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Silver Crusade

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

Looking into the souls thing further, I seem to be getting conflicting takes. It seems like the text explicitly states that the loss of memory a petitioner has isn't total, that a petitioner will remember some things about their past, and that outsiders (aside from qlippoth) are formed from a former mortal's soul being mixed with planar quintessence. But other people on the forums have made it sound like the soul remembers nothing of its previous existence as a mortal and loses all of its personality, basically being a mindless drone for its alignment until it's ground down into the plane it was sent to and melds with the scenery, with outsiders being an amalgamation of said scenery, and thus an amalgamation of many souls with no continuity of identity from any of them.

What's accurate here? Are there "normal" outsiders (i.e. ones that weren't deceased exceptional individuals rewarded with becoming an outsider instantly by a god or something) who have memories of their mortal lives? Could an outisder recognize loved ones from said mortal past? Or is it really like Evangelion where your individual identity gets broken down and you dissolve into soul Tang? I'm confused!


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Hi James!

Is Shorafa Pamodae a call out to Tyralandi of Scuttlecove? I notice they both have fiendish blood, violet skin, thorn tattoos, and similar professions.


Do Golarion gods try to hide the fact that people lose their memories and personality after death? For example, if someoneone planeshifted to the Oter Planes, see how it is by themselves, and then returned and started preaching about it all around, would the gods or their servants intervene?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Looking into the souls thing further, I seem to be getting conflicting takes. It seems like the text explicitly states that the loss of memory a petitioner has isn't total, that a petitioner will remember some things about their past, and that outsiders (aside from qlippoth) are formed from a former mortal's soul being mixed with planar quintessence. But other people on the forums have made it sound like the soul remembers nothing of its previous existence as a mortal and loses all of its personality, basically being a mindless drone for its alignment until it's ground down into the plane it was sent to and melds with the scenery, with outsiders being an amalgamation of said scenery, and thus an amalgamation of many souls with no continuity of identity from any of them.

What's accurate here? Are there "normal" outsiders (i.e. ones that weren't deceased exceptional individuals rewarded with becoming an outsider instantly by a god or something) who have memories of their mortal lives? Could an outisder recognize loved ones from said mortal past? Or is it really like Evangelion where your individual identity gets broken down and you dissolve into soul Tang? I'm confused!

It's not total. A petitioner WILL remember shards and fragments, so you can meet up with your loved ones in the afterlife... assuming said loved ones got judged that quickly that you didn't die before then already. The time it takes for a soul to be judged is 100% up to the GM to decide.

Once a petitioner becomes an outsider, that's a new creature though, and while the petitioner can adjust and influence what sort of outsider it is (as in a wrathful Abyssal petitioner becoming a vrock), once the change is made, as a general rule it's a brand new being that doesn't retain memories of the living soul that created the petitioner it came from.

A petitioner is NOT a mindless drone for it's alignment. A quick look at the petitioner stat block on page 208 of Bestiary 2 is all you need to prove that claim wrong; they have Int 10, Wis 11, and Cha 10. They have individual personalities, and often bear resemblances to their mortal lives so even if their memories are hazy and dreamlike, if you go to the outer planes you could find a petitioner you recognize as a friend or family member or enemy or whatever. Whether or not they recognize you? That's a case-by-case basis for GMs to decide. Once the petitioner becomes a full outsider, though, they're brand new and only in rare cases would they retain memories of mortal life.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Varisian Wanderer wrote:

Hi James!

Is Shorafa Pamodae a call out to Tyralandi of Scuttlecove? I notice they both have fiendish blood, violet skin, thorn tattoos, and similar professions.

Not as far as I know. I didn't invent her, so it wasn't my intent. But it might have been the intent of Greg or whoever did invent her... in which case they didn't let me know.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Adjoint wrote:
Do Golarion gods try to hide the fact that people lose their memories and personality after death? For example, if someoneone planeshifted to the Oter Planes, see how it is by themselves, and then returned and started preaching about it all around, would the gods or their servants intervene?

They don't. They also don't really ever directly interact with mortals, so it's a moot point.

And see the post I just made aobut it a few up... it's not an 'ON OFF' switch that happens. It's a gradual transition...

