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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Draknirv wrote:

Hey, James!

I'm a longtime fan of Pathfinder and have been playing since the original release of Rise of the Runelords. I've absolutely adored the setting and have frequently thought of ways to make it pop even more to life whenever I've played with my friends and family.

I'm currently looking to become something akin to a mild community content creator, to more or less give back to and enhance the game I've loved to play for such a long time. As such I have a couple of fan projects aimed at improving 1st edition Pathfinder in fan-canon way.

The projects I'm working on include 3 separate ideas meant to work as an addition to the Golarion setting:
- To produce additional maps for existing locations in the Pathfinder Universe, such as the unmapped town locations in Sandpoint
- To add a more full and detailed entry and 1E boons to the many minor deities of the setting.
- To create a line of modular tokens able to be mixed and matched to represent a greater variety of characters on a digital space or (potentially) on the physical tabletop.

I'm wanting to run a patreon for these to accept donations, but release the first two projects for free
I've looked into the OGL and from what I understand I need express permission to do this. However, some parts of the Community Use Policy suggest otherwise, that I don't need express permission. I'm unclear on it as I'm unsure whether releasing the project for free while asking for donations counts as commercial or non-commercial.

Do you have any advice for me in regards to seeing my passion through? Can you point me in the direction of who I should contact in regards to obtaining license permission to make these projects if I do, infact need that?

If you want to build additional in-world content for Golarion by doing things like expanding setting maps, more information on the deities, and the like, you'll need to follow the rules of the community use policy, as detailed here. The short version is that if you use Golarion content for this kind of thing, it has to be free. You can't make money off of our intellectual property.

If you want to make money on your Pathfinder products, you instead need to use the OGL, which is a different license. This one allows you to use all the rules, but none of the flavor; you'd have to make up your own towns (you couldn't use Sandpoint, for example), your own deities, and your own flavor from the ground up.

In order to make money using our intellectual property, you need to arrange for a specific license to do so, and we generally don't give out those licenses, since we really want to control the world narrative in-house. Feel free to contact our licensing department, but in the interest of managing expectations, I don't think we've ever granted permission like this for someone to expand upon Golarion without us owning the content created.

However you get your work out there, though, keep in mind that there's more reward than money. Building a reputation as a content creator via the community use policy won't make you money, but it will help to establish your skills and reputation as a writer, and it can build your "brand" among other gamers. Doing so can eventually catch the eye of a publishing company, or will give you a nice collection of sample work to show to an RPG company when you approach them for freelance work or even a job interview. Back in the day, I did a LOT of work at building my setting for D&D. Having all the skills built up helped me to eventually secure a job at Wizards of the Coast, helped me to break into getting published (in that day mostly via Dragon and Dungeon magazine, but in this day there's a LOT of opportunity in the 3rd party market), and in time got me hired at Paizo and really helped me to work on the collaborative effort of creating the game and Golarion. But it didn't all happen at once. I started gaming in the early 80s, and until the late 90s had only 3 things published... but then in the late 90s the opportunities started to grow and I got a job at WotC and everything after that's been a direct result of those previous decades of passion and practice and hard work.

Hope this wasn't TOO discouraging... that wasn't my intent. I do wish you luck in pursuing your passion for creating game content, and hope to see your name out there in the future on covers and credit pages! Good luck and have fun!


You're not discouraging at all! Thankyou for your advice and help.

I'm aware of the value of exposure and joining a company is definitely a goal I have at the moment, I'm looking for how to turn my passion with Pathfinder into money to help me get there (and also to help feed myself, haha).

I've been looking over the Community Use Policy, as well as the OGL and the CCLegalCode. From what I can tell, if I make it clear that I'm asking for money for an original work (modular tokens) but still release Golarion-specific content for completely free as a side (providing all the relevant Community Use tags and credits), it should be fine.

My full intention is to release my writing and mapping content for free for the benefit of the Pathfinder community, only asking money for content that can truly said to be created by me and not a derivative work.

Does this sound to you like something that'd be acceptable as far as you're aware? I have a huge amount of respect for you and for Paizo for what you've done with my favorite iteration of tabletop roleplaying, hence why I'm asking for your feedback.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Draknirv wrote:

You're not discouraging at all! Thankyou for your advice and help.

I'm aware of the value of exposure and joining a company is definitely a goal I have at the moment, I'm looking for how to turn my passion with Pathfinder into money to help me get there (and also to help feed myself, haha).

I've been looking over the Community Use Policy, as well as the OGL and the CCLegalCode. From what I can tell, if I make it clear that I'm asking for money for an original work (modular tokens) but still release Golarion-specific content for completely free as a side (providing all the relevant Community Use tags and credits), it should be fine.

