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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Roswynn wrote:
Okay, next question: don't you think this view of "monster races", i.e. ogres, gnolls, etc, all monolithically evil, mostly savage, barbaric, horrifying, opposed to goodly civilization etc, replicates colonialist ideologies employed to justify the subjugation and genocide of whole peoples?

I don't. They're fantasy constructs, and they're presented as creatures that actively seek to do evil to the world. They exist to give games a conflict to play with. I feel like once we open up a type of creature as an official ancestry for players, it's our responsibility to present those creatures in a way that allows for all possible character options (including alignment), but for creatures that we don't have plans to do this for and that are meant to be foes to fight against, no. Continuing to cite gnolls as "monolithicly evil" is not playing fair, by the way, for as you yourself have pointed out and as the Bestiary makes plain in its limited text footprint, gnolls are not monolithically evil. And ogres are fantasty creatures that are twice the size of a human and have outlandish abilities that humans can't replicate. And the less human a creature gets, the less of an issue it is. Everyone is going to draw that line somewhere differently, and part of my job as the Creative Director is to decide where that line gets drawn in our products. I'm comfortable with that line being somewhere between gnolls and ogres. If you're not, you should absolutely adjust the location of the line as makes sense in your game.

Roswynn wrote:
I ask in good faith. I think they do and that makes me terribly uneasy when I have to explain gnolls to my players or think about some ogres' motivations, but I'm finding ways to unf~&* the game in my head (like giving everyone a name, making everyone a person, giving them thoughts, aspirations, sense of humor, feelings, aesthetics, beliefs, having them negotiate, having them run away or yield, showing the consequences of violence, focusing on what the characters are feeling...).

Fair enough, and I'm trying to answer as plainly as possible. Continuing to ask the question over and over or asking it in different ways starts to come across as argumentative or even (to my paranoid leanings) trying to bait me into saying something that someone can later take out of context to paint me or Paizo in unfavorable light. I feel like Paizo (and my work in particular) has, over the past 15 years, done much more for inclusivity and diversity than against it. It's a moving target, and we have to continue to adjust as we go. Take the role goblins play in the setting as an example. But as long as this remains in the genre of "fantasy themed fighting game" we HAVE to include a wide array of enemies and foes that work as things to fight against. We publish two adventure paths a year. That worked out to nearly 2 dozen over the course of 1st edition. We can't have the same monsters appear in each adventure, so we NEED a wide variety of foes to pull from. You might not, if you only run one campaign every few years. In that case, you have an advantage over us in that you can reposition some of the potential enemy types as more diverse cultures.

Roswynn wrote:
I generally like the Lost Omens setting. And the APs. So I'm trying to make it work, even though it requires effort. I just like Paizo's work very much, and feel like I want to do this.

Then lean into the parts you like and change the parts you don't. If it comes to a point where there's more stuff that you don't like, that's unfortunate and I apologize, but that's the point where it might be time to look at a different setting to fulfill your group's needs. We can't just tailor-make Golarions for every group. We have to pick a baseline to serve as the shared starting point for tens of thousands of groups.

Roswynn wrote:
Although, if later on monstrous races stop being mostly savage brutes out to destroy civilization, and don't become goodly monstrous kingdoms nor noble savages, but functioning, complex, internally diverse societies (and not just collections of near-identical tribes at war with each other)... I would love that kind of book. Even if it contained a lot less creatures.

Lost Omens Ancestry Guide might be the book fro you then. It's coming out early next year.

Roswynn wrote:
But I don't think that's the direction you're going with the Bestiaries. Although it should be explored more often, I think, at more length.

It's 100% not the point of a bestiary. A bestiary is a collection of things to fight with or fight against. That's it. Books like the Lost Omens Character Guide or the upcoming Lost Omens Ancestry Guide are the ones that will present hte information you're looking for. NOT bestiaries.

Roswynn wrote:

As long as we have races of monsters to fight, because they're evil monsters... we're doing nothing Tolkien didn't, and I'm not sure we wanna be stuck in that time period regarding depictions of the foreign and characterizations of what's "evil".

You know, I ask you these things, because on one hand I see the model Paizo is following of course, and it's very successful, but on the other you guys always try to promote diversity in everything you can, which is so admirable. So maybe... it would be possible to avoid evil races to fight and focus more on evil factions, like in most of Age of Ashes (and many other APs!).

