors didn't catch?


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I've been running an AP now for about a year, and I think quite a bit on how to run the presented encounters. There is a lot left up to the GM here, like monster placement, or tactics for general encounters. If I had to wager a guess that'd be because the state of the inhabitants can change, so you end up writing a lot of text to describe something that easily changes.

All of that said, have you ever thought about writing some sort of game theory book that talks about those finer details? (i.e. Something that isn't a rulebook, but a guide on how to use combat in memorable ways.) We catch glimpses of that when it comes to the tactics blocks provided for creatures, but I know I'd be extremely interested in a resource that could help me refine those things.

So much that has been written has been either at the player level, and when things are targeted at the GM they're generally at a much higher scope, including things like setting, adventure hooks, etc. There is also a lot written on how combat works, but not so much (as far as I've seen) on how to apply it in different ways.


Which of the new Occult Adventures classes would you say fit best with the vision of Castrovel you and the creative team had?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Monkeygod wrote:

Hey James, after re-alphabetizing my Player's Companion collection, and double checking the site, I notice we lack companions for the letters: J, L, N, X, Y, Z.

J: Jalmeray.

N: Nex.

X: Uh...

Y: Nope.

Z: Zombies!

So, yea, get to getting these out please. I need a full alphabet of books, kthxbai, LOL :)

Not seeing a question there. This isn't the "Make requests of James" thread. I doubt I'd be nearly as active in a thread like that than I am here though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

AlgaeNymph wrote:
Let's say I wanted a hair removal spell, because I totally do in real life. Would prestidigitation work? If not, what would?

Prestidigitation wouldn't work. You'd need to research a new spell, I suspect. A spell that's all about grooming or the like. Not a spell we're likely to ever publish, given the game's focus on fighting.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alleran wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
No new secrets yet, apart from any that may have shown up in the entry I did for the bonus NPC I wrote up for Pathfinder #100's NPC retrospective,t hat is.

I have a question on that topic.

Ayavah and other Nocticulan heretics don't receive spells from Nocticula, per the article (PF #100):

"... [Ayavah] ultimately fell in with the Cult of the Redeemer Queen, heretical worshipers of Nocticula - the demon lord of assassins and lust - who believed their Abyssal patron secretly seeks redemption. Regardless of the group's lack of divine magic and the quiet predation the cultists suffered..."

Except this is directly contradicted in Nocticula's own entry from WotR (PF #76):

"The fact that such heretical clerics are granted spells as surely as the rest of her worshipers has caused not a small amount of discontent among her faithful..."

Is this a retcon of her previous status where she does in fact provide spells to her heretical followers? Or is it a mistake that editors didn't catch?

That was an errror in development, and one that kinda frustrates me because it makes me feel like I need to develop articles I've written that are developed by others here at Paizo. I can only hope that it's a miscommunication between what I wrote and who developed it, or you're mis-reading the words.

My original turnover for #100 not only said the exact opposite, but included details on what domains and the like a redeemed Nocticula would grant IF she were to ascend to chaotic neutral.

The heretics of Nocticual who worship her as the Redeemer Queen DO gain spells if they're clerics of Nocticula, provided they're chaotic neutral. Beyond that is too far.

EDIT: Looking at what's in print, you're making assumptions... although it COULD and SHOULD have been written clearer. The group that she joined, the Cult of the Redeemer Queen, doesn't currently have divine casters in its mix—they are, like Ayavah, not divine spellcasters. This is a result of the cult's members, not their deity or faith. The cult is certainly on the hunt for a cleric or other divine worshiper of Nocticula who would mesh with their heretic beliefs... which is about where an adventure featuring the group would and should pick up, I guess.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheNightmareOne wrote:
Which of the new Occult Adventures classes would you say fit best with the vision of Castrovel you and the creative team had?

Dunno. Because the development of those classes was by the design team and they didn't really have Castrovel front and center in their minds when they were building the classes, I suspect. Psychic is probably the best one though, since the others veer too far away from classic "psionic" stuff into other occult themes. The creative team hasn't traditionally had a lot of influence/input/involvement in the rule books... something we're working to fix.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ssyvan wrote:

I've been running an AP now for about a year, and I think quite a bit on how to run the presented encounters. There is a lot left up to the GM here, like monster placement, or tactics for general encounters. If I had to wager a guess that'd be because the state of the inhabitants can change, so you end up writing a lot of text to describe something that easily changes.

All of that said, have you ever thought about writing some sort of game theory book that talks about those finer details? (i.e. Something that isn't a rulebook, but a guide on how to use combat in memorable ways.) We catch glimpses of that when it comes to the tactics blocks provided for creatures, but I know I'd be extremely interested in a resource that could help me refine those things.