My full intention is to release my writing and mapping content for free for the benefit of the Pathfinder community, only asking money for content that can truly said to be created by me and not a derivative work.

Does this sound to you like something that'd be acceptable as far as you're aware? I have a huge amount of respect for you and for Paizo for what you've done with my favorite iteration of tabletop roleplaying, hence why I'm asking for your feedback.

The Community Use policy is pretty cut and dry—you can't make money off of a site that uses Golarion's intellectual property. You'd have to do your modular tokens on a completely different location or site from any community use work you do, and the tokens themselves can't use images from our products or proper nouns we've created. You could, for example, offer a goblin token and call it a goblin, but any art on that token of a goblin can't look like our goblins. Or you could offer a map of a temple of the god of destruction, but you couldn't offer a map of a Temple of Rovagug.

It can get tricky and complicated the closer you get to our intellectual property, and I'm not a lawyer so I'm not the best person to ask for advice.


James Jacobs wrote:
Draknirv wrote:

You're not discouraging at all! Thankyou for your advice and help.

I'm aware of the value of exposure and joining a company is definitely a goal I have at the moment, I'm looking for how to turn my passion with Pathfinder into money to help me get there (and also to help feed myself, haha).

I've been looking over the Community Use Policy, as well as the OGL and the CCLegalCode. From what I can tell, if I make it clear that I'm asking for money for an original work (modular tokens) but still release Golarion-specific content for completely free as a side (providing all the relevant Community Use tags and credits), it should be fine.

My full intention is to release my writing and mapping content for free for the benefit of the Pathfinder community, only asking money for content that can truly said to be created by me and not a derivative work.

Does this sound to you like something that'd be acceptable as far as you're aware? I have a huge amount of respect for you and for Paizo for what you've done with my favorite iteration of tabletop roleplaying, hence why I'm asking for your feedback.

The Community Use policy is pretty cut and dry—you can't make money off of a site that uses Golarion's intellectual property. You'd have to do your modular tokens on a completely different location or site from any community use work you do, and the tokens themselves can't use images from our products or proper nouns we've created. You could, for example, offer a goblin token and call it a goblin, but any art on that token of a goblin can't look like our goblins. Or you could offer a map of a temple of the god of destruction, but you couldn't offer a map of a Temple of Rovagug.

It can get tricky and complicated the closer you get to our intellectual property, and I'm not a lawyer so I'm not the best person to ask for advice.

Even so, you're very helpful.

Thankfully Golarion is a great "everything" setting, so making setting neutral creations that work with it is pretty easy. And who knows maybe in the future once the project gets off the ground, I'd be able to partner to make those goblin tokens. Its an inspirational thought.


James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
What are the best-selling books in the Inner Sea region? If our world is any guide to go by, I'm guessing holy texts.
one or two of Kindler's novels.

Talk about an old quote.

Spoiler:
Kindler appears in one or two of the novels as a good (possibly good-leaning neutral person). But in Crusader Road, she is almost equivalent to antagonist, given the fact that her novel seems to be a primary cause for the issues faced by the protagonists by generating larger amounts of ill-feeling for what seem like purely financial reasons.

I know that a lot of this work was by other people, but what is your personal opinion of her as a person?


What are the top 5 most powerful beings in pathfinder in your opinion?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Zoe Oakeshott wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Zoe Oakeshott wrote:
Does Golarion have a Hawaii analogue? Ancient Hawaiian warriors were badass.
It does. It's over near Arcadia.
What's it called?
Nothing yet. It hasn't been invented to that stage yet. I do know I want a Hawaii analogue on Golarion somewhere... but that's ALL I know.

Hey James! So you’ve put together a global map of Golarion since this post happened—did you manage to get that Hawaii analogue on there, and if so, where is it?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Insapateh wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:
What are the best-selling books in the Inner Sea region? If our world is any guide to go by, I'm guessing holy texts.
one or two of Kindler's novels.

Talk about an old quote.

** spoiler omitted **

I know that a lot of this work was by other people, but what is your personal opinion of her as a person?

She's intended to be a good person; Crusader's Road doesn't quite get her character right, I'd say.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Zarcrod wrote:
What are the top 5 most powerful beings in pathfinder in your opinion?

Not counting deities since they don't have rules and thus can't really be quantified, I'd say the top five most powerful, off the top of my head, would probably be...

Tawil at'Umr
Cthulhu
Oilphaunt of Jandelay
Pazuzu
Mephistopheles

Other folks might sit down and crunch numbers and come up with their own opinions, of course.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Opsylum wrote:
Hey James! So you’ve put together a global map of Golarion since this post happened—did you manage to get that Hawaii analogue on there, and if so, where is it?

