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James Jacobs wrote:
Gerrard Dixon wrote:
James, In the games you have played or are playing do you run into any problems with characters crafting magical items? I keep running into opposition and flack from my group for crafting. My group believes that crafting magical items makes me over powered and the rules are weak and let you do anything. The items I do craft are from the Pathfinder Core/APG or a few spell in a can type items. This years Paizo Superstar helped me delve into crafting and its been non stop for my 8th level Magus or just in my spare time outside of sessions. Advice?
One other bit of advice if you really don't like the idea of using your character's crafting skills to help the other player characters—maybe you'd be more happy as a GM than a player? That way you can craft all the items you want for your NPCs and for the PCs to find.

Thank you for the advice James, I have sat in the GM chair for a few years with my group. We tend to switch GM's every few months when someone wants to do an idea and the current arc is over.

The point about the party working for its greater good rings true. Loot is usually not shared properly unless a player takes charge of it, we are good for sharing combat and healing. I could try harder to craft things for my party. Hopefully offering or just making my team something will help ease the heat from the crafting.

I am an optimizer/power gamer and its very hard for me to not have a character built to the best of my ability. My main belief is its hard to play a character if you are dead (not impossible though)

I think what I am going to take from your advice is trying to encourage more teamwork from the group (myself included) we each tend to do our own thing while we play and it makes sense that we should be around each other for a reason and call on characters in game when they are doing things against the parties interests.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CNichols wrote:
If you had enough money, would THIS be your new hobby?

Were that hobby an option, money would not stand in my way.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Wrath wrote:

Heya James,

You've mentioned a few times now tht parts of Golarian came from your homebrew world.

Do you still run that Homebrew, or has Golarian pretty much become your world to play in now?

Additionally, did you run that homebrew continuously for many years, or did you make alternate ones when you started new campaigns?

I tended to create new ares for a consistant world when I had time to make my own campaigns up to give players more freedom in changing the world. Was wondering if you did similar is all.

On a related note, how would you handle the changes in a prepublished campaign setting when characters complete campaigns and start new ones? (eg. progress the world a few years and fill in the blanks with story, or run the cmpaigns as "aligned in time" like the AP's are).

As always, thanks for taking the time to answer.

Cheers

I pretty much just run Golarion now; it's got better production values than my homebrew, and I'm lucky in that it pretty much exactly matches the TYPE of content that was in my homebrew. It's actually close enough in some cases that it just feels like the look of the world map is all that's changed.

I first started building Baria (my homebrew world) quite a long time ago; the first map of the region was part of the second adventure I wrote, mimicking the style of the in-print modules at the time as best as I could. That adventure, "The Curse of Sekamina Cave," had a relatively small region mapped out, but that region grew over the next few years into Baria. I've run a LOT of games there; a couple of campaigns in High School back in the late 80s, two full campaigns and several mini-campaigns in college in the early 90s, and then a few more full campaigns in it for friends up here at WotC, Paizo, and elsewhere in the past decade or so.

Overall, there was a pretty constant revision of areas in the world, both new and old.

In a published campaign, if players started new characters after finishing a previous campaign, I'd have the results of the previous campaign be canon for that world; that's how I ran things in Baria for 25 some years, and it worked great.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BoggBear wrote:
What would you say is the most scary occupation a villain can have?
James Jacobs wrote:
Clown.

Does that have something to do with

spoiler for CotCT:
Jolistina Susperio in CotCT? She is out of her mind. I'm a player in the campaign; we encountered her last night and one of the players was sure she was an illusion--he kept trying to make Will saves each round to disbelieve her existence.

Once we dispatched her one of the other PCs took her armour. Only problem is he doesn't know the command word to turn it back into normal studded leather. Cressida Kroft was not terribly impressed!


Have you thought about cutting a birthday cake with your dogslicer?


I asked about this in another thread, but I didn't get much response regarding the flavor of the ability in question, and I was wondering what you thought.

Enkili wrote:

My old game group is restarting a game that has been in hiatus for around a year now and changing from 3.5 to pathfinder. In the old game I played a monk, and in the rewrite a few questions came up.

First off, comparing Touch of Serenity to Stunning Fist, Touch of Serenity sucks. Serene creatures can't attack or cast spells, but suffer no other penalties while stunned creatures can take NO actions AND are denied heir dex bonus AND take a -2 to AC AND Stunning Fists does damage. That is until I noticed Touch of Serenity does not contain the line, "Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be stunned." Does Touch of Serenity affect all of these types? Most of these things generally don't have to worry about will saves, so was that line not included because of that effect? It doesn't actually say it is a mind-affecting effect, but is it implied? If it does affect those creature types, how do you justify the serenity effect on constructs (and oozes for that matter), flavor-wise?

Second can you mix the two (and some of the other monk feats) on the same target? If one fails can you try the other?

The GM for the game has said that unless there is errata or something somewhere saying it's mind-affecting he will allow it to affect mindless stuff. I'm guessing it's some kind of mystic "serene vibration" effect. If you would allow Touch of Serenity to effect constructs, do you have any advice on how to describe the effect? I guess we could always just say, "it's magic"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cynarion wrote:
BoggBear wrote:
What would you say is the most scary occupation a villain can have?
James Jacobs wrote:
Clown.
Does that have something to do with ** spoiler omitted **

Actually...

