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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Isn't goblin a core ancestry now? After all, the iconic Alchemist is a goblin! :-)


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James Jacobs wrote:
Interesting Character wrote:
The entire concept of a monk is antithetical to chaotic alignment, so how are chaotic monks narratively justified? It makes no sense to me.

The concept in D&D (and thus 1st edition Pathifnder) is antithetical, but it's also arbitrary and needlessly limiting to creativity. Feel free to limit monk alignments in your game if that makes more sense for your table, of course, but for 2nd edition we really pulled back on the alignment limitations.

Personally, I can think of countless ways to build a chaotic monk. For example...

A chaotic good monk who wanders the world to explore everything, and whenever they reach a fork in the road they flip a coin to see which way they go, and are a devout worshiper of Desna as they travel a random path across the lands seeking enlightenment and helping others out along the way.

That isn't chaotic.

So I guess it might be more productive to ask "what do you think of as being lawful or chaotic?"


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

James, first off looking forward to multiple of your releases in the next 7 months (Kingmaker, Ruins of Gauntlight, and the as yet unnamed Haunted House adventure).

Do you think the 3 part adventure paths are going to allow you to do some different stories then you would have before? Did you find the 6 part limiting for certain types of adventures? Not bad mouthing the 6 part of course those have been awesome. :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ed Reppert wrote:
Isn't goblin a core ancestry now? After all, the iconic Alchemist is a goblin! :-)

It is a core ancestry, yes. That doesn't make lizardfolk or kobolds a core ancestry.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Interesting Character wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Interesting Character wrote:
The entire concept of a monk is antithetical to chaotic alignment, so how are chaotic monks narratively justified? It makes no sense to me.

The concept in D&D (and thus 1st edition Pathifnder) is antithetical, but it's also arbitrary and needlessly limiting to creativity. Feel free to limit monk alignments in your game if that makes more sense for your table, of course, but for 2nd edition we really pulled back on the alignment limitations.

Personally, I can think of countless ways to build a chaotic monk. For example...

A chaotic good monk who wanders the world to explore everything, and whenever they reach a fork in the road they flip a coin to see which way they go, and are a devout worshiper of Desna as they travel a random path across the lands seeking enlightenment and helping others out along the way.

That isn't chaotic.

So I guess it might be more productive to ask "what do you think of as being lawful or chaotic?"

If randomly choosing every corner you turn as you explore the world isn't chaotic, then I guess I'll just step away from this topic since it's obviously trying to turn into one of the internet's favorite beasts—an online argument about alignment.

If chaotic monks don't make sense to you, then don't use them in your stories. As I mentioned above, I can see countless ways to have them have stories in the game, so I WILL use them in my stories. If you use published Paizo products, I guess that means when you have chaotic monks show up in adventures you run, you'll just need to swap out the word "monk" for the word "cultist" or "hermit" or "prophet" or "explorer" or "fanatic" or "pilgrim" or whatever else works best for the specific case at hand.

In any event, what I think of as being lawful or chaotic is best explained by reading Paizo products. Check out how our published NPCs and deities and organizations and monsters are presented and observe their indicated alignments. That's what I think of as lawful or chaotic, and it's not gonna do anyone any good to try to fix that because I don't think it's broken.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Justin Franklin wrote:

James, first off looking forward to multiple of your releases in the next 7 months (Kingmaker, Ruins of Gauntlight, and the as yet unnamed Haunted House adventure).

Do you think the 3 part adventure paths are going to allow you to do some different stories then you would have before? Did you find the 6 part limiting for certain types of adventures? Not bad mouthing the 6 part of course those have been awesome. :D

The whole point of a 3 part AP is to do different stories. For example...

A 6 part dungeoncrawl AP would probably be too much dungeon for most folks to handle. That's the conventional wisdom. By trying it out in a 3 part one, we can test the world's interest in the subject; if it's lauded and beloved then we'll revisit our established suspicions that a 6 part dungeon crawl would grow boring and try one out.

