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James Jacobs wrote:
The Minis Maniac wrote:
James I am so happy about Bestiary 6 having so many demi gods and mythic foes. I am just so sad that we may never see another mythic adventure path. Can you say if we will ever see one again? Were sales of Wrath of the Righteous really that bad?

It's not that sales of Wrath were bad at all. They, as with all our Adventure Paths, were quite healthy as far as I know.

The problem was that I personally do not like how the interaction of Mythic and high-level play worked out, and as such am not interested in duplicating that effort.

If I had a time machine and knew now what I knew then I would rebuild Wrath of the Righteous so that the PCs still hit 20th level, but would spread out the mythic advancement about by half, so that you gain 1 tier per volume and max out at tier 5 or tier 6.

ANYthing is possible in the future, I suppose, but doing another tier 10/level 20 AP would require building foes that vastly exceed CR 30 in scope, and the game world doesn't really have room for that area, so it's kind of not something that we can do with the game.

But yeah. Ask me again in 5 years. I might have changed my mind.

That said... there are high CR foes for mythic characters to fight in Bestiary 6, yes, but there are NOT going to be "Mythic monsters" as they were presented in Mythic Adventures or periodically in Bestiary 4 and 5. Demigod-tier foes will retain mythic surge ability in the same way demon lords and Great Old Ones and Empyreal Lords have that ability, but there won't be monsters with "MR" in their CR line in Bestiary 6.

Didn't mean to bother you and I'm not the type to say I need all of what I want right now. I'm adult enough to realize you need to cater to all your fans. And I know Wrath of the Righteous had it's detractors ubt hey I really disliked Iron Gods. I just loved the Dungeon magazine method wear you managed to get to 20th level and challenge a well known great foe known in old game lore like Demogorgon. I guess I just like the idea that you might make an adventure path some time where mephistopheles or even a kyton demagogue gets his comeuppance. Sorry didn't mean to be a downer hell I'll keep my subscription even through said plotlines that bore me. I have Iron Gods after all. And have subscribed since the beginning. So don't take my statements as anything negative. Just one fans input.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Alayern wrote:
Were you involved in encouraging the approval/development of the Holy Trinity of 2016? (Inner Sea Temples, Divine Anthology, Healer's Handbook)? I'd say it's a good year to be a divine caster.

Other than my constant push to do more divine-themed stuff, I did develop Divine Anthology, and I'm pretty sure "Inner Sea Temples" was originally my idea although I came up with it YEARS ago. Just took us time to get to it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The Minis Maniac wrote:

Didn't mean to bother you and I'm not the type to say I need all of what I want right now. I'm adult enough to realize you need to cater to all your fans. And I know Wrath of the Righteous had it's detractors ubt hey I really disliked Iron Gods. I just loved the Dungeon magazine method wear you managed to get to 20th level and challenge a well known great foe known in old game lore like Demogorgon. I guess I just like the idea that you might make an adventure path some time where mephistopheles or even a kyton demagogue gets his comeuppance. Sorry didn't mean to be a downer hell I'll keep my subscription even through said plotlines that bore me. I have Iron Gods after all. And have subscribed since the beginning. So don't take my statements as anything negative. Just one fans input.

No worries! I'm just a bit reflexively thin-skinned when it comes to Mythic Adventures. I'm actually VERY proud of Wrath of the Righteous—it's a storyline I'd been aching to tell more or less from day one of Pathfinder once we decided there was a Worldwound, and it's just really soul-cripplingly frustrating and depressing that some folks have latched onto it as a failure due to the way the Mythic Rules and high-level play interacted when I put so much work into the AP to make it memorable. It just ended up being memorable for a lot of the wrong reasons, and that overshadows what I feel is one of the better storylines we've done in the line.

Ah well. Sorry if it felt like I was snapping at you, cause I wasn't. :-)

Silver Crusade

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

*offers hugs and tummy wubs to Directorsaur*


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James Jacobs wrote:
The Minis Maniac wrote:

Didn't mean to bother you and I'm not the type to say I need all of what I want right now. I'm adult enough to realize you need to cater to all your fans. And I know Wrath of the Righteous had it's detractors ubt hey I really disliked Iron Gods. I just loved the Dungeon magazine method wear you managed to get to 20th level and challenge a well known great foe known in old game lore like Demogorgon. I guess I just like the idea that you might make an adventure path some time where mephistopheles or even a kyton demagogue gets his comeuppance. Sorry didn't mean to be a downer hell I'll keep my subscription even through said plotlines that bore me. I have Iron Gods after all. And have subscribed since the beginning. So don't take my statements as anything negative. Just one fans input.

No worries! I'm just a bit reflexively thin-skinned when it comes to Mythic Adventures. I'm actually VERY proud of Wrath of the Righteous—it's a storyline I'd been aching to tell more or less from day one of Pathfinder once we decided there was a Worldwound, and it's just really soul-cripplingly frustrating and depressing that some folks have latched onto it as a failure due to the way the Mythic Rules and high-level play interacted when I put so much work into the AP to make it memorable. It just ended up being memorable for a lot of the wrong reasons, and that overshadows what I feel is one of the better storylines we've done in the line.

Ah well. Sorry if it felt like I was snapping at you, cause I wasn't. :-)

No worries I am a fan who has full support for the staff. I really couldn't do what you guys do. I couldn't go through the constant criticism with the positive attitude you guys and gals manage. I love pathfinder and am a full supporter, and as someone who has a slight idea on the economics of a gaming company there is a reason I buy products even I'm not a huge fan of them. The more money the company gets the more you guys are able to eventually produce the stuff I do like. I may be one guy but I'll always be in the staffs corner.


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Does your negative perception of how mythic and high level Pathfinder interact extend to your own personal experience adding mythic to Necropolis? Or is the problem a combination of high mythic and high level?

I ask as someone entertaining the possibility of running Necropolis if the module/adventure I'm currently GMing goes well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Belltrap wrote:

Does your negative perception of how mythic and high level Pathfinder interact extend to your own personal experience adding mythic to Necropolis? Or is the problem a combination of high mythic and high level?

