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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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BreakinStuff wrote:

Is there a thematic reason why the synthesist is described as superimposed inside a ghostly eidolon?

Just a curiosity point on my part. I like the unchained summoners, by the way. whoever did those have my compliments.

No clue; that's what the design team went with. I guess they preferred that to a transporter mishap physical amalgamation? Dunno.


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

I note that of the three deities associated with Golarion's typically neutral-aligned Stone giants, two are evil and one is neutral- is this a reflection of the fact that alignment aside, stone giants are often antagonists, or is it meant to be a legacy of their long servitude to the nastiness of Thassilon?


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James Jacobs wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:

Oh wise Tyrannosaur:

1. Have you seen either "The Shallows" or "Purge: Election Year" yet? I have seen the former but not the latter, so curious on your thoughts?

2. On a horror related note, are there specific themes or topics that just really get under your skin and creep you out, even as someone I assume is a hardened horror reader? Personally I find the idea of losing control of your own actions (ala the puppeteering in Carrion Comfort or the basic premises of Neuropath) terrifying.

3. Somewhat similar question, are there certain things which completely turn you off/sour you on a horror movie/book? I don't mean like basic craftmanship type of things (bad writing/acting, cheesy effects, etc), but rather topics you would just prefer not reading or watching. Since my parents got a new small dog I find I don't really like watching anything where a pet cat or dog dies (Especially if its played for humor).

1) Saw "The Shallows" and it was incredible. One of the best shark movies I've seen, one of the most intense PG 13 movies I've seen, and overall just a great movie. LOVED IT. Haven't seen the latest Purge movie yet... might do that today or tomorrow but I'm not sure.

2) Absolutely. Clowns are high up on that list.

3) Absolutely. Musicals sour me to horror. As does mixing it with disrespectful comedy. As does disrespecting the genre.

Are there any parodies or satire that you like?

Would you agree (or disagree) with the idea that sometimes genres get so cliche-ridden they're crying out for parodies to be made?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
I note that of the three deities associated with Golarion's typically neutral-aligned Stone giants, two are evil and one is neutral- is this a reflection of the fact that alignment aside, stone giants are often antagonists, or is it meant to be a legacy of their long servitude to the nastiness of Thassilon?

It's a combination of the legacy of servitude to Thassilon and the fact that giants skew toward evil on the whole.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:

Are there any parodies or satire that you like?

Would you agree (or disagree) with the idea that sometimes genres get so cliche-ridden they're crying out for parodies to be made?

No parodies come to mind.

And I disagree that a genre can ever get too cliche-ridden. There's always something new to explore with any genre.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
I note that of the three deities associated with Golarion's typically neutral-aligned Stone giants, two are evil and one is neutral- is this a reflection of the fact that alignment aside, stone giants are often antagonists, or is it meant to be a legacy of their long servitude to the nastiness of Thassilon?
It's a combination of the legacy of servitude to Thassilon and the fact that giants skew toward evil on the whole.

Out of curiosity, why is that? Because giants are so big they basically feel they can literally walk all over other races?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
I note that of the three deities associated with Golarion's typically neutral-aligned Stone giants, two are evil and one is neutral- is this a reflection of the fact that alignment aside, stone giants are often antagonists, or is it meant to be a legacy of their long servitude to the nastiness of Thassilon?
It's a combination of the legacy of servitude to Thassilon and the fact that giants skew toward evil on the whole.
Out of curiosity, why is that? Because giants are so big they basically feel they can literally walk all over other races?

The metagame reason is becasue that's what most giants tend to get set up as; evil, so they make monsters to fight.

The traditional reason is that in most cultures and mythology from the real world is that giants are usually cast in villain roles.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
The traditional reason is that in most cultures and mythology from the real world is that giants are usually cast in villain roles.

Disney is trying to change that it seems... LOL! ;)

...although there *are* some seemingly evil ones in the preview... :P


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The traditional reason is that in most cultures and mythology from the real world is that giants are usually cast in villain roles.

Disney is trying to change that it seems... LOL! ;)

...although there *are* some seemingly evil ones in the preview... :P

They did the good giant thing before in 1958's Paul Bunyan

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The traditional reason is that in most cultures and mythology from the real world is that giants are usually cast in villain roles.

