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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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kevin_video wrote:

To James Jacobs,

Don’t know if this question has been asked before or not, but it’s something that came up in our group right before we agreed to do our first adventure path together. We know that each AP is written for four characters with 15 point buy stats, but what about hp? What does it compensate for? If the PCs only have 1/2 hp per HD (after 1st) like an NPC with base class levels, is that survivable?

The game itself is built on the assumptions of averages across the board when it comes to anything involving die rolls, be it damage or d20 rolls or hit points.


I asked this question in two blogs and didn’t get an answer. I just want to know out of curiosity. In the second edition playtest bestiary the jabberwock and the grim reaper are said to be unique creatures but in first edition they are depicted as a species or race of creatures. I just want to know why that changed?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Nick O'Connell wrote:
I asked this question in two blogs and didn’t get an answer. I just want to know out of curiosity. In the second edition playtest bestiary the jabberwock and the grim reaper are said to be unique creatures but in first edition they are depicted as a species or race of creatures. I just want to know why that changed?

Because we wanted to playtest how folks reacted to that change. Is it better to have famous monsters like these as unique creatures you can only ever use once? Or is it better to be able to use them more often? Let us know in the playtest forums... but not in this thread, since this thread is for questions! :-P


There is an artifact called the Scepter of Ages in Artifacts & Legends. What does the word age mean in this context? At first I thought it means the number of full years that someone has been alive(at age seven, until the age of 16, et cetera), because the item forcefully ages its victim to death. But then I found out it can open a portal through time, which means the word age should mean a particular period of time in history(the golden age, the age of Pericles, et cetera). Which is correct?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
There is an artifact called the Scepter of Ages in Artifacts & Legends. What does the word age mean in this context? At first I thought it means the number of full years that someone has been alive(at age seven, until the age of 16, et cetera), because the item forcefully ages its victim to death. But then I found out it can open a portal through time, which means the word age should mean a particular period of time in history(the golden age, the age of Pericles, et cetera). Which is correct?

When you see words as proper nouns serving in a title of something like this, it pretty much is always just flavor. In this case, the word "ages" is a reference to the various ages of history, such as the Age of Lost Omens or the Age of Darkness or the Age of whatever, since this artifact allows for someone to travel through time and thus travel through these Ages.


Were all Runelords of Gluttony undead? In other words, a living human necromancer cannot become the Runelord of Gluttony?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Were all Runelords of Gluttony undead? In other words, a living human necromancer cannot become the Runelord of Gluttony?

No, but we haven't said much about the other ones.


In Second Edition Playtest Bestiary, troglodytes are named as xulgaths instead. This is their name for themselves. But serpentfolk are still named as serpentfolk. Shouldn't they have name for themselves too? I wish this would be changed after the playtest.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
In Second Edition Playtest Bestiary, troglodytes are named as xulgaths instead. This is their name for themselves. But serpentfolk are still named as serpentfolk. Shouldn't they have name for themselves too? I wish this would be changed after the playtest.

The playtest is by definition transitory. It becomes obsolete a year or so after publication. It's the place to test things, not to set changes in stone.

We'll have race names for all of these types of creatures, be they serpentfolk or lizardfolk or whatever, in the final game, but rushing names out without giving them each a lot of thought to make sure the name is just right just so it'll be in the playtest wasn't something I was interested in. For things like the xulgaths, that name was put in print years ago, and so we could include it. We haven't yet done that for serpentfolk, but will do so by the time the ACTUAL game and not the self-obsoleting game is out.


In Playtest, those traditional fantasy creatures like dark folk and dragons have arcane innate spells. And those strange and bizarre creatures like the Leng spiders and the star-spawn of Cthulhu have occult innate spells. Then I found out serpentfolk have occult innate spells. I have always thought they are arcane creatures, not occult. Serpentfolk are, though weird, not as weird as the Leng spiders or the star-spawn of Cthulhu. They share more similarities with traditional fantasy creatures, I guess. What do you think? Do you think serpentfolk should remain as occult creatures?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
In Playtest, those traditional fantasy creatures like dark folk and dragons have arcane innate spells. And those strange and bizarre creatures like the Leng spiders and the star-spawn of Cthulhu have occult innate spells. Then I found out serpentfolk have occult innate spells. I have always thought they are arcane creatures, not occult. Serpentfolk are, though weird, not as weird as the Leng spiders or the star-spawn of Cthulhu. They share more similarities with traditional fantasy creatures, I guess. What do you think? Do you think serpentfolk should remain as occult creatures?

