>>Ask *James Jacobs* ALL your Questions Here!<<


Off-Topic Discussions

64,651 to 64,700 of 77,822 << first < prev | 1289 | 1290 | 1291 | 1292 | 1293 | 1294 | 1295 | 1296 | 1297 | 1298 | 1299 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aenigma wrote:

7. What is the origin of the dopplegangers? Who created them? Aboleths? Azlanti? Thassilonians? Unrevealed? Or you didn't think about it?

8. You said devils trust and help each other. Wow, it's surprising. It seems that they are not that bad after all, right?

9. You said several times that Cheliax don't participate in the Mendevian Crusade and even want Worldwound exists as long as possible, because thanks to Worldwound, Iomedaeans have no time to invade Cheliax. But City of Locusts said that, if Deskari wins and Worldwound expands, even Cheliax will make a move and fight the demons(thought I don't remember it clearly). Does that mean the only reason that Cheliax is very eager to use Worldwound as a decoy is that it cannot directly threaten Cheliax? And if the Worldowund opened near Cheliax(maybe Molthune or Druma?), then Cheliax will think the demonic threat very seriously and do her best to fight off demons?

10. Are the Hellknights allowed to join the Mendevian Crusade? Maybe the Iomedaeans there distrust the Hellknights?

11. You said that slavery was legal in Taldor. Does that mean Taldor has vast slave markets and Roman style slavery? Or does that mean Taldor has serfdom like standard medieval nation, and has no Roman style slave markets and slavery?

12. What do Andoran think about serfdom? Do Andorens think serfdom and slavery are one and the same and should be abolished and actively ask Taldor to abolish it? Or do they think serfdom is not that bad and ignore it?

7) Unrevealed, but I can guarantee it's NOT aboleths or the Azlanti or Thassilonains. I'm 99.999% sure they were not created by another race, in fact, which is the safe assumption for pretty much all monsters unless we indicate otherwise in the text.

8) They're bad. Just because they trust each other doesn't mean YOU should trust them.

9) City of Locusts is talking about future events, not present events. The future changes things. What is correct and true for, say, Cheliax today is not going to be true tomorrow or the next day, PARTICULARLY if a significant world event occurs.

10) The whole point of the Mendevian crusade is that "We need everyone who can help to come help fight the demons," which has the unfortunate side effect of attracting a lot of folks who want to join a crusade just for the free room and board or the license to loot or because war sanctions killing and someone who's a killer can be a soldier and get their killing urge in legally. Of course, not EVERYONE who joins the crusade is evil; there's a lot who are indeed legitimately good, but the fact that there's such an eclectic mix of folks and motivations and themes among the crusaders is a core, fundamental theme of the whole thing. On one level, that's something that the demons engineered—by doing what they did, they forced a high concentration of flawed life (humans and their kind) into close proximity in a high-stress situation, which makes for ripe fertile ground for sin to spread. Even if the demons end up losing the fight in the Worldwound, the huge number of sinful souls fostered and bolstered by the stress and horror of war means that they'll have plenty of fresh souls coming their way, while at the same time the morale and hope and convictions of many one-time good-natured people will be scarred and damaged and in some cases destroyed by their experiences in the war. War does not help the human spirit, but it's a feast for demons, in other words, who revel in the destruction of the physical, the emotional, the spiritual, and the social constructions of humanity. So, long story short, there's absolutely Hellknights in the crusade, and the Iomedans probably trust the Hellknights more than the random group of mercenaries that showed up from the River Kingdoms to join the fight.

11) Nope. That means that slavery is not illegal in Taldor. It doesn't mean that Taldor's primary trade is in slaves, nor does it mean that they have extensive institutions and programs built to support slave trade. If you want those kind of markets in your game in an area that's not 100% evil, then Katapesh is probably the best place to go, I guess.

12) They hate it. One of the whole points of Andoran doing what it did is to abolish serfdom, which to most of Andoran's people is just another form of slavery.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Just your average clone wrote:
If a cleric of Seranrae dies and goes to Nirvana, (assuming they were NG) could an evil cleric feasibly plane shift to Nirvana and kill their soul? If so, what would happen to the dead cleric's soul? When you die, do you gain the outsider subtype so you cannot be brought back? If you don't gain the outsider subtype and you die, would you simply appear somewhere on the plane where you were to spend eternity?

No. Souls don't have hit points. You can't "kill" a soul. You can destroy it or trap it if you have the right attacks or spells or whatever, but you can't stab a soul.

Once someone dies and is then judged in the Boneyard, their soul goes on to their final reward/punishment. In the case you mention, the Sarenatie cleric dies, goes to the Boneyard, is judged, and then is sent on to Nirvana. At that point, the cleric is no longer a soul, nor is it a cleric. The soul becomes a petitioner—an outsider that indeed can then be killed. If a petitioner is killed, it's dead and it gets recycled into the outer planes in an analogous way in which a dead body on this world is recycled into the world via decay. Of course, in most cases, the transition of soul into petitioner reworks the personality; it's no longer the cleric and doesn't remember its living life at all, so the evil cleric killing that petitioner, while still being evil, isn't actually inflicting a second death on one person.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Aenigma wrote:

1. Are Asmodeus and Lamashtu concerned seriously about Cheliax and the Worldwound? That if the Glorious Reclamation and the Mendevian Crusade fought so well that the infernal Cheliax and the Worldwound faced very dire situations, what would they do? Would they just cackle and do nothing? Or would they order their servants to go to the Material Plane and help Cheliax and the Worldwound, even risking the Great Planar War between Good and evil?

2. What would the proper response of the archdevils, infernal dukes, and demon lords would be when Asmodeus and Lamashtu order them to go to the Material Plane and help Cheliax and Worldwound? Maybe devils would obey, but what about demons? Would they just ignore? Or would they obey?

