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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thomas Seitz wrote:

Dear James Jacobs,

How do you recommend naming fiends, especially demonic ones?

Make them scary sounding.

My best take for all these "how do you name things" questions is to practice, say them out loud, and use one of the countless online name generators, mix and match, spell things backwards, and take inspiration from genre fiction.

Naming things is kind of an art, and it's something you just have to practice.


Dear mr. Jacobs,

Knowing that you have the full statistics for Xanderghul, in order to create the Simulacrum, could we possibly see a release of his full stats once Return of the Runelords is completely out? I know I for one would love to see how exactly one builds the supposedly strongest runelord to ever walk the face of Golarion

With Regards
- Shadeworld


Will the Seers of the Drowned City and Cradle of Night modules ever be sanctioned for PFS?


What’s your favorite version of Godzilla?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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George the Bear wrote:
Will the Seers of the Drowned City and Cradle of Night modules ever be sanctioned for PFS?

I don't make that call, nor do I have the skills or knowledge set to understand the complexities of how to make it happen. My assumption is that it's tough enough that doing so would jeopardize more important things, like getting the regularly scheduled scenarios out on the breakneck pace of 2+ per month.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Shadeworld wrote:

Dear mr. Jacobs,

Knowing that you have the full statistics for Xanderghul, in order to create the Simulacrum, could we possibly see a release of his full stats once Return of the Runelords is completely out? I know I for one would love to see how exactly one builds the supposedly strongest runelord to ever walk the face of Golarion

With Regards
- Shadeworld

The internet's nature of picking things apart and casting a hyper-critical eye on choices makes me timid about this type of blog post. Further, a complex stat block like Xanderghul's would be a tough edit, and I'm not comfortable asking our editing team, which has its hands pretty full at the moment, to edit one of the most complicated stat blocks I've ever created. Furthermore, this kind of "bonus game content" isn't something we really do on our blog these days.

For what it's worth, Sorshen's stats in the final volume are comparable to Xanderghul's. They're both 20th-level wizards with 10 tiers of mythic power, so you can see how to build one of the strongest runelords to ever walk the face of Golarion just as easily with her.

(AKA: Whether or not one is more powerful than the other kinda boils down to whether or not you think illusions or enchantments are stronger—there's arguments for both.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Reksew_Trebla wrote:
What’s your favorite version of Godzilla?

The incarnation from "Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack." AKA the Godzilla with the solid white eyes.

The original and the recent American incarnation are tied for 2nd place.


So when did Nocticula become a full fledged goddess?


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is it dangerous for non-Razmir worshipers to be in Razmiran? Like are non-believers going to be constantly harassed or followed in a Ramziri city? Would PCs have to sneak into Razmiran? What about in a city like Xer that is right on the border and along a major trade route?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Nick O'Connell wrote:
So when did Nocticula become a full fledged goddess?

At some point before the first Return of the Runelords adventure, but at some point after Wrath of the Righteous. The exact moment she becomes a deity is "off screen" as it worked out... I had hoped to be able to do a big stand-alone adventure that featured it or have it be an element that takes place during one of the Adventure Paths that happens a year or so before "Return of the Runelords," but for various reasons I never had a chance to champion that story happening in the context of an adventure.

I wanted it to have happened BEFORE we switched to 2nd edition, because I want her to be a full deity from the outset of that edition, so having it get covered in Return of the Runelords was really my only option. Given those limitations, I'm pretty happy with how it plays out, particularly elements that are going to be revealed in the last adventure.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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j b 200 wrote:
Is it dangerous for non-Razmir worshipers to be in Razmiran? Like are non-believers going to be constantly harassed or followed in a Ramziri city? Would PCs have to sneak into Razmiran? What about in a city like Xer that is right on the border and along a major trade route?

It is indeed dangerous.


What’s your favorite animal like creature in tabletop games based off of D&D 3.5, including D&D 3.5?