Disney is trying to change that it seems... LOL! ;)

...although there *are* some seemingly evil ones in the preview... :P

Haven't seen the movie or read the book, but my understanding is that the plot is that ALL the giants are evil, and that the focus of the story is on the one friendly giant. Which supports my stance.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:

Are there any parodies or satire that you like?

Would you agree (or disagree) with the idea that sometimes genres get so cliche-ridden they're crying out for parodies to be made?

No parodies come to mind.

So, not a Mel Brooks fan, then?

Silver Crusade

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

Any opinions on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (any of its versions: radio show, book, tv show or film)?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The traditional reason is that in most cultures and mythology from the real world is that giants are usually cast in villain roles.

Disney is trying to change that it seems... LOL! ;)

...although there *are* some seemingly evil ones in the preview... :P

Haven't seen the movie or read the book, but my understanding is that the plot is that ALL the giants are evil, and that the focus of the story is on the one friendly giant. Which supports my stance.

So... he's the 'one good giant' in a sea of really, really bad giants? is R.A. Salvatore involved?


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The traditional reason is that in most cultures and mythology from the real world is that giants are usually cast in villain roles.

Disney is trying to change that it seems... LOL! ;)

...although there *are* some seemingly evil ones in the preview... :P

Haven't seen the movie or read the book, but my understanding is that the plot is that ALL the giants are evil, and that the focus of the story is on the one friendly giant. Which supports my stance.
So... he's the 'one good giant' in a sea of really, really bad giants? is R.A. Salvatore involved?

Pretty sure Roald Dahl's work predates R. A. Salvatore's, who didn't get started until '88, while the BFG came out in '82, and his previous works started several decades prior. But yes, all the other giants love to eat humans, especially children.

Edit: Apologize, shouldn't have answered. To make up for it, some questions.

1) What's some of books you remember particularly enjoying as a child?

2) What dream has stuck out in your mind as being the most disturbing or frightening to you, if any?

3) What's the first three monsters that pops into your head when reading this question, be it from an RPG, a movie, a novel, myth, legend, etc.?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:

Are there any parodies or satire that you like?

Would you agree (or disagree) with the idea that sometimes genres get so cliche-ridden they're crying out for parodies to be made?

No parodies come to mind.
So, not a Mel Brooks fan, then?

Eew. No. Not at all.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The traditional reason is that in most cultures and mythology from the real world is that giants are usually cast in villain roles.

Disney is trying to change that it seems... LOL! ;)

...although there *are* some seemingly evil ones in the preview... :P

Haven't seen the movie or read the book, but my understanding is that the plot is that ALL the giants are evil, and that the focus of the story is on the one friendly giant. Which supports my stance.
So... he's the 'one good giant' in a sea of really, really bad giants? is R.A. Salvatore involved?

no

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Any opinions on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (any of its versions: radio show, book, tv show or film)?

Got only 1.5 chapters into the first book. It's boring.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Luthorne wrote:

1) What's some of books you remember particularly enjoying as a child?

2) What dream has stuck out in your mind as being the most disturbing or frightening to you, if any?

3) What's the first three monsters that pops into your head when reading this question, be it from an RPG, a movie, a novel, myth, legend, etc.?

1) Any book with dinosaur pictures when I was a little kid; my favorite early on was "The Wump World". This book is probably the most important one I ever read back in Elementary School, since it opened my eyes up to horror. At about the same time, my grandma got me into Stephen King; Pet Semetery was the first of his books I read cover to cover and that also had a pretty big influence on me.

2) Not one dream per se, but a theme; that of being killed by a tsunami.

3) Godzilla. Mothman. Cthulhu.

Grand Lodge

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James, have you ever read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?

It's worth checking out for the illustrations alone.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Good Morning James!

Here are a couple of off the cuff questions if you don't mind.

Do you have a favorite type (subgenre, style etc.) of horror?

Have you ever read The Talisman by Stephen King? Did you enjoy it? It strikes me as interesting that it could be fit into the urban fantasy genre before that was a category. Making him a pioneer of sorts.

Thanks again, and have a great rest of your week!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Oncoming_Storm wrote:

James, have you ever read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?