So much that has been written has been either at the player level, and when things are targeted at the GM they're generally at a much higher scope, including things like setting, adventure hooks, etc. There is also a lot written on how combat works, but not so much (as far as I've seen) on how to apply it in different ways.

I've written articles on those topics many times, for books like D&D's Dungeon Master's Guide II, for Dragon Magazine, for our own GameMastery Guide, and for Kobold Press. A "GM Advice" book isn't really something we are looking at publishing since that type of book really just doesn't fit well into most of our lines–it would fit best in the rulebook line, but folks are too eager to build player option books these days. Hopefully that might adjust at some point in the future, but for now, not really an option. Best we can do is to build adventures that lead by example.

If folks want to see us produce books like this, you need to be vocal about it. Let Pazio know! Don't just let me know, 'cause I"m on your side of that fence already! ;-)


Is there a decent in-universe explanation for why all the dead rulers of House Thrune weren't raised by the Church of Asmodeus? I presume they'd contract in advance for such services, and the new Cheliax book has them dying from straightforward murder by her successor (ok, I get that one), poison, disappearance (ok), "mysterious drowning" (but presumably a body), and falling through ice and drowning (but presumably a body).

I guess the obvious answer is that they're subject to a devil pact that prevents their resurrection except by Miracle/Wish, and I note that poison and suffocation/drowning are ways to avoid the regeneration provided by the devilbound template. Is that in fact the answer? The first Hell's Rebels notes about devil pacts that "It’s a distasteful ritual for many Chelaxians, especially those who already have power," but I can see that being different for House Thrune.

Silver Crusade

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

How happy would Sarenrae be if Nocticula was redeemed?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Slithery D wrote:

Is there a decent in-universe explanation for why all the dead rulers of House Thrune weren't raised by the Church of Asmodeus? I presume they'd contract in advance for such services, and the new Cheliax book has them dying from straightforward murder by her successor (ok, I get that one), poison, disappearance (ok), "mysterious drowning" (but presumably a body), and falling through ice and drowning (but presumably a body).

I guess the obvious answer is that they're subject to a devil pact that prevents their resurrection except by Miracle/Wish, and I note that poison and suffocation/drowning are ways to avoid the regeneration provided by the devilbound template. Is that in fact the answer?

Yes; they were judged by Pharasma and can't be raised. In the case of the VAST MAJORITY of those who die on Golarion, they're judged pretty "quickly." We don't nail it down because we want each GM or designer to be able to be flexible about who has been judged and who hasn't, but you can assume that if a dead Thrune hasn't been raised, it's because he/she has been judged and is now in hell as a petitioner or devil or one of the damned or whatever awaited them in the afterlife.

But beyond that, there's the whole "It's very expensive to cast those spells" combined with "Why would someone who just inherited a predicessor's money/power/political position WANT to let the dead person back?"

Both of those are excellent reasons, but the first one remains the major one. People coming back from the dead in Pathfinder, overall, are NOT the norm. Just because it happens to PCs a lot doesn't mean that it happens to anyone else, ever. PCs are not the norm.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
How happy would Sarenrae be if Nocticula was redeemed?

Quite happy, not only to see a demon lord redeemed, but to see that it CAN happen, and thus sets a precedent that other demons and devils and whatever could take as inspiration.


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AlgaeNymph wrote:
Let's say I wanted a hair removal spell, because I totally do in real life. Would prestidigitation work? If not, what would?

Prestidigitation can already be interpreted as being able to remove water stains from something via the clean ability. If you added hair removal, that'd make it a shave-or-dry spell.

... I'm done.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

My original turnover for #100 not only said the exact opposite, but included details on what domains and the like a redeemed Nocticula would grant IF she were to ascend to chaotic neutral.

The heretics of Nocticual who worship her as the Redeemer Queen DO gain spells if they're clerics of Nocticula, provided they're chaotic neutral. Beyond that is too far.

!!!!!

Is there any way we can get that information out of you? I understand if you don't want to put it in a random post here, but I'd really like to know.

(We don't have any succubi to persuade you. Sorry. Budget cuts.)


James Jacobs wrote:


Yes; they were judged by Pharasma and can't be raised. In the case of the VAST MAJORITY of those who die on Golarion, they're judged pretty "quickly." We don't nail it down because we want each GM or designer to be able to be flexible about who has been judged and who hasn't, but you can assume that if a dead Thrune hasn't been raised, it's because he/she has been judged and is now in hell as a petitioner or devil or one of the damned or whatever awaited them in the afterlife.

But beyond that, there's the whole "It's very expensive to cast those spells" combined with "Why would someone who just inherited a predicessor's money/power/political position WANT to let the dead person back?"

Both of those are excellent reasons, but the first one remains the major one. People coming back from the dead in Pathfinder, overall, are NOT the norm. Just because it happens to PCs a lot doesn't mean that it happens to anyone else, ever. PCs are not the norm.