Again, there's not room in a bestiary's one page to do that. That's not the point of a bestiary. Adventure Paths ARE a great place to explore cultures of creatures in greater detail, or to show examples of creatures that aren't stereotypes for their kind (such as the two examples in Age of Ashes for dragons who are unexpected alignments). In an Adventure Path, we have tens of thousands of more words to explore these themes than in a single Bestiary page where we have less than 600 words to try to encapsulate a snapshot of a creature and their society.

Don't look to Bestiaries for exceptions or deep dives into society or explorations of diversity in culture or the like. Bestiaries can't do that. Adventures, on the other hand, can.

Roswynn wrote:

Also, when my players roll a Recall Knowledge I'm always struggling with how to tell them a whole species behaves a certain way - that doesn't seem conducive to good storytelling to me. If you have any suggestions about this, too, I'd be happy as a clam.

What you reveal to the players with a Recall Knowledge check is 100% left to you, and it's a GREAT chance for you to customize how the lore for a creature works in your game. At the same time, it's not meant to be something where a successful role automatically gives the player all possible information about a topic. The rules are clear: Recall Knowledge gives a "bit" of knowledge. To me, that means one piece of information. When a player in my game tries to Recall Knowledge about a creature, I have them roll the die, but then before I reply I ask them "Do you want a piece of knowledge about the creature's offensive capabilities, its defensive capabilities, or its lore?" On a success, I give them one bit of information from the topic they choose, curating that information to the thing that I know would be the most helpful in the situation. On a critical success, I give the player two pieces of information. And if there's a load-bearing bit of information the group NEEDS to know, I give that out for free as additional information. If, for example, I was running a game where the PCs are confronting a village of boggards who they suspect have been raiding a local caravan route, but I knew that the real culprit was a group of trolls who had been forcing the boggards to do the raids, I'd include places for the PCs to learn that (or at least gain hints of it) before I "tricked" them into destroying an entire village of boggards. Recall Knowledge checks are a perfect opportunity for this, because it's the player who's instigating the question, and when you tell them information they don't feel like they're being railroaded into a specific course or that you're giving them unsolicited clues and suggestions; they take it as a reward for them rolling well.

As a side note, the plot twist of "this group of boggards isn't evil and is being forced to raid the caravans by something else" doesn't work if the players of the game don't know that boggards are typically evil; you need common expectations or stereotypes or cliches to build this kind of story. And if you want to run a game where the world's boggards AREN'T normally evil, but are like humans and can have a wide range of cultures, then you shouldn't run a game that has an adventure hook of "There's boggards; go get them." Your adventure hooks should reflect your world.

And finally... we have a limited amount of time to put words to a page. In most cases, when it comes to spending time to push for diversity and complexity in societies, we will err toward humans first, elves and dwarves and halflings and gnomes and goblins second, and uncommon/rare ancestries third. Because we're all human, and showing diversity among humans is much more important than showing diversity in a made-up creature in the grand scheme of things. In time, we can get to showing diversity in other types of creatures... but we can't do them all at once immediately, and we shouldn't do them when we still need to work toward having representations of humanity that continues to get marginalized in RPGs.

EDIT: Speaking of time... I just spent a half hour composing this reply. Because I felt that the topic deserved it, and that you deserved a complex reply. But that's a half hour I didn't spend working on getting Kingmaker developed (which, as you'll see from the blog post that just went up, is a Big Deal). I won't be able to post such long replies often, is what I'm saying, so I hope this one answers your questions, but if not, I'll probably not be able to answer further to this extent today. So don't take short replies to further long questions as me being dismissive. It's just me trying to manage my time (which includes answering other questions here).


Thank you JJ. I didn't mean to "play unfair" and apologize for coming on too strongly. I swear I didn't mean to bait you, although I probably *was* rather argumentative.

I'll eagerly wait for the Ancestry Guide. Thank you for the Recall Knowledge tips, and sorry for taking you away from Kingmaker, which is another product I'm looking forward to.

Last question: are there new weapons that you know of in the Advanced Player's Guide?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Roswynn wrote:
Last question: are there new weapons that you know of in the Advanced Player's Guide?

