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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Do you have a life, or are you pretty much chained to your desk?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Do you have a life, or are you pretty much chained to your desk?

I have a life. Not a particularly exciting one, I guess, but I try hard not to overwork myself, particularly after having some really bad work/life boundary issues 15–20 years ago when I started working at Paizo.

That said, I don't really do much in the way of social media stuff. I have a facebook account but I limit it to real-world friends, coworkers, and family pretty much and don't do any industry stuff there. Other than that, my only real public social media presence/activity is on these boards, and I am in the habit of peeking into this thread now and then during the day and answer questions when I see them pop up.


James Jacobs wrote:


Going forward please do your best to keep questions tight and short, because the way this website works, it truncates quotes and makes it awkward to reference the question while answering it, forcing me to scroll back and forth or manually copy/paste. It's not a LOT of work, but when I get runs of lots of questions on the thread... it's important to keep things easy and quick for me to reply to.

1) Aroden wasn't quite a full-on deity yet, but also has the arrogance to keep tinkering directly in mortal affairs even while he was doing the long transition between demigod and deity. In my head, Aroden showing up in Sarkoris/Mendev to fight Deskari's avatar happened during that period, and it's the last time he would directly interfere, with the prophecised next appearance never happening, of course. Demigods have stat blocks, and while they're super powerful at the top limit of what can HAVE stat blocks, the fact that they still have stat blocks means they risk a lot when they interact with mortals. Aroden was probably at that cusp, or just over it. Think of it as him overstepping his bounds as a "new hire" I guess?

Sorry about that!

Anyway, so that means Aroden spent pretty much the entire time from the raising of the Starstone until roughly a little after 4433 AR as just a demigod, and he wasn't even a full powered deity for even 2 centuries before he fell? For as wide reaching as his influence was, I always assumed he spent most of the millenia as a god with Iomedae being pretty new at the job, but I guess at this point she's been a god nearly as long as her old boss was then?


James Jacobs wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
How you feeling about a Red Mantis adventure finally getting out the door?

I've got very little to do with it other than giving a little bit of advice a few months ago. I hope folks like it, because if they do that'll make it easier for me to get the much larger Red Mantis thing I'd like to do greenlit.

But at the moment, since I've got so little to do with the one-shot adventure, I guess I'm feeling curious as to how it'll look when it's done.

What adventure is this?


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James Jacobs wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
How you feeling about a Red Mantis adventure finally getting out the door?

I've got very little to do with it other than giving a little bit of advice a few months ago. I hope folks like it, because if they do that'll make it easier for me to get the much larger Red Mantis thing I'd like to do greenlit.

But at the moment, since I've got so little to do with the one-shot adventure, I guess I'm feeling curious as to how it'll look when it's done.

I’d love to finally see your idea for them.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Have you ever had an idea that was 'just' on the cusp of becoming a reality but your Muse was 'on strike'/couldn't find that 'last little bit' then someone else at the office goes "EUREEKA!" and outlines a whole project based roughly on what you were doing but a lot better?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Desril wrote:
Anyway, so that means Aroden spent pretty much the entire time from the raising of the Starstone until roughly a little after 4433 AR as just a demigod, and he wasn't even a full powered deity for even 2 centuries before he fell? For as wide reaching as his influence was, I always assumed he spent most of the millenia as a god with Iomedae being pretty new at the job, but I guess at this point she's been a god nearly as long as her old boss was then?

That's my take, yes, mostly because that version of his transition from long-lived mortal (from birth until 0AR when he brought up the Starstone) to demigod (from ascending to demigod status when he brought up the Starstone to the point where he stepped wholely away from the mortal world—about the point where he defeated the Echo of Deskari) to deity (from that point until his death) is what meshes the best and with the least amount of conflict with everything else we've said about how deities interact with the mortal world.

We haven't specifically said in print exact dates for when his statblock changed from long-lived human to demigod, or from demigod to deity, but the implication of everything else suggests the above to me.

While he did ascend to demigod as a result of recovering the Starstone and, in effect, being the first to take the test... in some ways you can think of that as a "playtest" of that system, after which the process, when it next got applied many centuries later to Norgorber, was refined to the point where there was no waiting period as demigod. Or maybe Norgorber was just more cognizant about the process. Or maybe something else.