Mine changes depending on the circumstances, because I love all animals. I’m currently really fond of Mogaru, as I love dragon dinosaur things, and Dragonnes, because I keep imagining throwing the Half-Dragon (Brass) Template on it, because it already looks like a cross between a lion and a brass dragon. About a week ago I was fond of Caypups and Cayhounds, as you know already. Anyways, enough rambling.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Reksew_Trebla wrote:

What’s your favorite animal like creature in tabletop games based off of D&D 3.5, including D&D 3.5?

Mine changes depending on the circumstances, because I love all animals. I’m currently really fond of Mogaru, as I love dragon dinosaur things, and Dragonnes, because I keep imagining throwing the Half-Dragon (Brass) Template on it, because it already looks like a cross between a lion and a brass dragon. About a week ago I was fond of Caypups and Cayhounds, as you know already. Anyways, enough rambling.

Froghemoth.


Is Nocticula's ascension detailed in the last chapter of Return of the Runelords? If not, where might we see it in the future?

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bananahell wrote:
Is Nocticula's ascension detailed in the last chapter of Return of the Runelords? If not, where might we see it in the future?

The actual ascension is handled offscreen, although the last volume has a few more tidbits that suggest what happened.

Full details on the transition to deity may show up somewhere down the road. I hope so, but I can't guarantee it.


Would you be interested in ever publishing something dedicated to designing adventures, including common resources, design techniques etc? I know this kind of information can be found in other hard covers whenever you put out content, but I more mean getting into the nitty gritty of complete adenture design.

It would be great to learn about it from a person or team that has dedicated tonnes of effort into it before, and also maybe get a peek into any design methods that are too time consuming for us to see in an ordinary adventure path due to production time constraints.


What were some other ideas that you wanted to finish before the transition to 2nd Edition? I imagine finishing the Runelords Trilogy is chief among them, but I'm curious what else.

Silver Crusade

Quote function keeps picking up the wrong post.

Will Return of the Runelords have the player-relevant mechanics about Nocticula--i.e., what domains Nocticula the Goddess offers to worshipers? Or if not, do you know yet where they will show up?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Pharasmin wrote:

Would you be interested in ever publishing something dedicated to designing adventures, including common resources, design techniques etc? I know this kind of information can be found in other hard covers whenever you put out content, but I more mean getting into the nitty gritty of complete adenture design.

It would be great to learn about it from a person or team that has dedicated tonnes of effort into it before, and also maybe get a peek into any design methods that are too time consuming for us to see in an ordinary adventure path due to production time constraints.

I've been interested in creating a book like this for YEARS. Because I think that GMs all over would enjoy it, but also because then there'd be a book I could give to prospective adventure writers to use as reference.

It's not a book that would really fit well into the types of books we publish at Paizo, alas, but we'll see. Maybe it'd be fun to write it up on my own as a game-neutral reference product and self publish it or something...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Beroli wrote:
Will Return of the Runelords have the relevant mechanics--i.e., what domains Nocticula the Goddess offers to worshipers? Or if not, do you know yet where they will show up?

Those mechanics are already out there—they're in the Return of the Runelords Player's Guide.

But they'll be reprinted in part 6 of the AP, in the "Beyond the Campaign" article.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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bananahell wrote:
What were some other ideas that you wanted to finish before the transition to 2nd Edition? I imagine finishing the Runelords Trilogy is chief among them, but I'm curious what else.

Closing out the Runelords story was the #1 goal.

Nocticula's rise was another.

I've lots more, but those have officially just transitioned over to 2nd edition storylines, so I'm not ready to reveal what they are quite yet! :-P


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I would love that someday! It's the kind of book I'd buy two of because I'd wear through the first copy too fast.

On another note, I'm currently wrestling with Nocticula's ascention; I'm happy to see it happen, but my character is in a wierd position. My current character just recently converted to her and became an evangelist, specifically worshipping her aspects of lust and assassination, but now those subdomains are completley missing.

