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James Jacobs wrote:
Rekentine wrote:
Hey, James! Here with an odd question that can be interpreted in multiple ways, depending....
If your question requires that much text, I'm probably not going to be able to help you. Either rephrase as one sentence, or, if as it looks like, you're asking about a 1st edition rules question, please ask on the 1st edition boards for advice from other gamers. I try to avoid answering rules questions here because it makes people crazy–they try to use my answers to bully GMs, push boundaries in PFS, or confront the Design team with my replies as ammunition in an attempt to force them to agree. It's caused a fair amount of drama for me in real life and work life alike, so... sorry, I don't answer rules questions.

I completely understand on this. The group I roll with are good people - rules debates get hot, but whether anyone's right or wrong, we just accept it and shrug.

The question was simply if the Ranged Spellstrike (Eldritch Magus) worked in conjunction with Arcane Gun (Spellslinger Wizard), when we had opposing ideas of firing spells through the gun? RAW and RAI, but you don't have to answer.

It was just a banter between two staff members of a West-March style campaign. End of the day, still friends. Just a bunch of nerds rules-lawyering one another. Heck, I have a friend who has a dream to be in a game and actually call a Paizo Dev guy out on a rule. But, no, bullying's not allowed in this game.

Sorry again for pressing ya! So, here's a different question.

How hard was it to start from core Pathfinder (wording, new mechanics as time went on, etc.) and see it all written to the end of it now (in the last, official book with Arazni and so on - no spoilers)? I mean, does it feel like closing a chapter in your life and moving onto some new frontier? Or kind of like watching a creation grow up and mature?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rekentine wrote:
How hard was it to start from core Pathfinder (wording, new mechanics as time went on, etc.) and see it all written to the end of it now (in the last, official book with Arazni and so on - no spoilers)? I mean, does it feel like closing a chapter in your life and moving onto some new frontier? Or kind of like watching a creation grow up and mature?

It was a lot of hard work. I don't really have a way to quantify it other than to say there were a lot of 60 hour work weeks and a few late night panic attacks and a lot of frustrating meetings. It doesn't feel like closing a chapter in my life though, because the transition from 1st to 2nd edition took a few years to complete. It was a long and gradual process with no obvious "we're now all done" point.


Mr. James Jacobs,

What real world songs or songs from Movies/TV show would make good hymns or temple music for Shelyn?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The NPC wrote:

Mr. James Jacobs,

What real world songs or songs from Movies/TV show would make good hymns or temple music for Shelyn?

Any of them. She's the goddess of art, after all, not just "Some art." :-P

If instead you're asking what songs I personally admire and think would fit well with Shelyn, though... Anything by Dead Can Dance.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mr. Jacobs,

Were you involved with the Valerie's side-story from Pathfinder:Kingmaker videogame?

Apologies if this is a repeat. Working in drug/grocery retail has hampered my ability to catch up with over 5000 posts...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Mr. Jacobs,

Were you involved with the Valerie's side-story from Pathfinder:Kingmaker videogame?

Apologies if this is a repeat. Working in drug/grocery retail has hampered my ability to catch up with over 5000 posts...

I was not, beyond early approvals. The majority of the side stories for all the companions were submitted as rough outlines that were approved, as with the other content. Some, such as Amiri, went through a bit deeper bit of approval since we have more information about them, but for the ones Owlcat invented we trusted them to run with the stories once the characters and general plots were approved.


In this post a few months ago, while explaining the thought process behind including goblins in the 2nd Edition as a core ancestry, you said each of the ancestries mapped to an alignment.

I was hoping you could expand a bit more on why you feel halflings are more representative of lawful neutral than other races (are they culturally not as morally good as dwarves?), and would be interested in the same question for why gnomes, especially with their strong connections to the fey and whimsy, are in your view more more neutral good than chaotic?

Silver Crusade

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

What do you do when you want a break from a game you're currently playing, but can't decide on what to play during said break because all your options are long, complex RPGs, strategy games and RPG strategy games that each could take months or even a year to finish? T_T

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Belltrap wrote:

In this post a few months ago, while explaining the thought process behind including goblins in the 2nd Edition as a core ancestry, you said each of the ancestries mapped to an alignment.