I have no idea. I had to bow out of all involvement of the Advanced Player's Guide save for a quick approval look through. I didn't write or develop or edit or anything else with the book. Kingmaker has pretty much been all I've looked at in detail for the past half year.


Where would you say you as Paizo have grown and gotten better as adventure writers?
I feel like the newer APs feature so much high quality content on average (not to say older APs were badly written or whatever - they are good, some are great, while I feel the newer stuff is even better in some instances).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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RumoWolpertinger wrote:

Where would you say you as Paizo have grown and gotten better as adventure writers?

I feel like the newer APs feature so much high quality content on average (not to say older APs were badly written or whatever - they are good, some are great, while I feel the newer stuff is even better in some instances).

In developing the text for Kingmaker, one thing's brutally and painfully obvious. We've gotten MUCH better at not accidentally including things like misogyny or racism in the writing. We've always worked to avoid doing this, but there's so much stuff in the language that's been embedded in unsavory legacies that it's easy even for someone who's trying to avoid using coded language that their privilege might make them blind to can accidentally use. You can learn a LOT in a decade, and it shows if you go back into the older adventures!

(NOTE: I'm not talking about the actual intended content of adventures; a lot of them do handle mature topics back then and even today. I'm talking more about how words like "colonists" carry specific baggage with them that synonyms like "settlers" or "citizens," or words like "tribe" are used inappropriately when "people" or "folk" or "family," or words like "savage" when "brutal" or "cruel" or whatever work just as well and don't have unwanted implications.)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

What is the IP state of the old APs that were joint between WOTC and Paizo? Eg. If Beadle and Grimm's wanted to do a legendary Shackled City? Would that require an okay between both Companies? Who owns Shackled City, etc?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

crognus wrote:
What is the IP state of the old APs that were joint between WOTC and Paizo? Eg. If Beadle and Grimm's wanted to do a legendary Shackled City? Would that require an okay between both Companies? Who owns Shackled City, etc?

Everything published in Dungeon, including the first three Adventure Paths we built (Shackled City, Age of Worms, and Savage Tide) are 100% owned by Wizards of the Coast.

It would require an okay from Wizards of the Coast for Beadle and Grimm to create a fancy new edition of any of those Adventure Paths. Paizo wouldn't get a say in it at all.


If someone grew up in Magnimar, are they likely to have seen a dinosaur?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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bixnoodles wrote:
If someone grew up in Magnimar, are they likely to have seen a dinosaur?

Nope. But then again, everyone in my family's seen a mountain lion where I grew up but I never did. Not seeing a dinosaur doesn't mean they're not out there somewhere.


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

We finished our Iron Gods campaign last night after three years (and one relocation, and one baby) - I just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful and wonderfully different adventure path. We had a fantastic time with it.

Since this thread requires questions: any plans to go back to Numeria?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

DavidW wrote:

We finished our Iron Gods campaign last night after three years (and one relocation, and one baby) - I just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful and wonderfully different adventure path. We had a fantastic time with it.

Since this thread requires questions: any plans to go back to Numeria?

Yes. In fact, there's two NPCs in the just-released Lost Omens Legends book who are from Numeria.

As for adventures though? I've got lots of ideas. You haven't seen the last of Numeria in Iron Gods. It might be a while (maybe a long while) before we get back there in a significant large adventure though.

Shadow Lodge

How was the Isle of Kortos (and its minor outlying islands) raised? That is, was the underlying seafloor raised and is it currently supporting Kortos? Or was Kortos levitated off of the seafloor and does it remain supported by magic?

Related question: is the seafloor under the Inner Sea rifting or subducting? If the latter, which continent's plate is subducting under which?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:

How was the Isle of Kortos (and its minor outlying islands) raised? That is, was the underlying seafloor raised and is it currently supporting Kortos? Or was Kortos levitated off of the seafloor and does it remain supported by magic?

Related question: is the seafloor under the Inner Sea rifting or subducting? If the latter, which continent's plate is subducting under which?

Via powerful magic. We've talked about it in several places. There's more details in the Extinction Curse Adventure Path, I believe, as well as in the upcoming Absalom book and Erik's upcoming "Dead God's Hand" adventure, but the short version is that Aroden claimed the Starstone from the bottom of the Inner Sea, became a demigod, and then using his divine magic and the power from the Starstone, he willed the Island to rise up from the sea floor below. If I recall correctly, this was all part of his divine test (or maybe a reward of it)... again... further details will be coming over the course of the next 12 months or so.

