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Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:


And we have been talking about those post-Ultimate Combat books. We won't be talking publicly about them for many months though.

Would any of the following fall into this realm?

Mass-Combat style of play book

Terrain-focused play (Aquatic, Desert, etc)

Book of Magic Items

More specified rules, ala Savage Species


Were there any wars starting in 2100 AR?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

mdt wrote:

James, two questions.

One on the Dhampir question above. Is a Paladin's Lay on Hands ability considered positive energy for purposes of the Negative Energy Affinity? In other words, does the Dhampir take damage if he get's healed by Lay On Hands?

The other is concerning XP. In 3.5, it was explicit that you didn't get XP for an encounter that was not at all challenging. For example, a 12th level character taking out a CR 1/2 goblin. Not a tribe, a single goblin. That was explicitly a non XP generating encounter. However, that verbiage seems to have not made it to PF. Is the intent that a character get's the minimum 50XP for any encounter, no matter how much of a non-challenge? I'd always assumed the rules expected the GM to not be a moron and not give XP for something that was obviously not a challenge, but it seems a lot of people are telling me I'm violating the rules. I'd like to know if that was the design intention, or not.

Yup; a paladin's lay on hands ability hurts dhampirs.

In Pathfinder, you DO get XP for non-challenging encounters. It's just such a minuscule amount that it'll take you FOREVER to go up a level if, say, you're a 15th level character killing one goblin at a time. This is on purpose, because it's good for the game for the PCs to be able to, at times, actually FEEL like they're getting more powerful. Allowing them to periodically flex their muscles against low level foes, particularly against foes that when the PCs were low level they fought hard against and had some edgy battles with, lets the PCs feel like they're tough... that they've become more powerful. Fighting more powerful monsters helps, sure, but file off the names and descriptions and events, and edge of the seat battles get to be the same. Battles where the PCs just absolutely trounce the foe are important. And allowing the PCs to earn some XP from that, however small an amount of XP that would be, is good for the game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Deanoth wrote:

So spells a familiar can cast on their own or a breath weapon would never be able to increase the DC of their castings or use (for the breath weapon).

(just asking for the clarification purposes of my erratic mind and to placate the rules lawyer in me) :)

HD doesn't affect spellcasting at all, really. Caster level does, but that's not the same as Hit Dice. A spell's save DC depends on the spell's level and the caster's ability score modifier—HD doesn't factor.

As for whether these virtual HD would increase a familiar's special attack saves... I'm actually starting to think that it probably should.

(And warning: If you're looking to placate your inner rules lawyer, I'm probably going to end up frustrating you more than helping you, by the way, since I often flip-flop on my rulings as new ideas for how new rulings can enhance the game's story occur to me.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

wraithstrike wrote:
Thanks. I do think the fact that the ability only mentions heals trips people up. I guess I can FAQ it since it is not clear. That way it can be compiled into the FAQ or errata'd.

I think the fact that people like the spooky flavor of the dhampir but are worried that they'll never get healing if they play a dhampir character has more to do with the confusion than the way its ability is written. Listing all the specific spells and special effects that are affected by the ability would not only bloat the monster entry out beyond its word count (or in this case, the universal monster rules appendix's word count), but it'd be immediately outdated as soon as a new book comes out with new spells or effects that use negative or positive energy.

Personally, I think the ability is pretty clear as detailed on page 299. "The creature is alive, but reacts to positive and negative energy as if it were undead...".

Now, if the way undead react to those types of energy are confusing... that's a different story! :-)


James, have you ever been in or heard of a campaign that ran the gamut of D20 lines all-in-one? Jedis alongside modern heroes alongside the various sword & sorcery fantasy heroes, all in one big hodge podge?

It's something I've been contemplating for a fun weekend one and done session, and if interest sustains, maybe more.

What would be your reaction if you were invited to play that? And do you have any tips or hints on how to run it and pitfalls to look out for?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Jaçinto wrote:

As a total Lovecraft fan and being about to play Carrion Crown, I read about Ustalav in the inner sea world guide and noticed that Illmarsh is essentially Innsmouth. I was wondering if there are any other towns based off of Lovecraft towns like Kingsport and Dunwich. Trying to pick a location for my Dhampir Cleric of The Old Ones to be from.

Also, I recently bought the Dunwich expansion for Arkham Horror so would you like to come up here to Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada for a few games? I'll let you take your pick of character rather than randomizing it like I usually do with my players.

Another note: Is there any place to get the expansions cheaper, without being used, than $65 Canadian? Because the only shop here in that sells them is a collecters' shop.

Oh just remembered one more thing. Would you suggest any books for the Call of Cthulhu d100 based RPG other than the core book and Delta Green?

Last question for this post: Would you bake me some cookies?

Yup; Thrushmoor is a stand-in for Arkham, for example. And although it's on a river, not the sea, Rozenport is a good stand in for Kingsport with its high cliffs. Carrion Hill is kind of a stand in for Dunwich, but only in that the module "Carrion Hill" is super inspired by "The Dunwich Horror." The actual town of Carrion Hill's more inspired by the fantasy cities written by Clark Ashton Smith, or perhaps Lovecraft in his dream-cycle tales.