And for Fist of the Ruby Phoenix... the point of this tournament is that only the best of each region get to compete. That's why the 1st edition module is for upper level characters. By doing a 3 part installment for this one, we get to be more experimental and start the AP with 11th level PCs, which is a kinda risky and uncharted waters experiment for Pathfinder Adventure Paths that we have been too nervous to try in a six parter, but more to the point, if we tried this in a six parter, you'd hit 20ht level halfway through and then lose out on the fun of leveling at all for three whole adventures.

SO yes, 3 part adventure paths let us do VERY different stories than a 6 part one. Same for stand-alone adventures, which we're hopefully going to be able to FINALLY get back to producing on a regular schedule by the end of the year.


Kinda funny, the Chaotic/Erratic Monk is kind of a staple in fiction.

Demons being based on Sins can still have variety witch each sin.

Are there many Demons who are/use more than one sin?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Souls At War wrote:


Are there many Demons who are/use more than one sin?

As far as I can recall, only the Balor rises from more than one sin.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Souls At War wrote:

Kinda funny, the Chaotic/Erratic Monk is kind of a staple in fiction.

And yes. The Drunken Master movies come to mind immediately.


Is there much more creative design space for Golarion's lycanthropic, and other, creatures (pcs and/or npcs) besides adding more animal types? I've been wondering how different cultures on the planet might view the curse as either either a blessing or curse, and what kind of culture would be accepting, or encouraging, of their existence. Werewolves are my favorite monster, and I like to find new ways to explore the idea, both as horrifying monsters and sympathetic creatures.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Souls At War wrote:

Kinda funny, the Chaotic/Erratic Monk is kind of a staple in fiction.

And yes. The Drunken Master movies come to mind immediately.

Sorry, I'm not trying to say what is right or wrong in the end, but I'm trying to get a handle on how some other folks think of it so I can better describe my ideas for it as a comparison to other's concept of alignment. When I say someone is lawful, I want to be able to have players know what I mean by that.

So, (since I lack most of the campaign setting stuff to reference) would you say that you judge alignment by the obvious in the moment actions instead of or in addition to the longer term subtler activities (I.E. having a morning routine, relying on plans vs improvisation, etc)?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cranthis wrote:
Is there much more creative design space for Golarion's lycanthropic, and other, creatures (pcs and/or npcs) besides adding more animal types? I've been wondering how different cultures on the planet might view the curse as either either a blessing or curse, and what kind of culture would be accepting, or encouraging, of their existence. Werewolves are my favorite monster, and I like to find new ways to explore the idea, both as horrifying monsters and sympathetic creatures.

From the basic rules side of things for their raw stat blocks, I don't think so, no. In fact, I think it's pretty much done—it's easy to go from here to make whatever werecreature you might want.

There's a LOT more room to go from the LORE side of things though. If real-world cultures have been fostering mythologies of animal shape changers for thousands of years, I'm sure we've got some room to grow in Golarion's lore as well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Interesting Character wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Souls At War wrote:

Kinda funny, the Chaotic/Erratic Monk is kind of a staple in fiction.

And yes. The Drunken Master movies come to mind immediately.

Sorry, I'm not trying to say what is right or wrong in the end, but I'm trying to get a handle on how some other folks think of it so I can better describe my ideas for it as a comparison to other's concept of alignment. When I say someone is lawful, I want to be able to have players know what I mean by that.

So, (since I lack most of the campaign setting stuff to reference) would you say that you judge alignment by the obvious in the moment actions instead of or in addition to the longer term subtler activities (I.E. having a morning routine, relying on plans vs improvisation, etc)?

You only have to worry about your players knowing what you mean. If you want to help refine what you mean by alignments, chatting with folks online is going to lead you to a frustrating series of never ending arguments, which is why I choose to avoid them here.

I also don't have the time to go into deep dive details on my philosophies of how alignments work here, because I've already done so by providing MANY examples in the form of NPCs and deities and nations and organizations in the various products we offer. I certainly don't have the emotional energy to sustain a long debate about alignment. If you're looking for the simplest, most basic definitions to start with as they regard to Pathfinder, check pages 28–29 of the Core Rulebook.

And again... if chaotic monks don't work for you, just don't allow them in your game. Simple.


