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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
According to the art on page 240 of Inner Sea World Guide, the outermost area of the Great Beyond is the Abyss. Since the Abyss seems infinite, I thought that there is no such a thing like the outside of the Great Beyond. But On Family Bonds clearly said that Dou-Bral emerged into the Beyond Beyond. Does that mean the Abyss is finite and there is something outside the Abyss, or the Great Beyond?

None of the outer planes are infinite. That's a D&D concept we don't utilize. As explained on page 59 of Planar Adventures, most of the planes themselves, from the Universe to the Abyss, are categorized as "Immeasurable."

Planar Adventures wrote:

Planes with the Immeasurable trait might seem to go on forever, and indeed many are so vast that, for all practical purposes, their size is infinite. The Material Plane consists of the entire universe—an expanse so truly vast in scope that it is close enough to being immeasurable to qualify for this trait. Similarly, while the Outer Sphere has a static size, it is so unimaginably vast that it cannot be measured or traversed without powerful magic.

There is indeed something outside of the Great Beyond. We talk here and there about that in a few books, particularly on page 161 of Book of the Damned, but also on page 5 at the very start of Planar Adventures.

What exactly is out there is not something we've said much at all about. We might explore it more some day. Once upon a time, I had an adventure planned for 1st edition called "Sanctum of the Shadow Giants" that would have looked at the topic through the lens of pulling back the curtain on Zon-Kuthon's genesis, but that adventure never happened due to lack of resources. It's still on the back burner though, and might happen some day... or we might present that information elsewhere. For now, it's mostly going to remain mysterious.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Roswynn wrote:

Hi JJ!

I have a question about Lost Omens, and you do know when that happens eventually you're the one I think about asking! ;)

But first - kudos to Paizo and Owlcat for the Wrath of the Righteous game! I'm sure this will be a resounding success for all of you guys (and for us fanbase, by proxy).

Now, question time: on the Reddit community we're discussing the new champions coming out in Advanced Players Guide, and of course the True Neutral champion came up (even though only Evil champions were advertised, but that's how anticipating Paizo products works of course!).

Some of us think that such a champion would want to stop planar beings and extremists of all alignments from disrupting the world and getting out of control (which I agree with)... because too much Good is just as bad as too much Evil.

Now... I've never been able to understand this logic. As I understand it, you can't have too much good. It's never enough. It's not like Order (or Law) and Chaos, which were depicted as equally detrimental to people in Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion series like Elric, Hawkmoon and so on (I haven't read much more, but I think I get the gist).

Good and evil... do you think PF's Neutral champion will want to oppose "too much good"? I can see them opposing good planar beings, because even good celestials can make mistakes, get careless, overwhelm mortals, disrupt the Great Beyond, but Good-as-a-concept?

Why would anyone ever want to limit Good?

What do you think, is there a point to opposing the victory of Good? Would a Neutral champion acting against both Good and Evil (and Law and Chaos) make sense, at least in Lost Omens, and if so, how?

(Of course I'm not asking for previews - if you can answer it's all fine and dandy, but if you must tell me I'll have to wait, hey, that's cool too).

Thank you JJ,

(I'm compiling an archive with your answers regarding various parts of the setting that directly interest me and my group btw, and you rock!),

Yours,

Ros-

I don't think a neutral champion is really a viable space to explore, to be honest, but if I did, I suppose I'd look into making them something associated with Pharasma and psychopomps. They wouldn't oppose good (and frankly, the idea of Neutral = Balance always felt wrong to me, since "balance" feels more Lawful Neutral than true Neutral to me), but they would oppose disruptions to the flow of souls through the Great Beyond.

Opposing good is fundamentally an evil act. You can't oppose good for long without being evil. The two define each other. Same goes for Law and Chaos. From either side.