Spoiler:

Jolistina Susperio was created by Wes. He does know about my fear of clowns, first of all, and while he hadn't seen it at the time, I'd told him a LOT about Dario Argento's movie "Susperia," which is a SUPER garish and colorful horror movie. So I guess Wes figured that a colorful crazed clown type character named Susperio was a cool match. I couldn't agree more.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Astral Wanderer wrote:

Questions about the Flyby Attack feat:

Spring Attack specifies that using the feat does not provoke attacks of opportunity from the target of the attack.
Flyby Attack doesn't say anything like that. Is this purposeful or is it an error of sort?

Also, Flyby Attack's text says that the creature can take a standard action (RAW any kind of standard action, not just an attack action); is this also purposeful? And, if that's the case, is that the reason why nothing is said about attacks of opportunity from a target?

I'm asking because:
1) The feat is named Flyby Attack.
2) The only "real" uses I can see with this feat as it is worded now is for a creature with great speed and a particularly powerful attack and/or a very good touch spell-like ability (or another kind of touch attack), since the creature will get an attack of opportunity from the target anyway, when continuing the move. There is also another situation, which has the greatest benefits from this Flyby Attack, and it's creatures with reach. The problem here is that most flying creatures of up to large size do not have reach, and Flyby attack may become more a risk than a benefit for them.
These are the reasons why I wanted to understand if it's purposefully worded as it is or not.

You'll note that it's a LOT easier to qualify for Flyby Attack than it is Spring Attack, first of all. The only creatures for whom Flyby Attack is useful are flying creatures, and they automatically qualify for the feat. Spring Attack, though, has a pretty significant set of prerequisites, and therefore it's a harder feat to gain.

So just by that reasoning, Flyby Attack shouldn't be as powerful as Spring Attack.

Furthermore... flight is a SIGNIFICANT advantage. With Spring Attack, the standard enemy can still get back to you by chasing you down. You rob your enemies of being able to make full round attacks on you, but they can still, in theory, get you every time. With Flyby Attack, that's not the case. You fly, most of your enemies do not. Used properly and skillfully, Flyby Attack completely cuts melee attacks on you out of the question... EXCEPT for the round where you swoop in and provoke attacks of opportunity.

A creature that has Flyby Attack AND Spring Attack can block those pesky attacks of opportunity, but by that point, since the monster has to qualify for Spring Attack by spending 2 other feats AND he's already used one on Flyby Attack, he's probably got at least 7 Hit Dice, which means he's probably close to CR 5, which means that the fly spell is available (and levitate too), so that the tactic isn't an instant kill tactic against parties.

So yeah; it's absolutely on purpose that Flyby Attack doesn't prevent attacks of opportunity.

As for the second part of the question... yes. You can take any action as part of a flyby attack. This is MOSTLY so you can have the cool scene where the dragon swoops in, breathes fire, then continues flying—dragons do this in pretty much every dragon movie, after all.

The "real" use of this feat is to deny ground-based foes the ability to effectively fight back with their melee weapons. Flyby attack isn't nearly as useful against a group that has strong ranged capability or flight capability itself. Even if Flyby Attack's keeping the monster safe from one or two characters in a party, it's useful—melee attacks do a LOT of damage, after all.

It amuses me, as an aside, how many gamers seem to attribute an almost magical quality to attacks of opportunity. Characters who charge into battle without a care to how much damage they'll take from a monster's full attack with melee weapons freak out when the concept of provoking a single attack of opportunity rears its head. You still have your Armor Class against these, after all!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

gregg carrier wrote:

If I used Animate Dead on a few creatures, example a Roc and a T-Rex, but after I mixed and matched bones, could I make an Amalgam (advanced beastiary) undead creature? Or will the bones automatically assign themselves to their original bodies without extra effort? Further, if I modified an undead T-Rex or similar by pulling it's teeth and placing in enchanted daggers, would that increase it's HD (thus filling up more space on necromancy control spell) or simply be like armor and weapons. And that applies to other things like making a skeleton whale, attaching flight enchanted armor, and making a flying whale ship.

...Who says necromancy can't be fun?

That's up to your GM... but I'd say no, because when you animate dead, the necromantic power needs a single body. Using different body parts would disrupt the magic, since you'd have contesting spiritual elements in the remains.

Furthermore, amalgam type creatures like that are a lot more unusual than normal skeletons, and thus they're best modeled by simply making a brand new monster that, by dint of no longer being a skeleton or zombie, can't really be animated by animate dead. Certainly once you put a template on a skeleton or zombie it's no longer a skeleton or zombie, and probably shouldn't be something you can create by using animate dead either.

Sounds to me, honestly, like you're actually trying to make a bone golem.