Alas, I'm too busy to go on long road trips or vacations right now, but thanks for the invite!

I own the first Arkham Horror game, but I think I got it for free. That, combined with the fact that I order most of my game-related stuff from paizo.com (employee discount for the win!) means that I don't really have a lot of advice to give on finding cheap game supplies.

All of the Chaosium books and Pagan Publishing books for Call of Cthluhu are neat. I buy all of them. If you're looking for adventures, though, "Masks of Nyarlathotep" and "Beyond the Mountains of Madness" are not only the best two adventures Chaosium has published, but they're among the best adventures published for any RPG ever.

For your health, no, I won't bake you cookies. I'm not all that great a cook, is what I'm saying.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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mdt wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:


RAW:If it aint written it aint a rule.
Unofficial common sense rule: If it aint written that does not automatically make it ok.

I think it's important to know if that was the intention or not, however. If it was an unintended modification brought about by editing for a specific size of book, then I think the Creative Director might want to know that it has had an unintended effect.

If it was the intention, then that's fine, it means I need to take a weed whacker to the rules for XP and do some serious pruning and shaping in my campaign.

I'm one of those people that prefers to know when something is a house rule, and when it's RAW/RAI. I have no issues house ruling something, but I like to know when I'm doing that and not just reading the rules wrong. If nothing else, if I'm reading those rules wrong, I might be reading something else wrong too.

As I mentioned above... it's completely intentional. Pushover encounters have value, and even the smallest XP award is fun to get as a PC.

Even if you DO decide to not give out XP for pushover encounters, I would hope that you would still put them in now and then for your players to have opportunities to feel like they've grown more powerful. It's REALLY easy for a GM to lose track of how much fun it is as a player to be able to kick ass at times without feeling on the edge of the seat in a life-or-death encounter. Combining pushover encounters with roleplaying or story encounters is also a good thing to do. And again, allowing the PCs to earn experience for simple encounters helps to make the PCs feel like they're still doing stuff that matters.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Astral Wanderer wrote:
Are the Kyton's chain weapons (the ones listed in the Melee entry) spiked chains, as those listed in the equipment chapter of the Core Rulebook, or are they just "chains". Or, in other words, do the Kyton's chains have the disarm and trip weapon qualities?

They're just chains. If they had disarm and trip qualities, the monster entry would say so.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aunasiel wrote:

Just a few quick questions.

1. Are you looking forward to Gencon?
2. Are you going to be running any of the Paizo Pathfinder events (adventures)?
2a. If not, what kind of bribe would it take for you to do so?
2b. If you are, do you feel comfortable letting us know which ones?

1) Not really... I'm kind of dreading Gen Con. I'm not a fan of conventions, the lack of sleep they bring, the inevitable sickness they inflict (either from being exposed to tens of thousands of people at the convention or being locked in a plane for a day with sick passengers), the ginormous crowds, the long working days, the lack of good seafood, the stink of Indianapolis, the gross heat and humidity of the region, and the long airplane ride that is likely to have me getting out of bed at 4:00 AM all tend to outweigh in my mind the fun parts of the con. Put another way: for me, Gen Con is work, not play—and since it's work that comes with the discomfort of travel and spending a week away from the comforts of home, it's not all that easy for me to look forward to it.

2) I'll be running two games at PaizoCon, but no game events at all at Gen Con. At Gen Con, I'll be on a few of the seminars, but for the most part I'll be at our booth working the floor.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Azure_Zero wrote:

Dear James Jacobs

Do you think people would like to have an application that can create a 3D visual representation of their character, save it and print it out? The program comes with very configurable base body models, props, and with a easy to use interface.

I am collecting results here.

I look forward to your response.

I think something like that would be really cool—kind of like how you can create characters for video games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect or Oblivion or Fallout?

That said... if the art's ugly, no thanks. A 3D visual representation sounds to me like an EXTRAORDINARILY difficult thing to pull off for a game as complex as Pathfinder, since it'd have to be able to let one person build a male dwarf with a longbow and samurai armor and a facial tattoo while at the same time letting another person build a female human with a missing pinky finger on her left hand, a bunch of starknives, long hair, and symbols of Desna on her armor.

AKA: There's an awful lot of variables at play.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

doctor_wu wrote:

Were there any wars starting in 2100 AR?

Not according to page 35 of the Inner Sea World Guide.

Doesn't mean that there weren't, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Talonne Hauk wrote:

James, have you ever been in or heard of a campaign that ran the gamut of D20 lines all-in-one? Jedis alongside modern heroes alongside the various sword & sorcery fantasy heroes, all in one big hodge podge?

It's something I've been contemplating for a fun weekend one and done session, and if interest sustains, maybe more.

What would be your reaction if you were invited to play that? And do you have any tips or hints on how to run it and pitfalls to look out for?