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James Jacobs:
Have you come across Julian Simpson's modernisation (for radio broadcast) of the Charles Dexter Ward story?
The basis is that a pair of amateur investigators are researching/looking into the disappearance of Charles Dexter Ward from a locked room in an asylum for an 'unsolved mysteries' podcast show, the last person he saw being his doctor, Doctor Willett.
It recasts Joseph Curwen as a cult leader who was believed killed during an FBI siege in the early 1980's, and plays around a bit with what's going on, but there's a lot of the original Lovecraft in the story, and familiar name-checks.

Not sure if it's accessible outside the UK, but the BBC has a site for the episodes (and for a subsequent rewrite/modernisation of The Whisperer in Darkness here: *Link*

(I came across it in the past couple of weeks, since the BBC have been re-running the episodes of the Charles Dexter Ward story on Radio 4.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Charles Evans 25 wrote:

James Jacobs:

Have you come across Julian Simpson's modernisation (for radio broadcast) of the Charles Dexter Ward story?
The basis is that a pair of amateur investigators are researching/looking into the disappearance of Charles Dexter Ward from a locked room in an asylum for an 'unsolved mysteries' podcast show, the last person he saw being his doctor, Doctor Willett.
It recasts Joseph Curwen as a cult leader who was believed killed during an FBI siege in the early 1980's, and plays around a bit with what's going on, but there's a lot of the original Lovecraft in the story, and familiar name-checks.

Not sure if it's accessible outside the UK, but the BBC has a site for the episodes (and for a subsequent rewrite/modernisation of The Whisperer in Darkness here: *Link*

(I came across it in the past couple of weeks, since the BBC have been re-running the episodes of the Charles Dexter Ward story on Radio 4.)

I've never listened to it; thanks for the heads-up!


Kingmaker 10th Anniversary: will it be redesigned to allow playthrough of all new side quests and new levels added as a result of the video game? I'm really looking forward to the new content/stories/plot from the video game... have they been integrated in the revised AP or just provided in a supplementary book or appendix? thanks!


Do you have a favorite combination of different monsters whose unique traits make them more deadly than the sum of their individual parts, either for 1e or 2e? For example, the classic red dragon/iron golem combo.


James Jacobs wrote:
Charles Evans 25 wrote:

James Jacobs:

Have you come across Julian Simpson's modernisation (for radio broadcast) of the Charles Dexter Ward story?
The basis is that a pair of amateur investigators are researching/looking into the disappearance of Charles Dexter Ward from a locked room in an asylum for an 'unsolved mysteries' podcast show, the last person he saw being his doctor, Doctor Willett.
It recasts Joseph Curwen as a cult leader who was believed killed during an FBI siege in the early 1980's, and plays around a bit with what's going on, but there's a lot of the original Lovecraft in the story, and familiar name-checks.

Not sure if it's accessible outside the UK, but the BBC has a site for the episodes (and for a subsequent rewrite/modernisation of The Whisperer in Darkness here: *Link*

(I came across it in the past couple of weeks, since the BBC have been re-running the episodes of the Charles Dexter Ward story on Radio 4.)

I've never listened to it; thanks for the heads-up!

I've caught up with the end of the Charles Dexter Ward piece now, and I didn't find the last thirty or forty minutes or so as satisfying as what went before - it finished up a bit too much 'secret conspiracies' for my liking - but the rest seemed to me to be fairly solid where they were going for the mystery and people-out-of-their-depth-discovering-&-encountering-the-supernatural angles.


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

Come across any good found footage horror movies recently?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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GM PDK wrote:
Kingmaker 10th Anniversary: will it be redesigned to allow playthrough of all new side quests and new levels added as a result of the video game? I'm really looking forward to the new content/stories/plot from the video game... have they been integrated in the revised AP or just provided in a supplementary book or appendix? thanks!

Some of the video game content will get translated into the new hardcover. Other elements from the video game will inspire mostly brand new content. And some of the video game additions and elements won't get included at all. We're picking and choosing each one with an eye toward making it a great tabletop experience, but one of the primary marching orders is "Don't change things from the original tabletop publication of the Adventure Path if they don't need to." The campaign is very popular; it's a big part of why we chose it as our current conversion, and why it ended up inspiring a video game in the first place. The more we change, the less it remains true to its roots.