Aroden's influence was certainly significant, but the further you get from Absalom, the less of an influence it becomes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kelseus wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
How you feeling about a Red Mantis adventure finally getting out the door?

I've got very little to do with it other than giving a little bit of advice a few months ago. I hope folks like it, because if they do that'll make it easier for me to get the much larger Red Mantis thing I'd like to do greenlit.

But at the moment, since I've got so little to do with the one-shot adventure, I guess I'm feeling curious as to how it'll look when it's done.

What adventure is this?

It's the next digital one-shot after "Head-Shot the Rot." We announced it at Gen Con. It doesn't have a page on our store yet, since it's not gonna be out until next year.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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keftiu wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
How you feeling about a Red Mantis adventure finally getting out the door?

I've got very little to do with it other than giving a little bit of advice a few months ago. I hope folks like it, because if they do that'll make it easier for me to get the much larger Red Mantis thing I'd like to do greenlit.

But at the moment, since I've got so little to do with the one-shot adventure, I guess I'm feeling curious as to how it'll look when it's done.

I’d love to finally see your idea for them.

Hopefully I'll get to do that Adventure Path where the PCs are Red Mantis assassins... but my idea for them is going to lean in hard on the lawful evil part of them. I'm not interested in softening the evil for them, so that's a tricky sort of thing to approach as far as a tabletop RPG adventure is concerned. It's probably better suited toward non-interactive entertainment like a novel, or curated interactive entertainment like a solo video game.

Spoiler:
I'm relatively confident in my own ability in presenting this story in a way that doesn't feel exploitative or pushing a distasteful real-world agenda or otherwise trying to make gaming feel unsafe for gamers, but I'm not confident that some GMs out there won't use something like this as a tool to do just that while hiding behind the construct of "Paizo said it was fine, it's not my fault that I adjusted their published adventure to make it all about (insert awful real-world behavior here)."

It's very difficult for a tabletop RPG writer to create something that doesn't get misinterpreted in that way, because 80% of those who experience that story (the average 4 players at a table who are in fact experiencing the story through the filter of their GM) will have their perception of the adventure skewed by the GM's presentation and adjustments to the story.

My own best personal experience with this event was when I read a lengthy awful review of an adventure I wrote for D&D a while back, called "Red Hand of Doom." That adventure got really great reviews overall, and many folks cite it as the best 3rd edition adventure that WotC ever published, so when I saw a one-star review on a messageboard I was obviously intrigued. I read it, and the gamer who wrote it was a player whose complaints about the adventure seemed legit—but in every case, the things they complained about were obviously things their GM had added or changed or simply gotten wrong. A textbook case of someone not realizing their GM is a fundamentally bad GM, perhaps because they had only ever played with that one GM, but to me it was a sobering lesson that, unlike a movie or a novel (or even a single-player game) where the author's message is directly put to the consumer for the consumer to interpret... for a tabletop RPG adventure, the author's message is translated by a GM.

And not every GM is up to that task.

We'd certainly include content warnings as appropriate, and my hope/plan would be to also include more GM advice than normal for an adventure on how to run an evil campaign, but... I'm also pretty sure that now isn't the right time for that story. Which is why I'm interested in seeing how this much shorter one-session Red Mantis adventure plays out once it's released. If folks enjoy it, then that'd help make the decision to go into a deeper story about them. If folks see it as a bad move, then there might be a sea-change to present the Red Mantis Assassins only as foes for your PCs to fight against.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Have you ever had an idea that was 'just' on the cusp of becoming a reality but your Muse was 'on strike'/couldn't find that 'last little bit' then someone else at the office goes "EUREEKA!" and outlines a whole project based roughly on what you were doing but a lot better?

Yes. Often. That's the benefit of having an office environment for a creative endeavor like this.

A simple, easy example is Pharasma.

She's a deity I exported/sold to Paizo, among many others, from my homebrew, but in my homebrew her name was "Turthonir." That name, in retrospect, is a tangle and has an unpleasant mouth-feel, so when (I believe it was) James Sutter came up with the name "Pharasma" for her, that was a moment of Eureka for me in that it's such a great name that that's her name in my head forever.