I have not. Sounds like it'd be too complicated to run, honestly, and too difficult to design adventures or storyliens for.

I would not want to play in a game like that, in any case. It's easy to say "this game world has EVERYTHING" but almost impossible to pull something like that off in a way that doesn't feel like an aimless morass of confusing contradictions. The design philosophy of "everything in D&D is in Eberron" combined with the fact that Eberron introduced a HUGE amount of things that wasn't in D&D (like trains and robot PCs) is one of the main reasons I never got into Eberron. A game world where things are even more wild and unrestrained than that would not be my cup of tea. I much prefer worlds or games where things are built in a more restrained and logical manner.


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Just found out one player in our upcoming Carrion Crown game will be playing a Changeling Paladin. What suggestion might you have to keep him from freaking out that my Cleric of the old one is an Undead and has an aura that would register as evil, since the aura shows the deity's alignment rather than your own? After all, the Undetectable Alignment spell says "An undetectable alignment spell conceals the alignment of an
object or a creature from all forms of divination." So while it can hide MY alignment, it would need to hide the alignment of my deity and I doubt I want to go hunt them down and cast that on them.

I was wondering if there was any way to summon the Lovecraftian monsters that are in the bestiary 1 and 2 since, for some odd reason, none of the aberrations are outsiders and yet every single monster that would be from Lovecraft is an aberration. Kinda off-putting since in the novels and role-playing games for CoC, summoning is kinda the cultists' thing.

Any idea if Paizo would ever put out a video game liked WOTC and TSR did for their novels occasionally? Not something big like Neverwinter nights, but maybe Icewind dale or the console Baldur's Gate games...which they never finished. Playing video game adventures in Golarion would be neat and I am betting a certain Creative Direcor would be the best consultant for a video game team to make sure things look and feel right with the world.

This has been bugging me and I am asking it to a few people. When AD&D went from 1st to 2nd edition, TSR explained the changes to rules, classes, and spells with The Time of Troubles in the story. 2nd to 3rd, I can not find out any info on what happened. 3rd to 4th had the spellplague to explain the rule, class, and spell changes. So I have to ask if you have any idea what happened to the forgotten realms storyline to explain the 2nd to 3rd shift like the did for the other editions.

Last question: Would you mind knocking out someone at WOTC for me for making people pay a subscription fee to use their online rules compendium while Paizo's pathfinder PRD is totally free and therefore quite handy when a book gets misplaced.

Sorry for the large post. Thought one big post would be better than a few small ones. If you come up here I'll buy you fresh baked cookies from my uncle's bakery as an apology.


Hey James I have a question,

Recently I have seen serveral times you saying the 'ish' is wrong in Pathfinder...like orcish. Why?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


Yup; a paladin's lay on hands ability hurts dhampirs.

Thanks, good to know. I'd assumed it did, but since the ability never actually states it's positive energy healing, there've been a few questions on it. :)

James Jacobs wrote:


In Pathfinder, you DO get XP for non-challenging encounters. It's just such a minuscule amount that it'll take you FOREVER to go up a level if, say, you're a 15th level character killing one goblin at a time. This is on purpose, because it's good for the game for the PCs to be able to, at times, actually FEEL like they're getting more powerful. Allowing them to periodically flex their muscles against low level foes, particularly against foes that when the PCs were low level they fought hard against and had some edgy battles with, lets the PCs feel like they're tough... that they've become more powerful. Fighting more powerful monsters helps, sure, but file off the names and descriptions and events, and edge of the seat battles get to be the same. Battles where the PCs just absolutely trounce the foe are important. And allowing the PCs to earn some XP from that, however small an amount of XP that would be, is good for the game.

Ok, I can understand that. The issue I have with it is this. I've always assumed the reasons NPCs never get as high as PCs (especially dwarves and elves who live hundreds of years) is that once you reach a plateau, if you don't challenge yourself, you don't grow. So, it explains why a 120yo elf might only be an 8th level expert. However, if you always get xp, even 50pts worth, for any challenge, then it ratchets up the levels of all the NPCs over time. Even your average town guardsman over the course of 25 years is going to rack up enough XP to hit double digits.

EDIT : Cleared up a typo that made the post confusing.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


As I mentioned above... it's completely intentional. Pushover encounters have value, and even the smallest XP award is fun to get as a PC.

Even if you DO decide to not give out XP for pushover encounters, I would hope that you would still put them in now and then for your players to have opportunities to feel like they've grown more powerful. It's REALLY easy for a GM to lose track of how much fun it is as a player to be able to kick ass at times without feeling on the edge of the seat in a life-or-death encounter. Combining pushover encounters with roleplaying or story encounters is also a good thing to do. And again, allowing the PCs to earn experience for simple encounters helps to make the PCs feel like they're still doing stuff that matters.