There's plenty of areas and regions on the map that haven't had details yet and remain blank slates. It's probably one of those, likely off the west coast of Arcadia I suppose.


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

Where would you put Golarion's Prime Meridian? Absalom seems obvious, probably right through the center of Starstone Cathedral, but are there other candidates?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Where would you put Golarion's Prime Meridian? Absalom seems obvious, probably right through the center of Starstone Cathedral, but are there other candidates?

Absalom is where I'd put it.


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

What's Absalom's latitude?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ed Reppert wrote:
What's Absalom's latitude?

Somewhere between 32 and 33.


So Cyprus, Greek Islands, Malta? nice... no wonder the Grand Lodge is there... :P

Is the weather similar to these places? I seem to remember that they have as many camels as they have horses yes?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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GM PDK wrote:

So Cyprus, Greek Islands, Malta? nice... no wonder the Grand Lodge is there... :P

Is the weather similar to these places? I seem to remember that they have as many camels as they have horses yes?

It's pretty similar.

And there's plenty of horses in Absalom. A fair number of camels too, sure, but more horses.

Scarab Sages

Do xulgaths commonly worship demons or instead qlippoths?

Darklands Revisited says qlippoth, but the ones in Extinction Curse are demon-worshppers, according to the Pathfinder Friday stream.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:

Do xulgaths commonly worship demons or instead qlippoths?

Darklands Revisited says qlippoth, but the ones in Extinction Curse are demon-worshppers, according to the Pathfinder Friday stream.

Alas, Darklands Revisited is wrong. (That book got kinda rushed through production and never got a creative review pass from me, unfortunately; there's some info on gugs and urdefhans that's wrong too, for example.) They primarily worship Zevgavizeb, to the extent that he's known as the "God of the Troglodytes" among other names. It's certainly possible for a xulgath to worship a qlippoth, as is the case for any other creature, but not to an extent that it should have been mentioned in print. The Extinction Curse Adventure Path will have a lot more information about xulgaths and their religion that's more accurate.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:

Do xulgaths commonly worship demons or instead qlippoths?

Darklands Revisited says qlippoth, but the ones in Extinction Curse are demon-worshppers, according to the Pathfinder Friday stream.

Alas, Darklands Revisited is wrong. (That book got kinda rushed through production and never got a creative review pass from me, unfortunately; there's some info on gugs and urdefhans that's wrong too, for example.) They primarily worship Zevgavizeb, to the extent that he's known as the "God of the Troglodytes" among other names. It's certainly possible for a xulgath to worship a qlippoth, as is the case for any other creature, but not to an extent that it should have been mentioned in print. The Extinction Curse Adventure Path will have a lot more information about xulgaths and their religion that's more accurate.

It did always seem weird that qlippoth lords grant spells to mortals despite the former's hatred of the latter and all their sinning.

How do qlippoth lords grant spells to mortals without going the way of Mazzmez or Cyth-V'sug and becoming demon lords?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:

Do xulgaths commonly worship demons or instead qlippoths?

Darklands Revisited says qlippoth, but the ones in Extinction Curse are demon-worshppers, according to the Pathfinder Friday stream.

Alas, Darklands Revisited is wrong. (That book got kinda rushed through production and never got a creative review pass from me, unfortunately; there's some info on gugs and urdefhans that's wrong too, for example.) They primarily worship Zevgavizeb, to the extent that he's known as the "God of the Troglodytes" among other names. It's certainly possible for a xulgath to worship a qlippoth, as is the case for any other creature, but not to an extent that it should have been mentioned in print. The Extinction Curse Adventure Path will have a lot more information about xulgaths and their religion that's more accurate.

It did always seem weird that qlippoth lords grant spells to mortals despite the former's hatred of the latter and all their sinning.

How do qlippoth lords grant spells to mortals without going the way of Mazzmez or Cyth-V'sug and becoming demon lords?

Qlippoth lords granting spells to mortal worshipers is somewhat akin to Outer Gods or Great Old Ones doing the same. The act of "granting spells" is in large part a relic from D&D, first of all. It's not the deity that gives a cleric their spells. It's the cleric's faith that gives them their spells. A deity doesn't have to consciously grant spells at all, and doesn't even need to know there is someone praying to them for it to happen. The clouds don't know if an ant drinks from a drop of rain that fell from them, after all.