LIVING MORTAL: You have your memories and personality 100%.

SOUL: You have died and your soul is on its way to be judged. You have your memories and personality 100%. The length of time a soul exists in this state is variable. Some souls are judged instantly. Some linger for centuries. In part this is because we have said in the rules that resurrection works as long as someone's been dead no longer than 10 years per caster level, and there's a soft cap on that that isn't a hard cap (this implies that 200 years is the max, but there are effects and creatures and ways to go above caster level 20th so we can't say this is always the case, and so it's a variable length that gets decided upon as needed on a case by case basis). In most stories... this length is more than long enough to do the "Travel to the afterlife to track down a lost loved one" since 200 years is a long long time.

PETITIONER: You have been judged and sent on to the afterlife. Your memories and appearance are recognizable. More so in some cases than others, depending on what kind of petitioner you became. You have a portion of your memories and personality, but that could be anything from 1% of them to 100% of them. It's a factor of how strong your soul was, which is not something that we use game statistics to enumerate, so that is up to you and/or your GM. The time it takes for a petitioner to move on to the next step is 100% left to the GM. It can happen immediately if the story wants, or it might never happen.

OUTSIDER/REVERTED TO QUINTESSENCE: Once a petitioner is transformed into an outsider or becomes a part of the outer planes, it transforms entirely. Save for super rare circumstances as decided by the GM or the story needs, this is when the memories and personality of the soul are gone. You can STILL restore a dead person to life at this point using super powerful magic. A wish or miracle or the like could do it. As could divine intervention.

STORY IMPLICATIONS: One of the things this means is that you can absolutely translate Dante's Infrerno into a Pathfinder adventure. Note that the petitioners who go to Hell become the Damned—as detailed on page 209 of Bestiary 2, they retain their mortal forms but are scarred by torture. But if you're looking for a neutral good loved one, their petitioner form is one of the "cleansed" and they look like animals who are symbols of their prior personalities; a stubborn person might become a bear or a pig, a singer might become a bird, a loyal servant might become a dog, an individualistic hunter might become a cat, etc.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Runelord Alaznist had a profane pact with a lilitu named Ariashrael. Has this demon popped up anywhere before or is this just a cool tidbit of info for GM use?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Of the final runelords which one was the pettiest?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Generic GM wrote:
Runelord Alaznist had a profane pact with a lilitu named Ariashrael. Has this demon popped up anywhere before or is this just a cool tidbit of info for GM use?

That's brand new information. Ariashrael hasn't been detailed elsewhere.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Generic GM wrote:
Of the final runelords which one was the pettiest?

All seven of them have art now so that's something that every person will get to choose for themselves.

If you're asking me my opinion, I'd say it's probably a tie between Xanderghul and Sorshen.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
Of the final runelords which one was the pettiest?

All seven of them have art now so that's something that every person will get to choose for themselves.

If you're asking me my opinion, I'd say it's probably a tie between Xanderghul and Sorshen.

That covers "prettiest," but "pettiest" might be another ball of wax ;)


Does the competence bonus of Reckless Aim apply only for the next attack roll or for the attack rolls made in that round?Also,if the former is true,can you apply it for all your attack rolls in that round,thus gaining multiple competence bonuses +2 for each attack roll,but also taking a penalty to your AC equal to the number of the attack rolls?


Hello ! my Gamemaster and I want to know how you would rule on this question .

Can a caster use sense vitals spell with the force sword spell?

After much searching we have found nothing helpful on the internet ,
however our whole gaming group respects your opinion on these matters .

Silver Crusade

What happens to a soul that has a shabti crafted for it? It escapes judgment and the shabti goes to the afterlife it otherwise would have; does that mean it reincarnates, it dissolves, it wanders the planes forever?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Generic GM wrote:
Of the final runelords which one was the pettiest?

All seven of them have art now so that's something that every person will get to choose for themselves.

If you're asking me my opinion, I'd say it's probably a tie between Xanderghul and Sorshen.

That covers "prettiest," but "pettiest" might be another ball of wax ;)

OOOH. Pettiest. I have old eyes, I guess.