3. What would the proper response of heaven would be? I mean, seeing that archdevils and demon lords came to the Material Plane and helping their mortal worshippers, would Iomedae order powerful outsiders and empyreal lords to go to the Matrerial Plane and help those Iomedaeans?

And other questions.

4. I have never played the Council of Thieves, and didn't quite understand the story of the adventure path even after read it. So I ask you, what the Drovenge siblings want? Are they devout worshippers of Mammon, and they want to wage an war of independence against Cheliax? Wow, if that's the case, they seem to be good guys.

5. Maybe the reason that tieflings are treated as second-class citizens in Cheliax is because the majority of Chelaxians don't worship devils at all? I mean, it seems that the majority of citizens don't worship Asmodeus at all, just paying lip service to him. And so they don't like tieflings, because they don't worship devils. In short,

1)The majority of Chelaxians worhsip non-evil gods like Iomedae or Abadar, and don't worship Asmodeus at all.

2)Those devil-worshippers surely like tieflings very much, but because the majority of Chelaxians don't worhsip evils, tieflings are treated as second-class citizens.

6. If the answer to the above question is No, and Asmodeans are truly the majority of the Chelish population, then what about this assumption? The reason that Chelaxians don't like tieflings, even though they worship Asmodeus very sincerely, is that Cheliax is full of human supremacy. Because they are proud of being human, and tieflings are not human, they think tiefling are inferior race that don't deserve respect. Am I right?

1) They are not. Their faiths are a different matter. Remember, the deities have more worlds than Golarion that have worshipers, and by and large it's their faiths that handle situations on the ground, not them. A deity getting directly involved in mortal affairs beyond the granting of spells and perhaps periodic answering of commune spells is pretty rare, and is limited to great heroes or villains or other movers and shakers when a deity sees fit to grant a vision or whatever. They are NOT like the gods in "Clash of the Titans" where they move mortals around like chess pieces on a board. That job is left to the mortals and faithful of the realm to self-govern and to continue using their free will. In large part, this exists so that the player characters themselves get to make the important decisions, rather than have the looming specter in game of "Well, the gods can just come in and fix things if we screw up so why should we even bother?" type mentality. There are exceptions to this rule, obviously, and when those exceptions occur, they become the focus of stories. When we tell stories that DON'T involve the gods directly intervening, those exceptions do not occur.

2) They wouldn't do this, first of all, since the deities try to avoid directly meddling in the affairs of mortals, including the sending of demigods into meddle in their place. See the answer to #1 above. When demigods DO meddle (as is the case of Deskari in the Worldwound) it's because they chose to meddle, not because a deity ordered it. If a deity, say, Lamashtu, were to step in and help directly, her power as a deity is enough that she could simply wipe out all of the Iomedan crusaders and even transform them all into dreteches to serve her. But then Iomedae could show up and do the exact same thing; transform all of Lamashtu's demons in the Worldwound into couatls or whatever. This process would repeat and escalate until the battleground this conflict took place in (Golarion) was destroyed or simply rendered unfit for life, and then NEITHER deity would have any worshipers or resources. So the deities don't do this. They realize that stepping in directly will just cause arms races. For example, Rovagug did this and that resulted in several other deities teaming up and defeating him and locking him away, and lots of mortals suffered in that fight as a result. This doesn't mean that at some point in the future some fed-up desperate crazy or whatever deity WON'T show up on Golarion and wreak havoc, but when and if that happens, there's nothing the players or their characters will be able to do to stop it and that's not a fun game. AKA: Deities don't do this because that ruins the game for the players. If Golarion were not a game world, but was instead a shared world for novels or movies, where there wasn't an interaction element... OR EVEN if Golarion were only a video game world where player agency can be limited and constrained, then we COULD tell stories like this if we wanted... but due to the nature of tabletop RPG, this isn't a story element that goes over well. It just engenders a GM vs. Player type mentality that isn't healthy or fun.

3) See above. These aren't stories we're interested in telling with Pathifnder.

4) The Drovenges want to rule the Council of Thieves and manipulate/rule Westcrown from the shadows and get rich and powerful. A side effect of that is to oppose the current rulers of the city, which is the Chelish government. That doesn't make them good guys.

5) The main reason tieflings are looked down upon in Cheliax is because they're biological proof of a human's fall to temptation. Thrune does not worship devils; that's the church of Asmodeus, and the church of Asmodeus is not the ruler of Cheliax. Thrune rules Cheliax, and they're ALLIED with Hell, but see Hell more as a model to aim for. Hell, they say, is super efficient at running a bureaucracy, so that makes a good template to follow when ruling a nation. Furthermore, magic exists that allows for the summoning and control of devils. To Thrune, devils are tools to be used, not things to adore or worship or (in effect) serve. Devils are the "help" and fraternizing with the "help" is below Thrune, and a mark of loss of control Tieflings are proof of such losses of control. They embarass Thrune, basically, and as a result they persecute them. From the other side, the commonfolk of Cheliax fear all things diabolic because they're evil and mean and brutal and make life in Cheliax often a literal living hell. Commonfolk generally don't grasp the subutlies of what's different between a devil and a tiefling, but they do understand that tieflings are less powerful and thus when a citizen of Cheliax is cruel to a tiefling, that makes the citizen feel more powerful and less afraid of Hell, and it also makes Thrune happy because what could be more appropriate for something you disrespect than to see something else you disrespect disrespect it in turn?