Yes.

It's worth remembering that the serpentfolk we have in Pathfinder are very VERY inspired by those that appeared in Robert E. Howard's stories and have ties to the Lovecraft mythos and are also inspired by the serpentfolk from the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game.

So to me, it makes a LOT of sense to tie them to the same magic traditions as those used by other Lovecraftian critters.


James Jacobs wrote:
We'll have race names for all of these types of creatures

Are the various planet-ian races included in this list as well? Their racial names already appeared in print (though admittedly only in Starfinder), so will these names be used in 2E as well?


In First Edition, monsters had statistics more like PCs. But in D&D 4th, their ststistics are very different from those of PCs. And in Playtest Bestiary, I found out that the monsters have very different statistics from those of PCs. I am really depressed, because that was why I didn't like Starfinder that much. What do you and other developers think? Do you prefer monsters having different statistics from those of PCs? Or do you prefer them having statistics more like PCs, as they used to?


James Jacobs wrote:
Trigger Loaded wrote:
Ignoring his desires, would putting Geb to rest only require that he be given conclusive evidence what happened to Nex? Or would it require either Geb or Nex to ultimately 'win' their battle?
As one of the most powerful ghosts in the setting, putting Geb to rest should be very very difficult, and in and of itself should constitute a significant quest and adventure. And it'd probably NOT be something tied to Nex, but something far more difficult and secret to figure out.

Well, that caught me by surprise. Everything in the (Admittedly brief) writeup with Geb sure makes it seem what ties him to this world is his rivalry with Nex that never got a conclusion. Though I suppose it never spelled it outright. But anyways, next question:

Given what you've indicated here, does that mean Geb's ritualistic suicide was actually a deliberate method of becoming a ghost? I had assumed him becoming a ghost was an unexpected effect of his rivalry and the suicide, but given his status as an incredibly powerful necromancer, now you got me curious if he had discovered a ritual to become a ghost, which would have quite a few advantages over a lich.


Mr. James Jacobs,

Did Sorshen ever have a lover or other person that she actually loved? If so, can you share some details, or if published, tell me where I can find them?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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HTD wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
We'll have race names for all of these types of creatures
Are the various planet-ian races included in this list as well? Their racial names already appeared in print (though admittedly only in Starfinder), so will these names be used in 2E as well?

Maybe.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
In First Edition, monsters had statistics more like PCs. But in D&D 4th, their ststistics are very different from those of PCs. And in Playtest Bestiary, I found out that the monsters have very different statistics from those of PCs. I am really depressed, because that was why I didn't like Starfinder that much. What do you and other developers think? Do you prefer monsters having different statistics from those of PCs? Or do you prefer them having statistics more like PCs, as they used to?

This is also how monsters worked in 1st and 2nd edition D&D.

I quite prefer this method of generating monsters, because it not only makes creating monsters easier, it makes creating monsters more fun and more interesting. Furthermore, it makes it so that we don't have to load NPCs up with ability boosting items, AC boosting items, and save boosting items just so that they hit their needed marks for what a monster needs to be able to do. It allows for more interesting NPCs, less repetitive treasures, and less complicated stat blocks.

I much much MUCH prefer having monsters/NPCs use their own set of rules for creation, because they are NOT the same as characters. Monsters/NPCs aren't meant to be in every scene of the game, and as such it's kind of ridiculous to try to build them to those same limitations that PCs have.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Trigger Loaded wrote:
Given what you've indicated here, does that mean Geb's ritualistic suicide was actually a deliberate method of becoming a ghost? I had assumed him becoming a ghost was an unexpected effect of his rivalry and the suicide, but given his status as an incredibly powerful necromancer, now you got me curious if he had discovered a ritual to become a ghost, which would have quite a few advantages over a lich.