It's worth checking out for the illustrations alone.

Heh... of course I've read that one!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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MeanDM wrote:

Good Morning James!

Here are a couple of off the cuff questions if you don't mind.

Do you have a favorite type (subgenre, style etc.) of horror?

Have you ever read The Talisman by Stephen King? Did you enjoy it? It strikes me as interesting that it could be fit into the urban fantasy genre before that was a category. Making him a pioneer of sorts.

Thanks again, and have a great rest of your week!

Favorite subgenre of horror: Cosmic horror (AKA Lovecraft, Alien, The Thing, etc.)

Favorite subgenre of horror movie: found footage

I've read "The Talisman," and its sequel, "Black House." Great books! One of the things that appealed to me the most was that it ended up landing in my home county in California, Mendocino County! WOO!


Somehow I didn't realize you were from California! That makes me wonder: are you a lifelong Westcoaster, or have you moved elsewhere? If so, where? What about places you've traveled? I feel like you've at least partially answered this one before, but I never have luck searching your thread, and I don't think it was me...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Tacticslion wrote:
Somehow I didn't realize you were from California! That makes me wonder: are you a lifelong Westcoaster, or have you moved elsewhere? If so, where? What about places you've traveled? I feel like you've at least partially answered this one before, but I never have luck searching your thread, and I don't think it was me...

I grew up in Point Arena, CA, on the northern California coast. Then I went to college, at UC Davis, which was five more years. After college, I moved up north to Seattle—that was the first time I'd ever been out of the state of California. Up here in Washington, I've lived three places—north Seattle, then Renton, then here in Redmond.

The only times I've ever been out of California or Washington (or Oregon since it's between the two) is when I flew out to Gen Con. One of these days I hope to actually travel somewhere not for work so I can actually enjoy the place I'm going (and actually go to a place that's enjoyable)... but so far, not yet.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
The only times I've ever been out of California or Washington (or Oregon since it's between the two) is when I flew out to Gen Con. One of these days I hope to actually travel somewhere not for work so I can actually enjoy the place I'm going (and actually go to a place that's enjoyable)... but so far, not yet.

While I love to travel, I do know a lot of people who don't. But if you're going to mostly stick areound one city, Seattle is an excellent place! (I've only been there twice, once for a professional conference in '07, and once for a week's vacation a year later. I had a great time both times! I was hoping to get to Paizocon this year, but it wasn't in the cards.)

Where would you like to travel to once you get the chance?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Haladir wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The only times I've ever been out of California or Washington (or Oregon since it's between the two) is when I flew out to Gen Con. One of these days I hope to actually travel somewhere not for work so I can actually enjoy the place I'm going (and actually go to a place that's enjoyable)... but so far, not yet.

While I love to travel, I do know a lot of people who don't. But if you're going to mostly stick areound one city, Seattle is an excellent place! (I've only been there twice, once for a professional conference in '07, and once for a week's vacation a year later. I had a great time both times! I was hoping to get to Paizocon this year, but it wasn't in the cards.)

Where would you like to travel to once you get the chance?

The west coast really does have a lot of reasons not to leave, that's for sure!

If I were to travel, the top 5 places I'd like to some day visit would be:

1) Antarctica
2) Scotland
3) Japan
4) Providence, RI
5) New Zealand

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Haladir wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The only times I've ever been out of California or Washington (or Oregon since it's between the two) is when I flew out to Gen Con. One of these days I hope to actually travel somewhere not for work so I can actually enjoy the place I'm going (and actually go to a place that's enjoyable)... but so far, not yet.

While I love to travel, I do know a lot of people who don't. But if you're going to mostly stick areound one city, Seattle is an excellent place! (I've only been there twice, once for a professional conference in '07, and once for a week's vacation a year later. I had a great time both times! I was hoping to get to Paizocon this year, but it wasn't in the cards.)

Where would you like to travel to once you get the chance?

The west coast really does have a lot of reasons not to leave, that's for sure!

If I were to travel, the top 5 places I'd like to some day visit would be:

1) Antarctica
2) Scotland
3) Japan
4) Providence, RI
5) New Zealand

Department of Expectations Management: Antartica does not have natural rock formations.