Probably Belimarius.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

antodimi1 wrote:
Does the competence bonus of Reckless Aim apply only for the next attack roll or for the attack rolls made in that round?Also,if the former is true,can you apply it for all your attack rolls in that round,thus gaining multiple competence bonuses +2 for each attack roll,but also taking a penalty to your AC equal to the number of the attack rolls?

I dunno. If this came up in my game, I'd say yes if the person using it could use a boost, and then later no if it started feeling abusive.

How your GM does it is up to them.

If you're asking for PFS play, you have to ask the PFS folks.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Beroli wrote:
What happens to a soul that has a shabti crafted for it? It escapes judgment and the shabti goes to the afterlife it otherwise would have; does that mean it reincarnates, it dissolves, it wanders the planes forever?

It's treated the same as any other soul once it dies. From the cycle of souls, it's closer to reincarnate than undeath as far as Pharasma cares, but someone who uses this option over and over will eventually annoy her or the psychopomps enough to go on THE LIST.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Iosue wrote:

Hello ! my Gamemaster and I want to know how you would rule on this question .

Can a caster use sense vitals spell with the force sword spell?

After much searching we have found nothing helpful on the internet ,
however our whole gaming group respects your opinion on these matters .

I have no idea. I'm not familiar with either of those spells and have no idea where they're from. If a player in my game wanted to use them, I'd read up on them and make a decision then.

That decision is GENERALLY "Sure, let's try it out like that, but if it ends up being too over powered I'll roll the decision back." I make sure my players understand this, and that if they find a combination that ends up being too overpowered, I will retcon my ruling. When I do this, I ALWAYS let the player re-choose those spells or abilities or options without forcing them to do any sort of complex retraining malarky.


Hi James,
Since Nocticula is doing the upwards shuffle, what about the trajectory of her immortal servants (probably not including those who are almost settled in their position barring more celestial/demonic shenanigans i.e. a certain current Midnight Isles caretaker manager, or the majority of some types of demon, such as Shadow, who are more of a lip-service kind of deal...)?

In various published material about other gods and their servants, underlings, Empyreal Lords etc, it usually mentions what type of outsiders (hosts of unnamed demons, azata, etc.) serve them, but has any decision been written yet (I may have missed it) on what types will serve "O She of the Pointy Hairdo" in the future?

Or is it very fluid and/or up to individual outsiders at this point... ... leading to, are any Lesser outsiders deserting or joining from other demon lords or deities?

And if individual "diet cola beverage of evil" succubi and other demons follow her, do they change into anything else (or are they covered by the "one alignment step away clause")?

Silver Crusade

James Jacobs wrote:
Beroli wrote:
What happens to a soul that has a shabti crafted for it? It escapes judgment and the shabti goes to the afterlife it otherwise would have; does that mean it reincarnates, it dissolves, it wanders the planes forever?
It's treated the same as any other soul once it dies. From the cycle of souls, it's closer to reincarnate than undeath as far as Pharasma cares, but someone who uses this option over and over will eventually annoy her or the psychopomps enough to go on THE LIST.

I'm not sure I follow. In The Dead Roads, there's a character, Reedreaper, who was crafted as a shabti for a man who 1) had unambiguously earned Abaddon, and 2) was dead when Reedreaper was crafted. The entire purpose of crafting Reedreaper was to save that man from Abaddon without resurrecting him (because his family didn't actually want him back, just not in Abaddon). Reedreaper went to Abaddon. What happened to the man who he was crafted to save from Abaddon? The same as any other soul would suggest he went to Abaddon and the existence of a shabti did nothing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Beroli wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Beroli wrote:
What happens to a soul that has a shabti crafted for it? It escapes judgment and the shabti goes to the afterlife it otherwise would have; does that mean it reincarnates, it dissolves, it wanders the planes forever?
It's treated the same as any other soul once it dies. From the cycle of souls, it's closer to reincarnate than undeath as far as Pharasma cares, but someone who uses this option over and over will eventually annoy her or the psychopomps enough to go on THE LIST.
I'm not sure I follow. In The Dead Roads, there's a character, Reedreaper, who was crafted as a shabti for a man who 1) had unambiguously earned Abaddon, and 2) was dead when Reedreaper was crafted. The entire purpose of crafting Reedreaper was to save that man from Abaddon without resurrecting him (because his family didn't actually want him back, just not in Abaddon). Reedreaper went to Abaddon. What happened to the man who he was crafted to save from Abaddon? The same as any other soul would suggest he went to Abaddon and the existence of a shabti did nothing.