James Jacobs wrote:
Just your average clone wrote:
If a cleric of Seranrae dies and goes to Nirvana, (assuming they were NG) could an evil cleric feasibly plane shift to Nirvana and kill their soul? If so, what would happen to the dead cleric's soul? When you die, do you gain the outsider subtype so you cannot be brought back? If you don't gain the outsider subtype and you die, would you simply appear somewhere on the plane where you were to spend eternity?

No. Souls don't have hit points. You can't "kill" a soul. You can destroy it or trap it if you have the right attacks or spells or whatever, but you can't stab a soul.

Once someone dies and is then judged in the Boneyard, their soul goes on to their final reward/punishment. In the case you mention, the Sarenatie cleric dies, goes to the Boneyard, is judged, and then is sent on to Nirvana. At that point, the cleric is no longer a soul, nor is it a cleric. The soul becomes a petitioner—an outsider that indeed can then be killed. If a petitioner is killed, it's dead and it gets recycled into the outer planes in an analogous way in which a dead body on this world is recycled into the world via decay. Of course, in most cases, the transition of soul into petitioner reworks the personality; it's no longer the cleric and doesn't remember its living life at all, so the evil cleric killing that petitioner, while still being evil, isn't actually inflicting a second death on one person.

How long does it take for a soul to be judges and then become a petitioner. Spells like true resurrection have a pretty long effective time, if the person you were trying to resurrect has become a petitioner would the spell fail or would that person have the option of returning to life?


Wes Schneider's article on the River of Souls in Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh covers stuff to do with the afterlife pretty comprehensively, including covering petitioners and resurrection magic.

To keep from straying too far off topic...

Do you feel that the d20 chassis is the best equipped system to handle horror, or would you design a new rule set / use a different pre-existing rule set if Paizo ever launches an RPG line dedicated to horror the way World of Darkness is / the way Starfinder is dedicated to science fiction?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Alundrell wrote:
How long does it take for a soul to be judges and then become a petitioner. Spells like true resurrection have a pretty long effective time, if the person you were trying to resurrect has become a petitioner would the spell fail or would that person have the option of returning to life?

The length of time it takes for a soul to be judged is variable and is determined by that soul's destiny. Most souls are judged more ore less instantly from the linear time-based perspective of a still-alive observer, but if the soul is destined to become undead or be resurrected from death then the time that takes to be judged from the linear time-based perspective of a still-alive observer can vary from a few seconds to 200 years or more. (This is a direct result of the phrasing of spells like true resurrection that spell out the fact that a creature can only have been dead 10 years per caster level).

As the GM, if you decide you want an NPC to not be respectable, you can simply say that the soul's been judged regardless of the amount of time that's passed. This is what normally happens, and it's why in a world with lots of characters capable of casting things like raise dead the actual act of raising the dead is relatively rare.

Once someone's soul is judged and they become a petitioner, they cannot be resurrected by mortal magic. A wish or miracle could MAYBE restore the previous life by snuffing out the petitioner. And there can certainly be something akin to the legends of walking into Heaven/Hell/Wherever, tracking down the petitioner, and physically bringing it back to the Material Plane and applying a story-based ritual or quest or whatever to bring someone back to life, but those are adventure-based plots and not things that a player character or anyone else can do just by casting a spell.

To the soul itself, the perceived time spent traveling in the River of Souls and waiting in line in the Boneyard to be judged is variable and weird; simultaneously perceived to be no time at all and an infinite amount of time. It's so alien and impossible to comprehend to a soul that this is a big reason why those who ARE brought back to life are often unable to explain or describe what happened while they were dead.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Belltrap wrote:
Do you feel that the d20 chassis is the best equipped system to handle horror, or would you design a new rule set / use a different pre-existing rule set if Paizo ever launches an RPG line dedicated to horror the way World of Darkness is / the way Starfinder is dedicated to science fiction?

I think that the d20 chassis can indeed handle horror. Especially considering that the majority of the content I've produced for D&D and then Pathfinder over the past 30 years pretty much always has some element of horror involved somewhere in there.

Whether or not any one GM in particular has the skills to run a horror-themed game is another question entirely.

Silver Crusade

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

What was up with that waitress in the restaurant scene of Five Easy Pieces? As someone who works in customer service, that scene always make me cringe because it's like she ignores the first tenet of working any CS job: "Always attempt to accommodate the customer's needs!"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What was up with that waitress in the restaurant scene of Five Easy Pieces? As someone who works in customer service, that scene always make me cringe because it's like she ignores the first tenet of working any CS job: "Always attempt to accommodate the customer's needs!"

I have no idea what you're talking about. I've never heard of "Five Easy Pieces." I assume that the fact that you assume I know about it, this is something we've published. Off the top of my head, I'd say that what was up with the waitress is that she simply approaches life in a different way than you do, which is why every character in every fiction piece ever written who makes a choice differently than you would have in the same situation does what they do.

Grand Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What was up with that waitress in the restaurant scene of Five Easy Pieces? As someone who works in customer service, that scene always make me cringe because it's like she ignores the first tenet of working any CS job: "Always attempt to accommodate the customer's needs!"
I have no idea what you're talking about. I've never heard of "Five Easy Pieces." I assume that the fact that you assume I know about it, this is something we've published. Off the top of my head, I'd say that what was up with the waitress is that she simply approaches life in a different way than you do, which is why every character in every fiction piece ever written who makes a choice differently than you would have in the same situation does what they do.

Five Easy Pieces

Seems like he's throwing you a curveball.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Herald wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What was up with that waitress in the restaurant scene of Five Easy Pieces? As someone who works in customer service, that scene always make me cringe because it's like she ignores the first tenet of working any CS job: "Always attempt to accommodate the customer's needs!"
I have no idea what you're talking about. I've never heard of "Five Easy Pieces." I assume that the fact that you assume I know about it, this is something we've published. Off the top of my head, I'd say that what was up with the waitress is that she simply approaches life in a different way than you do, which is why every character in every fiction piece ever written who makes a choice differently than you would have in the same situation does what they do.