So, the changes are an eye toward expansion and improvement, rather than just change for change's sake.

Those changes are both incorporated into the main adventure, but also into a separate book: The Kingmaker Companion Guide.

For an idea of how big these additions are, though... look at the size of, say, Curse of the Crimson Throne's hardcover. It included a significant expansion to Castle Scarwall, the addition of another whole part to book 4 to give players a chance to return to Korvosa during their long trip out of town, and numerous other minor additions all throughout. That book was just over 500 pages long. The Kingmaker Adventure Path will be 640 pages long, and the supplementary Companion Guide adds another 128 pages on top of that.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Belltrap wrote:
Do you have a favorite combination of different monsters whose unique traits make them more deadly than the sum of their individual parts, either for 1e or 2e? For example, the classic red dragon/iron golem combo.

Not really. I have favorite combinations of monsters based on themes, though... like brain collectors and intellect devourers, or jorogumos and Skinsaw cultists, or goblins and goblin dogs.

There's certainly plenty of examples of things like hags teaming up to form covens, or shamblers teaming up with shocker lizards, and they're fun, but they don't sick in my head as "favorites."

Although... with some new monsters that AREN'T hags having the coven ability, that could break that tradition in my head... I love the idea of a coven of a hag and two non-hag monsters.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Charles Evans 25 wrote:


I've caught up with the end of the Charles Dexter Ward piece now, and I didn't find the last thirty or forty minutes or so as satisfying as what went before - it finished up a bit too much 'secret conspiracies' for my liking - but the rest seemed to me to be fairly solid where they were going for the mystery and people-out-of-their-depth-discovering-&-encountering-the-supernatural angles.

Fair enough, but please keep posts to this thread to questions for me. For discussions, please start a new thread or PM me directly; thanks, all!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cole Deschain wrote:
Come across any good found footage horror movies recently?

None for several months, nope. There's a new one coming sometime soon called "Skyman" that looks like it could be fun; alien abduction movie by one of the co-creators of Blair Witch Project.


Is your work on Abomination Vaults and the as-of-yet unnamed haunted house adventure considered your "day job" or is it freelance work?

Part of your job is to develop adventures turned in by others. If the adventure work is freelancing, is there a division between writing and developing?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kelseus wrote:

Is your work on Abomination Vaults and the as-of-yet unnamed haunted house adventure considered your "day job" or is it freelance work?

Part of your job is to develop adventures turned in by others. If the adventure work is freelancing, is there a division between writing and developing?

That's freelance work.

I did all of my writing for "Ruins of Gauntlight" on my personal time, and was paid for that work as a freelancer. Same will go for the haunted house adventure, which I've been running for my home group and will be kicking into the serious writing of this weekend.

Sometimes, I do have to rewrite sections of adventures I'm developing, in which case that writing is done on the clock as part of my day job. But Paizo doesn't actually employ any on-the-clock writers for lore or adventure content.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Has there ever been a write up on the design origins of the Qlippoth, in a blog post, forum question, or even at a convention? I've been curious for a while about how they got added to the game as one of the more interesting extraplanar families.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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GeoleVyi wrote:
Has there ever been a write up on the design origins of the Qlippoth, in a blog post, forum question, or even at a convention? I've been curious for a while about how they got added to the game as one of the more interesting extraplanar families.

We did a pretty sizable article about them in part 4 of Shattered Star, and had a bit more to say about them in Book of the Damned.

They were originally introduced to the game in Green Ronin's Armies of the Abyss (which Erik Mona wrote a large chunk of, if not all of it). In Pathfinder they've become sort of a "proto demon" creature; the things that lived in the Abyss before mortals were ever a thing. They're in the game to support the idea that the Abyss itself is even more ancient than morality, and that chaos and evil predate humanity, pretty much.

Silver Crusade

Did you see the Demon's Souls announcement?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
Did you see the Demon's Souls announcement?