I ask as someone entertaining the possibility of running Necropolis if the module/adventure I'm currently GMing goes well.

It absolutely did not. First off, I threw in Mythic into that campaign well before we had any feedback from customers regarding Wrath of the Righteous, but more to the point perhaps, I gave the party their first mythic tier at level 15 or thereabouts and their 2nd mythic tier at level 17 just before the campaign's final session. It worked quite well in that setup, actually, but also because I was willing and comfortable with adjusting encounters on the fly to keep things fun and interesting and challenging and fast-paced.

The problem is a combination of high-level AND high-tier, combined with a GM style that doesn't allow for fast on-the-fly adjustment to account for unexpected player character power levels.


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What are typical tactics when two devout, Chelish Asmodeans get into a political knife fight? What are the "gotchas" they can throw at an opponent who's staunchly Lawful and not guilty of any obvious heresies? (E.g. nothing blatant enough to cause a divine spell caster to lose her spell-casting ability.)


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
No worries! I'm just a bit reflexively thin-skinned when it comes to Mythic Adventures. I'm actually VERY proud of Wrath of the Righteous—it's a storyline I'd been aching to tell more or less from day one of Pathfinder once we decided there was a Worldwound, and it's just really soul-cripplingly frustrating and depressing that some folks have latched onto it as a failure due to the way the Mythic Rules and high-level play interacted when I put so much work into the AP to make it memorable. It just ended up being memorable for a lot of the wrong reasons, and that overshadows what I feel is one of the better storylines we've done in the line.

Wrath of the Righteous is one of my all-time favorite storylines - it was absolutely brilliant!

We haven't actually run it yet since complicated rules aren't our forte (so we're a bit scared by the complexity of mythic rules). But I can predict that when we do, it's going to rival CotCT (our current favorite) for 'best of all time'. My players love getting cool abilities and I have one in particular who can't wait to go head-to-head with some truly epic villains.

As a fan, it was hard to respond to the vocal critics on mechanical grounds (I just don't have the knowledge or energy to argue the points as exhaustively as the 'anti' crowd seemed to want to). But for what it's worth, I'd dearly love to see more mythic stories - perhaps in the module line it might be worth another experiment.

It may be years before I actually run such a module, but I'd very much like to read it. WotR was one of the best reads of all the APs, in my opinion.

Sorry for not including a question but I really, really liked the fact that paizo thought laterally when it came to expanding the game's power level rather than just repeating 3.5's Epic rules approach. It was very disappointing to watch the criticism rapidly devolve from constructive to vitriolic - especially given there was so much to love in both mythic rules and the AP!


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So something interesting happened in one of our play sessions recently.

The area the party is investigating has a creature using control weather to make a snowstorm. The druid in the party (it's always the druid isn't it?) used control weather to try and get rid of the snowstorm.

Uh, so what happens when 2 spells that do the same thing come up against each other? And I don't mean just this example. What do you do when 2 different spell casters are both trying to control something with the same spell? Caster level check? Or does control weather, by it's wording, remove the last casting of control weather and replace it?

Also, is it possible to dispel a control weather spell? And if so, how would one do so? Do you simply need to cast dispel within the area of control weather?

Thoughts?


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

I still maintain that Wrath of the Righteous, rather than any sort of theoretical Starstone module, is the go-to for "so you want to become a god?" adventuring in Pathfinder.

On that note-

The core pathfinder pantheon lacks a lunar deity*- was this a conscious decision, or just something that no deity as planned needed to stick a flag in?

Any "gaps" in the core pantheon that were consciously chosen, deity types/concepts that were explicitly either left vacant or avoided for conceptual purposes?

*Obviously, the Azlanti and Tien pantheons had/have that spot covered, but, you know.

Grand Lodge

Which do you think the Upsidedown from Stranger Things is closer to, the Ethereal Plane or the Shadow Plane?


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James Jacobs wrote:
The Minis Maniac wrote:

Didn't mean to bother you and I'm not the type to say I need all of what I want right now. I'm adult enough to realize you need to cater to all your fans. And I know Wrath of the Righteous had it's detractors ubt hey I really disliked Iron Gods. I just loved the Dungeon magazine method wear you managed to get to 20th level and challenge a well known great foe known in old game lore like Demogorgon. I guess I just like the idea that you might make an adventure path some time where mephistopheles or even a kyton demagogue gets his comeuppance. Sorry didn't mean to be a downer hell I'll keep my subscription even through said plotlines that bore me. I have Iron Gods after all. And have subscribed since the beginning. So don't take my statements as anything negative. Just one fans input.

No worries! I'm just a bit reflexively thin-skinned when it comes to Mythic Adventures. I'm actually VERY proud of Wrath of the Righteous—it's a storyline I'd been aching to tell more or less from day one of Pathfinder once we decided there was a Worldwound, and it's just really soul-cripplingly frustrating and depressing that some folks have latched onto it as a failure due to the way the Mythic Rules and high-level play interacted when I put so much work into the AP to make it memorable. It just ended up being memorable for a lot of the wrong reasons, and that overshadows what I feel is one of the better storylines we've done in the line.

Ah well. Sorry if it felt like I was snapping at you, cause I wasn't. :-)

If it makes you feel better JJ, WotR is my favorite AP. My group just started Demon's Heresy, my Nocticulan Heretic just scryed Arueshalae's location and would be on her way to rescue her if not for the fact that her adoptive mother, Ayavah, just showed up having renounced their Cult of the Redeemer Queen for my PC who just took divine source.

I can't wait to meet a certain demon lord. Oh, and I have Touched by Divinity (Nocticula) so that's going to be a fun encounter.

Sure, mythic isn't really all that well balanced, but that just means more work for the GM to amp up the power of the real enemies!