I designed 8 new classes for paladins of non-lawful good alignments back in the D&D days for Dragon Magazines #310 and #312, and the assignment ended up being VERY difficult. The concepts for LG, CG, LE, and CE "paladins" are pretty obvious, but once you get into the others, and as you approach true neutral, things get harder to do while keeping to the paladin framework. Check those two issues out for what my thoughts were on the topic 15 years ago or so.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Quick question regarding Ghlaunder, or more "Ghlaunder-adjacent" stuff: who's the best deity to put your faith in if you think parasitoid critters are cool and respect the role they fill in nature, but don't wanna follow Ghlaunder's example and be actively evil? Like, someone who may seem a little creepy and keep leeches, cockroaches and spiders as pets, but more because they love all living things, even and perhaps especially ones that others find gross?

Gozreh is the obvious choice if you want to worship the purity of nature, which does in fact include parasites.

Shelyn is another potential choice, although as a neutral good worshiper, you'd also seek to comfort and help those who are infested by parasites. Perhaps via methods that preserve the parasite's life, or seek to find alternate, non-destructive ways to allow a parasite to live... but that way kinda starts to delve into complications pretty quickly. I could see a priest of Shelyn using magic to keep someone from constantly dying from parasites but leaving the parasites in place because they like all animals, but that's going to be perpetuating someone's suffering, which is not good at all, and the more I think of it, pretty much any good deity is going to feel the same.

Parasites cause suffering. They're not evil because they're not smart enough to understand that, but that doesn't change the fact that they cause suffering, and it's a good act to ease suffering and an evil act to promote it (and less evil, but still not good, to just ignore suffering and let it proceed without trying to stop things). So yeah... never mind. Shelyn isn't a good idea for this. But for other things like spiders and cockroaches which aren't parasitic by nature, that's fine.

Gozreh is the best choice. Maybe some of the neutral Eldest, though.


"She stood there a moment on one of the Seal's eight edges, one step into the new reality, and she could sense that she was already not alone. Something chewed and gnawed out there beyond perception. Something vast, and hungry, and dangerous."

"As those First Eight became, so did Pharasma feel something else wake on the far side of time. Just as she had walked a deosil spiral to create, a widdershins spiral wound in opposition at the other side of reality, where the Lurker at the Threshold formed the second anchor of creation."

I'm not sure. Are the thing that chewed and gnawed out there beyond perception and the Lurker at the Threshold one and the same?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:

"She stood there a moment on one of the Seal's eight edges, one step into the new reality, and she could sense that she was already not alone. Something chewed and gnawed out there beyond perception. Something vast, and hungry, and dangerous."

"As those First Eight became, so did Pharasma feel something else wake on the far side of time. Just as she had walked a deosil spiral to create, a widdershins spiral wound in opposition at the other side of reality, where the Lurker at the Threshold formed the second anchor of creation."

I'm not sure. Are the thing that chewed and gnawed out there beyond perception and the Lurker at the Threshold one and the same?

The thing that chewed is implied to have been Rovagug, but whether or not he and the qlippoth existed before Pharasma or came into being a split-second after she first manifested is not spoken of in the Windsong Testaments.

Yog-Sothoth, aka the Lurker at the Threshold, was already in the Dimension of Time when Pharasma was born; Yog-Sothoth and the Dimension of Time exist apart from the planes (Time isn't destroyed when reality is remade), but Yog-Sothoth is not the thing that chewed and gnawed and gave Pharasma her first fright. That was Rovagug.


Which adventure path of yours did you change the most between approval of the idea to the final outline document you send to the AP writers?


Is the thing that chewed Rovagug? I thought he is Azathoth, because all of the outer gods and great old ones transition over when a new iteration of reality begins, and the story said that the thing that chewed and gnawed out there beyond perception is something else that had survived the previous multiverse. Am I missing something?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

BobTheCoward wrote:
Which adventure path of yours did you change the most between approval of the idea to the final outline document you send to the AP writers?

Strange Aeons. Which I outlined but then handed off to Adam to hire the writers and to do the development.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Is the thing that chewed Rovagug? I thought he is Azathoth, because all of the outer gods and great old ones transition over when a new iteration of reality begins, and the story said that the thing that chewed and gnawed out there beyond perception is something else that had survived the previous multiverse. Am I missing something?