As for the flying whale ship... I doubt that'd work either. A whale skeleton is nonintelligent; it doesn't understand how to activate magic items, and thus while it would gain the flight armor's bonus to AC, it wouldn't be able to make it fly.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Power Word Unzip wrote:

Here's a question I've had keeping me awake at night that sort of feeds into this storytelling tactic. Have you ever set a story in the near past of your homebrew world and seen players do things that radically change the setting or timeline as a result? If so, do you roll with this and rewrite history, or consider it an alternate-universe version of history?

I ask this because in my own homebrew campaign setting, I follow your line of thinking with making past events canon - in fact, every game I've run in it over the last decade has been written into the world's timeline.

Now, though, I have a group of players who are running evil PCs at a point in time predating the in-game present day by about 200 years. Their characters' individual goals are not particularly world-shattering (and in fact, I'm looking forward to using some of them as villains against the same players in another campaign down the road), but I still worry a bit about the impact they could have on canon if they get too crazy.

I realize, of course, that the resolution of this situation is ultimately up to my individual fiat as a GM and that YMMV, as always - I'm just wondering how you'd handle it in your own game. Thanks in advance!

Nope. I never set games in the near past precisely BECAUSE I don't want the PCs disrupting all of my hard work.

What happens before the first campaign's start date is pretty much MY time. The PCs get all of the time AFTER that date to cause trouble.

I HAVE used time travel at times in my games, but those elements have been very "self contained" and I've always been able to explain the PCs' actions in the past as being, in part, the reason why the present version of that area is the way it is.

For the most part, though, time travel or letting the PCs play in historical eras of your campaign setting isn't worth the trouble. At the very least, if you set your campaign in the past, all of the future stuff is wasted time for you.

Only exception I can think of: The entire POINT of the game (not the campaign, the GAME itself) is time travel.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

doctor_wu wrote:
Have you thought about cutting a birthday cake with your dogslicer?

No... the Dogslicer's kinda dirty, and half the cake would end up crushed and stuck to the blade anyway.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Enkili wrote:
The GM for the game has said that unless there is errata or something somewhere saying it's mind-affecting he will allow it to affect mindless stuff. I'm guessing it's some kind of mystic "serene vibration" effect. If you would allow Touch of Serenity to effect constructs, do you have any advice on how to describe the effect? I guess we could always just say, "it's magic"

If you think Touch of Serenity sucks, don't use it. Replace it with Stunning Fist.

As written, it DOES have some weird stuff going on regarding how it interacts with constructs and the like... But that's a question your GM should address for now.


James Jacobs wrote:
Enkili wrote:
The GM for the game has said that unless there is errata or something somewhere saying it's mind-affecting he will allow it to affect mindless stuff. I'm guessing it's some kind of mystic "serene vibration" effect. If you would allow Touch of Serenity to effect constructs, do you have any advice on how to describe the effect? I guess we could always just say, "it's magic"

If you think Touch of Serenity sucks, don't use it. Replace it with Stunning Fist.

As written, it DOES have some weird stuff going on regarding how it interacts with constructs and the like... But that's a question your GM should address for now.

I never understood why mindless creatures (such as oozes and constructs) just don't say this:

Mindless: Immunity to any effect that requires a Will save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).

Just like they have for Fortitude saves. Seems it would eliminate the confusion I often see around mind-affecting effects.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Justin Franklin wrote:
Can't sleep Clowns will eat me....

Boo! ; )

Thanks for your replies James.

Another question: have you ever used flashbacks as a GM in your games? If so, how did they work out?

I am thinking about starting Burnt Offerings with the goblin attack on Sandpoint, then using the attack as a framing device to allow my players to narrate their first meetings while knowing they all need to be standing together in the square outside the cathedral by late afternoon.

--Mike


James Jacobs wrote:
scifan888 wrote:
Obo the all seeing. wrote:
The Guardian Beyond Beyond wrote:
What was the greatest triumph that Aroden was supposed to return for?
He was supposed to usher in a golden age for humans. James said so in another post on the boards when asked about Aroden's death.
Any specifics on what this golden age would have been? In fact did Aroden say so or was it just something his followers believed?

Nope. It never happened, so no one knows what it would have been like. Those who believed it would happen knew only that it would be the BEST TIME TO BE ALIVE. And then Aroden died and things got worse.

AKA: The BEST TIME TO BE ALIVE is also the most boring time to have adventures. Aroden HAD to die in order for Golarion to be a fun, adventure-filled setting.

So Aroden was killed JUST FOR FUN!!!??


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
scifan888 wrote:
So Aroden was killed JUST FOR FUN!!!??

Not just for fun. Fun and adventure!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cibet44 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Enkili wrote:
The GM for the game has said that unless there is errata or something somewhere saying it's mind-affecting he will allow it to affect mindless stuff. I'm guessing it's some kind of mystic "serene vibration" effect. If you would allow Touch of Serenity to effect constructs, do you have any advice on how to describe the effect? I guess we could always just say, "it's magic"

If you think Touch of Serenity sucks, don't use it. Replace it with Stunning Fist.

As written, it DOES have some weird stuff going on regarding how it interacts with constructs and the like... But that's a question your GM should address for now.

I never understood why mindless creatures (such as oozes and constructs) just don't say this:

Mindless: Immunity to any effect that requires a Will save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).