Sovereign Court

James Jacobs wrote:
Hopefully I'll get to do that Adventure Path where the PCs are Red Mantis assassins... but my idea for them is going to lean in hard on the lawful evil part of them. I'm not interested in softening the evil for them, so that's a tricky sort of thing to approach as far as a tabletop RPG adventure is concerned. It's probably better suited toward non-interactive entertainment like a novel, or curated interactive entertainment like a solo video game.

Emphasis mine

O_O

That would be an absolute blockbuster! I can imagine the promo cut-scenes... the art... the storylines involving being part of such brotherhood and the friendships and betrayals one has to endure being part of this organization... oh... Star Wars Battlefront II comes to mind, where the main campaign mode storyline has you start as one of the Empire's elite commandos... :)

Do you have other video game idea gems like this in your mind, and if so, do you want / can you share? :)


Is Blood Lords a “trial run” for how well the 2e community might like an Evil AP?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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keftiu wrote:
Is Blood Lords a “trial run” for how well the 2e community might like an Evil AP?

Nope. Again, it's not an evil Adventure Path, no more so than Skull & Shackles was. It's an Adventure Path where evil PCs will work fine, but it doesn't require it.

That said, it might well inform the appetite folks have for challenging storylines that aren't overwhelmingly about good vs. evil.

EDIT: THAT that said... I'm not the one developing or creating this Adventure Path. That'd be Ron Lundeen, so he'd be the one to ask for more details—but keep in mind that we're still many months away from the Adventure Path's release date so for now, there's not too much more we can say about it beyond what we've said in the announcement seminars from Gen Con.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Hopefully I'll get to do that Adventure Path where the PCs are Red Mantis assassins... but my idea for them is going to lean in hard on the lawful evil part of them. I'm not interested in softening the evil for them, so that's a tricky sort of thing to approach as far as a tabletop RPG adventure is concerned. It's probably better suited toward non-interactive entertainment like a novel, or curated interactive entertainment like a solo video game.

Emphasis mine

O_O

That would be an absolute blockbuster! I can imagine the promo cut-scenes... the art... the storylines involving being part of such brotherhood and the friendships and betrayals one has to endure being part of this organization... oh... Star Wars Battlefront II comes to mind, where the main campaign mode storyline has you start as one of the Empire's elite commandos... :)

Do you have other video game idea gems like this in your mind, and if so, do you want / can you share? :)

By "Curated interactive entertainment like a solo video game" I mean solo RPGs that aren't MMOs. In games like this, you can have a HUGE range of choice for how your story plays out, and there can be a wide range of possible ways to reach the end, but it's all authored. It's not left to the crowd to drive the narrative (as in an MMO), or to a customer to present the story (as in a tabletop RPG).

Sovereign Court

PS: I was only mentioning Battlefront II for the storyline (I see the Empire as a Lawful Evil organization) but I have zero preference for the type of video game it would be. I'd be a happy customer whether it's the usual Owlcat delicacy or a full-blown action thing like Assassin's Creed.

Which brings up another question I've had in my mind for a while. Has Paizo considered other video game genres to use their IP with?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:

PS: I was only mentioning Battlefront II for the storyline (I see the Empire as a Lawful Evil organization) but I have zero preference for the type of video game it would be. I'd be a happy customer whether it's the usual Owlcat delicacy or a full-blown action thing like Assassin's Creed.

Which brings up another question I've had in my mind for a while. Has Paizo considered other video game genres to use their IP with?

Yes. We also tend to be very picky about who we grant licenses to for video games. But I for one would LOVE to see a video game set in Golarion that follows along with the traditions established by the Dark Souls game, for one thing.

And honestly, the less a video game has to do with trying to duplicate the rules and focuses more on the lore of the setting, the less tricky that gets since OGL concerns go away.


Hello Mr. Jacobs. I'm a big fan of Golarion and this is my first time posting here.

I'm trying to get a grasp on Alignment as it works in Golarion. (Fundamental forces of the universe vs the subjective morality we see in the real world.) Are there any real-world examples of an uncontroversially evil (not Evil) person that wouldn't fall into the category of Evil in Golarion? I'm not asking for any specific examples if that would step too far into uncomfortable territory. A simple Yes or No would be more than enough for me.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Haighter wrote:

Hello Mr. Jacobs. I'm a big fan of Golarion and this is my first time posting here.