The process of a qlippoth lord becoming a demon lord is a unique and variable one that depends on a wide range of factors that are unique to the story for each case. Granting spells to clerics isn't a part of those stories, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Alas, Darklands Revisited is wrong. (That book got kinda rushed through production and never got a creative review pass from me, unfortunately; there's some info on gugs and urdefhans that's wrong too, for example.) They primarily worship Zevgavizeb, to the extent that he's known as the "God of the Troglodytes" among other names. It's certainly possible for a xulgath to worship a qlippoth, as is the case for any other creature, but not to an extent that it should have been mentioned in print. The Extinction Curse Adventure Path will have a lot more information about xulgaths and their religion that's more accurate.

Wasn't this also kind of a relic of "Xulgaths" and "Troglodytes" being presented as different creatures at the time?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Alas, Darklands Revisited is wrong. (That book got kinda rushed through production and never got a creative review pass from me, unfortunately; there's some info on gugs and urdefhans that's wrong too, for example.) They primarily worship Zevgavizeb, to the extent that he's known as the "God of the Troglodytes" among other names. It's certainly possible for a xulgath to worship a qlippoth, as is the case for any other creature, but not to an extent that it should have been mentioned in print. The Extinction Curse Adventure Path will have a lot more information about xulgaths and their religion that's more accurate.
Wasn't this also kind of a relic of "Xulgaths" and "Troglodytes" being presented as different creatures at the time?

Not really.

The original intent was always that "xulgath" was their own name, and that the ones that were exiled or got lost and ended up on the surface world lost their history and tradition and thus their name, while the more magical ones remained in Deep Tolguth and retained their ancestral traditions.

When we did the Psychic Monster book, they popped in there as a "psychic version" of the troglodyte using that name, but that was sort of a transition between the old D&D term and the new one. It got kind of confused a bit, though.

In any event, in this case, the 2nd edition adjustment to the name is less of a "new thing" (like the lizardfolk being the iruxi), but more of a reversion to the original intent.

Bonus Trivia Round: Xulgath and Iruxi are both exported names from my homebrew for troglodyte and lizardfolk, so in my head at least, these names aren't new—they've got 30 years of history to me. ;-P


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Not a question, but an apology.
Tonight on the stream I said you broke the "time limit" for the stream, but I was on my phone and didn't expose my intent clearly enough.
What I meant was more "Nice! James gives us bonus time again!"
I know you were saying you were sad as a joke, but I still legit felt a little bad. So here. :X

(Also, I'm VERY happy to see your "granting spells" explanation above, that's pretty much how I saw it, and I'm happy that it is the intent in the lore. I've always explained getting spells from a god was more like synchronizing with the deity's personality and general "wavelength", and breaking the anathemas disrupted that synch, making you lose your powers, until you used a ritual like atone to calibrate yourself, or find a new god that fit your "new wavelength" better.)

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
The act of "granting spells" is in large part a relic from D&D, first of all. It's not the deity that gives a cleric their spells. It's the cleric's faith that gives them their spells.

This is very intersting because in Lost Omens, unlike other in campaign settings such as Eberron, clerics must worship a deity in order to use divine magic; adhering to a philosphy or alignment grants no spells. Does a higher-level cleric have more faith in their deity than a lower-level cleric and therefore more spells?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The act of "granting spells" is in large part a relic from D&D, first of all. It's not the deity that gives a cleric their spells. It's the cleric's faith that gives them their spells.
This is very intersting because in Lost Omens, unlike other in campaign settings such as Eberron, clerics must worship a deity in order to use divine magic; adhering to a philosphy or alignment grants no spells. Does a higher-level cleric have more faith in their deity than a lower-level cleric and therefore more spells?

That's certainly one way of looking at it. I prefer to look at it more as they have simply honed their faith to be more focused. Just as a higher level fighter has trained more with his weapon, or a higher level wizard has studied their spells harder, a high level cleric has simply stronger convictions in the faith they have. It's not that they have more of it, just that they know how do draw upon it more expertly.


Hi James,
I've got a question regarding the Tian Pantheon. For the most part, they seem to be a loosely defined group of gods, hailing from throughout the outer planes and connected only by being the gods most widely worshiped in Tian Xia. But the parts about Shizuru's authority over them and her punishment of Fumeiyoshi imply that they're a well-defined state-like group ruled by Shizuru and united by something significant enough that they take their membership of the group seriously. So my question is, what unites the gods under Shizuru's authority?


NECR0G1ANT wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The act of "granting spells" is in large part a relic from D&D, first of all. It's not the deity that gives a cleric their spells. It's the cleric's faith that gives them their spells.
This is very intersting because in Lost Omens, unlike other in campaign settings such as Eberron, clerics must worship a deity in order to use divine magic; adhering to a philosphy or alignment grants no spells. Does a higher-level cleric have more faith in their deity than a lower-level cleric and therefore more spells?