I don't think my DM is aware of the changes so it likely won't be a focus in the campaign, but I still personally want to know what's going on. I guess the question is, what is the relationship between my lust/assassin based newly converted worshipper and Nocticula? Beyond just "do I keep my class", but along the lines of what does she think of me and others like me?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Pharasmin wrote:

I would love that someday! It's the kind of book I'd buy two of because I'd wear through the first copy too fast.

On another note, I'm currently wrestling with Nocticula's ascention; I'm happy to see it happen, but my character is in a wierd position. My current character just recently converted to her and became an evangelist, specifically worshipping her aspects of lust and assassination, but now those subdomains are completley missing.

I don't think my DM is aware of the changes so it likely won't be a focus in the campaign, but I still personally want to know what's going on. I guess the question is, what is the relationship between my lust/assassin based newly converted worshipper and Nocticula? Beyond just "do I keep my class", but along the lines of what does she think of me and others like me?

We talk a little bit about what happens to her prior worshipers in part 6, but for those faithful, it's going to be a REALLY tough and rough time. They'll either need to adjust their beliefs and rise along with her, which will happen to some of them. Others will simply abandon her faith and need to seek out other divinities to worship instead. There's plenty of other options even just among demon lords and their kind—Shamira, Zura, Socothbenoth, Shax, and Mestama are all potentially good choices for disenfranchised Nocticulans to change faiths to.

Of course, if your GM doesn't adopt the change in her campaign, it's a moot point. Your GM is the one you should be talking to about this in this case.

If this came up in my game, I'd give you two options: Go with Nocticula's new themes (and rebuild your character as needed, picking new domains and all that with no in-game cost or penalty), or switch to a new deity whose themes match better (Shamira, in this case, if you were more into lust, or Shax if you were more into killing).


Ok, thank you, that makes sense. In that case though, I'd be curious why Nocticula is bothering to take in new worshippers of her old ways in the first place if she just plans to ditch them so soon once she ascends, especcially seeing as you've said before that the number of worshippers doesn't affect the power of gods. Would she have a reason?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Pharasmin wrote:
Ok, thank you, that makes sense. In that case though, I'd be curious why Nocticula is bothering to take in new worshippers of her old ways in the first place if she just plans to ditch them so soon once she ascends, especcially seeing as you've said before that the number of worshippers doesn't affect the power of gods. Would she have a reason?

She's chaotic. She's fickle. But more to the point, a deity doesn't "hand pick" her worshipers. That's recruitment. That's the job of the faithful, not the goddess.

In this regard, the emerging "heretics" who worship the Redeemer Queen are already doing this, spreading the word of the imminent change in the faith. Turns out that this particular group of heretics were right, rather than just being eccentric.

Furthermore... deities don't actually do the handing out of spells and powers to their clerics and followers. The only exception is when a deity does some divine intervention, as detailed in Planar Adventures. A cleric's spells and powers are things she generates herself through her own faith, not things her deity has to actually send to her. (The concept of a deity being the one who sends the spells to a cleric is a D&D element, not a Pathfinder element, but since it's a D&D element it DOES tend to be the assumption of how it works...).


Does Paizo ever plan on releasing stats for the rest of the named Kaiju?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Reksew_Trebla wrote:
Does Paizo ever plan on releasing stats for the rest of the named Kaiju?

Not for 1st edition Pathfinder. We'll see how things play out in 2nd edition, but as long as I remain employed here, I'll be championing kaiju.


Dear James Jacobs,

If I'm going to use madness as an affliction rather than just a story point, would the GameMastery Guide instead of Horror Rules? Or do you think Horror rules madness entries are fine for PCs that want an schizophrenic pyromaniac magus?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thomas Seitz wrote:

Dear James Jacobs,

If I'm going to use madness as an affliction rather than just a story point, would the GameMastery Guide instead of Horror Rules? Or do you think Horror rules madness entries are fine for PCs that want an schizophrenic pyromaniac magus?

Use the rules you and your players prefer. My personal preference for them these days are the rules I helped design for Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder book though.


Magic is very powerful. On Golarion, there are really powerful mages who can destroy entire armies. Then why are there armies in the first place? They are clearly of no use in a world where a mage can annihilate thousands of soldiers with a hand gesture. Similarly, mages are very powerful but yet there are still kings and lords who rule over them. Why wouldn't the mages rule the world?