I was hoping you could expand a bit more on why you feel halflings are more representative of lawful neutral than other races (are they culturally not as morally good as dwarves?), and would be interested in the same question for why gnomes, especially with their strong connections to the fey and whimsy, are in your view more more neutral good than chaotic?

I think halflings are lawful neutral, on average, because they're all about adapting to other societies, and that implies that they're good at following rules AND able to shift between good, evil, or anywhere in between to fit in.

Gnomes are neutral good because they're tied to nature (thus need neutral) and because they tend to be pretty optimistic and friendly and helpful on average. The role of capricious trickster fey is a job for actual fey not gnomes. Also, by avoiding the chaotic side of things we avoid copying the madcap gnomes you see in other stuff like Warcraft or D&D. And whimsy isn't something that only chaotic characters can do, first of all

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What do you do when you want a break from a game you're currently playing, but can't decide on what to play during said break because all your options are long, complex RPGs, strategy games and RPG strategy games that each could take months or even a year to finish? T_T

I either don't play tabletop games at all and get my gaming in with video games, I ask another player to run a game as a GM (the difference between playing and GMing is huge, after all), or I try to play non RPG games with friends. In other words, I deliberately don't limit my options to long, complex RPGs or strategy games.

Chatting with friends is a great way to get recommendations or advice on new times of gaming experiences, since they know you and your personality and can give actual, curated advice, something I can't really do since I only know you as an Archpaladin.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What do you do when you want a break from a game you're currently playing, but can't decide on what to play during said break because all your options are long, complex RPGs, strategy games and RPG strategy games that each could take months or even a year to finish? T_T

I either don't play tabletop games at all and get my gaming in with video games, I ask another player to run a game as a GM (the difference between playing and GMing is huge, after all), or I try to play non RPG games with friends. In other words, I deliberately don't limit my options to long, complex RPGs or strategy games.

Chatting with friends is a great way to get recommendations or advice on new times of gaming experiences, since they know you and your personality and can give actual, curated advice, something I can't really do since I only know you as an Archpaladin.

Thank you for the advice, but would that advice change if it was video games I was burning out on instead of tabletop ones? I get my tabletop cravings satiated through play-by-post, but I've been playing Warframe for 130 days straight, and I feel like switching from that straight to Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Stellaris or a Total War or Obsidian game would get just as tedious...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Thank you for the advice, but would that advice change if it was video games I was burning out on instead of tabletop ones? I get my tabletop cravings satiated through play-by-post, but I've been playing Warframe for 130 days straight, and I feel like switching from that straight to Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Stellaris or a Total War or Obsidian game would get just as tedious...

It would just change to "try different video games." There's a lot of genres out there to choose from!


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

If you looked at Shalelu Andosana (Fighter 2/Ranger 4 in "Sandpoint, Legend of the Lost Coast") in terms of PF2E would Ranger 6 with the Fighter Dedication be a good conversion?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Have you been staying safe in these troubled times?

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

With so many at home, what would your recommendation be for top TV shows or movies to stream, both horror and non-horror, and limited to what's currently streaming on Netflix or Prime Video?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ed Reppert wrote:
If you looked at Shalelu Andosana (Fighter 2/Ranger 4 in "Sandpoint, Legend of the Lost Coast") in terms of PF2E would Ranger 6 with the Fighter Dedication be a good conversion?

As an NPC, you don't have to follow PC rules. If I were converting her I'd build her as a 6th level character that captures what she could do in 1st edition without worrying if it was "legal" as a PC.

If I were building her as a PC, though, I'd go with ranger and the fighter archetype, yes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Have you been staying safe in these troubled times?

As safe as possible. Starting the third work-from-home week here, and am still healthy. Haven't gone out except for grocery trips since going to see The Invisible Man on opening night several weeks ago.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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JoelF847 wrote:
With so many at home, what would your recommendation be for top TV shows or movies to stream, both horror and non-horror, and limited to what's currently streaming on Netflix or Prime Video?