I'm trying to get a grasp on Alignment as it works in Golarion. (Fundamental forces of the universe vs the subjective morality we see in the real world.) Are there any real-world examples of an uncontroversially evil (not Evil) person that wouldn't fall into the category of Evil in Golarion? I'm not asking for any specific examples if that would step too far into uncomfortable territory. A simple Yes or No would be more than enough for me.

Yay, welcome to the boards and to this thread!

Alignment's a tricky topic to cover—the internet has long hosted debates over how alignment works, and in my experience, relating it to real-life events and actions is fraught with peril.

All of the real world examples of "uncontroversially evil" people, to me, would also be evil in Golarion. And in fact, to present such a character in a game and not portray them as evil would be an evil act in and of itself.

The problem is that there's no such thing as "uncontroversially evil" in the real world. There's always someone willing to argue that someone wasn't evil, it seems. (And again, to me, if someone argues that a person I believe is/was evil wasn't evil, then that doesn't change my opinion of that evil person—it just makes me assume that the person arguing the point is ALSO one of two things: evil or ignorant. Or maybe both.)


James Jacobs wrote:
The problem is that there's no such thing as "uncontroversially evil" in the real world.

I suppose I should have written "least controversially evil." Nonetheless, thanks for answering.

Which of the publically announced books/projects for Pathfinder are you most anticipating? I personally can't wait to get my hands on Guns & Gears.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Haighter wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The problem is that there's no such thing as "uncontroversially evil" in the real world.

I suppose I should have written "least controversially evil." Nonetheless, thanks for answering.

Which of the publically announced books/projects for Pathfinder are you most anticipating? I personally can't wait to get my hands on Guns & Gears.

That's a weird question for me, since the books themselves are available to me as PDFs months before they're published, so I have to look well beyond things like Guns & Gears at this point to content that's well into 2022... not all of which has been announced, so it's sort of a minefield for me to navigate those things.

I also feel weird picking out "most" anythings because then folks who worked hard on the projects I don't name might feel left out.

It's kind of like how a parent might react when asked which of their children is their favorite. They might indeed have a favorite, but it's not cool to say which one out loud. :-P


James Jacobs wrote:
I also feel weird picking out "most" anythings because then folks who worked hard on the projects I don't name might feel left out.

Yeah, I realize now how tough of a question that is. Apologies.

I saw an earlier post where you explained that the Milani of your homebrew setting is more like Shelyn (at least I believe it was Shelyn), and that made me very curious. What other deities in Golarion that came from your homebrew have had their role/areas of concern changed? Obviously not asking for an exhaustive list.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Haighter wrote:
I saw an earlier post where you explained that the Milani of your homebrew setting is more like Shelyn (at least I believe it was Shelyn), and that made me very curious. What other deities in Golarion that came from your homebrew have had their role/areas of concern changed? Obviously not asking for an exhaustive list.

Hmmmmm...

I've mentioned before that Pharasma had a name change (from Turthonir in my homebrew), but otherwise she's pretty much the same.

Rovagug in my homebrew is the god of nightmares and the underworld, while Obox-ob was the big-bad end of the world destroyer deity in my homebrew. Since Obox-ob got "sold off" to D&D back when I was doing work on that game, I promoted him to the destroyer role in Pathifnder, and his appearance changed from a constantly transforming distortion of a humanoid figure into a more vermin-like creature (akin to Obox-ob).

Zon-Kuthon is mostly the same except that the relationship with Shelyn was brand new and invented for Golarion.

Ovonovo was more of an octopus type monster/deity and turned into a shark demon.

Shamira was a MUCH more powerful goddess of evil and got demoted to a nascent demon lord.

Abadar, Desna, Erastil, Gorum, Norgorber, Sarenrae, and Urgathoa all pretty much stayed the same, as did Achaekek, Cyth-V'sug, Ghlaunder, Groetus, Kurgess, Menxyr, Nhimbaloth, Nightripper, Sivanah, Treerazer, Xhamen-Dor, Yamasoth, Ydersius, and Zyphus. I might have missed a few, but that's the majority of them.