Kaiju are really awesome. I was thinking of making new Kaiju for a home game by simply adding the Kaiju subtype to preexisting creatures, and making them Colossal if they weren’t already so, as well as maybe changing animals to magical beasts if I make an animal Kaiju.

What do you think would be a good creature to use as the base for King Kong?


James Jacobs wrote:
Furthermore... deities don't actually do the handing out of spells and powers to their clerics and followers. The only exception is when a deity does some divine intervention, as detailed in Planar Adventures. A cleric's spells and powers are things she generates herself through her own faith, not things her deity has to actually send to her. (The concept of a deity being the one who sends the spells to a cleric is a D&D element, not a Pathfinder element, but since it's a D&D element it DOES tend to be the assumption of how it works...).

That is for the generic line or for Golarion? If it is for Golarion doesn't that conflict with everything that you and the products have said about clerics needing a patron godd(dess) and receiving their spells from them?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Magic is very powerful. On Golarion, there are really powerful mages who can destroy entire armies. Then why are there armies in the first place? They are clearly of no use in a world where a mage can annihilate thousands of soldiers with a hand gesture. Similarly, mages are very powerful but yet there are still kings and lords who rule over them. Why wouldn't the mages rule the world?

Because there's not a lot of spellcasters who can use that level of power overall. Because of the small number who ARE that powerful, most of them aren't jerks and and aren't evil. And of the small number of those who ARE that powerful and ARE evil jerks who'd want to do this, a fair number are cowardly or smart enough to know that doing stuff like this will get the rest of the world/other spellcasters/heroes riled up enough to come in and oppose them.

Those evil, powerful spellcasters who want to destroy armies or ruin empires are the ones we do adventure paths and modules and stories about.

That said, there's plenty of examples of areas in the setting where spellcasters rule the nation. They just don't rule the world, for the reasons listed above, and for the meta reason of that would be boring and too limiting for a diversity of storytelling. Golarion needs to be a setting where we and the countless GMs alike can use to build ALL SORTS of stories, and a single wizard ruling the world pinches those options off too much.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Reksew_Trebla wrote:

Kaiju are really awesome. I was thinking of making new Kaiju for a home game by simply adding the Kaiju subtype to preexisting creatures, and making them Colossal if they weren’t already so, as well as maybe changing animals to magical beasts if I make an animal Kaiju.

What do you think would be a good creature to use as the base for King Kong?

An ape.

And if you're REALLY interested... check out the Thunder and Fire article I wrote for Dragon Magazine back in issue 289. It's a large sized article that presents a kaiju template.

Note that in writing that article, I came to the opinion that the BEST way to build a kaiju is from the ground up, as a new and unique monster. The template rout works, but it tends to limit creativity and ends up with unwanted associations with the base creature. It's better for, say, Godzilla to be the king of the monsters and a one-of-a-kind rather than merely a "fire breathing dinosaur."


This is kind of a random question, but when you worked on the Monster Manual 3 for WotC, was the Runehound one of your creations? It just seems like the kind of monster you would whip up.


James Jacobs wrote:
....There's plenty of other options even just among demon lords and their kind—Shamira, Zura, Socothbenoth, Shax, and Mestama are all potentially good choices for disenfranchised Nocticulans to change faiths to....

So does this mean Shamira is Nocticula's successor as Queen of the Succubi and Mistress of the Midnight Isles? How's Sarenrae handling that news if true?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The NPC wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Furthermore... deities don't actually do the handing out of spells and powers to their clerics and followers. The only exception is when a deity does some divine intervention, as detailed in Planar Adventures. A cleric's spells and powers are things she generates herself through her own faith, not things her deity has to actually send to her. (The concept of a deity being the one who sends the spells to a cleric is a D&D element, not a Pathfinder element, but since it's a D&D element it DOES tend to be the assumption of how it works...).
That is for the generic line or for Golarion? If it is for Golarion doesn't that conflict with everything that you and the products have said about clerics needing a patron godd(dess) and receiving their spells from them?