LOL, absolutely. :)

One example was I had the PCs (traveling back and forth through the same area over the course of 4 levels) encounter a Bulette repeatedly. They started seeing it at level 5, and they all ran and hid when it attacked a Dragonne. Then they saw it again at 5.5, and 5.75, and 6.2, and 6.5, and 6.75, and then about 7.25, they ran into again. This time they all sat down and started talking about it (up on a high hill where they could see it rampaging and tearing up some trees). They spent 30 minutes deciding whether they should mess with it. Finally they buffed up and went after it and after a really tough fight, they killed it and raided it's corpse for armor, organs, etc to sell in town. They really liked the fact that a creature they had ran from before was now killable.

Another one was a Minotaur city. When they went past it the first time, they had to flee from a scout band (3 mino's and 9 goblin slaves). Later, at level 9, they blew through the same sort of scouting party and were whooping it up. :)

As to the goblins, I usually have them take one look at 8th level + characters and run off screaming and gibbering in fear. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Jaçinto wrote:

Just found out one player in our upcoming Carrion Crown game will be playing a Changeling Paladin. What suggestion might you have to keep him from freaking out that my Cleric of the old one is an Undead and has an aura that would register as evil, since the aura shows the deity's alignment rather than your own? After all, the Undetectable Alignment spell says "An undetectable alignment spell conceals the alignment of an

object or a creature from all forms of divination." So while it can hide MY alignment, it would need to hide the alignment of my deity and I doubt I want to go hunt them down and cast that on them.

An undead cleric of one of the Great Old Ones, honestly, is a pretty bad choice for Carrion Crown. You're going to be put in a LOT of awkward situations by the plot of the adventure if you're undead, and a lot more if you worship the Great Old Ones. Putting both together is gonna probably cause a lot of problems. My advice would be to shelve that character idea for another campaign and go with something else, honestly.

Jaçinto wrote:
I was wondering if there was any way to summon the Lovecraftian monsters that are in the bestiary 1 and 2 since, for some odd reason, none of the aberrations are outsiders and yet every single monster that would be from Lovecraft is an aberration. Kinda off-putting since in the novels and role-playing games for CoC, summoning is kinda the cultists' thing.

Some of the Lovecraftian critters in the bestiary for Pathfinder #46 are outsiders. The best solution for summoning others who aren't outsiders is to research a brand new spell. As for every single monster from Lovecraft being an aberration... I disagree. That type's certainly well represented, but it's not the only one. Just looking at the Lovecraft monsters we've put in the first two bestiaries...

1 ooze (shoggoth)
1 undead (ghast)
1 outsider (denizen of Leng)
1 aberration (gug)
2 magical beasts (Leng spider, shantak)

That's a pretty good spread of monster types.

Jaçinto wrote:
Any idea if Paizo would ever put out a video game liked WOTC and TSR did for their novels occasionally? Not something big like Neverwinter nights, but maybe Icewind dale or the console Baldur's Gate games...which they never finished. Playing video game adventures in Golarion would be neat and I am betting a certain Creative Direcor would be the best consultant for a video game team to make sure things look and feel right with the world.

A Golarion video game would certainly be awesome, but the way the OGL works, it's actually unclear just how much of the rules can go into a video game. It's a kind of tricky territory. We can certainly do a video game that uses the Golarion world and monsters and characters and plots, though... but whether or not that would be in the RPG category... not sure. I would LOVE to see something like this happen, frankly... but it's not something that Paizo can do as Paizo at this time. We'll see what the future brings!

Jaçinto wrote:
This has been bugging me and I am asking it to a few people. When AD&D went from 1st to 2nd edition, TSR explained the changes to rules, classes, and spells with The Time of Troubles in the story. 2nd to 3rd, I can not find out any info on what happened. 3rd to 4th had the spellplague to explain the rule, class, and spell changes. So I have to ask if you have any idea what happened to the forgotten realms storyline to explain the 2nd to 3rd shift like the did for the other editions.

Third edition's shift was pretty subtle—WotC put out a few supplements near the end of 2nd edition's life cycle like "The Apocalypse Stone" that could serve to explain the shift in game mechanics... but honestly, I kind of like the idea that they didn't. We certainly didn't have something akin to the Spellplague or the Time of Troubles to explain the switch from 3.5 to Pathfinder RPG in Golarion. Although the rules of the game might change, that doesn't mean that the people who live in the game world need to notice.

Jaçinto wrote:
Last question: Would you mind knocking out someone at WOTC for me for making people pay a subscription fee to use their online rules compendium while Paizo's pathfinder PRD is totally free and therefore quite handy when a book gets misplaced.

That's not really a question. In any event, I'm not interested in getting involved in a "WotC vs. Paizo" discussion. Especially since I'm friends with a lot of folks who work at WotC.

Jaçinto wrote:
Sorry for the large post. Thought one big post would be better than a few small ones. If you come up here I'll buy you fresh baked cookies from my uncle's bakery as an apology.

No worries!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

John Kretzer wrote:

Hey James I have a question,

Recently I have seen serveral times you saying the 'ish' is wrong in Pathfinder...like orcish. Why?

Because it IS wrong, according to our house style.