Five Easy Pieces

Seems like he's throwing you a curveball.

Huh. Still never heard of it. But I stand by my response nonetheless.

Liberty's Edge

James,
Was the imprisonment of Rovagug the act that ascended Sarenrae to full godhood?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Paladinosaur wrote:

James,

Was the imprisonment of Rovagug the act that ascended Sarenrae to full godhood?

Nope. She was a full-on deity long before that.


James Jacobs wrote:
. At that point, the cleric is no longer a soul, nor is it a cleric. The soul becomes a petitioner—an outsider that indeed can then be killed. If a petitioner is killed, it's dead and it gets recycled into the outer planes in an analogous way in which a dead body on this world is recycled into the world via decay. Of course, in most cases, the transition of soul into petitioner reworks the personality; it's no longer the cleric and doesn't remember its living life at all, so the evil cleric killing that petitioner, while still being evil, isn't actually inflicting a second death on one person.

What was the reasoning for this? I think I heard some similar things back in 2E, but MAN I always hated that concept... This concept that everything you had done was wiped away and left a blank slate? It just takes so much of the 'final reward' of seeing loved ones or recounting your tales of heroism in Valhalla and just replaces it with... nothing.

On a separate note, How does the 'Speak with Dead' spell work then? Is it only communicating with people who haven't been judged yet? Or does it somehow spark some memories in the petitioners?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
phantom1592 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
. At that point, the cleric is no longer a soul, nor is it a cleric. The soul becomes a petitioner—an outsider that indeed can then be killed. If a petitioner is killed, it's dead and it gets recycled into the outer planes in an analogous way in which a dead body on this world is recycled into the world via decay. Of course, in most cases, the transition of soul into petitioner reworks the personality; it's no longer the cleric and doesn't remember its living life at all, so the evil cleric killing that petitioner, while still being evil, isn't actually inflicting a second death on one person.

What was the reasoning for this? I think I heard some similar things back in 2E, but MAN I always hated that concept... This concept that everything you had done was wiped away and left a blank slate? It just takes so much of the 'final reward' of seeing loved ones or recounting your tales of heroism in Valhalla and just replaces it with... nothing.

On a separate note, How does the 'Speak with Dead' spell work then? Is it only communicating with people who haven't been judged yet? Or does it somehow spark some memories in the petitioners?

The reasoning is that death is intended to be the end of a life and thus the end of a character's story, not something like a power-up or mere transformation. If dying were something that allowed you to keep your character but become more powerful as a result of outsider powers or the like, death would not be regarded as a bad thing or a sad thing, and that's not appropriate for the types of stories that we want to tell or that previous editions of the game ever wanted to tell. It also maintains the desire for immortality that characters pursue, be it via undeath or eternal youth or something else. Just as in the real world, when a character dies, that character is gone, and what remains is the memories the character leaves behind in the minds of her/his allies and friends and family, and the impact the character had on the world in the form of helping to make it a better place (or a worse place in the case of baddies).

As detailed in the core rulebook, speak with dead doesn't talk with the departed spirit at all; it imparts to a body's physical remains the ability to speak, in sort of the same way stone tell imparts the same to inanimate rock. It allows the body to reveal information from its life, but it's not the spirit/soul of the person who reveals that information, which is in part why the information you get from speak with dead is kinda vague and sketchy.

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
Alundrell wrote:
Alundrell wrote:


Hi James

My group will be wrapping up our wrath of the righteous campaign soon and I have a couple questions mostly involving arovashnial.
** spoiler omitted **

Think my question got lost between walls of text

I did answer it, but either the site ate my answer or it posted somewhere else.

But, if you portray your elves in a non-xenophobic way, you're actually portraying them as I as the creative director of Paizo PREFER them to be portrayed. The idea of elves being xenophobic is super-ingraned in gamer culture as a result of D&D and Tolkien, and it's an element I've tried NOT to embrace or even have in print in Pathfinder, but it's such an ingrained part of how we see elves that most of our writers and a fair number of our developers and editors assumed that was true for Golarion and elements of it keep creeping into print... more so at the outset than recently.

So ABSOLUTELY you should have the elves be open and welcoming.

I don't even know if Tokein's elves were xenophobic, any more than all fanasy could be called xenophobic (orcs are inherently bad: fear them).

Anyway, I feel your pain. You had got the message out there before Second Darkness came out and then...

Are there any other elements of Golarion which did not turn out or get presented the way you intended?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Belltrap wrote:

Who was Shensen's patron deity in the Forgotten Realms campaign she originated in if she had one?

Was the scimitar her weapon of choice in her FR incarnation?

Eilistraee, of course. She was a drow for a fair amount of her life until she got reincarnated at about 15th level into a (roll randomly) half-aquatic elf.

Where can I find the rules on playing half-aquatic elf in Pathfinder? thanks!


if you were a aristocrat (title, land, money the works) in any Golarion country what country would it be.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:
Are there any other elements of Golarion which did not turn out or get presented the way you intended?

Apart from the elf thing, yeah, a few come to mind. I'm not gonna repeat some of them here because I'd rather have them fade away, since they were terrilbe ideas to begin with.

But one that IS still in the game is the whole "Cult of the Dawnflower" element of Sarenrae's worship, which is at the root somewhat nonsensical. Sarenrae is the greatest agent of good in the core 20 deities and a goddess of healing and redemption, but some early authors misunderstood this and set up her faithful, in the form of Qadirans, as super aggressive warmongers. So that's why we have this schism going on in the church now, with the warmonger side being "wrong" and the traditional church being frustrated by them; they want to redeem the Cult but the cult is stubborn.