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James Jacobs wrote:

If I were to travel, the top 5 places I'd like to some day visit would be:

1) Antarctica

To feed the shoggoths? (No, not in that way.)

Grand Lodge

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Have finally picked up and read through the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary edition. Just wanted to start this off by saying good work to you and everyone else involved with it.

Now for a question. In building an NPC I have come to a standstill on whether to build him as a Magus or an eventual Eldritch Knight. The character is a Tiefling sellsword who I plan on being friendly to the PC's but occasionally being paid to work against their interests. I guess what I most want your opinion on is what is the difference between a Magus and an Eldritch Knight outside of the rules? Which classes attract which people? What are some different stereotypes between Magi and E.K's?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

If I were to travel, the top 5 places I'd like to some day visit would be:

1) Antarctica

To feed the shoggoths? (No, not in that way.)

Heh; no. Because it's a beautiful region, I like the cold more than the hot, and it's isolated from the press of humanity.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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IDTheftVictim wrote:

Have finally picked up and read through the Rise of the Runelords Anniversary edition. Just wanted to start this off by saying good work to you and everyone else involved with it.

Now for a question. In building an NPC I have come to a standstill on whether to build him as a Magus or an eventual Eldritch Knight. The character is a Tiefling sellsword who I plan on being friendly to the PC's but occasionally being paid to work against their interests. I guess what I most want your opinion on is what is the difference between a Magus and an Eldritch Knight outside of the rules? Which classes attract which people? What are some different stereotypes between Magi and E.K's?

When building NPCs for games you run, it's generally better to go with the class option you yourself are more familiar with and more comfortable running, all other options being equal. Apart from that, it's mostly just personal preference as to choices like this. Personally, I prefer the eldritch knight since it allows for much more customization than the magus, and because it's much less complicated to run.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

1) Antarctica

...
5) New Zealand

And since lots of antarctic expeditions leave from Invercargill (southernmost NZ city), you could kill two birds with one stone! So long as those birds aren't Kiwis, we don't have many of those left...

Do you have a favourite Lovecraftian monster?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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shadram wrote:
Do you have a favourite Lovecraftian monster?

Shoggoth.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

In regard to RPG products, what would you say are the most important roles that an editor performs? How about a developer?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Steve Geddes wrote:
In regard to RPG products, what would you say are the most important roles that an editor performs? How about a developer?

Developers make the rules and story work. Editors make the language work. In theory, the developer (who goes first) also makes the language work, so that the editor has less work to do when she gets to it. And the editor acts as an additional set of eyes for development matters that may have slipped by the developer's pass.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Cheers.

Can I ask whose responsibility it is to keep an eye on wordcount/room-for-art/etcetera?

Presumably it's important for the designer to be close to the assigned wordcount, but in the instance where they were to turn in something significantly outside the brief?

Actually - that's another question: How often do RPG writers submit work significantly outside the desired wordcount? (I have a client who puts together a magazine who frequently bemoans the fact his writers seem to quite casually go over the limits he sets).


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
shadram wrote:
Do you have a favourite Lovecraftian monster?
Shoggoth.

Yay, snap!

A follow-on question, then: do you have a favourite piece of art work that depicts a shoggoth? I always imagine it as a kind of enormous amoeba filled with eyes, but some pictures/miniatures are wildly different to that. (Of course, it could be me totally misreading/misremembering the description in Mountains of Madness.)

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Heh; no. Because it's a beautiful region, I like the cold more than the hot, and it's isolated from the press of humanity.

Do you think other 'races' of beings live there? #hollowworldtheory


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random questions
do familiars have a increased lifespan?
do the demographics of populations of golorian cities(especially underdark ones) count slaves?
are demons the most populous race of fiends like they are in 3.5?


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James Jacobs wrote:

The metagame reason is becasue that's what most giants tend to get set up as; evil, so they make monsters to fight.

The traditional reason is that in most cultures and mythology from the real world is that giants are usually cast in villain roles.

Would you watch a soap opera about a love triangle between three giants in a settlement? They have needs, too.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Steve Geddes wrote:

Cheers.

Can I ask whose responsibility it is to keep an eye on wordcount/room-for-art/etcetera?