We don't turn race names into adjectives by appending "-ish" to anything. Except in a few exceptional cases, such as the artifact axe of the dwarfish lords, which we retained out of respect for tradition.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

mdt wrote:

Ok, I can understand that. The issue I have with it is this. I've always assumed the reasons NPCs never get as high as PCs (especially dwarves and elves who live hundreds of years) is that once you reach a plateau, if you don't challenge yourself, you don't grow. So, it explains why a 120yo elf might only be an 8th level expert. However, if you always get xp, even 50pts worth, for any challenge, then it ratchets up the levels of all the NPCs over time. Even your average town guardsman over the course of 25 years is going to rack up enough XP to hit double digits.

EDIT : Cleared up a typo that made the post confusing.

My explanation for why PCs get higher level than NPCs = the PCs are the stars of the show. They're the ones destiny or fate or the gods or whatever has selected to become heroes, and thus they break the rules.

Elves might live to be 120 years, but they're not destined for greatness and thus don't gain XP as fast as PCs.

AKA: Gaining experience points is something that ONLY player characters (and NPCs who hitch themselves to the PCs in some way) get to earn. A town guardsman might kill thousands of CR 1 mooks, but he only goes up in level if the GM says he does.


James Jacobs wrote:
A Golarion video game would certainly be awesome, but the way the OGL works, it's actually unclear just how much of the rules can go into a video game. It's a kind of tricky territory. We can certainly do a video game that uses the Golarion world and monsters and characters and plots, though... but whether or not that would be in the RPG category... not sure. I would LOVE to see something like this happen, frankly... but it's not something that Paizo can do as Paizo at this time. We'll see what the future brings!

It is certainly an entertaining thought to have a Pathfinder / Golarion game in the future. If the OGL is presenting problems then there's opportunity for Paizo to develop a rule system that can make use of the advantage of the PC (i.e. not minding to do a lot of math).

Would you rather see an MMORPG (WoW), party-based single-player RPG (Dragon Age), solo single-player (Elder Scrolls), or action RPG (Diablo)?

Or possibly something more unique (and what?).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

LoreKeeper wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
A Golarion video game would certainly be awesome, but the way the OGL works, it's actually unclear just how much of the rules can go into a video game. It's a kind of tricky territory. We can certainly do a video game that uses the Golarion world and monsters and characters and plots, though... but whether or not that would be in the RPG category... not sure. I would LOVE to see something like this happen, frankly... but it's not something that Paizo can do as Paizo at this time. We'll see what the future brings!

It is certainly an entertaining thought to have a Pathfinder / Golarion game in the future. If the OGL is presenting problems then there's opportunity for Paizo to develop a rule system that can make use of the advantage of the PC (i.e. not minding to do a lot of math).

Would you rather see an MMORPG (WoW), party-based single-player RPG (Dragon Age), solo single-player (Elder Scrolls), or action RPG (Diablo)?

Or possibly something more unique (and what?).

My favorite model for computer RPGs is single player ones—both single player and party-based. For single player, I prefer real time. For Party-Based, I prefer turn-based game play.

But beyond RPGs... I'd also love to see adventure games, first-person shooters, and even simulation style games set in Golarion.


You do have a good point there - one of my top 3 favorite games of all times has seen little in the way of competition: Master of Magic. It really is time that somebody makes a good game along that line again. I wouldn't mind it being set in the Golarion canon.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


My explanation for why PCs get higher level than NPCs = the PCs are the stars of the show. They're the ones destiny or fate or the gods or whatever has selected to become heroes, and thus they break the rules.

Elves might live to be 120 years, but they're not destined for greatness and thus don't gain XP as fast as PCs.

AKA: Gaining experience points is something that ONLY player characters (and NPCs who hitch themselves to the PCs in some way) get to earn. A town guardsman might kill thousands of CR 1 mooks, but he only goes up in level if the GM says he does.

I hope you are not offended if I comment that your preferred explanation makes my teeth hurt. It seems too gamist for me, honestly. Not saying it's wrong, just extremely wrong for me.

EDIT : Which just means I need to take a weed whacker to the core rules and turn the briar patch into a lion hedge creature or dragon or maybe a hedgehog.


mdt wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


My explanation for why PCs get higher level than NPCs = the PCs are the stars of the show. They're the ones destiny or fate or the gods or whatever has selected to become heroes, and thus they break the rules.

Elves might live to be 120 years, but they're not destined for greatness and thus don't gain XP as fast as PCs.

AKA: Gaining experience points is something that ONLY player characters (and NPCs who hitch themselves to the PCs in some way) get to earn. A town guardsman might kill thousands of CR 1 mooks, but he only goes up in level if the GM says he does.

I hope you are not offended if I comment that your preferred explanation makes my teeth hurt. It seems too gamist for me, honestly. Not saying it's wrong, just extremely wrong for me.

EDIT : Which just means I need to take a weed whacker to the core rules and turn the briar patch into a lion hedge creature or dragon or maybe a hedgehog.