It does make for an interesting element of the church, but for a lot of people the subtleties are completely lost and folks (including many freelancers we use who have to constantly be corrected) keep mistakenly assuming Sarenrae is a war goddess.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Belltrap wrote:

Who was Shensen's patron deity in the Forgotten Realms campaign she originated in if she had one?

Was the scimitar her weapon of choice in her FR incarnation?

Eilistraee, of course. She was a drow for a fair amount of her life until she got reincarnated at about 15th level into a (roll randomly) half-aquatic elf.
Where can I find the rules on playing half-aquatic elf in Pathfinder? thanks!

First time we put these rules in was in the Inner Sea World Guide, in the page about playing elves. Admittedly, it's buried in the text on the page so most folks don't realize the information is there, but it's been in the game from the start more or less.

Today, that information is spelled out much more clearly in Inner Sea Races.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

wabbitking wrote:
if you were a aristocrat (title, land, money the works) in any Golarion country what country would it be.

Sandpoint, Varisia.


James Jacobs wrote:
Just your average clone wrote:
If a cleric of Seranrae dies and goes to Nirvana, (assuming they were NG) could an evil cleric feasibly plane shift to Nirvana and kill their soul? If so, what would happen to the dead cleric's soul? When you die, do you gain the outsider subtype so you cannot be brought back? If you don't gain the outsider subtype and you die, would you simply appear somewhere on the plane where you were to spend eternity?

No. Souls don't have hit points. You can't "kill" a soul. You can destroy it or trap it if you have the right attacks or spells or whatever, but you can't stab a soul.

Once someone dies and is then judged in the Boneyard, their soul goes on to their final reward/punishment. In the case you mention, the Sarenatie cleric dies, goes to the Boneyard, is judged, and then is sent on to Nirvana. At that point, the cleric is no longer a soul, nor is it a cleric. The soul becomes a petitioner—an outsider that indeed can then be killed. If a petitioner is killed, it's dead and it gets recycled into the outer planes in an analogous way in which a dead body on this world is recycled into the world via decay. Of course, in most cases, the transition of soul into petitioner reworks the personality; it's no longer the cleric and doesn't remember its living life at all, so the evil cleric killing that petitioner, while still being evil, isn't actually inflicting a second death on one person.

I was just reading through the Book of the Damned books. And it regularly talks about souls being in Hell, the Abyss and Abaddon. Every page is "souls" this or "souls" that.

Maybe the wording is just inexact but it certainly leads to confusion over souls vs petitioners.


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

What is your second favorite cover from Hell's Rebels.

What's your favorite monster from the Hell's Rebels bestiary sections.

Thank you, for all the great stories you've helped us tell over the years.

Buttersnips lives on. :-)


James Jacobs wrote:
If a deity, say, Lamashtu, were to step in and help directly, her power as a deity is enough that she could simply wipe out all of the Iomedan crusaders and even transform them all into dreteches to serve her. But then Iomedae could show up and do the exact same thing; transform all of Lamashtu's demons in the Worldwound into couatls or whatever.

How do the gods get so powerful?

When I look at the power level right below gods(say Pazuzi or Nocticula), they are strong but nowhere near "turn everyone into a dretch" level. What is so special about the gods?


Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Say a wizard shows up, offering a portal to Golarion as it exists in 4716. You get to hang out for up to a month, go wherever you'd like (within reason -- getting a tour of the Grand Lodge in Absolom would be fine, the Gallowspire would be trickier), and afterwards they return you to the exact time and place you left perfectly unharmed. Because this is a convenient hypothetical wizard, assume they can help you with language barriers and overland travel once you arrive on the planet. Assuming you take them up on the offer...

1. Is there anyone or anything you'd absolutely go out of your way to make sure you see or experience during that time?

2. Is there anything from Earth you'd make sure to bring with you, either to share with the locals or just keep on-hand in case you need it? (If need be, the Convenient Hypothetical Wizard can make electronic devices functional)

3. You're allowed to bring back three things that would fit in a backpack or could be carried. Assuming books could be translated, you could be taught to use any magic items, etc., would you bring anything back with you?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
johnlocke90 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Just your average clone wrote:
If a cleric of Seranrae dies and goes to Nirvana, (assuming they were NG) could an evil cleric feasibly plane shift to Nirvana and kill their soul? If so, what would happen to the dead cleric's soul? When you die, do you gain the outsider subtype so you cannot be brought back? If you don't gain the outsider subtype and you die, would you simply appear somewhere on the plane where you were to spend eternity?

No. Souls don't have hit points. You can't "kill" a soul. You can destroy it or trap it if you have the right attacks or spells or whatever, but you can't stab a soul.

Once someone dies and is then judged in the Boneyard, their soul goes on to their final reward/punishment. In the case you mention, the Sarenatie cleric dies, goes to the Boneyard, is judged, and then is sent on to Nirvana. At that point, the cleric is no longer a soul, nor is it a cleric. The soul becomes a petitioner—an outsider that indeed can then be killed. If a petitioner is killed, it's dead and it gets recycled into the outer planes in an analogous way in which a dead body on this world is recycled into the world via decay. Of course, in most cases, the transition of soul into petitioner reworks the personality; it's no longer the cleric and doesn't remember its living life at all, so the evil cleric killing that petitioner, while still being evil, isn't actually inflicting a second death on one person.

I was just reading through the Book of the Damned books. And it regularly talks about souls being in Hell, the Abyss and Abaddon. Every page is "souls" this or "souls" that.

Maybe the wording is just inexact but it certainly leads to confusion over souls vs petitioners.