No. It's a bit more complicated than that. Clerics DO need a specific deity, and that deity IS the source of their power. If the deity dies or wants to shut the cleric off or something like that happens, then the cleric loses her spells per normal and would need to switch to a new deity.

What I was trying to get at is that deities don't need to actually consciously give those spells out. Deities don't have rules that they have to follow, and that includes having to take actions to do things in that regard.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
This is kind of a random question, but when you worked on the Monster Manual 3 for WotC, was the Runehound one of your creations? It just seems like the kind of monster you would whip up.

Nope. I actually didn't directly work on Monster Manual 3. A few of the monsters I made up for Dragon Magazine got picked up for inclusion in that book is all. I'm not sure who made up the runehound.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CrimsonVixen wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
....There's plenty of other options even just among demon lords and their kind—Shamira, Zura, Socothbenoth, Shax, and Mestama are all potentially good choices for disenfranchised Nocticulans to change faiths to....
So does this mean Shamira is Nocticula's successor as Queen of the Succubi and Mistress of the Midnight Isles? How's Sarenrae handling that news if true?

She's the most likely successor, since she was already more or less running the big city there in the Midnight Isles already and already has succubus themed elements. Her stepping up to full demon lord status from nascent demon lord is pretty likely, but that won't happen before the edition change. If ever.

As for how Sarenrae handles it... she'll do so with class, kindness, patience, and understanding. Cause that's her nature.

Grand Lodge

Hey James, no idea if you'll know the answer to this or not, but for the unchained summoner, how come the agathion subtype can't take the mount evolution? It's the one that specifically says it has animal traits. Is it a pride thing?

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kevin_video wrote:
Hey James, no idea if you'll know the answer to this or not, but for the unchained summoner, how come the agathion subtype can't take the mount evolution? It's the one that specifically says it has animal traits. Is it a pride thing?

I have no idea. That was all created on the design side of things, which at that point was still pretty focused on world-neutral stuff, so I'm relatively sure that flavor concepts like "pride" didn't factor.


Since Tyrant's Grasp deals a bit with Aroden, will there be any more sprinklings of what *could* have happened to the god that *may* have caused his death? Obviously it won't be a clear answer, but I was curious if there'd be some speculations or hints of things that were happening with him just around the time of his death.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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bananahell wrote:
Since Tyrant's Grasp deals a bit with Aroden, will there be any more sprinklings of what *could* have happened to the god that *may* have caused his death? Obviously it won't be a clear answer, but I was curious if there'd be some speculations or hints of things that were happening with him just around the time of his death.

Nope.


Are you answering "nope" just to throw us off the trail? Because the true answer is hidden in code throughout the volumes of the AP?


If you could gain a Pathfinder Guardian Spirit, what kind of creature would they be?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Java Man wrote:
Are you answering "nope" just to throw us off the trail? Because the true answer is hidden in code throughout the volumes of the AP?

I'm answering "nope" because Aroden's death isn't something that we're really interested in revealing more about. He did more than die. There's plenty of Aroden-themed elements to explore that don't obsess over his death.

This adventure path, in any event, is about the Whispering Tyrant's actions in present, modern day Golarion, not so much an exploration of his past.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Reksew_Trebla wrote:
If you could gain a Pathfinder Guardian Spirit, what kind of creature would they be?

Hopefully a helpful one and not one that's trying to trick or manipulate me.


Of all the deities, both major and minor, who would you say you would be most likely to venerate if transported to Golarion?


James Jacobs wrote:
I've put a LOT of my homebrew into the setting. Enough that publishing what remains in my homebrew that hasn't been ported over to Paizo as a stand-alone fantasy setting is no longer viable, alas.

Even elsewhere on Golarion and/or elsewhere in the universe?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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bananahell wrote:
Of all the deities, both major and minor, who would you say you would be most likely to venerate if transported to Golarion?

Desna. Maybe Sarenrae.

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