The underlying sea floor was raised up; Kortos is the top of a mostly underwater mountain. Said mountain has its own "mini Darklands" inside of it that has no major, well-known connections to the rest of the Darklands (You'll note that in the maps of the three levels of the Darklands from "Into the Darklands" show this).

The idea of the Inner Sea around Absalom is that it was created by an impact event (hence its circular shape. To the south, the Obari Ocean is probably subducting (hence Jalmeray), while west of Kortos it's likely rifting (which is why the two coastlines look like they'd fit in together). This area was probably a shallow inland sea or a vast swath of nearly sea-level grasslands before Earthfall, but we've not done much development there.

Furhter, keep in mind that Golarion is a magic world. And more importantly, it was designed by numerous folks with varying levels of knowledge about plate tectonics and geology. It's meant first and foremost to be a place to share stories about killing monsters and exploring and having adventures, and an accurate "what-if" model of a fully functioning imaginary planet much less than first. We did our best to make it make enough sense that it'll be fine for most folks, but geologists will need to apply the same sense of disbelief as the rest of us do in accepting giant spiders, fire-breathing dragons, flying carpets, and all the rest.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So excited for Dead God's Hand and the accompanying books!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TriOmegaZero wrote:
So excited for Dead God's Hand and the accompanying books!

Cool! But keep in mind this is a thread to ask me questions—please make sure to include a question with each post here for me to answer! ;-)


Who do we need to pester to get that Red Mantis adventure path published? :D it seems like an amazing premise!


Was reading Lost Omens Legends today. I totally forgot that Irabeth Tirabade (half Orc paladin) travelled to the River Kingdoms prior to her escapades in Mendev. Since Kingmaker occurs several years prior, I think it would be cool for her to show up in the updated Kingmaker book as an Easter egg. Do you have any plans for that, and if not, how about now?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mathota wrote:
Who do we need to pester to get that Red Mantis adventure path published? :D it seems like an amazing premise!

Erik's a good start, I guess. But even if he says yes to it today, the earliest I think I'd be able to see this published at this point would be 2023. A lot can happen between now and then.

Frankly I doubt it'll ever happen. I'm not sure the rest of Paizo or the bulk of the Pahtfinder audience has much of an appetite for an evil adventure path of this type.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Duskreign wrote:
Was reading Lost Omens Legends today. I totally forgot that Irabeth Tirabade (half Orc paladin) travelled to the River Kingdoms prior to her escapades in Mendev. Since Kingmaker occurs several years prior, I think it would be cool for her to show up in the updated Kingmaker book as an Easter egg. Do you have any plans for that, and if not, how about now?

Kingmaker is pretty much solidly located in the Stolen Lands rather than the rest of the River Kingdoms, and as such there's not really a place to have an Irabeth cameo. Furthermore, while Kingmaker starts before Wrath, it more than any other Adventure Path could well last for years or even decades. And even more furhtermore, I'm not a big fan of crossing the streams, as they say, in those ways, since it can potentially set up weirdness in a game if a group ends up with Irabeth taking a drastically different life path (or gets killed) before she heads toward the Worldwound. And on top of that, the primary goal of the Kingmaker revision is to retain as much of the original as possible, with the inclusion of Owlcat expansions and some logical additional expansions. Leaning in too hard on other Adventure Paths muddies the thematic waters.

Feel free to have her show up in your Kingmaker game if ya want though, of course!


Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

How many intelligent species in Avistan? How many on Golarion as a whole?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Ed Reppert wrote:
How many intelligent species in Avistan? How many on Golarion as a whole?

A constantly growing number, since as long as we're publishing stuff for the game, we'll be creating new monsters for it.

Far more than would be logical, I suspect, for a "real world," but never enough for a schedule that demands two fresh new Adventure Paths, 4 standalone adventures, and dozens of org play scenarios to be published every year without us starting to feel too repetitive.

Dark Archive

On the subject of multiple intelligent races, are there any ties between the Aranea and the Anadi, or are they completely different things (or does one replace the other?).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Set wrote:

On the subject of multiple intelligent races, are there any ties between the Aranea and the Anadi, or are they completely different things (or does one replace the other?).