It's Rovagug, like I just said. Azathoth is and always is at the center of the Material Plane, and has nothing to do really with the Outer Planes. Abyss included.

Whether Rovagug did indeed survive, or he spawned from something else that did, is part of the mystery...


I have always thought that Achaekek was created by gods to carry out their will. But according to The Three Fears of Pharasma Achaekek is one of the First Eight, the oldest beings in the multiverse. And the story even seems to describe him as lawful neutral, while he clearly is lawful evil. I'm not sure. Was his background story changed greatly in Planar Adventures or other books?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
I have always thought that Achaekek was created by gods to carry out their will. But according to The Three Fears of Pharasma Achaekek is one of the First Eight, the oldest beings in the multiverse. And the story even seems to describe him as lawful neutral, while he clearly is lawful evil. I'm not sure. Was his background story changed greatly in Planar Adventures or other books?

The revelation that he was one of the first 8 is brand new.

We've previously established the fact that during Azlant's height he was worshiped as a god of monsters. His incarnation of a divine assasssin came sometime after that.

But according to the Windsong Testaments, he was originally an impartial judge type divinity who was lawful neutral.

And keep in mind that the Windsong Testaments are myths. They're meant as parables and not guaranteed to be accurate. There are alternate versions of the deep history of creation out there that are similar but different, such as those you see in the flavor text for books like Concordance of Rivals. Sometimes, myths contradict themselves, and as I say at the end of every Windsong Testament, which ones are "correct" is left to the faithful to decide.

I (obviously) prefer the versions I present in the Windsong Testaments, but you're free to prefer other interpretations. Or come up with your own.

But in my view, Achaekek was one of the first 8 deities, at which point he was Lawful Neutral and a judge figure, and then changed to a Lawful Evil monster god at a later point (which will be touched upon in the next installment of Windsong Testaments, but I'm not sure when that one's coming out), and at a point after that (at some point after Earthfall, but long before the Red Mantis came about) he became a god of assassins. The bit about him being "created" by the other gods as their assassin is referring to this event, when something changed him from being the ravenous monster deity worshiped in Azlant to something more organized and assassin-flavored. That event, and who was responsible for it, is currently unrevealed.


Actually I was very surprised to see that Abadar, Erastil and Gozreh are not among the First Eight. Particularly, I have always thought that Abadar would be the oldest lawful neutral deity. Maybe they are quite young compared to other old gods?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Actually I was very surprised to see that Abadar, Erastil and Gozreh are not among the First Eight. Particularly, I have always thought that Abadar would be the oldest lawful neutral deity. Maybe they are quite young compared to other old gods?

Those three are still old deities, but not as old as the first 8. Just because a deity isn't one of the first 8 doesn't mean they're "quite young" compared to them.


James Jacobs wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
Actually I was very surprised to see that Abadar, Erastil and Gozreh are not among the First Eight. Particularly, I have always thought that Abadar would be the oldest lawful neutral deity. Maybe they are quite young compared to other old gods?
Those three are still old deities, but not as old as the first 8. Just because a deity isn't one of the first 8 doesn't mean they're "quite young" compared to them.

All three represent concepts as viewed from quite mortal perspectives, so are they as old as the first mortal who farmed/hunted, the first who made things, and the first who feared/venerated storms and the sea, etc? Which is probably very old, but not pre-mortal and not dawn of the universe early.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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vagrant-poet wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
Actually I was very surprised to see that Abadar, Erastil and Gozreh are not among the First Eight. Particularly, I have always thought that Abadar would be the oldest lawful neutral deity. Maybe they are quite young compared to other old gods?
Those three are still old deities, but not as old as the first 8. Just because a deity isn't one of the first 8 doesn't mean they're "quite young" compared to them.
All three represent concepts as viewed from quite mortal perspectives, so are they as old as the first mortal who farmed/hunted, the first who made things, and the first who feared/venerated storms and the sea, etc? Which is probably very old, but not pre-mortal and not dawn of the universe early.

