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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joana wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

My best suggestion for Nhimbaloth inspiration is to read Algernon Blackwood's short story "The Willows," which is about two men doing a river trip and getting stranded on a remote island during a flood, where strange events start to occur. While Nhimbaloth is a creation of mine (including her name), she's VERY much inspired by the nameless eerie weirdness that's going on in "The WIllows."

...

In the original story, it was boat travelers being stranded on an island during a flood... so the space version might be starship travelers getting stranded on a planet during some strange solar storm that makes spaceflight too dangerous and keeps them on the planet. Then the adventure turns into a survival-themed one where the PCs have to use what they brought with them to endure an eerie growing menace that can't really be seen or fought at first, but builds in intensity, with the end goal being "Endure the length of the solar storm so you can escape," not "Fight stuff until you kill 'em all."

Is the similarity I see with the second book of Second Darkness "Children of the Void" coincidental or intentional? (I.e., was that adventure explicitly shaped by the short story?)

I don't see a similarity at all there. The events in Children of the Void are MUCH more action-packed than those in the Willows. Children of the Void is more inspired by the various sci-fi movies of the '50s about things crashing to earth to menace a region. Stuff like "Invaders From Mars" or "It Came from Outer Space", which are themselves of course inspired by older stories like "War of the Worlds" and "Colour out of Space."

The closest I've ever gotten to a full-on scene inspired by "The WIllows" in a Pathfinder book would be the entry for Turandarok River in the Sandpoint book.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

james014Aura wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
BishopMcQ wrote:

What factors have led to the glacial pace of industry in Golarion? We went from cave paintings to the modern era in the 10,000 years from the fall of Thassilon.

Are there Outsiders secretly kidnapping inventors and modern thinkers to prevent the spread of industry?

In world: The presence of magic sends the world's devleopment along a different path than ours took, where there is no magic.

Out of world: The fact that we wanted to present a pulpy sword and sorcery setting instead of a modern fantasy setting.

Following up on this: Is Golarion on a route to become Magitech, and any timeline on about when major milestones are going to happen? (Considering spacefaring starts sometime before Starfinder happens, and all)

Starfinder is indeed where it's eventually headed. We won't ever reach that stage with Pathfinder though, because that's not the point of Pathfinder. The timeline for when these major milestones happen occur during the Gap—aka, after any product we'll ever publish for Pathfinder, but before any one we'll ever publish for Starfinder. The transition itself isn't something we'll ever really spend time on in the context of these games.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lord Fyre wrote:
Since Paizo appears to like redemption stories..., Did Rocky Sullivan die a coward? (Angels with Dirty Faces, Warner Bros. 1937)

Haven't seen it so I can't offer an opinion.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Since Paizo appears to like redemption stories..., Did Rocky Sullivan die a coward? (Angels with Dirty Faces, Warner Bros. 1937)
Haven't seen it so I can't offer an opinion.

You should add it to you stack of "Must Watch" films. It is amazingly good.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lord Fyre wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Since Paizo appears to like redemption stories..., Did Rocky Sullivan die a coward? (Angels with Dirty Faces, Warner Bros. 1937)
Haven't seen it so I can't offer an opinion.
You should add it to you stack of "Must Watch" films. It is amazingly good.

I shall, but please keep posts here to questions. (Sending me a PM through the site is the better way to send suggestions like this.)


Dear James Jacobs,

Do you think if the Infinity Stones and Time Travel actually worked in our reality, things would be better or worse?

Also do the elven chocolatiers wear pointy hats and shoes in Golorian?

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Since Paizo appears to like redemption stories..., Did Rocky Sullivan die a coward? (Angels with Dirty Faces, Warner Bros. 1937)
Haven't seen it so I can't offer an opinion.
You should add it to you stack of "Must Watch" films. It is amazingly good.
I shall, but please keep posts here to questions. (Sending me a PM through the site is the better way to send suggestions like this.)

Your PMs seem to be disabled, though.