Was the map of the Inner Sea based on your homebrew setting or was it a largely original design for Pathfinder?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Haighter wrote:
Was the map of the Inner Sea based on your homebrew setting or was it a largely original design for Pathfinder?

Nope; the Inner Sea map is 100% original design for Pathfinder.


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

Is prophecy still a real force in Golarion, but an unreliable one, or is prophecy just nonexistent after Aroden's death? There are characters like Magdh or Groetus that seem to indicate that the world bends toward some kind of fate, and mechanics as well (Read Fate spell and Chosen One background). I wasn't sure whether the intended idea was: prophecy is straight-up dead, or prophecy is now malleable.

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Opsylum wrote:
Is prophecy still a real force in Golarion, but an unreliable one, or is prophecy just nonexistent after Aroden's death? There are characters like Magdh or Groetus that seem to indicate that the world bends toward some kind of fate, and mechanics as well (Read Fate spell and Chosen One background). I wasn't sure whether the intended idea was: prophecy is straight-up dead, or prophecy is now malleable.

It's not a thing. Because it robs agency of players.

That's the difference between a story told by a single author, where the author can control the whole thing, and a tabletop RPG, where the story is told by a group of individuals.

Prophecies are the ultimate railroad.

Radiant Oath

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

Demon lords needing to be killed twice before a year has passed to be permanently slain is well-known, but do other powerful outsiders like Empyreal Lords or Monitor Demigods operate on a similar structure, or is that two deaths thing unique to the Abyss?


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Hi James,
I recently discovered that the stories of Rhoswen(Queen of the Fellnight) and Nyrissa(Queen of Forgotten Time) have high similarities, such as their similar appearance, both being Sorcerers skilled in plant magic, both claiming to be the new Elders of the First World, both being exiled by other Elders to a realm adjacent to the Material Plane, and so on.
What's more interesting is that Rhoswen was punished by the Eldest for her use of shadow magic, which is reminiscent of Count Ranalc, and according to Kingmaker(1st edition), Nyrissa also seems to be acquainted with Count Ranalc. All this makes me wonder if Rhoswen and Nyrissa have a deep connection, like, mother and daughter? And, will we see more about them in Kingmaker(2nd edition)?


Secrets of Magic wrote:
The world is full of shadows, but each living creature possesses a form of inner light to ward against that ever-present darkness… all except shadowcasters. By trading away that piece of their spirit, shadowcasters have removed a limiter, allowing them to gain magical power rooted in the darkness; however, this trade also exposes them to otherworldly whispers from the realms of shadow.

What exactly is that "inner light"? I'm assuming it's not literally light, but it also doesn't seem like it's part of the soul (though amputating a part of your soul for power does seem pretty thematic).


Who takes over the rule of Versex after the events of Strange Aeons?


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Was there much oversight by Paizo developers on the production of Wrath of the Righteous? There's a lot of retconned and... Weird lore interpretation in it. Like making Drow have black skin again and bringing back the Dark Fate or whatever it's called.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Demon lords needing to be killed twice before a year has passed to be permanently slain is well-known, but do other powerful outsiders like Empyreal Lords or Monitor Demigods operate on a similar structure, or is that two deaths thing unique to the Abyss?

If they do those rules would be in their stat blocks, but I didn't build the original stats for the empyreal lords or monitor demigods, so whoever did might not have realized the need for those sorts of mechanics.

But yes. Demigods are powerful, and that means that they should all have some sort of method to recover from death and defeat. That helps to explain why a creature with a stat block might have remained in power over the course of thousands or even tens of thousands of years.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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crape myrtle wrote:

Hi James,

I recently discovered that the stories of Rhoswen(Queen of the Fellnight) and Nyrissa(Queen of Forgotten Time) have high similarities, such as their similar appearance, both being Sorcerers skilled in plant magic, both claiming to be the new Elders of the First World, both being exiled by other Elders to a realm adjacent to the Material Plane, and so on.
What's more interesting is that Rhoswen was punished by the Eldest for her use of shadow magic, which is reminiscent of Count Ranalc, and according to Kingmaker(1st edition), Nyrissa also seems to be acquainted with Count Ranalc. All this makes me wonder if Rhoswen and Nyrissa have a deep connection, like, mother and daughter? And, will we see more about them in Kingmaker(2nd edition)?