Contributor

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James Jacobs wrote:
FallenDabus wrote:
James, is there any chance we'll be seeing other types of demigods that we don't have stats for yet like the asuras, psychopomps, kytons, and aeons in Bestiary 6? And were guys able to tap Todd Stewart to write the Horsemen entries?

There will be other demigods in the book, yes, but no asuras, psychopomps, kytons, or aeons.

Todd is indeed designing the Horsemen.

Yay! Now that James has spoiled that, I can be open about it. :D


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Hello James

I hope you are well

All the recent talk of high CR statblocks and Mythic play have sparked a couple of questions in my mind. I apologize if some of this should be common knowledge:

1) Why did Paizo decide to not make high level play with levels above 20th?

2) Without access to Mythic powers can a party of 4 level 20 characters win against CRs 28+? I haven't tried it but an encounter of "epic" difficulty seems to be 6 CR higher than average party level.

3) What do you enjoy about designing statblocks in the late 20'ies range?

4) If I were to run a Wrath of the Righteous campaign, would you then recommend to reduce the amount of Mythic Tiers, or play as is?

Cheers


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I have some questions about Aroden.

1. In this page you said that Aroden's domains are Community, Knowledge, Law, Nobility, Protection. But Song of Silver said that his domains are Community, Glory, Knowledge, Law, Protection. Which is correct?
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=513?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Qu estions-Here#25647

2. You said that Glory is not really on-model for him. Why not? He was the personification of the glory of humanity, and he was to usher the Age of Glory. The Glory domain seems very on-model for him to me.

3. Golarion has lots of high level characters who can cast Commune. Why didn't they cast Commune to ask their gods why and how and by whom Aroden died? So I made two speculations. First, the gods know the truth aout Aroden's death, but for some reason, they don't want to share the truth with the mortals. Second, even the gods don't know why or how or by whom Aroden died, but because they don't want to acknowledge their ignorance, they chose not to answer the questions about Aroden's death at all. Third, the gods know the truth, and they told their worshippers that the truth is not meant to be revealed to the mortlas. Which is correct?

4. Why these high level characters didn't just resurrect Aroden? Although his clerics lost all power, his friendly gods, like Iomedae, has ample clerics who can and is willing to cast True Resurrection! Even if other gods' clerics didn't help, a high level wizard worshipper of Aroden can still cast two wishes(one for making his body, one for resurrecting him)! Why ddidn't they? Was that because Pharasma judged Aroden so quickly that when mortals found out Aroden is dead, it was too late to resurrect him?

5. In this page you said Aroden didn't take the test of Staststone.
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=434?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Qu estions-Here#21681

Does that mean:
1)Was he already mythic long before he raised the Isle of Kortos?
2)Was it the act of raising the Isle that made him a deity? In other words, after Kortos was lifted, Aroden became a Deity immediately?
3)What's so special about raising an island? SUrely it is awesome, but is that that special? I htink defeating a devasting demon lord is more suitable deed to become a god. Was that because there was Starstone on Kortos? In other words, if there was no Starstone on Kortos, Aroden's act of raising the island wouldn't made him a god?

6. How can Aroden raise an entire island? Even if he is a wizard 20/Archmage 10, even with mythic augmented telekinesis spell, he can only lift 750 pound, which is far lighter than the isle of Kortos. Yeah, I know a deity's power is nigh infinite, but at that time he was just a very powerful mortal wizard, so he couldn't use infinite deity power.

7. Pharasma's clerics went mad because Pharasma didn't tell them Aroden would die. I don't understand. From when Pharasma's clerics cared that much about Aroden? Why a lesser(comparing to Pharasma) god's death would make them mad?

8. When Aroden Killed the mortal Tar-Baphon, in 896 AR, he was a demigod, right? And when Tar-Baphon returned as an undead, Aroden already became a deity, right?

9. Even the Whispering Tyrant couldn't call Aroden out from his seclusion in the Great Beyond. But once Deskari started terrorizing Sarkoris, Aroden returned to personally drive the demon lord into the Lake of Mists and Veils. I don't understand. Tar-Baphon(CR 30) is more threatning than Deakari(CR 29). Why did Aroden personally deal with Deskari, but neglected Tar-Baphon enirely?

10. Deities cannot directly interfere with the Material Plane. But Aroden was to rule Cheliax as a god-king and usher the Age of Glory. Even Ydersius ruled the serpentfolks directly on the Material Plane in the Age of Serpents. Why did other gods said something with them? Ruling worshippers on material plane as a god-king seems a very direct interference to me. Did they allow it? Or did they not allow it, and they prepared to warn Aroden to stop his becoming-god-king-and-rule-the-world-directly plan?

11. Song of Silver said that "Chelish fanatics turned with increasing zeal to the ancient Starfall Doctrine, identifying the capital city of Westcrown as the likeliest place for Aroden's return to usher in the prophesied Age of glory, which was to begin in 4606 AR." Does that mean the belief that Aroden will return in 4606 AR at Westcrown and will rule the humanity may be a misunderstanding of the Starfall Doctrine? Just a wrong interpretation by the fanatics?

12. The book also said that, "By the time devil-worshippers finally quelled the fighting and took control of the empire, Aroden was well and truly slain, his clergy left powerless and confused." The book definitely said 'slain', not 'dead'. Does that confirm the hypothesis that Aroden was killed by other entity, not just died accidently or voluntarily?

13. Was Aroden truly the last Azlanti prophesied in the Starfall Doctrine?


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1)Will B6 have any non-outsider demi-gods?

2)Is it safe to assume there will be no new Kaiju in B6?

3)Will B6 have any proteans, inevitables, kami, and/or aeons?

4)Will B6 have any azura, oni, qlippoth, and/or rakshasa?

5)Will B6 have any celestials(CR bellow 26)?

6)Is Krampus a fey, outsider, or other?

7)When will we find out what the new true dragon group will be called?

8)Will B6 have a decent number of elementals like B5 did?

9)Any chance of seeing the Cheshire Cat, nekomata, or bakeneko?