And to make this a semi-related question, Are there any plans to release a higher resolution version of the Golarion world map in the CRB?


What is on the outside of the Great Beyond?

Dark Archive

On Golarion and the rest of that solar system, going way back into ancient history, did the aboleths and the elder things ever had a war, and if so, who won?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Thomas Seitz wrote:

Dear James Jacobs,

Do you think if the Infinity Stones and Time Travel actually worked in our reality, things would be better or worse?

Also do the elven chocolatiers wear pointy hats and shoes in Golorian?

Please keep posts to one per question.

Worse.

No.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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3Doubloons wrote:

Your PMs seem to be disabled, though.

And to make this a semi-related question, Are there any plans to release a higher resolution version of the Golarion world map in the CRB?

No plans now, but we'll do more with the world map eventually.

My PMs are not disabled, in any event. Sounds like there might be an issue at your end of the internet? (I've got my settings so that I can receive them, and I have been receiving them now and then all along.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
What is on the outside of the Great Beyond?

A mystery. We've talked a little bit about what's out there in the context of Dou-Bral's transformation into Zon-Kuthon, but the place we've said the most is in the "Beyond the Beyond" section on page 161 of Book of the Damned.

There, it mentions that whatever is out there is "...a place where the gods themselves have no domain, and where the very concept of time and space have no meaning." It's the one portion of the Book of the Damned that its author, Tabris, seemed hesitant to speak more about, as if the author of the most notorious book in the setting was afraid of something out there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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ulgulanoth wrote:
On Golarion and the rest of that solar system, going way back into ancient history, did the aboleths and the elder things ever had a war, and if so, who won?

No such war took place on Golarion—the elder things have a VERY light presence there. The aboleths did war with another ancient precursor, the xiomorns, and I'd rather not muddy those waters by having them fight every possible ancient civilization.


So can I assume that the Abyss is in the Great Beyond, not out of it?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
So can I assume that the Abyss is in the Great Beyond, not out of it?

The Abyss has always been part of the Great Beyond.


I found out that there will be Alaznist on the cover of Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide. That would mean she will eventually be resurrected in Second Edition, I guess. But that raises a new question. At the end of Return of the Runelords, her soul was ripped apart by demons(or qlippoth?). I'm not sure. Since her soul was completely destroyed, no mortal magic can bring her back, right?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
I found out that there will be Alaznist on the cover of Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide. That would mean she will eventually be resurrected in Second Edition, I guess. But that raises a new question. At the end of Return of the Runelords, her soul was ripped apart by demons(or qlippoth?). I'm not sure. Since her soul was completely destroyed, no mortal magic can bring her back, right?

We put Alaznist on the cover of the Gamemastery Guide because we put Karzoug on the cover of the 1st edition GameMatery Guide.

We didn't resurrect Karzoug.

And we don't intend to resurrect Alaznist.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
My PMs are not disabled, in any event. Sounds like there might be an issue at your end of the internet? (I've got my settings so that I can receive them, and I have been receiving them now and then all along.)

I managed to get it working.

For the question: my players just adopted warg pups (I'm sure you know the ones). How fast do these grow and, most importantly, how long before they reach that awkward adolescent phase where they're constantly annoyed at mum and dad always trying to scratch their ears and pet their soft bellies?


Return of the Runelords spoiler:
Can I assume that even True Resurrection cannot bring back Alaznist, since her soul was completely destroyed and eaten by demons?


Hi James!

Is possibile to buy slotless wondrous items of different sizes?

Like the traveler's many tools is a 12 inch bar... is possible to buy 1 of 30/100/1000 inch?

Thank you for everything


Are we getting more info on the cornucopias of Absalom in the upcoming content?

I guess they won't technically work during extinction curse because the city wont be under siege?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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3Doubloons wrote:


For the question: my players just adopted warg pups (I'm sure you know the ones). How fast do these grow and, most importantly, how long before they reach that awkward adolescent phase where they're constantly annoyed at mum and dad always trying to scratch their ears and pet their soft bellies?