I suppose another way you could explain it is by making use of experience decay: if left untended experience gained can be lost over time. For PCs this is rarely relevant as the time-frame of their campaign usually is constrained to a few years.


James Jacobs wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

Hey James I have a question,

Recently I have seen serveral times you saying the 'ish' is wrong in Pathfinder...like orcish. Why?

Because it IS wrong, according to our house style.

We don't turn race names into adjectives by appending "-ish" to anything. Except in a few exceptional cases, such as the artifact axe of the dwarfish lords, which we retained out of respect for tradition.

Ok that was sorta like answearing the question like 'Because we said so.'....

I get that is how Pazio has decided to it...I was just wondering what was the thinking that went into it?

Also does that mean 'A Elven sword' is wrong?

Liberty's Edge

Friend of mine for an NPC wants to have a Soul Bound Doll. It says

Quote:
The soul bound to the doll lives within a focus integrated into the doll or its apparel, typically one of the doll’s eyes or a gem embedded into its neck or chest. As long as this soul focus remains intact, it can be used to animate another doll, using the same cost as creating a new construct. Once bound into the soul focus, the soul continues to learn, and so if later it is put into a new doll body, the soul retains its personality and memories from its previous body or bodies. A soul focus has hardness 8, 12 hit points, and a break DC of 20.

So can they take class levels or retain prior class levels in the doll?

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

LoreKeeper wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
A Golarion video game would certainly be awesome, but the way the OGL works, it's actually unclear just how much of the rules can go into a video game. It's a kind of tricky territory. We can certainly do a video game that uses the Golarion world and monsters and characters and plots, though... but whether or not that would be in the RPG category... not sure. I would LOVE to see something like this happen, frankly... but it's not something that Paizo can do as Paizo at this time. We'll see what the future brings!

It is certainly an entertaining thought to have a Pathfinder / Golarion game in the future. If the OGL is presenting problems then there's opportunity for Paizo to develop a rule system that can make use of the advantage of the PC (i.e. not minding to do a lot of math).

While I don't know if this game complies with the OGL, it is a D20 based game that plays pretty similar to 3.5 (with only 3 classes and 3 races, though). There's a sequel in the works that will expand the number of options significantly. If it is legal though per the OGL, then I don't see anything stopping a Pathfinder RPG for the computer to use OGL rules either. If you liked the old 'gold box' SSI games, then you'll enjoy this as well, but using a pseudo 3.5 ruleset.

Knights of the Chalice


James Jacobs wrote:
Jaçinto wrote:

Just found out one player in our upcoming Carrion Crown game will be playing a Changeling Paladin. What suggestion might you have to keep him from freaking out that my Cleric of the old one is an Undead and has an aura that would register as evil, since the aura shows the deity's alignment rather than your own? After all, the Undetectable Alignment spell says "An undetectable alignment spell conceals the alignment of an

object or a creature from all forms of divination." So while it can hide MY alignment, it would need to hide the alignment of my deity and I doubt I want to go hunt them down and cast that on them.
An undead cleric of one of the Great Old Ones, honestly, is a pretty bad choice for Carrion Crown. You're going to be put in a LOT of awkward situations by the plot of the adventure if you're undead, and a lot more if you worship the Great Old Ones. Putting both together is gonna probably cause a lot of problems. My advice would be to shelve that character idea for another campaign and go with something else, honestly

Fair enough, but remember the Dhampir is actually alive. It is only treated as undead for purposes of negative and positive energy according to their entry. After talking to my DM, I have been able to get this character to work actually. From what I remember in old lovecraft lore, large cults tend to be rare and it is more individual based. Plus, they are very secretive if they are smart about what they are and can just lie about it. Even if, say, we have to FIGHT cultists it can make sense. One cultist takes out others to get access to their books and supplies and whatnot. You know, like how Nyarlethotep has the power to awaken Cthulhu but he never will because Nyar likes earth and the humans, at least messing with them. Cthulhu would just kill them all and that would ruin his fun. Plus there are always folks like Nodens but he's a technically an Elder one...blah anyways I can find ways to make it work if I go through my stack of Cthulhu books.

Oh, know what would be awesome for Pathfinder? Mi-Go taking people in brain jars to one of the other worlds. That is, if those other worlds ever get printed.

Also I plan to suggest a house rule for my DM. If a character teleports or uses stuff like augury too often, they run the risk of having Hounds of Tindalos come after them. Kinda like how wishing can mess with the fabric of reality.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

mdt wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


My explanation for why PCs get higher level than NPCs = the PCs are the stars of the show. They're the ones destiny or fate or the gods or whatever has selected to become heroes, and thus they break the rules.

Elves might live to be 120 years, but they're not destined for greatness and thus don't gain XP as fast as PCs.

AKA: Gaining experience points is something that ONLY player characters (and NPCs who hitch themselves to the PCs in some way) get to earn. A town guardsman might kill thousands of CR 1 mooks, but he only goes up in level if the GM says he does.

I hope you are not offended if I comment that your preferred explanation makes my teeth hurt. It seems too gamist for me, honestly. Not saying it's wrong, just extremely wrong for me.