Maybe. We haven't done much with Geb, and I'm not ready to start designing more about him in public. We'll get to Geb AND Nex eventually.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The NPC wrote:

Mr. James Jacobs,

Did Sorshen ever have a lover or other person that she actually loved? If so, can you share some details, or if published, tell me where I can find them?

No.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This year, not even having heard of it until a couple months before release, A Quiet Place made its way into my top 10 all-time favorite horror/thriller movies. When was the last time you had a new movie immediately jump into your favorites and which movie was it?


James Jacobs wrote:
We haven't done much with Geb, and I'm not ready to start designing more about him in public. We'll get to Geb AND Nex eventually.

Understood. Any further questions of mine about Geb will likely have the same answer as above. Just have to wait for the supplement or Adventure Path.

Different question, then:

Assuming you're familiar with Ravenloft, which Golarion figure would be most likely to be pulled into the realm and given/imprisoned in a domain, and what would their curse be?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cuuniyevo wrote:
This year, not even having heard of it until a couple months before release, A Quiet Place made its way into my top 10 all-time favorite horror/thriller movies. When was the last time you had a new movie immediately jump into your favorites and which movie was it?

Hmmm. Depends what you mean by "favorites." If you mean "Into my top 5 movies ever" then the last time one did this as soon as I saw it was probably "The Blair Witch Project."

Expanding that outward to my top 20? That's a bit trickier, but the most RECENT movie I've seen that knocked my socks off and completely impressed me was "Hereditary."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Trigger Loaded wrote:
Assuming you're familiar with Ravenloft, which Golarion figure would be most likely to be pulled into the realm and given/imprisoned in a domain, and what would their curse be?

I'm VERY familiar with Ravenloft. Both as the campaign setting and as the original 1st edition D&D adventure that came years before that.

As for most likely... that's impossible to narrow down since so many of Golarion's NPCs could fit that category. Any of the bad guys from any of our Adventure Paths would work well, but since using one in this capacity would effectively remove them entirely from the settting, and thus rob our own canon of a potential villain... I'd prefer to pick an NPC whose influence and impact on the world has come and gone and who we would be very unlikely to want to do anything else with in the future.

Which makes it tough for me to pick, since if an NPC in Golarion is interesting enough to send to Ravenloft, that makes them by definition interesting enough to keep around.


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

Since you recommended I watch The Blair Witch Project a few years ago it has become a Halloween season tradition to watch with my teenage daughter.

Do you have any other movies you'd recommend in a similar vein.


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

Are there any concrete plans for Treerazer?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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captain yesterday wrote:

Since you recommended I watch The Blair Witch Project a few years ago it has become a Halloween season tradition to watch with my teenage daughter.

Do you have any other movies you'd recommend in a similar vein.

Hmmm. Paranormal Activity's a solid choice for found-footage horror!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
Are there any concrete plans for Treerazer?

There are plans, but they're not concrete.


James Jacobs wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
In First Edition, monsters had statistics more like PCs. But in D&D 4th, their ststistics are very different from those of PCs. And in Playtest Bestiary, I found out that the monsters have very different statistics from those of PCs. I am really depressed, because that was why I didn't like Starfinder that much. What do you and other developers think? Do you prefer monsters having different statistics from those of PCs? Or do you prefer them having statistics more like PCs, as they used to?

This is also how monsters worked in 1st and 2nd edition D&D.

I quite prefer this method of generating monsters, because it not only makes creating monsters easier, it makes creating monsters more fun and more interesting. Furthermore, it makes it so that we don't have to load NPCs up with ability boosting items, AC boosting items, and save boosting items just so that they hit their needed marks for what a monster needs to be able to do. It allows for more interesting NPCs, less repetitive treasures, and less complicated stat blocks.

I much much MUCH prefer having monsters/NPCs use their own set of rules for creation, because they are NOT the same as characters. Monsters/NPCs aren't meant to be in every scene of the game, and as such it's kind of ridiculous to try to build them to those same limitations that PCs have.