I would note that the Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh article on the river of souls includes this:
Quote:
(In her capacity as the goddess of fate, Pharasma knows which souls are and aren’t done with life, including those destined to be called back to the Material Plane via magic. These souls are not judged or transformed into petitioners. Rather, they’re left to wait in the Boneyard until resurrected and allowed to progress toward their true death.)

That indicates to me that if anyone is likely to care enough to raise someone, being judged first isn't going to be a problem.

Additionally, the Pathfinder Tales novel Death's Heretic features a (very) rich merchant who paid the Church of Pharasma in advance for resurrection in the event of his untimely death. The plot revolves around figuring out why his soul won't come back.

Prepaying a Raise Dead seems like chump change for the ruler of a powerful nation and a very smart precaution after so many of your predecessors met untimely fates.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kalindlara wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

My original turnover for #100 not only said the exact opposite, but included details on what domains and the like a redeemed Nocticula would grant IF she were to ascend to chaotic neutral.

The heretics of Nocticual who worship her as the Redeemer Queen DO gain spells if they're clerics of Nocticula, provided they're chaotic neutral. Beyond that is too far.

!!!!!

Is there any way we can get that information out of you? I understand if you don't want to put it in a random post here, but I'd really like to know.

(We don't have any succubi to persuade you. Sorry. Budget cuts.)

I wanted to reveal it there, in #100, as part of the celebration of that volume, but to be honest I'm a little bitter that it got cut. At this point, I'd rather save it and use it somewhere else where it can make a big splash... not really interested in letting it leak out in dribbles on post #3924092409 or whatever this thread is up to... sorry.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Mr. Jacobs: why are you and Mr. Sutter always at odds?

Have either of you sent assassins, conjured malevolent spirits, or made passive-aggressive comments at the water cooler over this deep and bitter rivalry?

Are your answers to the above questions accurate and truthful?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I wanted to reveal it there, in #100, as part of the celebration of that volume, but to be honest I'm a little bitter that it got cut. At this point, I'd rather save it and use it somewhere else where it can make a big splash... not really interested in letting it leak out in dribbles on post #3924092409 or whatever this thread is up to... sorry.

Very understandable. All I can do, then, is hope it comes soon. (I might need it.)

Thank you! ^_^

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Slithery D wrote:
I would note that the Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh article on the river of souls includes this:
Quote:
(In her capacity as the goddess of fate, Pharasma knows which souls are and aren’t done with life, including those destined to be called back to the Material Plane via magic. These souls are not judged or transformed into petitioners. Rather, they’re left to wait in the Boneyard until resurrected and allowed to progress toward their true death.)

That indicates to me that if anyone is likely to care enough to raise someone, being judged first isn't going to be a problem.

Additionally, the Pathfinder Tales novel Death's Heretic features a (very) rich merchant who paid the Church of Pharasma in advance for resurrection in the event of his untimely death. The plot revolves around figuring out why his soul won't come back.

Prepaying a Raise Dead seems like chump change for the ruler of a powerful nation and a very smart precaution after so many of your predecessors met untimely fates.

That line you quote was put in the article SPECIFICALLY to address that, in fact; to explain why some folks get resurrected and others don't; why some folks wait for a LONG time for it and others get it within a day or less.

That said, she also knows who ISN'T fated to be resurrected... and in most cases, those they left behind still want them back and if they can afford a resurrection they'd pay for it, but their departed isn't allowed back. Wanting someone back isn't the same as being allowed to come back, after all.

Prepaying for a raise dead may be chump change, but it's wasted money if you're not fated to be one who can come back. The person paying for a pre-paid raise dead doesn't get to decide if he comes back. That's strictly up to the GM or the writer of the story or the developer of the adventure (AKA: Up to Pharasma).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kalindlara wrote:

Mr. Jacobs: why are you and Mr. Sutter always at odds?

Have either of you sent assassins, conjured malevolent spirits, or made passive-aggressive comments at the water cooler over this deep and bitter rivalry?

Are your answers to the above questions accurate and truthful?

We're not always at odds. But when we ARE at odds, they tend to be intractable, it seems. I think the root of it is that I love the alignment system and he hates it. I see it as an invaluable tool for creating stories, and he sees it as a restraint or challenge to creativity. If Alignment were the lines on a lined sheet of paper, Sutter would prefer a blank sheet of paper to write his stories on. The fact that he's one of the best writers employed here at Paizo means that I do try to stay out of his way when he creates content for Golarion, though!

Countdown to Sutter responding with a meme... 3.. 2... 1...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kalindlara wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
I wanted to reveal it there, in #100, as part of the celebration of that volume, but to be honest I'm a little bitter that it got cut. At this point, I'd rather save it and use it somewhere else where it can make a big splash... not really interested in letting it leak out in dribbles on post #3924092409 or whatever this thread is up to... sorry.