Just like they have for Fortitude saves. Seems it would eliminate the confusion I often see around mind-affecting effects.

Because mind-affecting stuff can't affect objects anyway? A mind-affecting effect that can also work on objects is doing it wrong.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

cynarion wrote:

Another question: have you ever used flashbacks as a GM in your games? If so, how did they work out?

I am thinking about starting Burnt Offerings with the goblin attack on Sandpoint, then using the attack as a framing device to allow my players to narrate their first meetings while knowing they all need to be standing together in the square outside the cathedral by late afternoon.

--Mike

A few times, yeah. They're a really interesting way to handle information dispersal to the players, especially when they're disguised, as in the case of "Souls for Smuggler's Shiv."


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey James have a question.( Duhnthis is the Ask James Jacobs thread)

With recent release of the Player Companion Faiths of Purity and the upcoming Player Companion Faiths of Balance...I was wondering will we see a Player's Companion for the Evil Faiths?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Couple of questions....

A) What's your take on PC death. Personally, I find games where PCs can't die to be bleh. I don't even like it all that much if the PC can only die for doing something stupid (like rushing the dragon at level 3). But there's a lot of GMs/Players out there (especially on the forums) that say you're a **** GM if you kill your players.

B) Similar question about wizard spellbooks/witch familiars. A bunch of forum posters feel that targeting them is a **** move, and that they should be sacrosanct and not targetable. Which brings to mind why even have them, if they're not actually a limitation on the class. That's always been a plus of a sorcerer to me. You can't sunder his books, you can't take away his spells, you can't kill his familiar. If a wizard's spell book is sacrosanct, and so is a Witch's familiar, then why bother with them, just make all casters have a mental place to store their spells.


Does the Black Monk of Pathfinder #4 bear any relation to the Chekov short story of the same name?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Does the Black Monk of Pathfinder #4 bear any relation to the Chekov short story of the same name?

I just finished drawing and painting him yesterday for the next paper mini set!


Callous Jack wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:
Does the Black Monk of Pathfinder #4 bear any relation to the Chekov short story of the same name?
I just finished drawing and painting him yesterday for the next paper mini set!

Okay! I honor of that, I shall expand my question...

What else can you tell me about the Black Monk in general, Sir James? Would you re-stat him for 3.5 as anything in particular? I wonder if he wouldn't make a splendid Oracle.

Grand Lodge

A pair of RotR related questions:

1)

Spoiler:
According to whichever book has Dogslicer listed as an available weapon for purchase, it costs 8gp. But its got the same stats as a dagger, and at least the ones that some goblins use, they break on a roll of a 1. Why do they cost so much more than a dagger does?

2)

Spoiler:
In RotR, my players are rapidly approaching Xanesha, and should be lvl 6 when reaching her. I'll have 6, maybe even 7 players facing her, so I have no intention of making her easier, as I think the action economy will tip the balance easily on her side.
I want the fight to be challenging, possibly even deadly if they do stupid things which I think is the point. My original thought was to not make her any tougher, but just give her the most convenient timing possible for her buffs, so theyll fight her at her current most deadly.
Do you think that would be fair, or should I do something to increase the challenge because of having so many players?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Power Word Unzip wrote:

Here's a question I've had keeping me awake at night that sort of feeds into this storytelling tactic. Have you ever set a story in the near past of your homebrew world and seen players do things that radically change the setting or timeline as a result? If so, do you roll with this and rewrite history, or consider it an alternate-universe version of history?

I ask this because in my own homebrew campaign setting, I follow your line of thinking with making past events canon - in fact, every game I've run in it over the last decade has been written into the world's timeline.

Now, though, I have a group of players who are running evil PCs at a point in time predating the in-game present day by about 200 years. Their characters' individual goals are not particularly world-shattering (and in fact, I'm looking forward to using some of them as villains against the same players in another campaign down the road), but I still worry a bit about the impact they could have on canon if they get too crazy.

I realize, of course, that the resolution of this situation is ultimately up to my individual fiat as a GM and that YMMV, as always - I'm just wondering how you'd handle it in your own game. Thanks in advance!

Nope. I never set games in the near past precisely BECAUSE I don't want the PCs disrupting all of my hard work.

What happens before the first campaign's start date is pretty much MY time. The PCs get all of the time AFTER that date to cause trouble.

I HAVE used time travel at times in my games, but those elements have been very "self contained" and I've always been able to explain the PCs' actions in the past as being, in part, the reason why the present version of that area is the way it is.

For the most part, though, time travel or letting the PCs play in historical eras of your campaign setting isn't worth the trouble. At the very least, if you set your campaign in the past, all of the future stuff is wasted time for you.

Only exception I can think of: The...

How would you handle starting, say, Jade Regent, if you'd already run through Kingmaker (which can easily jump years if not decades ahead during pure building phases) following the 'no specific date, but year is typically 2700+ IRL year? To clarify, by 4711 AR, which is when Jade Regent would fall, you could have a decent sized barony by then, and depending on some of the events or even promotion edicts, Sandpoint or some visitor might very well have heard of the newest attempt to tame the Stolen Lands.