I just started watching "Tiger King" on Netflix, and it's pretty amazing. Other shows I'm eager to get to see more of on Netflix include season 2 of The Kingdom, season 2 of Altered Carbon, seasons 2 and 3 of Sabrina, The Witcher, The Dark Crystal, and Locke & Key. I Am Not Okay With This looks pretty great too.

As for Prime, Jack Ryan is pretty great. Gonna get back to season 2 of that pretty soon. And I'll be checking out The Hunters soon too. And, of course, The Expanse, but I'm all caught up on that one.

I've also been watching several shows that I purchased seasons for on Amazon, so not free via Prime but still great: The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, and Curse of Oak Island. I bought Batwoman too, but the first few episodes were really disappointing, even with Ruby Rose being amazing in them. I'll get back to watching it eventually, I hope/suppose.


I had to drop Batwoman as well. Better Call Saul and The Hunters are amazing. Powered through The Witcher but feels pretty numb about it.

Have you gone through Vikings yet? Are you planning to check Dispatches from Elsewhere?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Due to spending so much time at home recently, I jumped into Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition (having played the original back in the '90s). What are your thoughts on this game (or the original)?

Silver Crusade

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

Would it violate Groetus' anathema of "spreading hope" if one of his more CN followers adopted the classic Monty Python song "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" as their philosophical approach to life? Like "Yeah, the world's going to end and we're all gonna die, but that's no reason to get all depressed and bitter!"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Blosodriette wrote:

I had to drop Batwoman as well. Better Call Saul and The Hunters are amazing. Powered through The Witcher but feels pretty numb about it.

Have you gone through Vikings yet? Are you planning to check Dispatches from Elsewhere?

I started watching Vikings but it didn't grab me. Gave up after half a season.

Have no plans to check out Dispatches from Elsewhere anytime soon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Fumarole wrote:
Due to spending so much time at home recently, I jumped into Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition (having played the original back in the '90s). What are your thoughts on this game (or the original)?

I loved Baldur's Gate I. Baldur's Gate II was my favorite video game for a LONG time and it's probably still in my top 10. Certainly in my top 20 games ever.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Would it violate Groetus' anathema of "spreading hope" if one of his more CN followers adopted the classic Monty Python song "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" as their philosophical approach to life? Like "Yeah, the world's going to end and we're all gonna die, but that's no reason to get all depressed and bitter!"

Absolutely. It would violate the anathema of spreading hope, and it would introduce something into your game that tends to wreck and ruin any attempt by other players or the GM to establish anything closely approaching verisimilitude or mood or tone.

Monty Python is brilliant, but it's also one of the most overused ways gamers employ to knock a game off its rails.


What did you think of the 2019 film adaption of “a color out of space”? If you’ve seen it that is.

Also, what does a deity do if/when their herald is killed? They all look very unique and difficult to replace.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Mathota wrote:

What did you think of the 2019 film adaption of “a color out of space”? If you’ve seen it that is.

Also, what does a deity do if/when their herald is killed? They all look very unique and difficult to replace.

I saw it at the Lovecraft Film Festival last year, and then bought the 4K HD BluRay the first chance I could after I saw it pop up on Amazon.

It's probably my favorite movie of 2019, and it's certainly my favorite Lovecraft adaptation. It won out over Re-Animator even!

If a herald is killed, the process for getting a new one is varied and depends on a case by case basis. Sometimes the deity ascends a devout worshiper. Sometimes the deity creates a new one. Sometimes the deity brings the previous one back to life. And so on. For a deity, they're not very difficult to replace at all.


What's happening with Erik Mona these days? feels like I haven't heard from him in years!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Captive Strix! wrote:
What's happening with Erik Mona these days? feels like I haven't heard from him in years!

Turns out being a publisher and the chief creative officer takes up a lot of time—he's still doing what he's doing—running the editorial/creative department, and doing a damn fine job of it considering the extra layer of complexity and stress the pandemic has heaped on everything!