They're different things entirely.

And pretty much, the anadi are our spider people going forward. The aranea are a D&D monster we could only use because they "snuck into" the OGL via the Tome of Horrors. I doubt we'll be using them much at all going forward.

The anadi are also built and themed to be much more "player character friendly" than the aranea, so there's that.


Will Anadi be included in Lost Omens Ancestry Guide?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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captain yesterday wrote:
Will Anadi be included in Lost Omens Ancestry Guide?

Nope. There's other plans afoot for them. Stay tuned.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Will any of Garundi ancestries mentioned in Magaambya article in lost omen world guide appear in ancestry guide? ;D

Dark Archive

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James Jacobs wrote:

They're different things entirely.

And pretty much, the anadi are our spider people going forward. The aranea are a D&D monster we could only use because they "snuck into" the OGL via the Tome of Horrors. I doubt we'll be using them much at all going forward.

The anadi are also built and themed to be much more "player character friendly" than the aranea, so there's that.

Cool to hear. I always liked the idea of the aranea, but they almost never got used anyway, so I'm not terribly invested in them, and willing to transfer my fickle allegiance to our new anadi overlords. :)

Will the jorogumo of Shenmen perhaps take on the 'spider-peep monster race' role (that the aranea occupied previously), or are they a branch of anadi that are just less nice and cuddly? (Which could be interesting, a race that, like humans, could have 'good guy kingdoms' like Andoran in one place and 'bad guy kingdoms' like Cheliax in another.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CorvusMask wrote:
Will any of Garundi ancestries mentioned in Magaambya article in lost omen world guide appear in ancestry guide? ;D

Ask again but be more specific about the ancestries, please.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Set wrote:

Will the jorogumo of Shenmen perhaps take on the 'spider-peep monster race' role (that the aranea occupied previously), or are they a branch of anadi that are just less nice and cuddly? (Which could be interesting, a race that, like humans, could have 'good guy kingdoms' like Andoran in one place and 'bad guy kingdoms' like Cheliax in another.)

The jorogumo are MUCH more powerful than the typical anadi or aranea, and fill a MUCH different role. They're also from real-world mythology. They have nothing to do with anadi or aranea; entirely different creatuers. They're pretty much monsters, and aren't gonna be made into PC ancestries anytime soon. There could be some non-evil ones, but they're mostly in the same category as things like serpentfolk or urdefhans or the like: monsters we want to keep as monsters for now.


What kind of music would you use to represent Magnimar?

Also, what kind of transportation exists around the city? Going up or down the seacleft always sounded exhausting.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Will any of Garundi ancestries mentioned in Magaambya article in lost omen world guide appear in ancestry guide? ;D
Ask again but be more specific about the ancestries, please.

Goloma, Shisk or Conrasu :3

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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bixnoodles wrote:

What kind of music would you use to represent Magnimar?

Also, what kind of transportation exists around the city? Going up or down the seacleft always sounded exhausting.

For things like music for regions, I generally prefer to default to video game or movie soundtracks. Preferably ones that your players aren't super familiar with. If you use a soundtrack that's iconic and recognizable, like Jaws or Halloween or Conan the Barbarian, the music will take over and turn whatever you're trying to do into that movie.

Magnimar is a bustling city that has a LOT of impressive monuments in it, so something sweeping and grandiose would work best. No specific music comes to mind, but I'd start my search by looking into soundtracks for games like The Witcher 3, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or Dragon Age and check out the background music that plays in large cities of games like that as a potential background music for the city. Or, for that matter, I'd look through Syrinscape's music! There's some stuff in there that's actually MADE for Magnimar/Varisia if I recall correctly!

As for transportation... mostly walking or horseback. While it's a city, it's not as enormous as you might think; you could walk from one end to the other in an hour or two, depending on traffic. Richer folks use carriages. As for going up and down the seacleft... that's not something everyone has to do every day, and for most of the citizens they might not need to make that trip often at all. Those who DO have to make it daily use horses or carriages.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

CorvusMask wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Will any of Garundi ancestries mentioned in Magaambya article in lost omen world guide appear in ancestry guide? ;D
Ask again but be more specific about the ancestries, please.
Goloma, Shisk or Conrasu :3

None of them appear in the Ancestry Guide.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Aww.