Sounds like the writers and developers of The Dead Roads have a different take on it than I do. That's fine. I don't have 100% absolute control over all lore in Pathfinder, nor should I. That also means that for things I haven't worked on or created (which also includes the shabti in the first place) I'm not the expert.

In this case I guess you'd need to ask Ron Lundeen.

Silver Crusade

Okay. What's your take on shabti being for? Do they cause an automatic resurrection when someone dies?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Beroli wrote:
Okay. What's your take on shabti being for? Do they cause an automatic resurrection when someone dies?

No. If they did, there'd be rules in their stats to allow that.

I've actually done very little thought about shabtis at all, so I don't have a take on them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Doki-Chan wrote:

Hi James,

Since Nocticula is doing the upwards shuffle, what about the trajectory of her immortal servants (probably not including those who are almost settled in their position barring more celestial/demonic shenanigans i.e. a certain current Midnight Isles caretaker manager, or the majority of some types of demon, such as Shadow, who are more of a lip-service kind of deal...)?

In various published material about other gods and their servants, underlings, Empyreal Lords etc, it usually mentions what type of outsiders (hosts of unnamed demons, azata, etc.) serve them, but has any decision been written yet (I may have missed it) on what types will serve "O She of the Pointy Hairdo" in the future?

Or is it very fluid and/or up to individual outsiders at this point... ... leading to, are any Lesser outsiders deserting or joining from other demon lords or deities?

And if individual "diet cola beverage of evil" succubi and other demons follow her, do they change into anything else (or are they covered by the "one alignment step away clause")?

We'll be printing new information about Nocticula's new role soon enough. Those who worshiped her as a demon and were evil will end up larvae on the Abyss still. Those who worshiped her as the Redeemer Queen will end up in her new realm petitioners. Her new role is likely one served by einherji and valkyries, though.

Demons won't follow her anymore. Those who did serve her are cut loose and left to their own fates.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Demons won't follow her anymore. Those who did serve her are cut loose and left to their own fates.

Given her penchant for knocking off fellow Demon Lords, how pleasant are those "own fates" likely to be for those who followed her?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Demons won't follow her anymore. Those who did serve her are cut loose and left to their own fates.
Given her penchant for knocking off fellow Demon Lords, how pleasant are those "own fates" likely to be for those who followed her?

Not pleasant. But that's kinda the norm for the Abyss, which is not a pleasant place.


Hello James,

What are your top three favorite monsters from Greek mythology?

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Varisian Wanderer wrote:

Hello James,

What are your top three favorite monsters from Greek mythology?

Don't really have any.


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

Slow night here at Casa Deschain, so a list question: Favorite dinosaur movies?

Dark Archive

Hi James

Was Nocticula's redemption part of the Pathfinder plan all along or did it come later? I remember you saying you had intended to build an AP around it so it must have been in the works for a while at least.


Is there an organization like the SCP on Golarion (perhaps not on as large a scale, but similar in purpose)?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
Slow night here at Casa Deschain, so a list question: Favorite dinosaur movies?

Counting ONLY movies that have actual dinosaurs and not dinosaur-themed monsters, my five favorites would be:

Valley of Gwangi
King Kong (original)
Jurassic Park
The Lost World (original)
Jurassic Park III

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Atrocious wrote:

Hi James

Was Nocticula's redemption part of the Pathfinder plan all along or did it come later? I remember you saying you had intended to build an AP around it so it must have been in the works for a while at least.

It was something that was sorta in the works about as soon as I put her into the setting, but didn't really start rolling until the Magnimar Book.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Is there an organization like the SCP on Golarion (perhaps not on as large a scale, but similar in purpose)?

I suspect so.