The wording is inexact. In a lot of cases, "soul" and "petitioner" and the specific name of the type of petitioner for a specific plane, such as "the damned" for Hell, are used as synonyms. ESPECIALLY when the topic is not rules content, in which case us writers often skew toward the word choice that sounds more lyrical and is more elegant than the raw textbook-writing dry style that serves rules text better. It isn't as exact, and it does require the reader to use the context of the writing to make sense of things, but it's prettier and more evocative to read.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

captain yesterday wrote:

What is your second favorite cover from Hell's Rebels.

What's your favorite monster from the Hell's Rebels bestiary sections.

Thank you, for all the great stories you've helped us tell over the years.

Buttersnips lives on. :-)

Second favorite cover for Hell's Rebels would be the last one.

Favorite monster from the Hell's Rebels bestiaries would probably be the herecite; I'm really pleased with how they turned out. But if I excise my own creations, I'd say the best one is the slithering pit.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
johnlocke90 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
If a deity, say, Lamashtu, were to step in and help directly, her power as a deity is enough that she could simply wipe out all of the Iomedan crusaders and even transform them all into dreteches to serve her. But then Iomedae could show up and do the exact same thing; transform all of Lamashtu's demons in the Worldwound into couatls or whatever.

How do the gods get so powerful?

When I look at the power level right below gods(say Pazuzi or Nocticula), they are strong but nowhere near "turn everyone into a dretch" level. What is so special about the gods?

If "how the gods get powerful" was something that is known, then there'd be more gods. How they get their power and the fact that they can do anything pretty much is what makes them gods. The more we understand them and know their limits and know how they get to be what they are and what their powers are, quantified by rules, the less godlike they get and the more mundane they get.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
MythicFox wrote:

Say a wizard shows up, offering a portal to Golarion as it exists in 4716. You get to hang out for up to a month, go wherever you'd like (within reason -- getting a tour of the Grand Lodge in Absolom would be fine, the Gallowspire would be trickier), and afterwards they return you to the exact time and place you left perfectly unharmed. Because this is a convenient hypothetical wizard, assume they can help you with language barriers and overland travel once you arrive on the planet. Assuming you take them up on the offer...

1. Is there anyone or anything you'd absolutely go out of your way to make sure you see or experience during that time?

2. Is there anything from Earth you'd make sure to bring with you, either to share with the locals or just keep on-hand in case you need it? (If need be, the Convenient Hypothetical Wizard can make electronic devices functional)

3. You're allowed to bring back three things that would fit in a backpack or could be carried. Assuming books could be translated, you could be taught to use any magic items, etc., would you bring anything back with you?

1) Sandpoint, Kyonin, Katheer, and Mediogalti Island.

2) Nothing.

3) Three fully charged rings of 3 wishes.

Liberty's Edge

James, then what is so bad about being damned to hell?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paladinosaur wrote:
James, then what is so bad about being damned to hell?

Think of the most painful, humiliating, agony-inducing thing that could ever happen to you. Not me, not someone else, but YOU.

Now imagine that lasting forever.

Now imagine it lasting longer.

Now imagine it getting worse with each passing second.

That's what's bad about being damned to Hell. It's worse than that.


It's always worse than people think James Jacobs. That's why it's Hell and not Club Med.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

But if it's not "you" but a petitioner who no longer has any essential relation to you, then why would it matter if one is in Heaven or Hell?

I could be wrong, but I think that's why I think people are confused about the soul/petitioner thing.


Once a soul becomes a petitioner does that petitioner have the same consciousness as the mortal it came from just without any mremory of its mortal life?
In arushalaes story in wrath of the reightous

Spoiler:
desna awoke her mortal memories in her larval core which would lead me to believe the new outsider possesses the same consciousness as the mortal just with no recolection of its past mortal life what so ever save for special circumstances like her or the Imp in the first book of hells rebals who's name eludes me at the moment. Both have memories of there mortal lives. either from devine intervention or powerful artifacts.

Are there any other ways for outsiders to regain their mortal memories?


That's weird. I was left with a very strong impression that petitioners in many planes do remember their past lives. In fact, Nirvana petitioners are noted to often lose their memories over a period of time as they shed their mortal identities, and the way it was phrased implied that losing your memories entirely was a notable feature of the plane. This is in contrast to places like Heaven and *whatever the neutral plane is called* - Heaven Petitioners are reunited with their friends and family, and *neutral plane* petitioners get to spend their afterlife doing things like catching up with all the stuff they wanted to do while alive. Several outsiders also remember parts of their lives.

Is my understanding correct at all?

Grand Lodge

What's Pharasma's stance on toast with strawberry jam?

Liberty's Edge

Hey!

I had read that a very large temple of Desna (the First Dream, I believe) was transferred to the Dreamlands in ancient times. Where exactly would it be located in the Dreamlands?


1. Even if Asmodeus and Lamashtu are concerned about Cheliax and the Worldwound very seriously, they cannot order archdevils and demon lords to go to the Material Plane to help Abrogail and Deskari, because it would trigger Iomedae to do the same thing and there will be a great planar war which even Asmodeus and Lamashtu cannot dare to risk, right?

2. If Asmodeus and Lamashtu is foolish enough to not see this future and order archdevils and demon lords to go to the Material Plane and help Abrogail and Deskari, would they obey? It's already mentioned that devils are eager to obey, but how about demons? Will they disobey Lamashtu's order, simply because they are... demons?

3. Do you think a deity sending quasi-deities to the Material Plane to help the mortals is considered a direct intervention that can result in the planar warfare? I mean, surely sending demigods can be considered a too direct intervention, but quasi-dieties are pretty much weaker, so sending them to Golarion will not be considered too direct an intervention, right?