I did! SO EXCITED! I played Demon's Souls several years back and quite enjoyed it, and the bosses in that game, in general, were more interesting to me overall than those that were in Dark Souls which increasingly started to feel sorta samey–guy in armor with weapon and/or shield. I'm looking forward to playing this remake; hope that there's some new content in there, but even if it's just the same game with better graphics and tighter combat controls and quality of life improvements from the other souls games, YAY!!!!


James Jacobs wrote:
GM PDK wrote:
Kingmaker 10th Anniversary: will it be redesigned to allow playthrough of all new side quests and new levels added as a result of the video game? I'm really looking forward to the new content/stories/plot from the video game... have they been integrated in the revised AP or just provided in a supplementary book or appendix? thanks!

Some of the video game content will get translated into the new hardcover. Other elements from the video game will inspire mostly brand new content. And some of the video game additions and elements won't get included at all. We're picking and choosing each one with an eye toward making it a great tabletop experience, but one of the primary marching orders is "Don't change things from the original tabletop publication of the Adventure Path if they don't need to." The campaign is very popular; it's a big part of why we chose it as our current conversion, and why it ended up inspiring a video game in the first place. The more we change, the less it remains true to its roots.

So, the changes are an eye toward expansion and improvement, rather than just change for change's sake.

Those changes are both incorporated into the main adventure, but also into a separate book: The Kingmaker Companion Guide.

For an idea of how big these additions are, though... look at the size of, say, Curse of the Crimson Throne's hardcover. It included a significant expansion to Castle Scarwall, the addition of another whole part to book 4 to give players a chance to return to Korvosa during their long trip out of town, and numerous other minor additions all throughout. That book was just over 500 pages long. The Kingmaker Adventure Path will be 640 pages long, and the supplementary Companion Guide adds another 128 pages on top of that.

OMG. This is going to be Paizo's MAGNUM OPUS! I can't wait... I just can't... will have to play more Kingmaker videogame until then! (I somehow haven't finished the game yet; I sort of stopped around level 13... I'm trying to have everything as perfect as possible Kingdom-wise, but it's very hard! :) )

Q: which part of the game you worked on was your favorite?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

GM PDK wrote:
Q: which part of the game you worked on was your favorite?

The video game version of Kingmaker? I didn't really work on any of it. My involvement was to approve storylines and help approve art and be something of a world lore/story lore consultant. I almost wrote one of the subquests for them but had to back out of it due to lack of time to write.


James Jacobs wrote:
GM PDK wrote:
Q: which part of the game you worked on was your favorite?
The video game version of Kingmaker? I didn't really work on any of it. My involvement was to approve storylines and help approve art and be something of a world lore/story lore consultant. I almost wrote one of the subquests for them but had to back out of it due to lack of time to write.

Which part of this process you remember the most fondly?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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GM PDK wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
GM PDK wrote:
Q: which part of the game you worked on was your favorite?
The video game version of Kingmaker? I didn't really work on any of it. My involvement was to approve storylines and help approve art and be something of a world lore/story lore consultant. I almost wrote one of the subquests for them but had to back out of it due to lack of time to write.
Which part of this process you remember the most fondly?

The part where I finally got to play the final, complete game!


Hey James,

What, in your opinion, is the best way to get the party back on track when they miss the 3 clues and 4 hints already given? That is when they are totally stumped - what kind of tools do you find useful to bring the players back without heavy handedness - a couple of our recent campaigns have had some mental roadblocks and this seems to be a stumbling point for several of us as GMs.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ckorik wrote:

Hey James,

What, in your opinion, is the best way to get the party back on track when they miss the 3 clues and 4 hints already given? That is when they are totally stumped - what kind of tools do you find useful to bring the players back without heavy handedness - a couple of our recent campaigns have had some mental roadblocks and this seems to be a stumbling point for several of us as GMs.

Having an NPC help them out works. I also sometimes give the PCs multiple rolls to find clues, and move them around as needed. For example, if they missed all the clues in the library, then go into the conservatory I'll move some of the important missed clues from the library into the conservatory and let the players roll again. The players don't know that they're rolling to find the same missed clues. And if it's THAT important, then I sometimes set the DC to "a number equal to whoever rolled the highest" so that the PCs automaticaly get the clues, but from their side of the screen it just looks like they had a lucky roller in the party.