That's pretty much left to the GM to determine. It also depends on the rate of your in-world time advancement. If the PCs take a few years off between adventures, which is fine, to do downtime, then they can be grown up before the 2nd adventure starts. If your players are gung-ho about progressing the story, the pups might NEVER reach that phase by the end of the campaign.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Correct. A wish or miracle or the like could, as could beyond-the-rules story elements such as divine intervention.

But keep in mind that having villains come back to life cheapens the storyline in which they were defeated. It's lame if your players play a campaign for years and finally defeat someone like Alaznist only to have a GM or adventure writer arbitrarily decide Alaznist comes back.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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patrizio palluzzi wrote:

Hi James!

Is possibile to buy slotless wondrous items of different sizes?

Like the traveler's many tools is a 12 inch bar... is possible to buy 1 of 30/100/1000 inch?

Thank you for everything

That's 1000% left to your GM to decide.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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BobTheCoward wrote:

Are we getting more info on the cornucopias of Absalom in the upcoming content?

I guess they won't technically work during extinction curse because the city wont be under siege?

Nope. The cornucopias are kinda getting ret-conned away, I believe. They cause more problems, theme- and story-wise, than they solve or create. If they AREN'T going away, then they're being adjusted significantly. So if there is going to be more about them in the upcoming books, they'll play very different roles.

But my understanding at this time is that they're being phased out. Edition changes are the best time to abandon ideas that we ended up not liking or that weren't working as intended, after all. Fortunately, there's not a lot of these... but there are a few.


There is a black dragon on the cover of Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide. Karzoug surely had a blue dragon minion, but did Alaznist have a black dragon minion? I remember she only had a iathavos minion.


James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

Are we getting more info on the cornucopias of Absalom in the upcoming content?

I guess they won't technically work during extinction curse because the city wont be under siege?

Nope. The cornucopias are kinda getting ret-conned away, I believe. They cause more problems, theme- and story-wise, than they solve or create. If they AREN'T going away, then they're being adjusted significantly. So if there is going to be more about them in the upcoming books, they'll play very different roles.

But my understanding at this time is that they're being phased out. Edition changes are the best time to abandon ideas that we ended up not liking or that weren't working as intended, after all. Fortunately, there's not a lot of these... but there are a few.

That is funny. All the way back in Feb 2017 I asked you about the cornucopias here.

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=1364?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your- Questions-Here#68155

I think your post is probably the most ever written about them, anyway.

In that old post I brought up another weird thing about Absalom. Is statue street still going to be around?

It could be cool in the Absalom cops Adventure path if you bust a stone cold menace in part 1, send them to prison for decades, only for them to survive the Gorgon and be on the streets in part 4 a legitimate citizen.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
There is a black dragon on the cover of Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide. Karzoug surely had a blue dragon minion, but did Alaznist have a black dragon minion? I remember she only had a iathavos minion.

Not in any encounter in an adventure path, but at some point in the past she did. It's not really meant to be an illustration from Return of the Runelords as much as just a neat cover.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

BobTheCoward wrote:


In that old post I brought up another weird thing about Absalom. Is statue street still going to be around?

You'll need to wait and see about Statue Street. I have no idea. Haven't done my readthrough of the book, which is still being written, after all.


Thornkeep and The Emerald Spire Superdungeon were published to build excitement for Pathfinder Online. Does that mean that if Paizo didn't try to develop Pathfinder Online, the region around the Echo Wood would not have been detailed and thus those two books would not have been published at all?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Thornkeep and The Emerald Spire Superdungeon were published to build excitement for Pathfinder Online. Does that mean that if Paizo didn't try to develop Pathfinder Online, the region around the Echo Wood would not have been detailed and thus those two books would not have been published at all?

Correct.

What we did with Thornkeep and the Emerald Spire was a result of Pathfinder Online being set there, and us trying to build excitement for that game by offering some stuff for the tabletop game set in the same region. Had Pathfinder Online been set somewhere else, those books would have been about whatever other area we might have set it in. Had we never done Pathifnder Online at all, we would have never invented Thornkeep or the Emerald Spire at all.