10)So what turn of events made it so you are the one putting a bestiary together?


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How literal is Shizuru's "Empress of Heaven" title? Is it just a nice title based on her interests, or is she, y'know, actually kind of ruling the place and guiding the Stewards? Or behaving as an actual empress within her deific realm, but not so much the rest of Heaven?

(Thanks for being so willing to answer all of these questions, by the way!)


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1)Any chance of seeing old school monsters like the Ravid, Digester, Arrowhawk, etc. in B6?

2)Are you still choosing monsters from APs(and other products) for B6?

3)If yes to question #2 then will we get any from Jade Regent, Kingmaker, and/or Skull and Shackles?

4)Will there be any alien, psychic, and/or Sci-fi types monsters in B6?

5)Will we see any robots in B6?

6)Will there be any new outsider group(s) in B6?

7)Remind me how monsters were chosen in past bestiaries, wasn't there some kind of voting system?

8)Any new types of giant vermin(especially roaches)?

9)Will there be any CR25+ fey?

10)If there is any reprints from APs, then wich AP is the cut off point of selected APs?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Which demigods are you statting (or already statted) out for Bestiary 6? (Charon and Mephistopheles are among the ones announced so far; I don't know if you speak about any beyond that?)

Also, yay for more demigods.

Bestiary 6 will have more demigods inside its covers than any other single book we've ever published. Beyond the two I've mentioned, it should come as no surprise we're not stopping at just those two—we're presenting stats for all 8 Archdevils (the 9th being Asmodeus and, at deity level, no stats work for him) and all 4 Horsemen.

There's more, though. Some will be demigods people have heard a lot about. Some will be brand new ones. Now's not the time to reveal that much more information though. Stay tuned, though!

Question: Do you think a party of 20th level adventurers can defeat some of these CR 30 demigods? is Bestiary 6 designed with that in mind, or would you recommend a GM to strongly hint/hook players at acquiring allies (armies and other high level NPCs) before heading out to battle such baddies? Thank you.


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1)Will there be more 0HD races in B6 then the ones mentioned in the B6 description? Will this number be more or less then 10?

2)Will there be any new simple templates or a reprint of the ones in the monster summoner's handbook?

3)Why a march release for B6? Does it have anything to do with the Starfinder Bestiary?

4)Does this mean that the Encounter Codex has been pushed back?

5)Is there a limit on how many hardcover bestiaries you guys will plan on doing?

6)Any chance of seeing a hardcover bestiary that is nothing but reprints from APs, campaign setting books, etc.?

7)Any chance that B6 will have any of the Hive(new or old)?

8)Any chance that we will see another hardcover campaign setting book in the next couple of years?

9)Can you give any info about the two-headed dragons that are mentioned in the b6 description?

10)See any movies lately? If so what did you think?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Chris Hallquist wrote:
What are typical tactics when two devout, Chelish Asmodeans get into a political knife fight? What are the "gotchas" they can throw at an opponent who's staunchly Lawful and not guilty of any obvious heresies? (E.g. nothing blatant enough to cause a divine spell caster to lose her spell-casting ability.)

They'd vary, but it would likely fall into pedantry, strawman traps, baiting, and citing of old written works by both sides.

Kind of like a fiery internet argument. :-P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AramilNuren wrote:

So something interesting happened in one of our play sessions recently.

The area the party is investigating has a creature using control weather to make a snowstorm. The druid in the party (it's always the druid isn't it?) used control weather to try and get rid of the snowstorm.

Uh, so what happens when 2 spells that do the same thing come up against each other? And I don't mean just this example. What do you do when 2 different spell casters are both trying to control something with the same spell? Caster level check? Or does control weather, by it's wording, remove the last casting of control weather and replace it?

Also, is it possible to dispel a control weather spell? And if so, how would one do so? Do you simply need to cast dispel within the area of control weather?

Thoughts?

In a few cases, the rules are explicit about how spells interact like this. Light and darkness spells, for example, or consecrate vs. desecrate.

In other cases, it's generally the best bet to say that the most recently cast spell is the one whose effect takes place. In your case, the druid casts control weather and it should function normally... but the creature that uses control weather to manipulate things should more or less notice swiftly and use control weather again to change things back. Which is a great way for the party to learn that there is indeed something actively manipulating the weather as a reward for them being able to do the same.

Control weather has a duration and is a spell, and as such it's absolutely possible to affect it with dispel magic. Provided you can cast the dispel magic into the area affected by control weather.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:

I still maintain that Wrath of the Righteous, rather than any sort of theoretical Starstone module, is the go-to for "so you want to become a god?" adventuring in Pathfinder.

On that note-

The core pathfinder pantheon lacks a lunar deity*- was this a conscious decision, or just something that no deity as planned needed to stick a flag in?

Any "gaps" in the core pantheon that were consciously chosen, deity types/concepts that were explicitly either left vacant or avoided for conceptual purposes?

*Obviously, the Azlanti and Tien pantheons had/have that spot covered, but, you know.

It was a conscious decision, and one that sort of bothers me, frankly. Desna is the obvious choice to be a moon deity, in any event.

As for WHY there's no Moon deity?

Spoiler:
That's simple; because 3.5 D&D didn't have a Moon Domain in the SRD.

When we first started working on Golarion, we used the 3.5 rules, and didn't have a way or a method to introduce new class elements easily. So when it came to picking domains for our core 20 deities, we were limited to the domains that were available to us in the SRD—and there's no Moon domain in there. There IS a Moon Domain in D&D, but it was introduced in the Forgotten Realms rulebook and was never put into the SRD, so we didn't have access to it. So as a result, Desna didn't get the Moon domain and we didn't get a moon deity in the setting.

When we updated to Pathfinder from 3.5, we didn't want to change any deity domains because they were already established. Desna, in particular, was one of the deities we'd already done quite a lot with, and we wanted to preserve that so that, in world, the switch from 3.5 to Pathfinder would be 100% invisible. Furthermore, we simply didn't have any ROOM to add even 1 more domain to that book.