I agree that this is a fascinating idea and not how I understood the system to work. Since the focus is on clerics' faith, is this how you can have various forms and doctrines of worship surrounding one deity? I'm thinking the several flavors of the church of Sarenrae.


I keep thinking about Yog-Sothoth's appearance in the windsong testamemt.

In your head, is the cosmology a story about inevitability? Or is it a cycle that should be broken? Or do you have a sense of that?


Been a while...

Suppose I wanted Ileosa for the same reason Eodred did. (Can't think of any better reason besides therapeutic brain surgery.) What would coax her away from her royal life to come with me?

(Gee, I wonder why James looks at my questions funny...?)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Impossibly Diverse wrote:

Hi James,

I've got a question regarding the Tian Pantheon. For the most part, they seem to be a loosely defined group of gods, hailing from throughout the outer planes and connected only by being the gods most widely worshiped in Tian Xia. But the parts about Shizuru's authority over them and her punishment of Fumeiyoshi imply that they're a well-defined state-like group ruled by Shizuru and united by something significant enough that they take their membership of the group seriously. So my question is, what unites the gods under Shizuru's authority?

Tradition and respect and honor pretty much.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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pjrogers wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The act of "granting spells" is in large part a relic from D&D, first of all. It's not the deity that gives a cleric their spells. It's the cleric's faith that gives them their spells.
This is very intersting because in Lost Omens, unlike other in campaign settings such as Eberron, clerics must worship a deity in order to use divine magic; adhering to a philosphy or alignment grants no spells. Does a higher-level cleric have more faith in their deity than a lower-level cleric and therefore more spells?
I agree that this is a fascinating idea and not how I understood the system to work. Since the focus is on clerics' faith, is this how you can have various forms and doctrines of worship surrounding one deity? I'm thinking the several flavors of the church of Sarenrae.

Because a deity is more than one thing. They have personalities and interests and a spread of concerns. They don't just focus on one specific thing, and this spreads down to the ways you can worship them. For Sarenrae, a cleric who focuses on healing the injured and one who focuses on redeeming evil and one who focuses on fighting fiends are all viable options; all three of those pursuits are supported by her religion. There's plenty more options too. This helps keep each cleric of each deity their own creature and not cardboard cutout duplicates. Variety keeps things interesting.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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BobTheCoward wrote:

I keep thinking about Yog-Sothoth's appearance in the windsong testamemt.

In your head, is the cosmology a story about inevitability? Or is it a cycle that should be broken? Or do you have a sense of that?

My feeling is echoed in the way we've set up the entire campaign setting. There's a LOT that's come before, be it in-world history or the tradition of a cycle of realities that come and go, and that can go back for as long as it needs to. But once you turn all of that into a game setting, we the creators of the fiction give up control and lose the ability to focus the story on our characters as the main characters.

At this point, the PCs are the main characters, and as such we can only set up possible stories or outlines to what MIGHT happen. The introduction of PCs is what destroyed prophecy, what made the future unwritten, and what can determine all of what comes next. PCs represent an element of true chaos and a potential to break from tradition or to follow it, and those choices will vary from table to table. This truth ripples up to the top of everything, including whether or not your table wishes to play a campaign out to the end of time and then decide that time doesn't end and that reality doesn't reset.

It's a cycle that was broken the instant we made the setting an interactive one that cedes control of choice for the main characters to all the potential PCs, in other words.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AlgaeNymph wrote:

Been a while...

Suppose I wanted Ileosa for the same reason Eodred did. (Can't think of any better reason besides therapeutic brain surgery.) What would coax her away from her royal life to come with me?

(Gee, I wonder why James looks at my questions funny...?)

That'd depend on the comfort level of this in your game, and the goals of your GM. In my head and were I your GM, I'd probably say that what would require it would be to play the entire Crimson Throne adventure path out, and during it continue to do things to pay respect to Ileosa as a person but to focus on the idea that the Crown of Fangs empowered her negative personality traits. And then at the end, don't kill her, get control of the Crown of Fangs, destroy the Crown of Fangs, and then offer her a chance to redeem herself after making some pretty powerful roleplaying and some pretty impressive Diplomacy checks. I'd probably use a victory point rubric as well, where I tracked your character's goals through the whole plot of the campaign. Which would both require some pretty significant rewriting and adjustment to the plot, but also buy-in from the other players at the table to be interested in and comfortable with the changes to the overall story.

The whole "mind control" route where you coax her away from her royal life through dominate or charm would work too, if you and your GM were willing to go that route. To me, that's a viable route if you want to play an evil character who's all about taking away Ileosa's agency, and it kinda makes your character into the same sort of monster Ileosa is in the first place. It's a viable story line, but not one most groups would be comfortable with. It's not one I'd enjoy running at all, since I see mind control as a great VILLAIN trope to be fought against.