Are there completely new ancestries that weren't in 1e or in 2e bestiaries?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:

Aww.

Are there completely new ancestries that weren't in 1e or in 2e bestiaries?

Yes. The fleshwarp ancestry is something new. It's linked to the monster fleshwarps, but it's not a thing that's appeared in the game before.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One more question for today :3

What kind of story regions you see for Tian Xia?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:

One more question for today :3

What kind of story regions you see for Tian Xia?

Story regions? I don't know what you mean by a "story region." As the developer for the Dragon Empires book, one of my goals was to make sure every region on the continent had a lot of great story potential.

So... "all the regions in Tian Xia" are the story regions for Tian Xia.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Would have "meta region" be better term? I mean since I don't think "Shining Kingdoms" or "Broken Lands" is in universe term and for more of thematic grouping of countries in inner sea


What is Nualia's ritual to release Malfeshnekor?

Back in 2015 (link to thread below), you said Nualia was trying to bind Malfeshnekor to her using only magic available to a 5th level cleric. Would you please provide specifics and elaborate?

"If the ritual goes as she hopes, Malfeshnekor basically ends up being bound to Nualia. He's free, but she's in control of him. She'll likely use him as an assassin and bodyguard and threat to keep her other minions in line and will go on from there to build her power, eventually becoming one of the more powerful clerics in the region."

Link: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2t67q?Is-Nualia-dumb

Thanks, James!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CorvusMask wrote:
Would have "meta region" be better term? I mean since I don't think "Shining Kingdoms" or "Broken Lands" is in universe term and for more of thematic grouping of countries in inner sea

Oh, as in the way we split the Inner Sea region into 10 different regions? Haven't put any thought into that for Tian-Xia. So... can't say at this point.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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CHRISTOPHER BLOMGREN wrote:

What is Nualia's ritual to release Malfeshnekor?

Back in 2015 (link to thread below), you said Nualia was trying to bind Malfeshnekor to her using only magic available to a 5th level cleric. Would you please provide specifics and elaborate?

"If the ritual goes as she hopes, Malfeshnekor basically ends up being bound to Nualia. He's free, but she's in control of him. She'll likely use him as an assassin and bodyguard and threat to keep her other minions in line and will go on from there to build her power, eventually becoming one of the more powerful clerics in the region."

Link: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2t67q?Is-Nualia-dumb

Thanks, James!

It's story-based NPC magic meant to justify the plot, not be something that plays out in game, since the plot doesn't intend for her to ever be successful.

If this were today, working with a game (2nd edition) that includes rituals as part of the core game, then the ritual in question would be inveigle.


James Jacobs wrote:
CHRISTOPHER BLOMGREN wrote:

What is Nualia's ritual to release Malfeshnekor?

Back in 2015 (link to thread below), you said Nualia was trying to bind Malfeshnekor to her using only magic available to a 5th level cleric. Would you please provide specifics and elaborate?

"If the ritual goes as she hopes, Malfeshnekor basically ends up being bound to Nualia. He's free, but she's in control of him. She'll likely use him as an assassin and bodyguard and threat to keep her other minions in line and will go on from there to build her power, eventually becoming one of the more powerful clerics in the region."

Link: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2t67q?Is-Nualia-dumb

Thanks, James!

It's story-based NPC magic meant to justify the plot, not be something that plays out in game, since the plot doesn't intend for her to ever be successful.

If this were today, working with a game (2nd edition) that includes rituals as part of the core game, then the ritual in question would be inveigle.

I see.

How would Nialia treat a captured Pharasman cleric?

My party is at Thistletop and their npc Pharasma Cleric companion was captured by Nualia. Since Pharasma and Lamashtu are enemies, I wanted to ask if the cleric might be sacrificed to further Nualia's transformation, or used in the ritual to free Malfeshnekor (since it's a non-ritual, 1e game) ?

The npc cleric is also a rougarou, so the goblins probably wouldn't be fans of him, either!

Any suggestions?

Silver Crusade Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
Haladir wrote:

Hello, James!

As an afficionado of both horror film AND H.P. Lovecraft... have you heard the announcement of a film adaptation of The Colour Out Of Space... which will be directed by cult horror auteur Richard Stanley, and starring the inimitable Nicholas Cage?