They can still be pre-mortal. There's a VAST spread of time between the dawn of creation and the first human.

Liberty's Edge

Did you make a new PC for the Kingmaker cRPG or did you try to import one of your tabletop characters?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Losonti wrote:
Did you make a new PC for the Kingmaker cRPG or did you try to import one of your tabletop characters?

As in pretty much every video game RPG I play, my character in Kingmaker is Shensen. In this case, though, she's pretty close to the actual character build as a multiclass fighter/bard.

Silver Crusade

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

With Evil Champions announced for the APG can we ask some flavor related questions for them or should we wait a tad?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
With Evil Champions announced for the APG can we ask some flavor related questions for them or should we wait a tad?

You can ask but I've not seen anything at all about the APG yet. In fact, your post is the first I've heard of this promise. (There was no hint of this option indicated in the outline I worked from to create the book's art brief, but it looks like someone's added at least one illustration to support this at some point...)

So... wait a tad, I guess.


Ihys and Asmodeus are brothers. I have always thought that Asmodeus is the elder and Ihys is the younger. But in The Three Fears of Pharasma, Ihys was mentioned before Asmodeus. Is Ihys the elder and Asmodeus the younger?


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Where would it be best for folks to kick up a fuss about wanting to see content beyond the Inner Sea?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
Ihys and Asmodeus are brothers. I have always thought that Asmodeus is the elder and Ihys is the younger. But in The Three Fears of Pharasma, Ihys was mentioned before Asmodeus. Is Ihys the elder and Asmodeus the younger?

I've always seen Ihys as the older brother.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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keftiu wrote:

Where would it be best for folks to kick up a fuss about wanting to see content beyond the Inner Sea?

Anywhere that Erik or Lisa or Vic might be watching. ;P

Silver Crusade

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

Have you ever read any of Elizabeth Moon's works? If so, did you like them?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Have you ever read any of Elizabeth Moon's works? If so, did you like them?

Haven't read any.


Is having a soul a requirement for *gaining* class levels?

I was in a discussion about whether or not intelligent/awakened constructs can gain class levels, for example mannequin robots in iron gods have levels. But the argument against it was they were built with levels and can't level up beyond creation. I don't know if pf 2 changed anything about monsters with classes however so this is mainly regarding 1e.


Are Pharasma, Rovagug and the Speakers in the Depths the First Eight?


Do dragons eat gold, gems, or other treasures? If not, what do dragons typically eat? Especially the bigger ones.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

111phantom wrote:

Is having a soul a requirement for *gaining* class levels?

I was in a discussion about whether or not intelligent/awakened constructs can gain class levels, for example mannequin robots in iron gods have levels. But the argument against it was they were built with levels and can't level up beyond creation. I don't know if pf 2 changed anything about monsters with classes however so this is mainly regarding 1e.

Nope. Sapience is, though; you need to be able to think before you can gain class levels. Animals and mindless creatures can't gain class levels. At least... as far as I'm concerned.

And note that in 2nd edition it's actually a LOT more focused. ONLY PCS can gain class levels. NPCs are custom built as the GM desires or needs; you can build them as PCs but that's really overkill unless you're building an NPC that's intended to travel with the party and be, in effect, a GM-controlled PC.


I wanted to put a plug in for a Darklands-based or a Darklands-involved AP. There's a lot of potential for a campaign, and it's one of the places that hasn't been visited since Second Darkness. SD had some problems and doesn't even use 1st edition rules.

I sure you've got lots of other great things planned, but I'm excited about the possibilities of the Darklands!

J

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aenigma wrote:
Are Pharasma, Rovagug and the Speakers in the Depths the First Eight?

I don't know how your math gets eight out of three deities. Those three are indeed among the first deities, but note that Pharasma came before the First Eight. Rovagug is the CE member of the First Eight, and the Speakers in the Deapths is the CN member (they're treated as one being).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

111phantom wrote:
Do dragons eat gold, gems, or other treasures? If not, what do dragons typically eat? Especially the bigger ones.