Way to go, Erik!!! If I do manage to get a Call of Cthulhu game going soon on Roll20, I promise not to kill your character with a moon gun.


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Will you kill Erik's character with something non-lunar instead?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Almonihah wrote:
Will you kill Erik's character with something non-lunar instead?

Or, ... will he run out of SAN first?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Almonihah wrote:
Will you kill Erik's character with something non-lunar instead?

Only if it's also a gun. Non-gun lunar things are still a threat.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Almonihah wrote:
Will you kill Erik's character with something non-lunar instead?
Or, ... will he run out of SAN first?

Always an option!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since SAN was brought up...

As a GM of Cthullhu, would you model a crisis situation as a SAN-costing experience?


One thing I've noticed about Pathfinder is that apart from the destitute, everyone seems to have really nice outfits. I'm talking stuff better than the best cosplay. How do they get made? And if the answer is "magic" then what are the fine details?


Hey JJ

Glad to know you're taking care of yourself and the Paizo people are mostly smart working and practicing social distance (it's bad, but necessary at the moment).

Back with (of course) a Rise of the Runelords question. Here come the spoiler tags (one would assume everyone and their grannies know the AP top to bottom by now but... never assume).

RotR - also a little bit about Age of Ashes:
Burnt Offerings apparently ends on two climaxes - the fight against Nualia and the one against the greater barghest. I've seen this kind of design elsewhere in other adventures (RotR2 climaxes with the fight against Foxglove but ends with that involving Xanesha. Hellknight Hill has a very tough greater barghest very late, practically followed suit by the Cinderclaw cultists' charau-ka lieutenant).

How do you preserve the tension when you have a big climactic encounter with the main enemy *but then* the story isn't over and there's another the players are (somewhat) expected to face? In what order would you conspire to make the encounters happen, if it were up to you? In other words, what's the dramatic logic of facing off the antagonist when then you discover there's another powerful monster to dispatch, or that of risking your life against a powerful fiend before you've made Sandpoint safe again from its current villain?

Okay, as always I don't possess the gift of brevity, alas, but I hope you understand the question and that it doesn't prove too boring to answer. At the very least you're giving me much needed feedback, and I always treasure our dear Creative Director's views and advice.

Thank you in advance and hold on, we'll make it through!

-Ros

Silver Crusade

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

Why do people think Roko's Basilisk is scary?

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Since SAN was brought up...

As a GM of Cthullhu, would you model a crisis situation as a SAN-costing experience?

Yeah, but I wouldn't try to model a crisis situation that played off of a real world crisis until enough time to recover from said crisis finished. And maybe not even then.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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AlgaeNymph wrote:
One thing I've noticed about Pathfinder is that apart from the destitute, everyone seems to have really nice outfits. I'm talking stuff better than the best cosplay. How do they get made? And if the answer is "magic" then what are the fine details?

They get made by magic and by traditional methods, but it's a world without industrialization and mass-production programs, so as a result, things like clothing tend to be things that are made with more passion and love by their creators and, since they aren't mass produced, are customized and often built to last a lot longer.

It's also a case of "This is a fantasy setting and part of what makes it fun to escape to is that things are better there than they are for us in the real world."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Why do people think Roko's Basilisk is scary?

I've never heard of it, but I suspect after a brief glance about it that it comes down to the fact that people value their freedom and safety and fear things that could take those away from them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Roswynn wrote:

Hey JJ

Glad to know you're taking care of yourself and the Paizo people are mostly smart working and practicing social distance (it's bad, but necessary at the moment).

Back with (of course) a Rise of the Runelords question. Here come the spoiler tags (one would assume everyone and their grannies know the AP top to bottom by now but... never assume).

** spoiler omitted **

Okay, as always I don't possess the gift of brevity, alas, but I hope you understand the question and that it doesn't prove too boring to answer. At the very least you're giving me much needed feedback, and I always treasure our dear Creative Director's views and advice.

Thank you in advance and hold on, we'll make it through!

-Ros

What I was trying to go for in Burnt Offerings was...