That's a case of parallel development...

Spoiler:
...with the Adventure Path (run at the time by me) and the module line (run by someone else) being done at the same time, further complicated by the fact that the nature of the RPG Superstar competition tended to reward contestants who were really observant and insightful in picking out likely future adventure plots from hints we dropped at conventions and by reading between lines on messageboard posts or noting when we foreshadowed stuff in print. By the 3rd or 4th RPG Superstar competition it got to be such a problem with contestants pitching adventures that we already had similar stories planned in the near future that we had to have me step in to do a vetting process before the final adventures were published, so that I could say "This is good, go for it" or "This is too close to an upcoming project, do something else."

In any event, I do recall being pretty frustrated at how closely that particular adventure ended up being to the massive adventure path project I had been working on for a long time, and had to do some horse-trading with the module developers and the like to try to make sure that the two stories were different enough.

(You can see another example of this happening later on with two adventures–Ire of the Storm (an adventure we had in the works) and Seers of the Drowned Ciy (an RPG Superstar adventure) clashing really hard and being parallel developed to the extent that I had to do some significant revision to some of the plot points in the later adventure and we had to kind of muddle out a last-minute "these can be part of a series" bit of advice in Seers of the Drowned City.)

But in the end, those two stories (Fellnight Queen and Kingmaker) are not intended to be connected, and there's no element of the Fellnight Queen at all in either version of Kingmaker. The two characters (Nyrissa and Rhoswen) have no connection unless a GM decides to change things in their game.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Who takes over the rule of Versex after the events of Strange Aeons?

I have no idea. I was going to be the devleoper for Strange Aeons and created the initial outline, but then I got taken off that project to work on the Curse of the Crimson Throne hardcover, so the direction Adam Daigle took that Adventure Path is not well known to me. Haven't put any thought into this thing, and indeed, this is the first I've heard that Versex needs a new ruler.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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SOLDIER-1st wrote:
Secrets of Magic wrote:
The world is full of shadows, but each living creature possesses a form of inner light to ward against that ever-present darkness… all except shadowcasters. By trading away that piece of their spirit, shadowcasters have removed a limiter, allowing them to gain magical power rooted in the darkness; however, this trade also exposes them to otherworldly whispers from the realms of shadow.
What exactly is that "inner light"? I'm assuming it's not literally light, but it also doesn't seem like it's part of the soul (though amputating a part of your soul for power does seem pretty thematic).

As with Strange Aeons, I wasn't super involved in Secrets of Magic that much, other than to approve the initial outline and to give some quick reads of the project while also scrambling to build the Kingmaker hardcover (seeing a pattern emerging here...).

My take: The "inner light" is poetry for "soul" or "life force."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Grankless wrote:
Was there much oversight by Paizo developers on the production of Wrath of the Righteous? There's a lot of retconned and... Weird lore interpretation in it. Like making Drow have black skin again and bringing back the Dark Fate or whatever it's called.

We approved the basics of the main plotline, did a lot of work on the backer-submitted quests trying to thread the needle between backers wanting to use D&D lore in a Pathfinder game but also wanting to let the backers, who paid money for the privlige, to be satisfied that they were getting their money's worth in being able to design elements of the game, and did approvals for all of the portrait artwork that shows up in the game.

But no, there was pretty much zero oversight by any Paizo developers on the details of the game, because we didn't have the time or resources to devote to such a huge undertaking. Part of what makes a game like this possible is NOT taking a deep level of micromanagement over the process, because that would have only slowed things down. Significantly.

So we had to trust Owlcat to handle the conversion well, and I think that they did a pretty great job overall. My understanding is that the drow element you speak of was a backer-submitted quest that we/I should have pushed back on harder, but it was the less egregious of the ones that needed a lot of me saying "no, you can't do this even though you paid to be able to do it" because some of the other backer-submitted quests were using copyrighted material from D&D. So I had to pick my battles.

And in the end, while we're in the process of revising and reimagining the role and appearance of drow in the game, that process is for the 2nd edition of the game. Wrath of the Righteous is from 1st edition, so the creators used the lore we published as support and that's pretty much that.

It does point to my frustrations in how we haven't had a legitimate method of conveying errata to lore for the duration of 1st edition though.