How do you permanently destroy a ghost without having to fulfill its special conditions?

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

godsDMit wrote:


1)

Spoiler:
a dogslicer is more similar to a shortsword, since goblins are small though they do 1d4 damage for a goblin, but a medium one would do 1d6 damage. The 8gp price is less than the 10gp price for a shortsword, which would reflect a dogslicer breaking on a 1.
Paizo Employee Creative Director

John Kretzer wrote:

Hey James have a question.( Duhnthis is the Ask James Jacobs thread)

With recent release of the Player Companion Faiths of Purity and the upcoming Player Companion Faiths of Balance...I was wondering will we see a Player's Companion for the Evil Faiths?

That sure would make sense, wouldn't it? ;-P

We haven't announced a book like this yet... but neither have we announced all of 2011's products yet.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
mdt wrote:

Couple of questions....

A) What's your take on PC death. Personally, I find games where PCs can't die to be bleh. I don't even like it all that much if the PC can only die for doing something stupid (like rushing the dragon at level 3). But there's a lot of GMs/Players out there (especially on the forums) that say you're a **** GM if you kill your players.

B) Similar question about wizard spellbooks/witch familiars. A bunch of forum posters feel that targeting them is a **** move, and that they should be sacrosanct and not targetable. Which brings to mind why even have them, if they're not actually a limitation on the class. That's always been a plus of a sorcerer to me. You can't sunder his books, you can't take away his spells, you can't kill his familiar. If a wizard's spell book is sacrosanct, and so is a Witch's familiar, then why bother with them, just make all casters have a mental place to store their spells.

I prefer to run games with strong storylines in which the player characters are the KEY element of that story—they have plotlines as important as the plotlines of the campaign itself. As a result, I find PC death (or otherwise loosing a PC) to be disruptive, annoying, and frustrating. To combat this, I use hero point-type mechanics in games I run to help give the PCs a bit of control over the fickle hand of fate—a PC who dies due to a monster's lucky critical hit is lame.

Once PCs can cast spells like raise dead or breath of life, then that's certainly a help... but still—having your character die sucks. It means that you can't play the game until your character is brought back to life, and NOTHING you can do in game can really speed that process along.

Any GM who thinks that death isn't a worry or isn't something that players are worried about needs to try playing the game from the player side of things. For a long time, I only ran games, and I kind of had the same feeling about PC death—it's no good if no PCs die, because then the players think you're soft. That's not true. It's not the death that causes stress and tension—it's the possibility of it. Once I played a few campaigns as a player, I really got a new appreciation for GMs who play fair AND who periodically fudge things or make things work periodically in the player's favor. Games where the GM don't do this I find to be too frustrating, and I often lose interest in those games.

As for spellbooks and familiars... why have them? For flavor. That wizards use spellbooks and sorcerers don't is cool—it's compelling and interesting flavor. And it does put a bit more responsibility on the PCs' side to take care of the book or familiar... but a GM who sets out to specifically destroy these thing is a jerk in the same way he'd be a jerk if, say, he knew a ranger took "Favored Enemy (dragon)" and then adjusted every adventure so that there'd never be a dragon in the game.

A GM's MOST IMPORTANT job is to make sure the players have fun, because if they don't have fun, they go away and then the game doesn't happen at all. A GM who is a jerk and enjoys crippling characters by killing them or taking their things away doesn't deserve to play the game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Monkeygod wrote:

Just read about Geb in the Inner Sea World Guide and I love it!! My inner Necromancer was sooo happy he cast Finger of Death on several unsuspecting passerby n raised them as wraiths outta sheer joy!!

Who created Geb?? Was this one of your homebrew nations??

Do any of the APs take place there?? If not will any??

Geb was created by Erik Mona. No APs have gone to Geb yet. Some day, I suspect one will. At this point, though, it's far more likely that the first adventure set in Geb will be a module.

We've had a few Pathfinder Society scenarios set there too, I believe.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Evil Lincoln wrote:
Does the Black Monk of Pathfinder #4 bear any relation to the Chekov short story of the same name?

I've not read that story, so I can't say. Wolfgang might have based him on that story, but that's a question for him, not me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Evil Lincoln wrote:
What else can you tell me about the Black Monk in general, Sir James? Would you re-stat him for 3.5 as anything in particular? I wonder if he wouldn't make a splendid Oracle.

I wouldn't change his class if I re-statted him in Pathfinder at all. He'd stay a monk, because he's got the word "monk" in his very name.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

godsDMit wrote:
1)
Spoiler:
According to whichever book has Dogslicer listed as an available weapon for purchase, it costs 8gp. But its got the same stats as a dagger, and at least the ones that some goblins use, they break on a roll of a 1. Why do they cost so much more than a dagger does?

Spoiler:
Because a dogslicer does more damage than a dagger. It's actually exactly the same weapon as a short sword, only it does slashing damage instead of piercing damage. It costs 2 gp less than a short sword as a result—comparing them to daggers isn't appropriate.
godsDMit wrote:

2)

Spoiler:
In RotR, my players are rapidly approaching Xanesha, and should be lvl 6 when reaching her. I'll have 6, maybe even 7 players facing her, so I have no intention of making her easier, as I think the action economy will tip the balance easily on her side.