Echo Wood was the only part of that whole thing that was in the setting pre-Pathifnder Online, and had we never worked with Goblinworks to do Pathfinder Online, we might never have done anything at all with Echo Wood.


Sigh. I really like the Echo Wood and wish for it to be detailed further. Emerald Spire was good, but it was rather too small(mostly due to the fact that the dungeon had to be published as a flip mat) and it only let me reach 12th level at the end. That's why I think it would be a good idea to reboot Emerald Spire, drastically expanding the dungeon vertically and horizontally, thus making it a level 1-20 adventure! Well, I know you cannot say anything official on this thread, but do you think that kind of revisitation of the Echo Wood or Emerald Spire is highly unlikely? This region is too fascinating to be neglected!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Sigh. I really like the Echo Wood and wish for it to be detailed further. Emerald Spire was good, but it was rather too small(mostly due to the fact that the dungeon had to be published as a flip mat) and it only let me reach 12th level at the end. That's why I think it would be a good idea to reboot Emerald Spire, drastically expanding the dungeon vertically and horizontally, thus making it a level 1-20 adventure! Well, I know you cannot say anything official on this thread, but do you think that kind of revisitation of the Echo Wood or Emerald Spire is highly unlikely? This region is too fascinating to be neglected!

I'd LOVE to do a huge megadungeon, but not Emerald Spire. I'd love to have one designed less randomly, with only one author working on it, or maybe only a few, and tackle somewhere else entirely for this kind of thing. And somewhere that has a stronger connection to the lore of the world from the outset, rather than building something completely new out of the blue.

I think a revisit of Emerald Spire is very unlikely, in any event.

Silver Crusade

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

Which of the mega dungeons from Dungeons of Golarion would you love to tackle most?


Paizo already designed goblins, blue dragons and gold dragons very differently from D&D in Pathfinder First Edition. In Second Edition, other monsters like kobolds and hobgoblins were designed very differently from First Edition. I like the new designs very much. Have you or Paizo already wished to use these new designs in First Edition but somehow failed to do so?

Dark Archive

Are vault giants related to xulgaths or is it coincidence that they look sort of similar?


Hi James,

How were relations between Aroden and Asmodeus?
(The Aroden article in A Song of Silver doesn't say.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cori Marie wrote:
Which of the mega dungeons from Dungeons of Golarion would you love to tackle most?

My personal preference if I was the one to get to write it would be the Pit outside of Sandpoint.

If it was something I got to develop but not write, then probably the dungeons below Crimson Citadel.

If it was something I just got to help concept, not devleop nor write, then probably either Hollow Mountain, Viperwall, or one of the Absalom siege towers.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Paizo already designed goblins, blue dragons and gold dragons very differently from D&D in Pathfinder First Edition. In Second Edition, other monsters like kobolds and hobgoblins were designed very differently from First Edition. I like the new designs very much. Have you or Paizo already wished to use these new designs in First Edition but somehow failed to do so?

We almost always seek to build our own look for monsters instead of simply follow Wizards of the Coast's look for them, because copying those looks exactly when it's not a monster with a strong mythological appearance has two undesirable effects:

1) It muddies the water so the work we do on something can be mistaken by customers for a competitor's work, and...

2) It could well open us up to a lawsuit for copyright infringement from WotC. The OGL doesn't include art depictions.

For ALL of the monsters, therefore, we seek new looks. The first edition kobold looks different than the D&D kobold. We didn't fail to do so, I think. You just didn't notice.

That said, we can't always throw extra resources toward specifically detailing a creature's look like we did for ogres or goblins or trolls in 1st edition or kobolds and lizardfolk and hobgoblins in 2nd edition. Our need for art is driven by the pace of our publications, and that outpaces our time for deep dives into reconcepting creature designs in the long run.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:
Are vault giants related to xulgaths or is it coincidence that they look sort of similar?