Yes, it was D&D's tradition to design monsters like that since the 1st. What I tried to say was that in First Edition(and by First Edition, I meant Pathfinder First Edition) Paizo chose to adopt the modified version of the 3.5, instead of supporting D&D 4th. Thus I thought that Paizo developers prefer the way 3.5 chose, and don't prefer the way 4th took. Am I missing something?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:


Yes, it was D&D's tradition to design monsters like that since the 1st. What I tried to say was that in First Edition(and by First Edition, I meant Pathfinder First Edition) Paizo chose to adopt the modified version of the 3.5, instead of supporting D&D 4th. Thus I thought that Paizo developers prefer the way 3.5 chose, and don't prefer the way 4th took. Am I missing something?

We kept the 3.5 method for 1st edition because we were a bit timid on changing too much. Now, we've got over a decade built up with folks used to Paizo presenting rules rather than just doing adventures, so we're more confident in ourselves and our customers to take risks and try new things.

AKA: What we prefer on year one isn't what we prefer on year ten. Things change.


I found out that Alaznist secured alliance with the qlippoth lord Yamasoth and gained knowledge of fleshwarping. But I thought it was the drows that first discovered the art of fleshwarping. Maybe Alaznist taught the elves of Celwynvian the knowledge of fleshwarping?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
I found out that Alaznist secured alliance with the qlippoth lord Yamasoth and gained knowledge of fleshwarping. But I thought it was the drows that first discovered the art of fleshwarping. Maybe Alaznist taught the elves of Celwynvian the knowledge of fleshwarping?

Alaznist discovered it first, but by the time the drow came along after Eartfall, she was out for the time being. The drow discovered it on their own, but weren't the first.


Runelord Xirie constructed Sech Nevali in eastern Haruka. But Sech Nevali was in Gastash, not Haruka. I'm not sure. Can I assume that, at first it was in Haruka, but Gastash somehow wrested some land from Haruka, and thus Sech Nevali was taken by Gastash as well? I thought the boundary lines between the seven domains of Thassilon had remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Sech Nevali was in Haruka. Previous indications of it being in Gastash got that wrong.


Dear James Jacobs,

Have you seen the latest trailer for Into the Spiderverse and can you tell me which is your favorite non-Peter Parker version of Spider-person?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thomas Seitz wrote:

Dear James Jacobs,

Have you seen the latest trailer for Into the Spiderverse and can you tell me which is your favorite non-Peter Parker version of Spider-person?

I'm not super into superhero movies. I go see them mostly out of nerd-culture expectation or cinematic inertia than anticipation, and I've kinda been tired of them overall for a few years now.

Haven't seen the latest trailer at all, and I have no insight into non-Peter Parker Spiderpersons... but I do very much approve of how it's getting more diverse. More of that please, and less of the "oh another white guy superhero" please.


You are the creative director of Second Edition. Does that mean you are only involved in the development of Golarion lores in Second Edition, and not involved in the development of rules in Second Edition?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
You are the creative director of Second Edition. Does that mean you are only involved in the development of Golarion lores in Second Edition, and not involved in the development of rules in Second Edition?

It means I'm involved in the creation of all Pathfinder content for 2nd edition, be it adventures or world lore or rules or licensed products.


When I first heard that there will be 10th level spells in Second Edition, I was really happy, because I thought that means we will have epic rules included in the core rules. But later I found out the 10th levels spells are not that powerful. Many of them were originally 9th level spells and some of them even got nurfed. I'm confused. Why did Paizo separate them from 9th level spell lists and create a 10th level spell list instead? I mean, I think just deleting 10th level spell list and putting all the 10th level spells into 9th level spell list would be a good idea.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aenigma wrote:
When I first heard that there will be 10th level spells in Second Edition, I was really happy, because I thought that means we will have epic rules included in the core rules. But later I found out the 10th levels spells are not that powerful. Many of them were originally 9th level spells and some of them even got nurfed. I'm confused. Why did Paizo separate them from 9th level spell lists and create a 10th level spell list instead? I mean, I think just deleting 10th level spell list and putting all the 10th level spells into 9th level spell list would be a good idea.

This isn't the appropriate place to give feedback on the 2nd edition playtest. Please direct that feedback and those questions to the playtest forums.