4. Even though there are especially powerful mortals who reached 20th level and 10th mythic tier, and even killed one or two archdevil(or demon lord) and thus seriously crippling their grand plans, Asmodeus and Lamashtu will not directly move against them or order archdevils and demon lords to go to Golarion and kill them because, even though powerful enough to kill a demigod, they are still mortal, and thus their acts didn't violate the non-intervention treaty and thus didn't trigger the great planar war? That all Asmodeus and Lamashtu can do is just sitting on their throne and begrudgingly watching the heroes killing more and more fiends?

5. If those heroes are foolish enough to go to the Hell or Abyss and start rampaging, can Asmodeus and Lamashtu kill them directly, because the non-intervention treaty only protects the Material Plane and doesn't prevent the deities from doing anything in other planes?

6. Why does Taldor forbid the Sarenite cult? I know the primary goddess of Qadira is Sarenrae, but why forbid the cult? In history, Persia persecuted christians because persians thought christianity is the Roman religion so christians cannot be trusted. But in Golarion, religion is not bound to one nation or race. Sarenrae is not the religion of Qadirans only. If she was a Qadiran before and ascended to godhood, the distrust may be reasonable, but she was not. Then why would Taldor persecute Sarenites? Is it becuase the Taldan nobles are foolish enough to believe that all Sarenites are Qadiran spies?

7. Why does Sarenrae not telling her worshippers to stop being warmongers? If there are no high level clerics that can cast commune in Qadira, she can just send her avatar or herald to tell them their misbehavior! Or maybe she can just send her priests in Qadira telepathy and tell them stop being warmongers.


8. You said that slavery is legal in Taldor, but it's not the primary trade. Does that mean that Taldor is not an easy place to buy or sell slaves, whereas Cheliax is an easy place to buy or sell slaves, becuase there is no slave market in Taldor?

9. If a Qadiran castaway who owns slaves reached an Andoren port with his slaves, he will be arrested for owning slaves and his slaves will be freed immediately, right?

10. If a Qadiran castaway who owns slaves reached a Taldan port with his slaves, his slaves will not be freed, right?

11. Pre-Thrune Cheliax has slavery, you said. What was the slavery of pre-Thrune Cheliax like? Like that of Taldor, that slavery is legal but it's not easy to buy or sell slaves in Cheliax and serfdom is more prevalent? Or was it like that of current Cheliax?

12. Is serfdom prevalent in present day Taldor and Cheliax?

13. Do Cheliax and Taldor have embassy in each other's capital? And Do these two nations have embassy in Almas, the capital of Andoran, and does Andoran has embasy in Oppara and Egorian?

14. In normal countries like Taldor, Andoran, Galt, Korvosa, Magnimar, the Shackles, Sargava, Osirion, Qadira, Kyonyn, and Five Kings Mountains, are the Asmodeus cult(and the devil cults), Lamashtu cult(and the demon cults), daemon cults, Rovagug cult(and the qlippoth cults), Zon-Kuthon cult, Urgathoa cult, Groetus cult, the old cults, and the night heralds legal? Or are they slaughtered on sight?

15. How do dopplegangers and faceless stalkers reproduce? Do they have male, female and children?


Do intelligent magical beasts (particularly those with four or more legs, such as chimerae and sphinxes) ever take class levels?


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
What's Pharasma's stance on toast with strawberry jam?

Offically she doesn't care. Her Penitence sect thinks it's evil and unnatural. The rest of the Church just goes along with it.


In Golarion, why does casting spells with the [good] descriptor change an evil persons alignment from evil to good?


James Jacobs wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
James, then what is so bad about being damned to hell?

Think of the most painful, humiliating, agony-inducing thing that could ever happen to you. Not me, not someone else, but YOU.

Now imagine that lasting forever.

Now imagine it lasting longer.

Now imagine it getting worse with each passing second.

That's what's bad about being damned to Hell. It's worse than that.

So why would anyone without an immortality plan knowingly serve Hell?

I likely asked this before, but it boggles me that much.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alundrell wrote:
Are there any other ways for outsiders to regain their mortal memories?

Yes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Snowblind wrote:

That's weird. I was left with a very strong impression that petitioners in many planes do remember their past lives. In fact, Nirvana petitioners are noted to often lose their memories over a period of time as they shed their mortal identities, and the way it was phrased implied that losing your memories entirely was a notable feature of the plane. This is in contrast to places like Heaven and *whatever the neutral plane is called* - Heaven Petitioners are reunited with their friends and family, and *neutral plane* petitioners get to spend their afterlife doing things like catching up with all the stuff they wanted to do while alive. Several outsiders also remember parts of their lives.

Is my understanding correct at all?

There are some petitioners who remember their lives, and who retain those memories upon becoming more powerful outsiders, but they are exceptions to the rule.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
What's Pharasma's stance on toast with strawberry jam?

Food is for people who die. She's not ready for food yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TwiceGreat wrote:

Hey!

I had read that a very large temple of Desna (the First Dream, I believe) was transferred to the Dreamlands in ancient times. Where exactly would it be located in the Dreamlands?

I believe that it would be in the Enchanted Wood, but I'm not 100% sure. There was something like this back in "Into the Nightmare Rift," Part 5 of Shattered Star.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aenigma wrote:

1. Even if Asmodeus and Lamashtu are concerned about Cheliax and the Worldwound very seriously, they cannot order archdevils and demon lords to go to the Material Plane to help Abrogail and Deskari, because it would trigger Iomedae to do the same thing and there will be a great planar war which even Asmodeus and Lamashtu cannot dare to risk, right?

2. If Asmodeus and Lamashtu is foolish enough to not see this future and order archdevils and demon lords to go to the Material Plane and help Abrogail and Deskari, would they obey? It's already mentioned that devils are eager to obey, but how about demons? Will they disobey Lamashtu's order, simply because they are... demons?