I want the fight to be challenging, possibly even deadly if they do stupid things which I think is the point. My original thought was to not make her any tougher, but just give her the most convenient timing possible for her buffs, so theyll fight her at her current most deadly.
Do you think that would be fair, or should I do something to increase the challenge because of having so many players?

Spoiler:
Xanesha is incredibly powerful. She's way too tough as presented—she kinda slipped through the editorial quality control. It doesn't really matter if she's facing a lot of foes rather than just 4; 6th level characters are going to have a REALLY tough time hitting her... especially if she casts shield to get an AC of 30. That's an AC you normally see on a CR 15 monster. Furthermore, since the PCs also have to contend with the high likelihood of falling damage or other clocktower-related peril, they've got more on their hands than just a too-powerful lamia matriarch. I really REALLY would suggest that you just use the stats for the lamia matriarch from page 175 of the Bestiary 2 in place of Xanesha. If you're worried the PCs will overwhelm her... the best way to increase the toughness of that battle is NOT to increase her power, but instead to add more low level mooks and minions to the fight. That gives the PCs a few extra foes to contend with, but doesn't make her more powerful herself.
Paizo Employee Creative Director

Runnetib wrote:

How would you handle starting, say, Jade Regent, if you'd already run through Kingmaker (which can easily jump years if not decades ahead during pure building phases) following the 'no specific date, but year is typically 2700+ IRL year? To clarify, by 4711 AR, which is when Jade Regent would fall, you could have a decent sized barony by then, and depending on some of the events or even promotion edicts, Sandpoint or some visitor might very well have heard of the newest attempt to tame the Stolen Lands.

Since Jade Regent's events and Kingmaker's events take place in areas that don't overlap, I'd go back to 4711 to run Jade Regent and really just ignore what was going on over in Kingmaker. If your players seem intent on going to the Stolen lands to mess around... they're blatantly NOT wanting to play Jade Regent, so if that happened, I'd ask the PCs if they really want to play Jade Regent or not. if they do, then I'd tell them to knock off the distracting goofiness and get back on the rails. If they don't, I'd cancel the game and start a new game up set in the year after the Kingmaker game concluded.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

mdt wrote:

Ok,

Here's a multiple choice question. :)

Is this :

A) The Stupidest
B) The Coolest
C) The Coolest Stupid
D) The Stupidest Cool
E) Just one of the many stupid
F) Just one of the many cool
G) Just one of the many stupidly cool
H) Just one of the many cooly stupid

things you've ever seen with regards to RPG products?

H

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Guardian Beyond Beyond wrote:
Did Groteus help lock away the Rough Beast?

No.


How long is it likely to take the reputation of 'Tolkien elves' to recover from the damage the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings films and Orlando Bloom did?
My mind has been put in the way of this question by a recent exchange of posts where at least one poster seems to have no idea (please excuse my language) of what butt-kicking name-taking all around general badasses Tolkien actually depicted most of his elves (especially the Noldor of The Silmarillion) as actually being...


James Jacobs wrote:

I prefer to run games with strong storylines in which the player characters are the KEY element of that story—they have plotlines as important as the plotlines of the campaign itself. As a result, I find PC death (or otherwise loosing a PC) to be disruptive, annoying, and frustrating. To combat this, I use hero point-type mechanics in games I run to help give the PCs a bit of control over the fickle hand of fate—a PC who dies due to a monster's lucky critical hit is lame.

Once PCs can cast spells like raise dead or breath of life, then that's certainly a help... but still—having your character die sucks. It means that you can't play the game until your character is brought back to life, and NOTHING you can do in game can really speed that process along.

Any GM who thinks that death isn't a worry or isn't something that players are worried about needs to try playing the game from the player side of things. For a long time, I only ran games, and I kind of had the same feeling about PC death—it's no good if no PCs die, because then the players think you're soft. That's not true. It's not the death that causes stress and tension—it's the possibility of it. Once I played a few campaigns as a player, I really got a new appreciation for GMs who play fair AND who periodically fudge things or make things work periodically in the player's favor. Games where the GM don't do this I find to be too frustrating, and I often lose interest in those games.

As for spellbooks and familiars... why have them? For flavor. That wizards use spellbooks and sorcerers don't is cool—it's compelling and interesting flavor. And it does put a bit more responsibility on the PCs' side to take care of the book or familiar... but a GM who sets out to specifically destroy these thing is a jerk in the same way he'd be a jerk if, say, he knew a ranger took "Favored Enemy (dragon)" and then adjusted every adventure so that there'd never be a dragon in the game.

A GM's MOST IMPORTANT job is to make sure the players have fun, because if they don't have fun, they go away and then the game doesn't happen at all. A GM who is a jerk and enjoys crippling characters by killing them or taking their things away doesn't deserve to play the game.

I roll all my dice in front of my players. I dont fudge and it does sometimes bites me in the... The main villian fumbles his smite good, or a player takes a nasty crit that brings them below negative 10 on an attack of opportunity as they were getting into flanking position, but my players DO have fun and they know and trust I am being honest with them. I have never had a player tell me I was unfair to them.