They eat meat. They don't have to eat as much as an animal of their size though. 'Cause they're magic like that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

JDawg75 wrote:

I wanted to put a plug in for a Darklands-based or a Darklands-involved AP. There's a lot of potential for a campaign, and it's one of the places that hasn't been visited since Second Darkness. SD had some problems and doesn't even use 1st edition rules.

I sure you've got lots of other great things planned, but I'm excited about the possibilities of the Darklands!

J

Thanks for the request, but this isn't the place to do that; Adventure Path requests work better in the Adventure Path boards. Please keep posts here to questions; thanks!


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

Have you seen the film Savageland?


Mr. James Jacobs,

Does the language of Iblydos resemble Greek? If not what language on Golarion does?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
Have you seen the film Savageland?

Yup; in fact I just watched it for the 3rd time a few days ago. Great movie!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The NPC wrote:

Mr. James Jacobs,

Does the language of Iblydos resemble Greek? If not what language on Golarion does?

Probably, but it's no more Greek than Minkaian is Japanese or Taldan is English.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
Have you seen the film Savageland?
Yup; in fact I just watched it for the 3rd time a few days ago. Great movie!

One of my happiest discoveries of the winter!

So, follow-up question-

Spoiler:
Did it seem to you like a love-letter to the early parts of World War Z? The book, that is, not the movie that lifted the title and little else. I very much got that vibe from it.


I understand that Pharasma is not one of the First Eight, but what about Rovagug? I mean, the First Eight are those who were created by the Seal after Pharasma. But Rovagug was not created by the Seal. So can I assume that while the being who foolishly stepped forth beyond Pharasma's first fearful step and was transformed and absorbed by Rovagug is one of the First Eight, Rovagug himself is not one of the First Eight?


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

Have you seen Bone Tomahawk?


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

People are pussy-footing around. So... Who are the First Eight? What are their names? :-)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Darrell Impey UK wrote:

Were you aware that BBC Radio did a modernising of

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward?

(Should be available internationally.)

I was not. Neat!

Corollary to this question: would you be interested in knowing that they have just started releasing a similar adaption of The Whisperer in Darkness?


Do dragons in Pathfinder have opposable thumbs? Could a dragon wield an appropriately sized weapon if so?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
Have you seen the film Savageland?
Yup; in fact I just watched it for the 3rd time a few days ago. Great movie!

One of my happiest discoveries of the winter!

So, follow-up question-

** spoiler omitted **

It didn't. World War Z never crossed my mind, really, while watching Savageland. In part because it might not even be zombies in the movie, which is part of what is so freaky and compelling about it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
I understand that Pharasma is not one of the First Eight, but what about Rovagug? I mean, the First Eight are those who were created by the Seal after Pharasma. But Rovagug was not created by the Seal. So can I assume that while the being who foolishly stepped forth beyond Pharasma's first fearful step and was transformed and absorbed by Rovagug is one of the First Eight, Rovagug himself is not one of the First Eight?

Rovagug is one of the first eight.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Fumarole wrote:
Have you seen Bone Tomahawk?

Absolutely!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ed Reppert wrote:
People are pussy-footing around. So... Who are the First Eight? What are their names? :-)

It's in the Windsong Testament I wrote, so it's no secret who they are, but a few don't have classical names

Rovagug
Speakers of the Depths
Desna
Sarenrae
Ihys
Achaekek
Asmodeus
The Bound Prince

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Darrell Impey UK wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Darrell Impey UK wrote:

Were you aware that BBC Radio did a modernising of

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward?

(Should be available internationally.)

I was not. Neat!
Corollary to this question: would you be interested in knowing that they have just started releasing a similar adaption of The Whisperer in Darkness?

Also neat!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

111phantom wrote:
Do dragons in Pathfinder have opposable thumbs? Could a dragon wield an appropriately sized weapon if so?

No.


James Jacobs wrote:


The Bound Prince

Is he the same as the sadness-themed Eldest from the First World?

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