Very understandable. All I can do, then, is hope it comes soon. (I might need it.)

Thank you! ^_^

If you need it, or anything else to run a game that we haven't yet published, you should by all means create it yourself. That's the great strength of a tabletop RPG after all.


I know there's no getting deity stats out of you. That's fine. I actually rather like that policy. Is there a comparative strength between them? I figure there must be, since it took an alliance to lock up Rovagug.

If so, who are the top five strongest?

Who barely skirts past the demigod category into full deity, or rather, is the weakest among them but still full fledged...and alive, since I have a feeling you'd say Aroden for a laugh here?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

thegreenteagamer wrote:

I know there's no getting deity stats out of you. That's fine. I actually rather like that policy. Is there a comparative strength between them? I figure there must be, since it took an alliance to lock up Rovagug.

If so, who at the top five strongest?

Who barely skirts past the demigod category into full deity, or rather, is the weakest among them but still full fledged...and alive, since I have a feeling you'd say Aroden for a laugh here?

There is indeed a comparative strength. I've said before that Pharasma is the most powerful, and that remains true. Beyond that, I'm not interested in saying much more at this time, mostly because I don't want to even APPROACH validating anything like "stats" for the deities (and when you get right down to it, a list of the top five most powerful are stats that do just that).

Executive Editor

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My response:

https://imgflip.com/i/vy15c

Spoiler:

Seriously, though, I don't hate the alignment system*—I love it for the quandaries and differences of opinion it creates! I think the larger difference between me and Jacobs is that he would like to see harmony in the community by having everyone on the same page, while I'm happy to let the debates rage because I think making people analyze their concept of morality is good for society... which admittedly means cackling maniacally as alignment threads grow ever longer. :D

In the words of Alfred: Some men just want to watch the messageboards burn.

(*=Okay, maybe I hate alignment as a hard-coded *rules* element with game effects, but as a way of describing characters, it's fun and classic!)


If Pharasma was the most powerful, why form a multigod alliance when she could she just take Rovagug out herself?


thegreenteagamer wrote:
If Pharasma was the most powerful, why form a multigod alliance when she could she just take Rovagug out herself?

That assumes Pharasma has any reason to stop Rovagug.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
The heretics of Nocticula who worship her as the Redeemer Queen DO gain spells if they're clerics of Nocticula, provided they're chaotic neutral. Beyond that is too far.

In fact, the new Appeaser archetype for Clerics in Agents of Evil is PERFECT for such heretics! >:)

Now for a question! What's your opinion on nugs in Dragon Age? Cute? Ugly? Delicious?


James Jacob wrote:
There is indeed a comparative strength. I've said before that Pharasma is the most powerful, and that remains true. Beyond that, I'm not interested in saying much more at this time, mostly because I don't want to even APPROACH validating anything like "stats" for the deities (and when you get right down to it, a list of the top five most powerful are stats that do just that).

BLASPHEMY!!! Nocticula is the most powerful of the Golarion deities! And the sexiest! And... I probably need to stop while I'm ahead. :P


QuidEst wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
If Pharasma was the most powerful, why form a multigod alliance when she could she just take Rovagug out herself?
That assumes Pharasma has any reason to stop Rovagug.

She participated in the fight. The question really is, "Why did it take anyone else?"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

thegreenteagamer wrote:
If Pharasma was the most powerful, why form a multigod alliance when she could she just take Rovagug out herself?

Okay; found the reference.

Why? Well... gods are powerful, and being the MOST powerful doesn't mean you're powerful enough to directly oppose another deity.

It's like the old brain-teaser—"Can an all-powerful god create a rock he cannot lift?"

Just because Pharasma is the most powerful deity doesn't mean that power includes the ability to accomplish anything.

For example... if we DID stat up the gods, and one of those stats was "Divine Strength" then we'd list how much weight a deity can "lift" with the score, in the same way we do for normal Strength. If Pharasma's Divine Strength was 100, higher than ANY other deity, we could STILL create something that was so heavy that she couldn't lift it and would require aid or the like to get it done.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The heretics of Nocticula who worship her as the Redeemer Queen DO gain spells if they're clerics of Nocticula, provided they're chaotic neutral. Beyond that is too far.

In fact, the new Appeaser archetype for Clerics in Agents of Evil is PERFECT for such heretics! >:)

Now for a question! What's your opinion on nugs in Dragon Age? Cute? Ugly? Delicious?

Nugs are AWSOME. Schmooples forever!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Questions, please. ^_^

Mr. Jacobs: is there anything you're looking forward to about Hell's Vengeance?

(Ideally, anything you can share. That means things that aren't necessarily spoilers, like themes or ideas or philosophies of gaming or whatever.)

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