I just try to continue to work the story. Sometimes good roleplaying can come from a death, somtimes you can develop other quests from it. Most of the time, the party has some way to deal with any problem and and be recovered at the end of combat. Even in a total party wipe (extreamly rare at my table), it is still recoverable ( Bad guys ransom the PCs to the king creating a jail break senario, Pharisma refuses to take their souls due to a kindness owed to another God), possibilities are endless.

I agree the threat of death is a thrill and death or loss hurts, but if a game has the posibility of having "no deaths", does this not invalidate the game in some way?

What are some good ways to balance life and death if you do not want to fudge rolls or hide behind a GM screen?

Silver Crusade

Rules mechanics clarification:
This has been kicked around by several local PFS GM's so I'm here to see if this is just an oversight or intentional.

Grappling:
1st Initiate grapple, use your CMB and let's say success.
2nd Maintain grapple, and let's say success again.
3rd as part of maintaining grapple you get to do damage.

The question comes in at 3. The RAW say nothing about having to be able to bypass the AC of the target, just that you do damage. So, in example my paladin has an AC of 26, but a CMD of 16.

So, "anyone" could just ignore the high AC and grapple and begin to just do damage if he maintains the grapple? The ruling at our con by a more than respectable GM was you still had to hit AC, I would personally agree with this, but it's come up that it says not attack, but just do damage RAW. Your thoughts?


James Jacobs wrote:
scifan888 wrote:
How do you permanently destroy a ghost without having to fulfill its special conditions?
That's something each GM should decide for his or her own game. In my games... you can't. To put a ghost to rest, you have to fulfill those special conditions... or use something super high-level. Artifacts could do the trick, as could a miracle or wish spell.

How about a Trap the Soul and then Plane Shift to deliver the gem to Pharsma's court? Do you think they would have any trouble getting the soul to someone in authority? She should be aware of someone delivering an undead soul for judgment.

There's this ghost who doesn't deserve the glory he craved so much that committed betrayal and murder.


1) Does age affect your speed?

2) Where can I find the stats for Zombie Cows?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

Any GM who thinks that death isn't a worry or isn't something that players are worried about needs to try playing the game from the player side of things. For a long time, I only ran games, and I kind of had the same feeling about PC death—it's no good if no PCs die, because then the players think you're soft. That's not true. It's not the death that causes stress and tension—it's the possibility of it. Once I played a few campaigns as a player, I really got a new appreciation for GMs who play fair AND who periodically fudge things or make things work periodically in the player's favor. Games where the GM don't do this I find to be too frustrating, and I often lose interest in those games.

As for spellbooks and familiars... why have them? For flavor. That wizards use spellbooks and sorcerers don't is cool—it's compelling and interesting flavor. And it does put a bit more responsibility on the PCs' side to take care of the book or familiar... but a GM who sets out to specifically destroy these thing is a jerk in the same way he'd be a jerk if, say, he knew a ranger took "Favored Enemy (dragon)" and then adjusted every adventure so that there'd never be a dragon in the game.

A GM's MOST IMPORTANT job is to make sure the players have fun, because if they don't have fun, they go away and then the game doesn't happen at all. A GM who is a jerk and enjoys crippling characters by killing them or taking their things away doesn't deserve to play the game.

Don't get me wrong, I don't set out to intentionally kill PCs just to prove it's deadly. However, I have a rule for my games. Don't reward stupid. Fickle dice I don't usually let have sway. However, running off by yourself and trying to sneak into the Orc encampment alone so you can steal stuff... Yeah, when you get caught, I'm not going to fudge and such. Same if you decide to charge the elder dragon, even though you've been given 3 ways to bypass it, and warned by NPCs that he's extremely dangerous.

Same with the spell books and etc. I don't target them at lower levels, but once they're high enough level to afford to back up their spellbooks, if they don't keep copies, and have them out, they're valid targets. Again, don't go out of my way to target them, but if they are out, then no enemy is not going to target it, especially if they are using the same tactics.


Charles Evans 25 wrote:

How long is it likely to take the reputation of 'Tolkien elves' to recover from the damage the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings films and Orlando Bloom did?

My mind has been put in the way of this question by a recent exchange of posts where at least one poster seems to have no idea (please excuse my language) of what butt-kicking name-taking all around general badasses Tolkien actually depicted most of his elves (especially the Noldor of The Silmarillion) as actually being...

Did you watch the same movies I did? I saw Orlando Bloom do some truly awesome things, including taking down an Ollyphant unassisted. I thought dwarves got the raw deal in the adaptation, due to John Rhys-Davies making Gimli look like a buffoon.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

Hey James have a question.( Duhnthis is the Ask James Jacobs thread)

With recent release of the Player Companion Faiths of Purity and the upcoming Player Companion Faiths of Balance...I was wondering will we see a Player's Companion for the Evil Faiths?

That sure would make sense, wouldn't it? ;-P

We haven't announced a book like this yet... but neither have we announced all of 2011's products yet.