Spoiler:
...lean into the fact that it's part one of six, and that when you finish the story in one adventure there can still be content you can go back to and explore during later adventures. I wasn't clear enough in the original text, I suspect. Should have said "Even though this adventure's main villian is defeated, your players can continue to explore parts of this adventure they missed as they continue to progress through the campaign."

Dark Archive

So I've been for fun trying to figure out how Avatars work. I do know real answer is probably "Whatever kind of story you want it to be" but I love speculating about fictional metaphysics ^_^;

Question includes Serpent's Skull & Age of Ashes spoiler:
When Ydersius' avatar was beheaded his power was diminished, but avatar itself was immortal. Dahak's avatar could be killed, but its death just makes Dahak notice that happened and getting slightly annoyed. Are effects of what happens to god's avatar unique to the god itself or is it matter of how much of their own essence the god invests into their avatar? Like Ydersius invested himself almost fully so it was immortal, but when he got beheaded he himself got affected while Dahak's avatar is so tiny proportion of him that it could both be killed and not cause any lasting effect on Dahak?

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CorvusMask wrote:

So I've been for fun trying to figure out how Avatars work. I do know real answer is probably "Whatever kind of story you want it to be" but I love speculating about fictional metaphysics ^_^;

** spoiler omitted **

The avatar isn't immortal; it just didn't die from a beheading. Other things could potentially have killed it.

But yes, the mechanics of how each avatar works is different; it's customizable for each story and each deity.


I understand thatmost adventures and stories focus on mortal heroes fighting against evil foes, but from the wider, world-building perspective, do evil outsiders are overall more active on Golarion than the good ones?

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Adjoint wrote:
I understand thatmost adventures and stories focus on mortal heroes fighting against evil foes, but from the wider, world-building perspective, do evil outsiders are overall more active on Golarion than the good ones?

Yes, because Golarion is intended to be a place where heroes are needed, and one way to do that is to ensure that the bad guys have an advantage.


Hi James,

Is there any sort of symbol that is specifically associated with Leng? Like, if Leng had a flag, what would be on it?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Adjoint wrote:
I understand thatmost adventures and stories focus on mortal heroes fighting against evil foes, but from the wider, world-building perspective, do evil outsiders are overall more active on Golarion than the good ones?
Yes, because Golarion is intended to be a place where heroes are needed, and one way to do that is to ensure that the bad guys have an advantage.

Does that not also fit into the general philosophy of Good Outsiders?

They provide heroes aid and guidance, but it is Humanity (Dwarvenkind, Elvenkind, etc.) that must earn the victories. (One cannot tempt or trick a soul to "goodness.")

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Blissful Lightning wrote:

Hi James,

Is there any sort of symbol that is specifically associated with Leng? Like, if Leng had a flag, what would be on it?

Nope. They don't have a flag, either.

Leng is an entire plane, not just a country. It's got a lot of regions in it that have societies who have symbols or even flags, but Leng itself? Nope.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lord Fyre wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Adjoint wrote:
I understand thatmost adventures and stories focus on mortal heroes fighting against evil foes, but from the wider, world-building perspective, do evil outsiders are overall more active on Golarion than the good ones?
Yes, because Golarion is intended to be a place where heroes are needed, and one way to do that is to ensure that the bad guys have an advantage.

Does that not also fit into the general philosophy of Good Outsiders?

They provide heroes aid and guidance, but it is Humanity (Dwarvenkind, Elvenkind, etc.) that must earn the victories. (One cannot tempt or trick a soul to "goodness.")

Good aligned allies, be they angels or local NPCs or monsters or anything like that, are all in the category of "they can help" but it's still up to the PCs to be the stars of the show.

Folks who want to engage in stories where someone other than a PC is the star and the hero should check out fantasy novels or movies or shows where you watch instead of play, I guess? ;-P


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Who led the Cypher Lodge in Riddleport before Elias Tammerhawk, and what became of them? Or is it unrevealed/undecided?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joana wrote:
Who led the Cypher Lodge in Riddleport before Elias Tammerhawk, and what became of them? Or is it unrevealed/undecided?

Dunno. Unrevealed, I guess.

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