But in the end, the "weird lore interpreations" you see in that game are the result of it being an Owlcat game and not a Paizo game. We let them do their thing, by and large, and they do a great job at it, but just as a game your GM might run from an Adventure Path we might publish will have adjustments to the lore, same thing here.

I do think that most of the lore in the game is rock solid. Owlcat does an amazing job with it, overall, and I am quite happy with how it turned out. But yeah... the amount of dialogue and story and lore in a game like Wrath of the Righteous consists of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of words, and we'd need a dozen or so more staff members if we were going to do a fine-toothed-comb approval pass of everything, and I strongly feel that such a method of obsessive control over the process by Paizo would not only have delayed the video game by years, but would have resulted in a much less satisfying game and might not have ever come out at all.

Licensing is a collaboration, and a huge part of that is knowing when to let the person or group you're collaborating with take charge of things.


I am currently running the Second Darkness AP converted to P2.

Without asking you to rewrite an entire AP issue in your answer, do you have any suggestions (broad strokes really) on how to rewrite or remove the Dark Fate from the A Memory of Darkness?

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Kelseus wrote:

I am currently running the Second Darkness AP converted to P2.

Without asking you to rewrite an entire AP issue in your answer, do you have any suggestions (broad strokes really) on how to rewrite or remove the Dark Fate from the A Memory of Darkness?

I wouldn't. I actually quite like the idea of the transformation of elf to drow as a result of corruption from evil source; it plays in well to how elves already change as a result of living for centuries in specific environments. The idea that elves can change into something different if evil does the same to them is not the problem.

The gross part is the element that "black = evil" which is what makes drow so inappropriate, and is further just a fundamental bit of linguistic awfulness that's baked into the vernacular.

By presenting the drow in your game as having lavender skin, as we do in 2nd edition, you start to step away from that whole thing.

But also, I'd suggest re-naming the process by which an elf transforms into a drow to avoid the word "dark" entirely. (In fact, it's great advice overall to try to avoid using "dark" and "black" as synonyms for evil in ALL writing. As a specific example, in Kingmaker I've renamed all "black market" phrasings to "illicit market".)

Off the top of my head, some suggestions for a new name:

Fiend Fate
The Change
The Corrupt Call
The Deep Curse


I have some doubts regarding Nyrissa and Nymphs.

According to Archives of Nethys (2e) nymphs are a family of fey, which means every nymph is also classified as a dryad, naiad, hesperid, etc.

1) Nyrissa seems to be, because of the way she looks, a dryad. And because of how powerful she is, a Hamadryad. Is this correct? Or is she her own kind of nymph, because of how unique she is? Same thing regarding the defaced nymphs, as they're also only described as nymphs.

2) And related to this; Nymph Queens are said to rule over entire regions and not be dependant on their wards. But also to be intrinsically tied to a specific region, their health influencing their warded region's health. Does that mean Queens can move out of their region, and "intrinsically tied" meaning the wellbeing of the region is tied to that of the Queen? (like Nyrissa and the event with the unicorn in Kingmaker book 1). Same thing regarding the defaced nymphs being found in a non natural location.


2nd Edition
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The Major Curse of the Lore Oracle says that you cannot communicate "with your allies" Is this verbal communication? Can you speak to your enemies? Can you Nod yes or No?

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Finrod Felagund wrote:


I have some doubts regarding Nyrissa and Nymphs.

According to Archives of Nethys (2e) nymphs are a family of fey, which means every nymph is also classified as a dryad, naiad, hesperid, etc.

1) Nyrissa seems to be, because of the way she looks, a dryad. And because of how powerful she is, a Hamadryad. Is this correct? Or is she her own kind of nymph, because of how unique she is? Same thing regarding the defaced nymphs, as they're also only described as nymphs.

2) And related to this; Nymph Queens are said to rule over entire regions and not be dependant on their wards. But also to be intrinsically tied to a specific region, their health influencing their warded region's health. Does that mean Queens can move out of their region, and "intrinsically tied" meaning the wellbeing of the region is tied to that of the Queen? (like Nyrissa and the event with the unicorn in Kingmaker book 1). Same thing regarding the defaced nymphs being found in a non natural location.