In short, it'd require a rewrite of some of the AP's central themes and plot lines, regardless of how you went. So it'd require the GM's desire to run an alternate version of the game, and the buy-in by the rest of the players.


James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:

Been a while...

Suppose I wanted Ileosa for the same reason Eodred did. (Can't think of any better reason besides therapeutic brain surgery.) What would coax her away from her royal life to come with me?

(Gee, I wonder why James looks at my questions funny...?)

I'd probably say that what would require it would be to play the entire Crimson Throne adventure path out, and during it continue to do things to pay respect to Ileosa as a person but to focus on the idea that the Crown of Fangs empowered her negative personality traits. And then at the end, don't kill her, get control of the Crown of Fangs, destroy the Crown of Fangs, and then offer her a chance to redeem herself[...]

The whole "mind control" route where you coax her away from her royal life through dominate or charm would work too, if you and your GM were willing to go that route[...]

Mind control? I was talking about bribery, and in particular before she puts on that damn crown. Suppose a wizard with a demiplane had more and finer stuff; I'm guessing that'd cause the princess to leave for another castle, but how much more would I need? What does she want out of life besides facial disfigurement? What sort of lifestyle is she after?

As for redemption, how would that be possible? I haven't seen a single, likable personality trait. She doesn't even have a sympathetic backstory like practically every other villain.


James Jacobs wrote:
BobTheCoward wrote:

I keep thinking about Yog-Sothoth's appearance in the windsong testamemt.

In your head, is the cosmology a story about inevitability? Or is it a cycle that should be broken? Or do you have a sense of that?

My feeling is echoed in the way we've set up the entire campaign setting. There's a LOT that's come before, be it in-world history or the tradition of a cycle of realities that come and go, and that can go back for as long as it needs to. But once you turn all of that into a game setting, we the creators of the fiction give up control and lose the ability to focus the story on our characters as the main characters.

At this point, the PCs are the main characters, and as such we can only set up possible stories or outlines to what MIGHT happen. The introduction of PCs is what destroyed prophecy, what made the future unwritten, and what can determine all of what comes next. PCs represent an element of true chaos and a potential to break from tradition or to follow it, and those choices will vary from table to table. This truth ripples up to the top of everything, including whether or not your table wishes to play a campaign out to the end of time and then decide that time doesn't end and that reality doesn't reset.

It's a cycle that was broken the instant we made the setting an interactive one that cedes control of choice for the main characters to all the potential PCs, in other words.

That is a lovely thought. Thank you!


James Jacobs wrote:
Impossibly Diverse wrote:

Hi James,

I've got a question regarding the Tian Pantheon. For the most part, they seem to be a loosely defined group of gods, hailing from throughout the outer planes and connected only by being the gods most widely worshiped in Tian Xia. But the parts about Shizuru's authority over them and her punishment of Fumeiyoshi imply that they're a well-defined state-like group ruled by Shizuru and united by something significant enough that they take their membership of the group seriously. So my question is, what unites the gods under Shizuru's authority?
Tradition and respect and honor pretty much.

That's not exactly what I meant. How did these gods come to have a distinct set of traditions shared by them but not by any of the other gods? What's stopping Sun Wukong from deciding that while he respects Shizuru's status as Empress of Heaven and thus her authority over the Tian pantheon, he doesn't consider himself part of the Tian pantheon and thus owes her no more obedience by virtue of her imperial status than does Sarenrae?


I have a question about Sandpoint. If Sandpoint was affected by some sort of boom in population and economy and became the size of a large town or even a small city, what would Sandpoint’s settlement block and map look like? What additions would you add to it?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AlgaeNymph wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
AlgaeNymph wrote:

Been a while...

Suppose I wanted Ileosa for the same reason Eodred did. (Can't think of any better reason besides therapeutic brain surgery.) What would coax her away from her royal life to come with me?

(Gee, I wonder why James looks at my questions funny...?)

I'd probably say that what would require it would be to play the entire Crimson Throne adventure path out, and during it continue to do things to pay respect to Ileosa as a person but to focus on the idea that the Crown of Fangs empowered her negative personality traits. And then at the end, don't kill her, get control of the Crown of Fangs, destroy the Crown of Fangs, and then offer her a chance to redeem herself[...]

The whole "mind control" route where you coax her away from her royal life through dominate or charm would work too, if you and your GM were willing to go that route[...]

Mind control? I was talking about bribery, and in particular before she puts on that damn crown. Suppose a wizard with a demiplane had more and finer stuff; I'm guessing that'd cause the princess to leave for another castle, but how much more would I need? What does she want out of life besides facial disfigurement? What sort of lifestyle is she after?