I was just wondering as it could be the first actual support for evil PCs(being in the player companion seris) I have seen in a long time.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

How long is it likely to take the reputation of 'Tolkien elves' to recover from the damage the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings films and Orlando Bloom did?

My mind has been put in the way of this question by a recent exchange of posts where at least one poster seems to have no idea (please excuse my language) of what butt-kicking name-taking all around general badasses Tolkien actually depicted most of his elves (especially the Noldor of The Silmarillion) as actually being...

I think that the way elves were portrayed in Peter Jackson's movies were fine. In fact, the entire storytelling experience for me was better in movie form—Peter Jackson's a better storyteller than Tolkien. Tolkien's a great world designer and language designer, but riveting storytelling is not his strong suit.

Certainly the way elves were portrayed in the movie were more in line with how they act and work in RPGs. The way they work in Tolkien's writing more or less makes them unplayable options as PC races, which isn't good for the game.

AKA: I'll take the elves in the movie over the elves in the novel any day of the week. But I'll take OUR elves over any of them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ThornDJL7 wrote:

Rules mechanics clarification:

This has been kicked around by several local PFS GM's so I'm here to see if this is just an oversight or intentional.

Grappling:
1st Initiate grapple, use your CMB and let's say success.
2nd Maintain grapple, and let's say success again.
3rd as part of maintaining grapple you get to do damage.

The question comes in at 3. The RAW say nothing about having to be able to bypass the AC of the target, just that you do damage. So, in example my paladin has an AC of 26, but a CMD of 16.

So, "anyone" could just ignore the high AC and grapple and begin to just do damage if he maintains the grapple? The ruling at our con by a more than respectable GM was you still had to hit AC, I would personally agree with this, but it's come up that it says not attack, but just do damage RAW. Your thoughts?

Once you're grappling a foe, you're already all over him. You don't have to "reroll" to hit his AC since you're hugging/choke-holding/bear-hugging/whatever him already. In effect, your grapple role to maintain the grapple IS your roll to hit his AC.

A creature with a really high AC but a super low CMD should avoid being grappled, since once he's grappled, his AC doesn't help at all. That's one of the reasons why you might want to try grappling certain foes instead of just trying to hit them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

scifan888 wrote:

How about a Trap the Soul and then Plane Shift to deliver the gem to Pharsma's court? Do you think they would have any trouble getting the soul to someone in authority? She should be aware of someone delivering an undead soul for judgment.

There's this ghost who doesn't deserve the glory he craved so much that committed betrayal and murder.

First off... Pharasma doesn't look kindly on people who try to "help" by trapping souls and delivering them to her. She sees that as unlikable ego plays and annoying meddling.

And secondly... if you have the resources to trap a ghost's soul in a gem and then travel to Pharasma's court and can arrange for a face-to-face meeting... you're doing something that exceeds the kick-ass legendary act factor of just casting wish or miracle. And probably WAY exceeding that ghost's conditions for being put to rest in the first place.

It's kind of like using a battleship as a paperweight to keep a piece of paper from blowing away in a light breeze. It's kinda overkill.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

harmor wrote:

1) Does age affect your speed?

2) Where can I find the stats for Zombie Cows?

1) No, it does not. Not unless the GM decides to houserule it in.

2) Pathfinder Bestiary. Put the zombie template on an aurochs.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

mdt wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I don't set out to intentionally kill PCs just to prove it's deadly. However, I have a rule for my games. Don't reward stupid. Fickle dice I don't usually let have sway. However, running off by yourself and trying to sneak into the Orc encampment alone so you can steal stuff... Yeah, when you get caught, I'm not going to fudge and such. Same if you decide to charge the elder dragon, even though you've been given 3 ways to bypass it, and warned by NPCs that he's extremely dangerous.

Same with the spell books and etc. I don't target them at lower levels, but once they're high enough level to afford to back up their spellbooks, if they don't keep copies, and have them out, they're valid targets. Again, don't go out of my way to target them, but if they are out, then no enemy is not going to target it, especially if they are using the same tactics.

See... if I had a player pull stunts like that, I'd be more inclined to seize the opportunity to enable new story elements. Rather than having the orcs just execute him, they'd catch the PC and then demand ransoms or something. If you charge the elder dragon even when you've been told that's a bad idea, the dragon can just play with the character—humiliating a PC is often a better way to correct that kind of behavior than just killing him.

Now... there IS a type of player behavior that DOES get me to take my gloves off. It's not stupidity. It's unfounded arrogance and disrespect for the storyline. If I'm running a murder mystery in an elven city, and one player decides his character hates elves and therefore it's okay for him to just up and shoot an elf with an arrow right there in the middle of the crime scene... he's gonna get a reckoning. Same goes for, say, a paladin who uses selective vision on his paladin codes, ignores the bit that says you can work with evil to achieve a greater good and decides that rather than play along with the demon lord, he's just going to attack it, he'll get squashed. Again... I don't count this as stupidity, as much as I call it stubbornness or arrogance.

(In theory... the player would have been told by me something like, "Dude, don't make an elf-hater or a paladin for this adventure—not a good choice. Do something else." So that situation shouldn't ever happen in the first place.)

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