I believe so, yes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Blissful Lightning wrote:

Hi James,

How were relations between Aroden and Asmodeus?
(The Aroden article in A Song of Silver doesn't say.)

Enemies. They both wanted to control humanity, and both had egos and philosophies that made interactions between them impossible in any way other than hostility.


Why do you want to develop the dungeons below Crimson Citadel but not want to write them? Also, I thought basically everything in Varisia(including Hollow Mountain and Viperwall) is your creations. But you don't want to either develop or write them?

Silver Crusade

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

When slain, do undead (like ghouls) go back to being treated like dead for abilities or after a certain amount of time or will they always be considered undead now? This is more a flavor question than a rules or exacts one, something I’ve been curious about.

(For instance detect undead and channel positive energy)


Hi James!

Can the spell Baleful Shadow Transmutation be used to remove a Tarrasque's Regeneration (Ex), thereby allowing it to die?

The spell isn't mindaffecting, and even if it were, a mesmerist could use his stare to bypass the immunity.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hi James,

First of all, y'all really knocked it out of the park with everything in 2E. I am really loving it!

I've got a question about Norgorber's permitted alignments. I'm considering creating an alchemist character that will then take a cleric dedication feat in service to Norgorber in his role as Blackfingers. But, I couldn't do that without making my character evil. Can you suggest an alternative deity so I could have a good or neutral alchemist/cleric of alchemy character? I was thinking Nethys, but that seemed off too, with 2E's strong division between magic and alchemy.

Thank you again--I've already read through Lost Omens World Guide and can't wait to see the rest of the changes for Golarion as the line progresses!


Mr. James Jacobs,

Are you familiar with 3PP class and Primal Host? If so, in your estimation how would you recreate it using PF2E rules?


Mr. James Jacobs,

Will there be fleshwarping rules for the new system in the near future? Possibly in the Age of Lost Omens book?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Why do you want to develop the dungeons below Crimson Citadel but not want to write them? Also, I thought basically everything in Varisia(including Hollow Mountain and Viperwall) is your creations. But you don't want to either develop or write them?

I WOULD rather write the dungeons below Crimson Citadel, but I don't fee like I HAVE to write them. Part of managing my time is that I need to make decisions about what topics I want to work on versus what topics I'm comfortable letting other writers work on. The more I let go and let other writers in, the more potential products there can be.

Not everything in Varisia is my creation, in any event. A lot of the locations are things I made up or brought over from my homebrew, but others, like Kaer Maga, were invented by others.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:

When slain, do undead (like ghouls) go back to being treated like dead for abilities or after a certain amount of time or will they always be considered undead now? This is more a flavor question than a rules or exacts one, something I’ve been curious about.

(For instance detect undead and channel positive energy)

Unless the undead has some sort of rejuvenation type ability (like a ghost or a lich), once an undead is destroyed it's dead pretty much instantly and, in theory, the person can be resurrected at once. Once a ghoul, to use your example, is destroyed, it no longer detects as undead and no longer takes positive damage.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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NSM wrote:

Hi James!

Can the spell Baleful Shadow Transmutation be used to remove a Tarrasque's Regeneration (Ex), thereby allowing it to die?

The spell isn't mindaffecting, and even if it were, a mesmerist could use his stare to bypass the immunity.

No. The method to permanently kill any of the Spawn of Rovagug has to be discovered. That's the whole point of these creatures—that to kill them forever, you need to go on a dangerous quest to figure it out, and for the most part we don't say what those methods of slaying are unless it's something important for the lore. For example, Xotani has been slain, so we needed to say HOW it got slain (a special ritual to cool its blood). We haven't had an adventure or anything yet that focuses on how Tarassque gets killed, so we haven't made that thing up yet.

Of course, in YOUR game, you as the GM get to decide those things as you wish. If you want Baleful Shadow Transmutation to do so, go for it. To me, that breaks verisimilitude... the monster's been in the world for thousands of years, after all, and the idea that some random spell that anyone can learn could do the job but no one's realized it over the past several centuries is illogical.

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