And... how excited are you to see this film?

I have indeed heard of it, and I'm very interested in it. I know Richard Stanley has been eager to do a Lovecraft movie for quite some time (see the documentary about the making of "The Island of Dr. Moreau" for details), but I'm wary.

Nicholas Cage can be a great actor or an awful actor.

And of the Richard Stanley movies I've seen... some are pretty good (Dust Devil) and some I didn't like (Hardware). He's got the passion and background to do a good Colour out of Space, yes, but I'm keeping my expectations low, as I usually do for Lovecraft adaptations.

I just saw this (Nicolas Cage in The Color [sic] Out Of Space) on the shelf at the store and decided to pick it up. I haven't watched it yet, though.

Curious if you ever ended up seeing it, and if so, what you thought of it. ^_^

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Sandpoint and click wrote:

How would Nialia treat a captured Pharasman cleric?

My party is at Thistletop and their npc Pharasma Cleric companion was captured by Nualia. Since Pharasma and Lamashtu are enemies, I wanted to ask if the cleric might be sacrificed to further Nualia's transformation, or used in the ritual to free Malfeshnekor (since it's a non-ritual, 1e game) ?

The npc cleric is also a rougarou, so the goblins probably wouldn't be fans of him, either!

Any suggestions?

Pharasma and Lamashtu aren't particularly enemies at all. Their roles don't really conflict, overlap, or compete. Of the core deities, only Urgathoa is counted as a legit enemy for Pharasma (the Gods and Magic book is the latest and most recent supplement that lists deity allies and enemies).

How she treats that prisoner is left to you to determine, but the prisoner being a rougarou or a cleric of Pharasma wouldn't necessarily alter Nualia's take. If that NPC was a citizen of Sandpoint she recognized, though, that'd be a different story!

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Kalindlara wrote:

I just saw this (Nicolas Cage in The Color [sic] Out Of Space) on the shelf at the store and decided to pick it up. I haven't watched it yet, though.

Curious if you ever ended up seeing it, and if so, what you thought of it. ^_^

Yup; I saw it at its North America premiere last year at the H P Lovecraft film festival down in Portland, and then bought the blu-ray the day it came out and watched it again that very night. It's my favorite movie of 2019, and the best Lovecraft adaptation I've ever seen, both in how it stays true to the storyline and manages to capture the cosmic horror so well while also updating it to be more modern and diverse—shifting the focus of the story to the daughter puts a woman in the "star" role (even though Nicolas Cage is the biggest star in the cast, he's not the protagonist—that goes to Lavinia, I'd say), but casting diverse actors in roles like the hydrologist or Arkham's mayor cuts off Lovecraft's gross racisim legacy at the knees. This movie's a masterclass in how to adapt Lovecraft to the modern times.

In this way, it retains the parts of the story that make it a timeless and important work of fiction (you can read it as a precursor to fear of radiation, for example, and the storyline's been redone so many times in tales like "The Blob," or "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" or "Annihilation"; it's nice to see this incredibly influential story, arguably Lovecraft's BEST story, given this level of respect), while improving on it by making the surrogate audience member (the hydrologist) a Black man.

And it goes beyond that. Spoilered 'cause this is about the end of the movie...

Spoiler:
The fact that the hydrologist is the "Final Girl" of the movie is a GLORIOUS reversal of the gross horror movie trope that has the Black character get killed first. By having the only survivor of the movie be Black, the movie is not-so-subtly rebuking the awful parts of Lovecraft while simultaneously embracing the great parts of him.

As for the Americanization of the title and the removal of the "u" from Color, I'm fine with that. After all, it's a movie directed by a South African-born man, filmed in Portugal, set in New England. It's already not British in a lot of different ways.

EDIT: Fair warning... the movie, like the story it's based on, has some VERY intense body horror scenes in it.


James Jacobs wrote:
Sandpoint and click wrote:

How would Nialia treat a captured Pharasman cleric?

My party is at Thistletop and their npc Pharasma Cleric companion was captured by Nualia. Since Pharasma and Lamashtu are enemies, I wanted to ask if the cleric might be sacrificed to further Nualia's transformation, or used in the ritual to free Malfeshnekor (since it's a non-ritual, 1e game) ?