What would your consider an Heroic deed worthy of a Hero Point? I'm having trouble determining if my morally ambiguous players should be awarded them, as a lot of their actions don't shout "Hero" to me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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bananahell wrote:
What would your consider an Heroic deed worthy of a Hero Point? I'm having trouble determining if my morally ambiguous players should be awarded them, as a lot of their actions don't shout "Hero" to me.

How often you award hero points depends on how powerful they are in your game and how much power you want to give the PCs.

The LEAST complicated version I use lets the player spend a hero point to force a re-roll. Mostly, I have them function as "get out of peril free" points. If something happens that would kill a PC, a hero point stops the death but doesn't necessarily completely stop the peril.

In those cases, I generally prefer for players to have 1 point available per session, going up to 2 or even 3 for sessions I know will be extra dangerous.

I generally don't award hero points for successes that needed hero points to be spent on, but when the PCs work together or do things that make the story more awesome I give them out. I use them to reward good player behavior, in other words, NOT to reward lucky die rolls.

Silver Crusade

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

Have you played any of the following games, and if so, which would you recommend?

Civilization: Beyond Earth

Endless Space 2

Stellaris

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Have you played any of the following games, and if so, which would you recommend?

Civilization: Beyond Earth

Endless Space 2

Stellaris

I've only played Stellaris, and only played it for about 15 minutes before I quit because it was so complicated and overwhelming and because it was making my computer's fan run crazy loud. I've since upgraded to computers that can run the game MUCH better but haven't gone back to it yet.


Since I saw a few things re: Nocticula redemption... what were Sarenrae's views on Nocticula at the various (pre, during, post) stages of Nocticula's redemption?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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james014Aura wrote:
Since I saw a few things re: Nocticula redemption... what were Sarenrae's views on Nocticula at the various (pre, during, post) stages of Nocticula's redemption?

She supports it and is happy for Nocticula and hopes it starts a trend.


Since it's been announced, I'm hoping this question is fair game. What about Isger made you decide to prioritize it for the first Second Edition AP?


Have any of the other core gods allied with the newly ascended Nocticula? I could see Calistria and Shelyn doing so. Erastil, Iomedae and Torag... Not so much.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is the skeleton moon the name of the 13th full moon of the year, for those rare years which have 13, or is it a separate celestial event? It is mentioned in Pathfinder Society scenario #19. The named full moons only include 12 names.


Is 'Valashai' (as in Dragon Empires Gazetteer) a variant spelling of the Valashmaian Empire's name, or is it an error?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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bananahell wrote:
Since it's been announced, I'm hoping this question is fair game. What about Isger made you decide to prioritize it for the first Second Edition AP?

It's a location we've not done an Adventure Path about, AND it's a location where "familiar fantasy tropes" work, AND it ended up being a good match for the storyline itself.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Delightful wrote:
Have any of the other core gods allied with the newly ascended Nocticula? I could see Calistria and Shelyn doing so. Erastil, Iomedae and Torag... Not so much.

Yes. That info will be revealed in a few months, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shadowfoot wrote:
Is the skeleton moon the name of the 13th full moon of the year, for those rare years which have 13, or is it a separate celestial event? It is mentioned in Pathfinder Society scenario #19. The named full moons only include 12 names.

I have no idea.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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HTD wrote:
Is 'Valashai' (as in Dragon Empires Gazetteer) a variant spelling of the Valashmaian Empire's name, or is it an error?

Valashai is the name of the empire from the past. Valashmai is the name of the jungle, which is much larger than the empire. The idea is that they're from the same root word, more or less, but they're referring to different things—an empire and a wilderness.


Dear James Jacobs,

Do you have any recommendations on how to get rid of crap that seems to keep coming back to haunt you? Like do I need to use sage or something?

Also what was your favorite pet you had when you were little?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Thomas Seitz wrote:

Dear James Jacobs,

Do you have any recommendations on how to get rid of crap that seems to keep coming back to haunt you? Like do I need to use sage or something?

Also what was your favorite pet you had when you were little?

I don't. I'm not a great person to ask advice for on mental health issues.

My favorite pet as a kid was an orange cat I had named Tom-O. Tom, because of Tom and Jerry, my favorite carton. O, because he had a white rosette ring on his side.

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