EDIT : Which just means I need to take a weed whacker to the core rules and turn the briar patch into a lion hedge creature or dragon or maybe a hedgehog.

Doesn't offend me at all. But the fact is that experience points are 100% a fabrication of the game to provide the players with a reward system that allows them to track the increased growth of their characters. In game, experience points do not exist.

If that means you need to adjust the rules to make them fit your style of game, do it to it!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

John Kretzer wrote:

Ok that was sorta like answearing the question like 'Because we said so.'....

I get that is how Pazio has decided to it...I was just wondering what was the thinking that went into it?

Also does that mean 'A Elven sword' is wrong?

"Because we said so..." covers a lot of ground, and it's not wrong. A significant part of defining a publishing house's style guide is making a lot of choices like that.

We built our style guide in large part off of the Wizards of the Coast style guide (back when we were doing the D&D magazines), and THAT style guide was built in large part off of TSR's style guide, so the ban on "ish" stuff is probably just something we inherited from a previous style guide. Tolkien used "ish" a lot, I believe, and his estate certainly brought legal action against TSR in the early days over things like hobbits and ents and balrogs, so perhaps the "ban on -ish" is something from an earlier age where the editors were seeking to protect themselves from being further entangled with that legal mess.

In any case... it's how we roll these days here at Paizo.

(And Elven is not wrong, nor is dwarven. Those are both legit words in our house style.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Coridan wrote:
Friend of mine for an NPC wants to have a Soul Bound Doll. It says
Quote:
The soul bound to the doll lives within a focus integrated into the doll or its apparel, typically one of the doll’s eyes or a gem embedded into its neck or chest. As long as this soul focus remains intact, it can be used to animate another doll, using the same cost as creating a new construct. Once bound into the soul focus, the soul continues to learn, and so if later it is put into a new doll body, the soul retains its personality and memories from its previous body or bodies. A soul focus has hardness 8, 12 hit points, and a break DC of 20.
So can they take class levels or retain prior class levels in the doll?

If a soulbound doll has class levels, it would retain those class levels if its soul focus were moved successfully to another doll. Unless the GM decides for story purposes it's more interesting otherwise, of course.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Jaçinto wrote:
Fair enough, but remember the Dhampir is actually alive. It is only treated as undead for purposes of negative and positive energy according to their entry. After talking to my DM, I have been able to get this character to work actually. From what I remember in old lovecraft lore, large cults tend to be rare and it is more individual based. Plus, they are very secretive if they are smart about what they are and can just lie about it. Even if, say, we have to FIGHT cultists it can make sense. One cultist takes out others to get access to their books and supplies and whatnot. You know, like how Nyarlethotep has the power to awaken Cthulhu but he never will because Nyar likes earth and the humans, at least messing with them. Cthulhu would just kill them all and that would ruin his fun. Plus there are always folks like Nodens but he's a technically an Elder one...blah anyways I can find ways to make it work if I go through...

Well, in my defense, you said in a previous post, "...my Cleric of the old one is an Undead..." which to me meant you were undead. There's a LOT of posts in this thread, and I generally don't keep track of them if the've got a long train of previous posts, so if you'd mentioned earlier in another post that your character's a dhampir... I obviously forgot. And you saying your character was undead didn't help me remember. :-)

In any case... my observation stands. The cults of the old ones make much better villains than heroes, and even if your character wasn't evil... he'd likely be EXCEPTIONALLY chaotic, which can be just as much as a no-go for paladins as evil.

If your'e still set on playing this character, my advice would be to chat with the character planning on playing a paladin and to work out any possible conflicts BEFORE the game begins. It can be frustrating when one player's choice of character renders another character's choice invalid, but that happens. It might be that one of the two of you might just have to abandon their character concept. It'd be a good idea, in any case, to get the GM in on that discussion.

Remember—Adventure Paths (and most games, in fact) assume the PCs are working together. When PCs don't work together, that tends to overshadow everything else and tends to become the primary story of the campaign. A GM is probably going to be more annoyed than anyone else in the group if two players constantly disrupt the flow of the adventure he's prepared or wants to run because their two characters were built to not work well together.

As for Nodens... he's not a creation of Lovecraft. He's a real-world mythological figure, like Dagon. And as such, not really a legitimate part of the Great Old Ones club.


James Jacobs wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:

Ok that was sorta like answearing the question like 'Because we said so.'....

I get that is how Pazio has decided to it...I was just wondering what was the thinking that went into it?

Also does that mean 'A Elven sword' is wrong?

"Because we said so..." covers a lot of ground, and it's not wrong. A significant part of defining a publishing house's style guide is making a lot of choices like that.

We built our style guide in large part off of the Wizards of the Coast style guide (back when we were doing the D&D magazines), and THAT style guide was built in large part off of TSR's style guide, so the ban on "ish" stuff is probably just something we inherited from a previous style guide. Tolkien used "ish" a lot, I believe, and his estate certainly brought legal action against TSR in the early days over things like hobbits and ents and balrogs, so perhaps the "ban on -ish" is something from an earlier age where the editors were seeking to protect themselves from being further entangled with that legal mess.