As for redemption, how would that be possible? I haven't seen a single, likable personality trait. She doesn't even have a sympathetic backstory like practically every other villain.

Your post didn't mention any specifics other than "no brain surgery." So please don't act surprised if I don't answer vaguely worded questions with the specific details you were wondering about.

Now that you've specified bribery, no, that wouldn't work. She's already rich in money, and it's very unlikely that a PC will be able to offer her enough riches to buy her loyalty. And once you get so powerful that you could do something like offer her a private demiplane, her paranoia and jealousy would have long since kicked in and she would be even more prone to attacking you to take your stuff rather than trust that you will remain subservient to her.

And as for redemption, that's a VERY strong repeated theme I get from folks who are always asking about it, so this is another example of me trying to address a vaguely worded question with multiple possible responses.

She's after a lifestyle of control and adoration. She wants to be in charge of as much as possible, and wants the people she is in charge of to be simpering and submissive and devoted to keeping her comfortable and powerful. The facial disfigurement is a sort of faerie tale element where her vanity doesn't abide the idea of other people possibly being more attractive than her. If they're enemies, she'll kill them. If they're allies, she just wants them uglier, and having them endure the facial scarring is also an element of her power over them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Impossibly Diverse wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Impossibly Diverse wrote:

Hi James,

I've got a question regarding the Tian Pantheon. For the most part, they seem to be a loosely defined group of gods, hailing from throughout the outer planes and connected only by being the gods most widely worshiped in Tian Xia. But the parts about Shizuru's authority over them and her punishment of Fumeiyoshi imply that they're a well-defined state-like group ruled by Shizuru and united by something significant enough that they take their membership of the group seriously. So my question is, what unites the gods under Shizuru's authority?
Tradition and respect and honor pretty much.
That's not exactly what I meant. How did these gods come to have a distinct set of traditions shared by them but not by any of the other gods? What's stopping Sun Wukong from deciding that while he respects Shizuru's status as Empress of Heaven and thus her authority over the Tian pantheon, he doesn't consider himself part of the Tian pantheon and thus owes her no more obedience by virtue of her imperial status than does Sarenrae?

They got that way by virtue of being the 20 most widely worshiped faiths in the region. It wasn't their choice to form a core 20 pantheon (same with the Inner Sea 20); it's the result of who are the top 20 most popular/widespread/influential religions in the region.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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tieflingwizard wrote:
I have a question about Sandpoint. If Sandpoint was affected by some sort of boom in population and economy and became the size of a large town or even a small city, what would Sandpoint’s settlement block and map look like? What additions would you add to it?

It would keep the core shape and become more densely packed with buildings. The south side would be where nobility and specialist stuff tended to accumulate, while industry would wind along the Turandarok River, and the lower income sections of town and slums would extend north. There's no other good harbor within a day's travel north or south, though, so "downtown" would remain the busiest and most populous section where the majority of trade and visitors take place.

As for what I'd add... more of the same. More nobles, more temples, more villains, more allies, more shops, more guilds, more characters, more everything.


I'm on a bend looking up information about the different Shoanti Quahs. One thing I'm wondering is if there are any identifying colors specific to each Quah?
Such as on their banners or what they'd wear to show Quah unity in times of war or celebration.

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Draknirv wrote:

I'm on a bend looking up information about the different Shoanti Quahs. One thing I'm wondering is if there are any identifying colors specific to each Quah?

Such as on their banners or what they'd wear to show Quah unity in times of war or celebration.

Not really; color doesn't really play into the Quahs directly, although you could extrapolate based on the nature of each of their themes. For example, the Sklar-Quah would probably be associated with blue and gold (the sun on a clear sky, similar to Sarenrae's colors), the Skoan-Quah with white and gray (the color of bone and ash), and the Lyrune-Quah with black and silver (colors associated with the night and the moon).


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

I’m just prepping for a Shattered Star campaign. A couple of questions (I’ll do one per post):

1) in my metacampaign, Ileosa is still queen (longrunning, slow moving campaign with out-of-town friends). Is there any serious problem with supposing that the Gray Maidens at the Lady’s Light are still working for her, rather than being renegades?


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

2) There is a troll in Kaer Maga in adventure #3 who has a clearly-correct prophecy. How can that happen in the Age of Lost Omens?


James Jacobs wrote:

Now that you've specified bribery, no, that wouldn't work. She's already rich in money, and it's very unlikely that a PC will be able to offer her enough riches to buy her loyalty. And once you get so powerful that you could do something like offer her a private demiplane, her paranoia and jealousy would have long since kicked in and she would be even more prone to attacking you to take your stuff rather than trust that you will remain subservient to her.