There are no forewords in Return of the Runelords because this adventure path need to let the PCs reach 20th level and there are not enough spaces to put the forewords in. I am really sad because I really like to read forewords. They set the tone for the rest of the book. They tell me what the developers think about the adventure path. They are really interesting to read. Then I remembered A Song of Silver had 32 additional pages. I think it would be a great idea to add 32 additional pages to every future adventure book so that they can include forewords and let the PCs reach 20th level at the same. Do you think adding more pages to adventure books would be a good and viable idea?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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There's more to it than that. While cutting the forewords did get us 2 more pages for adventure content, they were also among the less popular parts of the adventure paths for folks to produce in-house, and because of the perception that not a lot of folks read the forewords, and because in this digital era folks can just come online, say, to places like this thread, and get personalized interactions with the creators.

We COUD add 32 additional pages to the Adventure Paths... but that would require hiring more folks (we're currently at capacity on what we can produce), would require the adventure developer to work overtime every month (which is what happened to me producing these longer adventures in Return of the Runelords—you can't split an adventure up between developers, and at the normal adventure size that's about how many pages of an adventure a developer can reliably develop in a month), and perhaps the most distasteful element to all of the Adventure Path customers... we'd have to raise the price of every volume to 30 bucks (which is what #100 cost) or, due to inflation, perhaps even more.

Doing a monthly 128 page Adventure Path isn't an option.

THAT SAID: With 2nd edition, we're aiming to have the XP progression work more fluidly and elegantly with the concept of a 6 part Adventure Path, so that we won't NEED longer adventures to hit 20th level. With 2nd edition, we can solve that problem at the front end, so that it's natural for a 6 part adventure path to give out enough XP to go the full 1st to 20th level, without having to break developers' backs or customer's bank accounts.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Just been reading the new Sandpoint book, and it's excellent! I do have a question though. :-)

Sandpoint spoiler:
On the "Smuggler's Tunnels" map on page 71 there are red and yellow dots. I'm guessing these are access points, but what do the different colors mean?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Just been reading the new Sandpoint book, and it's excellent! I do have a question though. :-)** spoiler omitted **

Ah! Yellow dots indicate exits to the surface, while red dots indicate secret doors that provide underground access.


James Jacobs wrote:
(Personally, I've a skewed take on what is "child appropriate" since my grandmother had me reading Stephen King and Clive Barker at age 10 or thereabouts...)

Not sure if this count as Crazy, Awesome, or both at the same time?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Souls At War wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
(Personally, I've a skewed take on what is "child appropriate" since my grandmother had me reading Stephen King and Clive Barker at age 10 or thereabouts...)
Not sure if this count as Crazy, Awesome, or both at the same time?

Both.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

What was the first Stephen King book you read.

Mine was Tommyknockers.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hey, James! I apologize in advance for the weirdly specific question—I'm thinking of creating some props for Shattered Star for my group.

Ioun stones have various shapes. All the art of items where Ioun stones are slotted, like the Sihedron or Wayfinders, seem to have spherical slots. How do you see those slots in your mind's eye? Does the ioun stone sort of merge and fit the slot when placed, does it retain its shape and sit within the slot, or does the slot magically conform to the shape of the stone? Or something else?

Again, sorry for the weird question. I'd just love to 3D model this for my party.


Mr. James Jacobs,

I am planning on running Return of the Runelords. However it is for a 1 PC, 1 GNPC group. As such I was going to add a few mythic tiers. In you estimation, where in the first adventure would be a good ascension moment?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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captain yesterday wrote:

What was the first Stephen King book you read.

Mine was Tommyknockers.

Cujo.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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TomParker wrote:

Hey, James! I apologize in advance for the weirdly specific question—I'm thinking of creating some props for Shattered Star for my group.

Ioun stones have various shapes. All the art of items where Ioun stones are slotted, like the Sihedron or Wayfinders, seem to have spherical slots. How do you see those slots in your mind's eye? Does the ioun stone sort of merge and fit the slot when placed, does it retain its shape and sit within the slot, or does the slot magically conform to the shape of the stone? Or something else?

Again, sorry for the weird question. I'd just love to 3D model this for my party.

Spherical slots that still fit the ioun stones. The magic of such a slot holds the ioun stone in place, like a magnet.

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