Scarab Sages

What, in your opinion, differentiates plant creatures from fungus creatures?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
What, in your opinion, differentiates plant creatures from fungus creatures?

Plant creatures have plant themes, while fungus ones have fungus themes. That's pretty much it.


James Jacobs wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
What, in your opinion, differentiates plant creatures from fungus creatures?
Plant creatures have plant themes, while fungus ones have fungus themes. That's pretty much it.

What's the difference?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Interesting Character wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
What, in your opinion, differentiates plant creatures from fungus creatures?
Plant creatures have plant themes, while fungus ones have fungus themes. That's pretty much it.
What's the difference?

Here's the (literal) Cliffs Notes take on the difference between plants and fungi.

The even shorter version is plants aren't fungi, so a monster that's based on a fungus or fungus themes is a fungus, not a plant. For the same reason, we wouldn't call a made-up lizard a mammal, or a made-up predatory cat a fish.

Scarab Sages

James Jacobs wrote:
Interesting Character wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
What, in your opinion, differentiates plant creatures from fungus creatures?
Plant creatures have plant themes, while fungus ones have fungus themes. That's pretty much it.
What's the difference?

Here's the (literal) Cliffs Notes take on the difference between plants and fungi.

The even shorter version is plants aren't fungi, so a monster that's based on a fungus or fungus themes is a fungus, not a plant. For the same reason, we wouldn't call a made-up lizard a mammal, or a made-up predatory cat a fish.

So the goal in distinguishing fungus creatures from plant creatures in 2E was following real-world accuracy? Like how the "Dire" version of animals are now named after prehistoric animals that once existed?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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NECR0G1ANT wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Interesting Character wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
What, in your opinion, differentiates plant creatures from fungus creatures?
Plant creatures have plant themes, while fungus ones have fungus themes. That's pretty much it.
What's the difference?

Here's the (literal) Cliffs Notes take on the difference between plants and fungi.

The even shorter version is plants aren't fungi, so a monster that's based on a fungus or fungus themes is a fungus, not a plant. For the same reason, we wouldn't call a made-up lizard a mammal, or a made-up predatory cat a fish.

So the goal in distinguishing fungus creatures from plant creatures in 2E was following real-world accuracy? Like how the "Dire" version of animals are now named after prehistoric animals that once existed?

Kind of the reverse of that, since the only "dire" creature in the fossil record was the dire wolf. In 3rd edition, dire animals were not prehistoric; they were merely bigger, tougher, and had spikes. In Pathfinder 1st edition I pushed to strip the "dire" from all of them save the wolf and use prehistoric creatures to model these tougher animals, but at that point we were still super timid about changing the SRD rules. We shifted the looks of the creatures but kept dire around. In 2nd edition, the "dire" is finally gone for good... save for the dire wolves.

So the way we handle these animals now, by leaning in better to real-world accuracy on some counts, is indeed how we handle deciding if a monster gets the plant or fungus tag. In the long run, that tag has very little direct mechanical effect on its stats though, other than to push the design of the creature toward the plant or fungus side of the them. AKA: helping us decide if the thing uses seeds or spores on an attack, where it lives, what color it is, whether it has fruits or mushroom caps on it, etc.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Do you still have the time to "game"? If so, what are you running/playing?


Would it conflict with either your vision or established Pathfinder canon for elf gates to exist that allow for transit from Avistan to other continents like Tian Xia or Arcadia?


Short version: Can elves ever become obese?

So, we had this short discussion about whether or not is possible for elves (in Golarion) to become obese, or "fat", not slender as common in their race. I looked up in the books I own and couldn't find much about their biology.

At first, I researched about what can cause obesity in humans, and the most biological method would be a problem with the thyroid gland, the one responsible for some hormones, such as your metabolism and growth rate when younger.

Considering that elves and humans are biologically compatible, I believe they have the same organs and glands, or we would get mutations in half-elves, such as having an organ from a parent that the other parent doesn't have, causing some generations of half-elves not being able to interbreed due to incompatible dna. Being able to reproduce with humans is possible because they possibly have a common ancestor, or were "made" using the same method, but evolved differently.