The npc cleric is also a rougarou, so the goblins probably wouldn't be fans of him, either!

Any suggestions?

Pharasma and Lamashtu aren't particularly enemies at all. Their roles don't really conflict, overlap, or compete. Of the core deities, only Urgathoa is counted as a legit enemy for Pharasma (the Gods and Magic book is the latest and most recent supplement that lists deity allies and enemies).

How she treats that prisoner is left to you to determine, but the prisoner being a rougarou or a cleric of Pharasma wouldn't necessarily alter Nualia's take. If that NPC was a citizen of Sandpoint she recognized, though, that'd be a different story!

Really?

But If Pharasma is concerned with (among other things) child Birth, wouldn't that be at odds with Lamashtu who is known to curse pregnant women by swapping their unborn child with a demon?

I get why Pharasma and Urgathoa would be enemies, the whole undead, escaping one fate, consuming the flesh of babies, thing.

Think of the children.

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Sandpoint and click wrote:

But If Pharasma is concerned with (among other things) child Birth, wouldn't that be at odds with Lamashtu who is known to curse pregnant women by swapping their unborn child with a demon?

I get why Pharasma and Urgathoa would be enemies, the whole undead, escaping one fate, consuming the flesh of babies, thing.

Think of the children.

I absolutely am thinking of the children. Remember that Pharasma isn't a good deity. She's a goddess of birth, but NOT a goddess of family or of the bonds between mother and child. Whether that child is born a demon or not doesn't matter too much to Pharasma. She's also the goddess of death, and that includes death that occurs at all stages of life, be it at birth or childhood or adulthood or old age.

THAT SAID, if you really wanted to lean into Nuala's story and have her lost child play a role in how she reacts to a cleric of Pharasma, that could be some really heavy, dramatic stuff to explore. Not every game table (I would dare say MOST game tables) would be interested in pursuing that, but if you have your players' trust and they're comfortable exploring mature themes like that, I could see Nualia being pretty awful to a cleric of Pharasma.


In starfinder lore there have been an increasing number of mentions of the pre-gap histories of places outside the Pact Worlds. Has there been any thought about what is happening in the Azlanti Star Empire or the future Veskarium, for instance, during Goalrion's present day?

Also what about the deities who's worship originated far away in space such as Damaritosh or Talavet. Do they live on the appropriate Outer Planes in a location as distant from the parts of the planes we know as their worshipers originated from Golarion? Do the Pathfinder era deities know about or interact with them?

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Saint Caleth wrote:

In starfinder lore there have been an increasing number of mentions of the pre-gap histories of places outside the Pact Worlds. Has there been any thought about what is happening in the Azlanti Star Empire or the future Veskarium, for instance, during Goalrion's present day?

Also what about the deities who's worship originated far away in space such as Damaritosh or Talavet. Do they live on the appropriate Outer Planes in a location as distant from the parts of the planes we know as their worshipers originated from Golarion? Do the Pathfinder era deities know about or interact with them?

Not to my knowledge; the Veskarium and the Star Empire are Starfinder things, not Pathfinder things. A big reason the Gap exists is so that, in-house, someone whose job is to focus on Pathfinder doesn't also have to be an expert on Starfinder, and vice-versa. For example, I've never heard of Talavet or Damaritosh, and I had no idea who they were until I just did some google searches for the names.

While the two games share a lot of proper nouns and story elements... their campaign settings are NOT the same. They're separated by more than a span of time. It's easier to view them as alternate timelines or parallel realities, honestly, than one being in the future and the other being in the past.

Where deities invented by the Starfinder team live is up to the Starfinder team to decide and explore.

Now and then, we'll have crossover easter eggs, I suppose, but the intent is not for someone to be able to take the lore from both games and build an internally consistent canonical whole. If you want to do that, you certainly can, but you'll need to make some decisions on how the two games mesh that we aren't going to provide for you.


That makes a lot of sense from a narrative and writing viewpoint although it's a shame we will never get to see an ancient skittermander.

As a related process question, if you ever develop a 2e version of Distant Worlds or People of the Stars would you incorporate names and changes which debuted in starfinder such as the changes to Lashunta sexual dimorphism and gender or the fact that the species inhabiting many of the planets now have names for their species rather than being named foe their planet of origin?

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