By the time we got around to Azlant and Tian-Xia deities, Pathfinder was firmly standing on its own two feet AND we'd come up with the idea of subdomains, so a Moon domain and thus a moon deity was plausable for that reason.

And that also helped us explain why there's no moon deity in modern Golarion's core 20—the previous moon deity got killed during Earthfall, and no one's stepped into the vacancy.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Therrux wrote:
Which do you think the Upsidedown from Stranger Things is closer to, the Ethereal Plane or the Shadow Plane?

No contest. Shadow Plane.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Snowsarn wrote:

Hello James

I hope you are well

All the recent talk of high CR statblocks and Mythic play have sparked a couple of questions in my mind. I apologize if some of this should be common knowledge:

1) Why did Paizo decide to not make high level play with levels above 20th?

2) Without access to Mythic powers can a party of 4 level 20 characters win against CRs 28+? I haven't tried it but an encounter of "epic" difficulty seems to be 6 CR higher than average party level.

3) What do you enjoy about designing statblocks in the late 20'ies range?

4) If I were to run a Wrath of the Righteous campaign, would you then recommend to reduce the amount of Mythic Tiers, or play as is?

Cheers

1) Because the math for things like saving throws, attack rolls, and the like breaks down increasingly fast after 20th level. And because a game is stronger when you have a level cap and thus understand the framework in which you can design content for the game.

Spoiler:
When Epic Level Handbook came out for D&D, they essentially removed level caps entirely, which had a terrible side effect. WotC couldn't reliably design "boss monsters" anymore. It's VERY cool to be able to put things like, say, Demogorgon into a game to serve as a super tough foe—it's been a tradition since the very earliest incarnation of the game, after all. But unless you know the maximum power level a PC can hit, you can't design a Demogorgon to serve as that type of creature. Set its CR at 30, and players will scoff at it being a wimp because Epic Level Handbook lets them level up to level 40. Set its CR at 60, and players will scoff because they can hit level 61, but more to the point RELATIVELY FEW players will ever get close to 20th level so now you've got a CR 60 Demogorgon that only works for a tiny slice of the world's player base.

With a level cap, in this case 20, we can build things that can serve that role, like the tarrasque, as a CR 25 creature. With mythic, we anticipated CR 30 would cover it, but as it played out, CR 35 or CR 40 might have been a better goal...

2) You don't need to fight a monster as-is in an adventure. Those stats can serve merely as entertainment to be read, first and foremost. But they can also serve other ways that aren't just fights against PCs. We cover this a little bit in the "Demon Lords in a Campaign" section in Bestiary 4, page 45.

For an example of how this could all play out in play, check out the last few adventures in the Dungeon Adventures Adventure Path, Savage Tide...

Spoiler:
In that AP, Demogorgon is the main bad guy and the foe you're supposed to fight at the very end, but you can only hit 20th or MAYBE 21st level in that adventure path, and Demogorgon, as statted up in that game, is a CR 33 foe. How that works in Savage Tide is that for the last few adventures in that campaign, the whole metaplot is to prepare yourselves with potent allies and magic, and to whittle away at Demogorgon's power. By recruiting Demogorgon's enemies to aid you, you weaken him. By slaying some of his most powerful minions and a few aspects and avatars, you weaken him. And so forth and so on; these are all goals spread out through the last few adventures. If you ignore those sub-quests, when you confront Demogorgon at the end, you face his full CR 33 version. But the more of those side-quests you accomplish in the build up, the weaker he gets, so that in the final confrontation his stat block is reduced sequentualy by applying negative levels, lowering his AC, and removing an increasing number of his powers and abilities. You still need his full-powered CR 33 stats in order to calculate those effects, though, and you still need those stats in the unfortunate case of the PCs missing quests or foolishly confronting him with a "jump to the end scry-and-fry" type tactic.

That all said, high level PCs are capable of a HUGE number of stunts, both offensive and defensive. Never underestimate what a 20th level party of characters played by a group of skilled players who have honed those skills with those specific characters over the course of many many sessions of play can do to a monster!

3) I enjoy the fact that I get to stretch my creativity when it comes to powers, and I enjoy statting up memorable and recognizable creatures, and I enjoy the challenge of working with the complexities of the rules. And as a GM, these "end boss" creatures are kind of the closest things you have to your OWN characters in a game, so the same sort of thing that appeals to a player designing his/her player character is what appeals to me in designing a powerful, recognizable, significant creature or character in a game setting.

4) I would recommend reducing the Mythic Tiers you give out to 1 per adventure. The PCs should earn a new tier each time you finish an AP installment. If things start feeling scary or tough, you can adjust on the fly either by giving them another tier or by softening the stats.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:

I still maintain that Wrath of the Righteous, rather than any sort of theoretical Starstone module, is the go-to for "so you want to become a god?" adventuring in Pathfinder.

On that note-

The core pathfinder pantheon lacks a lunar deity*- was this a conscious decision, or just something that no deity as planned needed to stick a flag in?

Any "gaps" in the core pantheon that were consciously chosen, deity types/concepts that were explicitly either left vacant or avoided for conceptual purposes?

*Obviously, the Azlanti and Tien pantheons had/have that spot covered, but, you know.

It was a conscious decision, and one that sort of bothers me, frankly. Desna is the obvious choice to be a moon deity, in any event.

As for WHY there's no Moon deity?

** spoiler omitted **...

ACAVNA! Never Forget!

Silver Crusade

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Speaking of Acavna, who came up with her and her story?

She's my favourite deity and person Pathfinder has put out ^w^

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Wrote a wall of text...

HOLY WALL OF TEXT!

Fortunately, since you're asking about Aroden, most of my answers will be vague, since A) Aroden is intended to be shrouded in mystery and B) Aroden is very much Erik Mona's creation, and if he hasn't revealed something about him in the article he wrote in Pathfinder #100 (which I have NOT read, and thus have no insights into), then he likely DIDN'T want to reveal that thing.