And as for redemption, that's a VERY strong repeated theme I get from folks who are always asking about it, so this is another example of me trying to address a vaguely worded question with multiple possible responses.

She's after a lifestyle of control and adoration. She wants to be in charge of as much as possible, and wants the people she is in charge of to be simpering and submissive and devoted to keeping her comfortable and powerful. The facial disfigurement is a sort of faerie tale element where her vanity doesn't abide the idea of other people possibly being more attractive than her. If they're enemies, she'll kill them. If they're allies, she just wants them uglier, and having them endure the facial scarring is also an element of her power over them.

All right, that's informative. I hope it's no trouble if I refine my questioning even further; I really like to know the details of things, even if I reveal that my way of thinking is different from how I "ought" to think of something.

Assuming a wizard with a demiplane, and extravagant luxury, got to Ileosa before she found the damned teeth, what then?

As for what she wants, that seems eerily close to what I'd like. Of course, I have other interests, no grim fairy tale jealousy, hopefully no narcissistic personality disorder (thus my mention of brain surgery), an actual conscience, and failing that working knowledge of where bad people go when they die. Anyway, while I'm all for redemption what is redeemable about Ileosia?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What types of traits would a hound of Tindalos have in PF2, now that outsider isn't a thing? Fiend or aberration seem like the most likely candidates, but fiend feels off because they don't hail from one of the evil planes. And they weren't aberrations in PF1 so it seems weird for them to be one now, but that's probably what I would end up going for.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AlgaeNymph wrote:

Assuming a wizard with a demiplane, and extravagant luxury, got to Ileosa before she found the damned teeth, what then?

As for what she wants, that seems eerily close to what I'd like. Of course, I have other interests, no grim fairy tale jealousy, hopefully no narcissistic personality disorder (thus my mention of brain surgery), an actual conscience, and failing that working knowledge of where bad people go when they die. Anyway, while I'm all for redemption what is redeemable about Ileosia?

You're delving deep into the "what if" territory, to the extent that the original story is increasingly irrelevant. In such cases... it's really up to you the story teller to decide how things go from there. I've told the story I wanted to tell with Ileosa. There are countless variations on that story, obviously, so what you make of them is up to you. I try not to get too into to the "what if" storylines because they're never-ending, and that sort of defeats the goal of this thread to be one where I answer questions.

Furthermore, the whole element of crafting entire plotlines is one of the things I get paid for, and to me, spelling out an entire variant plotline here in a messageboard format is sort of a misplacement of my time management, if that makes sense.

Nevermind the fact that I'm taking a sick day from work anyway... :P

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thewastedwalrus wrote:
What types of traits would a hound of Tindalos have in PF2, now that outsider isn't a thing? Fiend or aberration seem like the most likely candidates, but fiend feels off because they don't hail from one of the evil planes. And they weren't aberrations in PF1 so it seems weird for them to be one now, but that's probably what I would end up going for.

For otherplanar creatures, we generally attribute either the overall type (such as Fiend or Monitor or Elemental) or the plane that they hail from (such as Astral or Ethereal). In the Hound's case, we'd give it the Time trait, among potential other things.

But that said, since monster traits have no influence on the types of skills or hit dice or abilities of a creature, it's really pretty meaningless as far as the actual stats are concerned.

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DavidW wrote:

I’m just prepping for a Shattered Star campaign. A couple of questions (I’ll do one per post):

1) in my metacampaign, Ileosa is still queen (longrunning, slow moving campaign with out-of-town friends). Is there any serious problem with supposing that the Gray Maidens at the Lady’s Light are still working for her, rather than being renegades?

Setting up different factions of the Gray Maidens is the point of that adventure, so that there can be some that could potentially be appropriate choices for PCs. Further, it explains why there's Gray Maidens that far west of Korvosa; if Ileosa is still in control in your game, you'd want to set the Lady's Light maidens up as a different or renegade group anyway, unless you wanted to dial up Ileosa's influence and interest in the region. Which muddies up the plot and could backfire, with your players being more interested in going to Korvosa and, in effect, playing Curse of the Crimson Throne instead of Shattered Star.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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DavidW wrote:
2) There is a troll in Kaer Maga in adventure #3 who has a clearly-correct prophecy. How can that happen in the Age of Lost Omens?

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day (AKA If you have enough theoretical prophecies bandied about, eventually one will end up "predicting" the final event simply out of chance), but also, the troll in Kaer Maga's prophecy isn't right because it's a magic divination but because of time travel and paradox stuff going on, so it's not really a prophecy at all.

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