3. Do you think a deity sending quasi-deities to the Material Plane to help the mortals is considered a direct intervention that can result in the planar warfare? I mean, surely sending demigods can be considered a too direct intervention, but quasi-dieties are pretty much weaker, so sending them to Golarion will not be considered too direct an intervention, right?

4. Even though there are especially powerful mortals who reached 20th level and 10th mythic tier, and even killed one or two archdevil(or demon lord) and thus seriously crippling their grand plans, Asmodeus and Lamashtu will not directly move against them or order archdevils and demon lords to go to Golarion and kill them because, even though powerful enough to kill a demigod, they are still mortal, and thus their acts didn't violate the non-intervention treaty and thus didn't trigger the great planar war? That all Asmodeus and Lamashtu can do is just sitting on their throne and begrudgingly watching the heroes killing more and more fiends?

5. If those heroes are foolish enough to go to the Hell or Abyss and start rampaging, can Asmodeus and Lamashtu kill them directly, because the non-intervention treaty only protects the Material Plane and doesn't prevent the deities from doing anything in other planes?

6. Why does Taldor forbid the Sarenite cult? I know the primary goddess of Qadira is Sarenrae, but why forbid the cult? In history, Persia persecuted christians because persians thought christianity is the Roman religion so christians cannot be trusted. But in Golarion, religion is not bound to one nation or race. Sarenrae is not the religion of Qadirans only. If she was a Qadiran before and ascended to godhood, the distrust may be reasonable, but she was not. Then why would Taldor persecute Sarenites? Is it becuase the Taldan nobles are foolish enough to believe that all Sarenites are Qadiran spies?

7. Why does Sarenrae not telling her worshippers to stop being warmongers? If there are no high level clerics that can cast commune in Qadira, she can just send her avatar or herald to tell them their misbehavior! Or maybe she can just send her priests in Qadira telepathy and tell them stop being warmongers.

1) Whether they cannot or would not, they do neither.

2) Maybe, maybe not. I could see an interesting story developing out of either option. Demons are more prone to disobey than devils, but not if the "orders" are something they wanna do in the first place.

3) Perhaps, perhaps not. Again, cool stories can flow from either option. We don't limit ourselves by setting up rules for matters involving deities, and what you're asking for in these posts is, in a manner of speaking, rules to apply when these events happen. The ONLY rule that applies is "Do what you think makes for a better story in your game."

4) At a certain point they will take action, when the story is right, and likely once the mortal ascends to divinity. It's not a good idea to make a name for yourself killing off what will eventually become your co-workers or boss, in other words.

5) Maybe, maybe not. See #3 above.

6) Because of racism and ignorance, pretty much. And the ban on Sarenrae worship is more a thing of the recent past, not so much current events.

7) Because that's slavery in the form of intervention. That's the destruction of free will. That advice is the job of her faithful.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aenigma wrote:

8. You said that slavery is legal in Taldor, but it's not the primary trade. Does that mean that Taldor is not an easy place to buy or sell slaves, whereas Cheliax is an easy place to buy or sell slaves, becuase there is no slave market in Taldor?

9. If a Qadiran castaway who owns slaves reached an Andoren port with his slaves, he will be arrested for owning slaves and his slaves will be freed immediately, right?

10. If a Qadiran castaway who owns slaves reached a Taldan port with his slaves, his slaves will not be freed, right?

11. Pre-Thrune Cheliax has slavery, you said. What was the slavery of pre-Thrune Cheliax like? Like that of Taldor, that slavery is legal but it's not easy to buy or sell slaves in Cheliax and serfdom is more prevalent? Or was it like that of current Cheliax?

12. Is serfdom prevalent in present day Taldor and Cheliax?

13. Do Cheliax and Taldor have embassy in each other's capital? And Do these two nations have embassy in Almas, the capital of Andoran, and does Andoran has embasy in Oppara and Egorian?

14. In normal countries like Taldor, Andoran, Galt, Korvosa, Magnimar, the Shackles, Sargava, Osirion, Qadira, Kyonyn, and Five Kings Mountains, are the Asmodeus cult(and the devil cults), Lamashtu cult(and the demon cults), daemon cults, Rovagug cult(and the qlippoth cults), Zon-Kuthon cult, Urgathoa cult, Groetus cult, the old cults, and the night heralds legal? Or are they slaughtered on sight?

15. How do dopplegangers and faceless stalkers reproduce? Do they have male, female and children?

8) There are plenty of black market slave trade markets in Taldor, but yes, it's easier to buy slaves in Cheliax. In fact, it's generally easier to buy slaves in a nation the closer that nation's alignment is to evil. What with slavery being evil.

9) It's more likely that upon landing his slaves will be considered to be free, and if he just lets them go and doesn't try to recapture them, he'll likely be free to go himself.

10) Correct, but he probably shouldn't flaunt the fact that he's a Qadiran slaver.

11) It was closer to Taldor, but a bit more legal.

12) Not in Chelaix, but yes in Taldor, I suspect.

13) Yes to pretty much all of that.

14) Mostly illegal, but in some cases they are legal. It varies very much by region and by deity.

15) Doppelgangers can change shape into any man or woman, so they can reproduce however you want. Faceless stalkers aren't quite as adept at it, and while we've not said much about them, I suspect that they reproduce aesexually, by spores or self-fertilizing eggs or something.

64,651 to 64,700 of 77,822 << first < prev | 1289 | 1290 | 1291 | 1292 | 1293 | 1294 | 1295 | 1296 | 1297 | 1298 | 1299 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / Off-Topic Discussions / >>Ask *James Jacobs* ALL your Questions Here!<< All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.