Also... the sheer size of your post makes answering the questions painfully awkward on this site, since I have to scroll back and forth through windows to reference them. Please, in the future, keep your questions short. If you're going to ask a list, do so with single sentences and don't go above 10. If you have more than that or your questions each start ballooning... make separate posts for each.

Spoiler:
1) What's in print is correct; what's mentioned on the boards here is often just a spur of the moment opinion and/or idle thought, which is why I generally try to avoid doing design work on the boards.

2) Glory's domain has a lot of good-aligned stuff in it, and Aroden is not a good aligned god. Therefore, Glory isn't something I would have given him; obviously, Erik disagreed. I agree that being about "the glory of humanity" suggests a domain named "glory" would make sense... but since there's so much good spell in Glory, it doesn't make sense that a lawful neutral deity would actually want his worshipers casting those spells.

3) They did and do, and the results of the communes of "How did Aroden die" are always met with lies or, most often, "I don't know." Commune doesn't force a god to answer, and if a god does answer it doesn't have to tell you the truth or what you want to hear. And Golarion's gods are NOT omniscient, and for most of them, how Aroden died is a mystery. And the fact that he DID die makes others nervous, and if they DO know, they don't want that information to spread, since that could potentially come back and threaten them. Eventually, likely within a few years of the event, clerics and spellcasters got the idea and just stopped asking.

4) Gods can't be resurrected in that way. Not the least because they don't have stats, and thus can't really be affected by rules. And as for why other gods haven't resurrected him? That's a deliberate mystery, as much as is what killed him in the first place.

5) Aroden was indeed mythic; my take is that when he raised up the starstone and the isle, he became tier 1 mythic then. He could have become mythic earlier or later; we don't really pin that info down. As for what's special about raising an island? What's NOT special about causing a huge mass of land to rise up from the sea? What's NOT special about reshaping the geography of a planet on your own so quickly. No one in this world can do it. I would say being able to instantly heal a wound with a touch is INCREDIBLY special, but that's just a 1st level divine spell (cure light wounds). Raising an entire island in the way Aroden did is beyond even the power of a wish, so yeah... What's special about it? Pretty much everything.

6) It's a mystery how he raised the island. He's not a PC, and as such he doesn't have to follow the rules. Furthermore, if the method to raise an island like that was something that others could do... it would have happened more than once in the past several thousand years.

7) SOME of Pharasma's clerics went mad, not all. We explore this a bit in "Beyond the Doomsday Door" in Pathfinder #66.

8) Again, we haven't nailed down precisely when Aroden, in his several-thousand-year-existance, went from human to quasi-deity to demigod to deity.

9) Tar-baphon is not CR 30. We statted him up in Mythic Realms. His current CR is 26, and that's the highest it's ever been, so it's pretty likely that it was lower than CR 26 when he first confronted Aroden. Tar-baphon is not a demigod either. Deskari is.

10) The "Deities don't directly interfere" with mortals bit is a rule, but rules get broken often. Deities CAN meddle directly if they so wish; it's not an impossibility. It's just something deities generally understand that they shouldn't do, because it's disruptive to reality. You've cited several examples of when that rule was broken. I'll note that in the case of Aroden AND Ydersius meddling directly... it didn't end up working out particularly well for them in the end, did it?

11) It's unclear.

12) How specific words are interpreted are left to the reader. I'm not gonna confirm anything.

13) Maybe. Maybe not.


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James Jacobs wrote:
It was a conscious decision, and one that sort of bothers me, frankly. Desna is the obvious choice to be a moon deity, in any event.

Any other gaps in the lineup for similar reasons?

For that matter, are there any deific concepts you chose not to use for stylistic reasons? For example, there's no "god of fire" in the core 20, which I actually quite appreciated, since it's a fairly well-worn fantasy trope.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Will B6 have any non-outsider demi-gods?

2)Is it safe to assume there will be no new Kaiju in B6?

3)Will B6 have any proteans, inevitables, kami, and/or aeons?

4)Will B6 have any azura, oni, qlippoth, and/or rakshasa?

5)Will B6 have any celestials(CR bellow 26)?

6)Is Krampus a fey, outsider, or other?

7)When will we find out what the new true dragon group will be called?

8)Will B6 have a decent number of elementals like B5 did?

9)Any chance of seeing the Cheshire Cat, nekomata, or bakeneko?

10)So what turn of events made it so you are the one putting a bestiary together?

1) Yes.

2) No.

3) New proteans. No inevitables, kami, or aeons.

4) New qlippoth. No new azuras, onis, or rakshasas.

5) Yes.

6) Stay tuned! (I don't want to spoil all the surprises at once!)

7) Dunno. At some point between today and next spring, I guess.

8) No.

9) One of those will be in there.

10) Stuff.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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GM Rednal wrote:

How literal is Shizuru's "Empress of Heaven" title? Is it just a nice title based on her interests, or is she, y'know, actually kind of ruling the place and guiding the Stewards? Or behaving as an actual empress within her deific realm, but not so much the rest of Heaven?

(Thanks for being so willing to answer all of these questions, by the way!)

Not literal. She doesn't rule Heaven.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Any chance of seeing old school monsters like the Ravid, Digester, Arrowhawk, etc. in B6?

2)Are you still choosing monsters from APs(and other products) for B6?

3)If yes to question #2 then will we get any from Jade Regent, Kingmaker, and/or Skull and Shackles?

4)Will there be any alien, psychic, and/or Sci-fi types monsters in B6?

5)Will we see any robots in B6?

6)Will there be any new outsider group(s) in B6?

7)Remind me how monsters were chosen in past bestiaries, wasn't there some kind of voting system?

8)Any new types of giant vermin(especially roaches)?

9)Will there be any CR25+ fey?

10)If there is any reprints from APs, then wich AP is the cut off point of selected APs?

1) There will be a few old-school monsters, but not the ones you mention. To me, the ravid, digester, and arrowhawk are NOT old-school at all (they won't be in B6).