Presumably it's important for the designer to be close to the assigned wordcount, but in the instance where they were to turn in something significantly outside the brief?

Actually - that's another question: How often do RPG writers submit work significantly outside the desired wordcount? (I have a client who puts together a magazine who frequently bemoans the fact his writers seem to quite casually go over the limits he sets).

It's the developer's job to manage the wordcounts. We know before we assign a project just how many words we have to play with, and when we assign the project to a freelancer, we'll tell them their wordcount. It's very important for the writer to get as close to that wordcount as possible—more than 5% over or short causes huge problems, since if that happens we either have to add text or cut text.

If a designer turns in something that's way over or short, we have, essentially, two options. We either return the manuscript to the freelancer and tell them to trim or add content until the wordcount is hit, or we do that job ourselves. If the latter, we generally don't use that freelancer again, unless there were extenuating circumstances.

RPG authors very often blow their word counts. I've had authors blow their word counts by tens of thousands of words... some over, some short. It's incredibly frustrating when it happens, but most of all when the author springs it on you as a surprise at the end of the process when you have no real time to fix it... other than working a few 80+ hour weeks to do their job on your own.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

shadram wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
shadram wrote:
Do you have a favourite Lovecraftian monster?
Shoggoth.

Yay, snap!

A follow-on question, then: do you have a favourite piece of art work that depicts a shoggoth? I always imagine it as a kind of enormous amoeba filled with eyes, but some pictures/miniatures are wildly different to that. (Of course, it could be me totally misreading/misremembering the description in Mountains of Madness.)

I'm pretty fond of the art we have for them in the Bestiary, but beyond that... this one's probably my current favorite. Or maybe this one for nostalgia's sake. Then there's this one, which is pretty off-model despite being the cover illustration of said creature's most notable original appearance in print!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Heh; no. Because it's a beautiful region, I like the cold more than the hot, and it's isolated from the press of humanity.
Do you think other 'races' of beings live there? #hollowworldtheory

Nope, I do not. But it's a rad bit of imaginative theory/fiction seed!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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wabbitking wrote:

random questions

do familiars have a increased lifespan?
do the demographics of populations of golorian cities(especially underdark ones) count slaves?
are demons the most populous race of fiends like they are in 3.5?

A familiar's lifespan is linked to its master/mistress, which may increase or decrease the familiar's normal life span.

Demographics count slaves when slaves are a part of the societ.

Yes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Buri Reborn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

The metagame reason is becasue that's what most giants tend to get set up as; evil, so they make monsters to fight.

The traditional reason is that in most cultures and mythology from the real world is that giants are usually cast in villain roles.

Would you watch a soap opera about a love triangle between three giants in a settlement? They have needs, too.

Don't watch soap operas. There's too many other shows in genres I enjoy to watch as it is.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Does Absolom have a newspaper? How about any other major cities of Golarion?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Heh; no. Because it's a beautiful region, I like the cold more than the hot, and it's isolated from the press of humanity.
Do you think other 'races' of beings live there? #hollowworldtheory
Nope, I do not. But it's a rad bit of imaginative theory/fiction seed!

Have you read or watched a youtube of Admiral Byrd's old post WWII reports from his trips to Antarctica? :)

Grand Lodge

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1. I remember you saying before that if you had a pathfinder movie you would want Treerazor to be the main villain. Who would you want to do his voice in such a movie?

2. Which iconics would you want for the movie, and who would you want to play them?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Joana wrote:
Does Absolom have a newspaper? How about any other major cities of Golarion?

If anywhere on Golarion has a newspaper, it'd be Absalom. The fact that we haven't said so yet after 10 years indicates that no, there are no newspapers on Golarion. There are certainly publications and periodicals, and might even have one-sheets in big cities that are distributed... but no analog to a modern newspaper, really.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Heh; no. Because it's a beautiful region, I like the cold more than the hot, and it's isolated from the press of humanity.
Do you think other 'races' of beings live there? #hollowworldtheory
Nope, I do not. But it's a rad bit of imaginative theory/fiction seed!
Have you read or watched a youtube of Admiral Byrd's old post WWII reports from his trips to Antarctica? :)

Nope.

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