In any case... it's how we roll these days here at Paizo.

(And Elven is not wrong, nor is dwarven. Those are both legit words in our house style.)

Ok cool...I was just wondering. I apologize if you find my last post insulting or too agregressive...that was not my intent.


Thanks for the advice James. I will sit down and talk out a compromise with this player. If need be I will shelf this very chaotic character. I just happen to know that he tends to play chaotically for a paladin. Although that being my favorite class back in AD&D, I am compelled to help him do it successfully.

Silver Crusade

According to the timeline in the Inner Sea Guide, the Gorilla King(s?) certainly seem to enjoy procuring heavy mechanical weaponry.

Is this building towards something Paizo's got up their sleeve for the future? :)

And has he ever gotten his hands on any Numerian tech? If only to provide for a Monkey vs Robot themed adventure somewhere?


Do you need to be able to Speak the same language to be able to Spellcraft a spell?


Why does it seem that everything you touch turns awesome?

Also, where did the character of the Iconics come from? Were they PCs you played in your games? How did Shalelu come into existence?


What's your opinion on people gathering in large numbers on an internet forum to ask your characters awkward personal questions?

Also... between this thread and the Ask Merisiel thread, how do you manage to get anything done at all?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

John Kretzer wrote:
Ok cool...I was just wondering. I apologize if you find my last post insulting or too agregressive...that was not my intent.

No worries! :-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

harmor wrote:
Do you need to be able to Speak the same language to be able to Spellcraft a spell?

Spells aren't cast in any language; to Spellcraft it all you need is Spellcraft.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

acecipher wrote:
Why does it seem that everything you touch turns awesome?

Luck? Surrounding myself with talented authors and awesome editors? Nearly 30 years of gaming experience? A pact with the devil? A combination of all four, perhaps?

acecipher wrote:
Also, where did the character of the Iconics come from? Were they PCs you played in your games? How did Shalelu come into existence?

For the iconics, we gave Wayne Reynolds a very brief description of the character; he designs a sketch, we approve it or request changes, he finishes it, we have someone in house write the character's backstory, and that's about it. They weren't PCs who've been in anyone's games (although we've used the iconics for in-house playtests a fair amount).

Shalelu came into existence because I wanted a cool elf character to have a role in "Burnt Offerings" who could serve as a recurring character in that campaign. Since then, she's shown up in a few other Adventure Paths as well, and seems to be pretty popular. She'll be on the cover of the 50th Pathfinder, which is pretty cool. Her personality and history and all that is pretty much just created whole-cloth by me (although her name IS somewhat inspired by Leelu's name from "The Fifth Element").

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dies Irae wrote:
What's your opinion on people gathering in large numbers on an internet forum to ask your characters awkward personal questions?

Kinda weirded out, but also flattered. It's actually kinda fun answering Merisiel questions because she's a pretty direct speaker who doesn't mince words.

Dies Irae wrote:
Also... between this thread and the Ask Merisiel thread, how do you manage to get anything done at all?

By answering questions quickly as possible? Answering messageboard questions is actually a kind of relaxing way to, well, relax. Which is handy late at night when the insomnia kicks in, but also handy during the day after several hours of development or writing or editing... taking a 10 to 20 minute break to read the boards and answer some questions is a nice break.

Liberty's Edge

James, can the gentle rest ability from the Repose domain be used in two consecutive rounds to first stagger an opponent, and then put him to sleep for one round? Or would the staggered condition have worn off by the second round?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

stardust wrote:
James, can the gentle rest ability from the Repose domain be used in two consecutive rounds to first stagger an opponent, and then put him to sleep for one round? Or would the staggered condition have worn off by the second round?

The staggered effect wears off in 1 round... aka, just before you get to try this ability a second time. If there were TWO characters using gentle rest on a single target, though, yeah; you could put him to sleep. You can't on your own, though.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
stardust wrote:
James, can the gentle rest ability from the Repose domain be used in two consecutive rounds to first stagger an opponent, and then put him to sleep for one round? Or would the staggered condition have worn off by the second round?
The staggered effect wears off in 1 round... aka, just before you get to try this ability a second time. If there were TWO characters using gentle rest on a single target, though, yeah; you could put him to sleep. You can't on your own, though.

I was going to suggest Quicken Spell, but I realized it was a domain ability. I guess it would take some sort of Quicken Spell-like ability.


Doesn`t `same source` come into play, regardless of who cast/used ability X, it`s still the same ability X...?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Quandary wrote:
Doesn`t `same source` come into play, regardless of who cast/used ability X, it`s still the same ability X...?

If you're talking about the gentle rest ability... no. The effects of gentle rest have specifically different effects depending upon the status of the target; it doesn't care where those status effects come from.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Would you call me sane?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sebastian wrote:
Would you call me sane?

He can call you sane all he wants wouldn't make it so ;)

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