2) Nope; I finished choosing the monster lineup during Gen Con.

3) I'm picking up monsters from across the board in the AP line, from Second Darkness to Hell's Vengeance.

4) Some, yes, but not a lot.

5) No.

6) Sort of, but not really.

7) For many of the bestiaries we had a meeting where the editorial group (editors, developers, and designers, along with their managers) had a big brainstorm where we threw out names of monsters we wanted to see in the book and wrote them on the whiteboard. The person in charge of the book then took that list and picked the ones he wanted in the book, discarded the ones that didn't fit or didn't make sense or were just bad ideas, and then filled up the rest with other necessary monsters. That's how this book went as well, although the fact that this meeting happened in the days leading up to Gen Con meant that the brainstorm meeting was smaller than for previous ones... but everyone had a chance to submit monsters via email to me so no one got left out. Then, in the end, I took all those monsters and made the list, with a heavy dose of my own preferences, influenced by what folks have been asking for or are interested in, be it via recent posts on our boards or via my own experience working in the industry for 17 years.

8) Yes (Roaches were in the first draft, but I cut them due to the cruelties of the alphabet).

9) No.

10) Yes. See #3 above.

BONUS: Although Bestiary 6 is already about 1/4 developed and the monster list is set, a lot can happen between now and print. Usually, there's at least one monster we end up cutting because it doesn't work or the art is wrong or whatever and then we replace it with a last-minute pickup monster, so anything I say about Bestiary 6 here is not legally binding and subject to change at any point.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Which demigods are you statting (or already statted) out for Bestiary 6? (Charon and Mephistopheles are among the ones announced so far; I don't know if you speak about any beyond that?)

Also, yay for more demigods.

Bestiary 6 will have more demigods inside its covers than any other single book we've ever published. Beyond the two I've mentioned, it should come as no surprise we're not stopping at just those two—we're presenting stats for all 8 Archdevils (the 9th being Asmodeus and, at deity level, no stats work for him) and all 4 Horsemen.

There's more, though. Some will be demigods people have heard a lot about. Some will be brand new ones. Now's not the time to reveal that much more information though. Stay tuned, though!

Question: Do you think a party of 20th level adventurers can defeat some of these CR 30 demigods? is Bestiary 6 designed with that in mind, or would you recommend a GM to strongly hint/hook players at acquiring allies (armies and other high level NPCs) before heading out to battle such baddies? Thank you.

A party of 20th level characters absolutely could, particularly if the adventures leading up to that conflict were specifically designed for that plot. Again, as I mentioned upthread, that was PRECISELY the plot of the last few adventures of Savage Tide.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Belltrap wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
3. Golarion has lots of high level characters who can cast Commune. Why didn't they cast Commune to ask their gods why and how and by whom Aroden died?
It's worth noting that you can only ask yes or no questions with Commune. If a yes or no (or "unclear") would be misleading a cleric might get a simple response, but the question itself must still be structured as a yes or no question, instead of how, why, or by whom.

"In cases where a one-word answer would be misleading or contrary to the deity's interests, a short phrase may be given as an answer instead."

AKA: A deity gets to answer to a commune spell however it wants. It prefers yes/no questions though.

In any event, let's keep this thread to questions for me. They don't need to be yes/no questions.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Will there be more 0HD races in B6 then the ones mentioned in the B6 description? Will this number be more or less then 10?

2)Will there be any new simple templates or a reprint of the ones in the monster summoner's handbook?

3)Why a march release for B6? Does it have anything to do with the Starfinder Bestiary?

4)Does this mean that the Encounter Codex has been pushed back?

5)Is there a limit on how many hardcover bestiaries you guys will plan on doing?

6)Any chance of seeing a hardcover bestiary that is nothing but reprints from APs, campaign setting books, etc.?

7)Any chance that B6 will have any of the Hive(new or old)?

8)Any chance that we will see another hardcover campaign setting book in the next couple of years?

9)Can you give any info about the two-headed dragons that are mentioned in the b6 description?

10)See any movies lately? If so what did you think?

1) As it currently stands, all the 0-HD races in B6 are mentioned int he description. Less than 10, in other words.

2) Unknown at this time, but there might be one or two simple templates that haven't been in a hardcover. No reprints from Monster Summoner's Handbook.

3) Has nothing to do with the Starfinder Bestiary, and everything to do with me having the time to work on a book right now and no one else having the time to work on a Spring RPG release and my skillsets and personal interests for RPG book creation fitting a bestiary best.

4) Answering that question is above my pay grade.

5) As soon as we publish a bestiary that no one buys we'll probably stop, I guess.

6) No, because we are opposed to that philosophy; we want ALL buyers of a Bestiary to have the delight of finding something new inside.

7) No.

8) I certainly hope so!

9) They have two heads. With the exception of the tarn linnorm (which is a linnorm first and dragon second), we've never actually done a two-headed dragon, so the time is NOW.

10) Best movie I saw lately was "Hell or High Water." I'm looking forward to seeing "Don't Breathe" tomorrow. And finally started watching "Ash Vs. Evil Dead" and LOOOOOVE it!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:

Speaking of Acavna, who came up with her and her story?

She's my favourite deity and person Pathfinder has put out ^w^

Yay!

I came up with her and her basic story, but several others who I've lost count of have expanded her lore here and there since then (as is pretty much the case for all of it these days).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It was a conscious decision, and one that sort of bothers me, frankly. Desna is the obvious choice to be a moon deity, in any event.

Any other gaps in the lineup for similar reasons?

For that matter, are there any deific concepts you chose not to use for stylistic reasons? For example, there's no "god of fire" in the core 20, which I actually quite appreciated, since it's a fairly well-worn fantasy trope.

No gaps, nope. And once we decided to limit the number to 20 deities, that meant that all the other deity concepts couldn't be used for the core. Look to the hundreds of other deities and demigods we've included since then for examples of what we didn't include in the core, I guess.