As such, I believe they do have a thyroid, it is simply different from humans, just as it is also different among humans from different areas around the globe.
As I said, the thyroid is responsible for your growth rate as a kid, which would explain why elves have a slower growth rate than humans, and half-elves are somewhere in the middle of both. But again, the gland is also responsible for your metabolism, faster metabolism means you grow faster, which seems to work in the opposite way for elves.
That would mean that elves have a slower metabolism (not faster), and that their slender looks is more tied to their died (and dna, of course) than to their metabolism, which is slower than humans and explains why they live so long.

So, what do you think about all of this?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Do you still have the time to "game"? If so, what are you running/playing?

I do. I play in Band of Bravos once a week (barring days off or vacations or the like) every Friday, run my own 2nd edition Pathfinder game every Thursday night (this is a homebrew game set in a small town on the southwest shore of Ravounel, but which will produce a print adventure for sale later on—the "Haunted House" adventure I'm working on now), and play in a 1st edition Pathfinder game every Saturday morning (a version of Skull & Shackles that leans in hard on spooky occult themes). I've got a few other games that happen on and off less frequently. On average, I get in about 10 hours of RPG gaming a week, which is about the same I was getting before social distancing set in.

I'd LOVE to run some Call of Cthulhu again at some point though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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shadowkras wrote:

Short version: Can elves ever become obese?

Normally, no. (In related news, old elves don't get wrinkly. Their biological differences with humans goes beyond pointed ears and alien eyes.)

I have more to say about it, but as someone who's spent a significant part of their life being obese, managed to claw back to something approaching healthy weight, but after a half year of stress and stay-at-home is well on their way back to being obese again... I'm not really ready or interested in deep diving into that topic at this time.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Belltrap wrote:
Would it conflict with either your vision or established Pathfinder canon for elf gates to exist that allow for transit from Avistan to other continents like Tian Xia or Arcadia?

Absolutely not. We've never actually set a limit on the number of aiudara on the planet, nor have we published a "road map" of where they all go, specifically because we want to keep that door open for us to put an aiudara in wherever we might want at some point in the future. The fact that we've not mentioned any of them on other continents DOES suggest that if there are, the other continent side portal is remote or forgotten or something like that is very likely the case, though.

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

Would there be interest in publishing a product which was all about traveling on Golarion? More about trade routes, shipping lines, etc and including distances between major cities and towns both by land, by sea, and by air, which would be extremely useful when calculating how long it would take getting from point A to point B by different methods of travel? I know I'd buy that, and as a 1st edition player, it might be the first 2E product I'd purchase.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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JoelF847 wrote:
Would there be interest in publishing a product which was all about traveling on Golarion? More about trade routes, shipping lines, etc and including distances between major cities and towns both by land, by sea, and by air, which would be extremely useful when calculating how long it would take getting from point A to point B by different methods of travel? I know I'd buy that, and as a 1st edition player, it might be the first 2E product I'd purchase.

Whether or not there's an interest at the office for a book like that isn't as important is if it is for customers. Traditional wisdom is that books on that subject simply don't sell as well as books with PC options or adventure content.


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James Jacobs wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:
Would there be interest in publishing a product which was all about traveling on Golarion? More about trade routes, shipping lines, etc and including distances between major cities and towns both by land, by sea, and by air, which would be extremely useful when calculating how long it would take getting from point A to point B by different methods of travel? I know I'd buy that, and as a 1st edition player, it might be the first 2E product I'd purchase.
Whether or not there's an interest at the office for a book like that isn't as important is if it is for customers. Traditional wisdom is that books on that subject simply don't sell as well as books with PC options or adventure content.

I, for one, would love a book on the microeconomics of Golarion. : D

For my completely unrelated question: Socothbenoth's areas of concern are pride, perversion, and taboos. The last two are the very obvious sorts I want to be careful asking about, but thankfully I want to know about the first: pride. How does that manifest? I checked Book of the Damned, but it's unclear.

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