Silver Crusade

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James Jacobs wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Speaking of Acavna, who came up with her and her story?

She's my favourite deity and person Pathfinder has put out ^w^

Yay!

I came up with her and her basic story, but several others who I've lost count of have expanded her lore here and there since then (as is pretty much the case for all of it these days).

Well Thankies to you and the others that wrote her.

While it's not likely I would absolutely love to see a deity article for her.


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YUS.

Oh, wait. Question. Right. Uh... "Yes? Please?"

:D


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Hello James! It seems you are more willing to answer questions about Bestiary 6 than I would have assumed, so I guess I'll try my hand at it:
Will there be any new psychopomps in B6?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Acolyte of Mushu wrote:

Hello James! It seems you are more willing to answer questions about Bestiary 6 than I would have assumed, so I guess I'll try my hand at it:

Will there be any new psychopomps in B6?

Yes.

Grand Lodge

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James Jacobs wrote:
Therrux wrote:
Which do you think the Upsidedown from Stranger Things is closer to, the Ethereal Plane or the Shadow Plane?
No contest. Shadow Plane.

Does that mean that the Shadow Plane has the buildings of the material plane on it like in the Upside-down?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Hallquist wrote:
What are typical tactics when two devout, Chelish Asmodeans get into a political knife fight? What are the "gotchas" they can throw at an opponent who's staunchly Lawful and not guilty of any obvious heresies? (E.g. nothing blatant enough to cause a divine spell caster to lose her spell-casting ability.)

They'd vary, but it would likely fall into pedantry, strawman traps, baiting, and citing of old written works by both sides.

Kind of like a fiery internet argument. :-P

I'm having a hard time imagining how this works in detail, though. Especially if we're talking not about weaseling out of trouble, but ruining a political opponent? A lot of Pathfinder sourcebooks seem to give an impression of Asmodean law as oddly permissive—Empire of Devils even says "everything which is not forbidden is allowed", which is made to sound like this insidious thing but it's actually a totally normal legal principle in the real world (in common-law countries, anyway).

So are the Asmodean Disciplines full of totally random stuff like the prohibition on mint from Hell's Rebels? A fractally complicated tax code that makes everyone guilty of tax "fraud"? Convoluted official definitions of "disparaging the Church"?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Therrux wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Therrux wrote:
Which do you think the Upsidedown from Stranger Things is closer to, the Ethereal Plane or the Shadow Plane?
No contest. Shadow Plane.
Does that mean that the Shadow Plane has the buildings of the material plane on it like in the Upside-down?

Nope.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Chris Hallquist wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Hallquist wrote:
What are typical tactics when two devout, Chelish Asmodeans get into a political knife fight? What are the "gotchas" they can throw at an opponent who's staunchly Lawful and not guilty of any obvious heresies? (E.g. nothing blatant enough to cause a divine spell caster to lose her spell-casting ability.)

They'd vary, but it would likely fall into pedantry, strawman traps, baiting, and citing of old written works by both sides.

Kind of like a fiery internet argument. :-P

I'm having a hard time imagining how this works in detail, though. Especially if we're talking not about weaseling out of trouble, but ruining a political opponent? A lot of Pathfinder sourcebooks seem to give an impression of Asmodean law as oddly permissive—Empire of Devils even says "everything which is not forbidden is allowed", which is made to sound like this insidious thing but it's actually a totally normal legal principle in the real world (in common-law countries, anyway).

So are the Asmodean Disciplines full of totally random stuff like the prohibition on mint from Hell's Rebels? A fractally complicated tax code that makes everyone guilty of tax "fraud"? Convoluted official definitions of "disparaging the Church"?

Check out Hell's Rebels, Hell's Vengeance, and the Cheliax book, I suppose, for several in-world examples. But basically, the idea of Asmodeans is that they're icons of law and evil, and in such they LOVE overly complex laws with countless loopholes and variables that allow for rules-lawyering to the extreme degree.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Okay, I know you want to save some surprises, but I have to ask... Are Qlippoth Lord in B6?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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FallenDabus wrote:
Okay, I know you want to save some surprises, but I have to ask... Are Qlippoth Lord in B6?

Stay tuned!


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James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Hallquist wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Chris Hallquist wrote:
What are typical tactics when two devout, Chelish Asmodeans get into a political knife fight? What are the "gotchas" they can throw at an opponent who's staunchly Lawful and not guilty of any obvious heresies? (E.g. nothing blatant enough to cause a divine spell caster to lose her spell-casting ability.)

They'd vary, but it would likely fall into pedantry, strawman traps, baiting, and citing of old written works by both sides.

Kind of like a fiery internet argument. :-P

I'm having a hard time imagining how this works in detail, though. Especially if we're talking not about weaseling out of trouble, but ruining a political opponent? A lot of Pathfinder sourcebooks seem to give an impression of Asmodean law as oddly permissive—Empire of Devils even says "everything which is not forbidden is allowed", which is made to sound like this insidious thing but it's actually a totally normal legal principle in the real world (in common-law countries, anyway).

So are the Asmodean Disciplines full of totally random stuff like the prohibition on mint from Hell's Rebels? A fractally complicated tax code that makes everyone guilty of tax "fraud"? Convoluted official definitions of "disparaging the Church"?

Check out Hell's Rebels, Hell's Vengeance, and the Cheliax book, I suppose, for several in-world examples. But basically, the idea of Asmodeans is that they're icons of law and evil, and in such they LOVE overly complex laws with countless loopholes and variables that allow for rules-lawyering to the extreme degree.

Hell's Vengeance spoiler:

Spoiler:
Been reading through Hell's Vengeance, and I'm not really sure what's so "lawful" about some of the "Lawful Evil" characters. The strategy seems to be to commit obviously serious crimes and either (1) don't get caught (2) invent a reason why the victim deserved it out of full cloth (3) shrug and say it will serve the will of Asmodeus in the end. In one case its noted a particular character's actions will shift him from LE to NE, but even that doesn't happen consistently.

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