Nymphs changed roles between editions. In 1st edition, they were river/nature spirits, and Nyrissa was presented visually as a nature spirit instead of a naked elf because of reasons I hope is obvious. That design choice informed how we presented nymphs in 2nd edition (although we weren't fast enough to implement these changes fully in the first Bestiary artwork alas).

In 2nd edition, "Nymph" is a category of fey that encompasses ALL of these nature spirits; there's no longer a specific individual creature called a "nymph" in 2nd edition, in the same way there's no single specific "demon" or "angel." Dryads are a type of nymph now.

1) Nyrissa is still a nymph. In particular, she is a unique "variant nymph queen" in the new edition of Kingmaker, so she's 100% her own thing. The defaced nymphs are "defaced naiad queens" in the 2nd edition product, and since naiads are a type of nymph, you can still call them "defaced nymphs" and be accurate.

2) Nyrissa is a unique character not bound by the typical nymph rules, but is instead bound into a bunch of other things involving the Eldest of the First World. You'll need to wait for next spring, I guess, to get the full details of the current state of what she is and how her history works. I'm not gonna "spoil" that here. ;-)

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The Inheritor wrote:

2nd Edition

-
The Major Curse of the Lore Oracle says that you cannot communicate "with your allies" Is this verbal communication? Can you speak to your enemies? Can you Nod yes or No?

You'll need to ask the designers. I didn't work on that.

That said, if you were a player in a game I was running, I'd say that communication includes ALL forms of communication with allies. Including nodding yes or no. And you can talk all you want to your enemies.

If they meant that it shut down verbal communication, they would have said that. They didn't so I have to assume it means ALL communication.

Silver Crusade

What would Hodags taste like?

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Rysky wrote:
What would Hodags taste like?

Bitter fizzy leather.


I asked elsewhere, and was sent here!

So, speaking of Ustalav (as we were clearly all doing here :V ),

Spoiler for Carrion Crown:

If Count Caromarc officially acknowledges the Beast as his son, does that mean that the Beast (if it "survives") inherits the title of "Count" from Caromarc?

Alternatively, if Caromarc adopts anyone, would they inherit said title?

It is acknowledged that Caromarc is no longer ruler of Vieland, despite his title, but said title could well be valuable in the larger politics of Ustalav - but I suppose it fundamentally depends on Ustalav inheritance laws. Can a construct even inherit things, legally, since it isn't alive? Undead certainly do inherit things, but it's not necessarily known that they're undead when they do, outside of their own highly specific and limited circles, so that doesn't really clear it up for me.

And can Caromarc bequeath his title at all, given the whole... situation in the Palatinates?

It's kind of four questions (which might break your preference), but I wasn't sure how to break up the presentation without spamming, as they're all tied directly to the same set of things.

Please feel free to re-frame or clarify whatever if the questions themselves are somehow in error or failing to grasp the situation. Thanks in advance!


Also, how many tails might a nogitsune have?

(I'd be curious how many tales one might have as well, but that would likely be even more individualized than the first answer!)

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Tacticslion wrote:

I asked elsewhere, and was sent here!

So, speaking of Ustalav (as we were clearly all doing here :V ),

** spoiler omitted **

It's kind of four questions (which might break your preference), but I wasn't sure how to break up the presentation without spamming, as they're all tied directly to the same set of things.

Please feel free to re-frame or clarify whatever if the questions themselves are somehow in error or failing to grasp the situation. Thanks in advance!

I only developed the first volume of Carrion Crown—it was created by Wes Schneider and the rest of it developed by him, so I don't have a very strong idea about the nitty-gritty of it and, in fact, haven't read anything beyond the first volume, so I don't have any insights to share here. I also am not ready to start laying down canon decisions here, but I can confirm that it's not impossible for a construct or undead to inherit something, depending on the wording of the will or the laws of the land.

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Tacticslion wrote:

Also, how many tails might a nogitsune have?

(I'd be curious how many tales one might have as well, but that would likely be even more individualized than the first answer!)

We've been pretty lax on quantifying tail counts for kitsune and nogitsune overall, with the tail count kinda being random. How many tails? That would depend on the combination of what the developer asked for in the art brief and what the artist felt they had time or inspiration to depict.


Hello! New here (and from Spain; sorry for my English), but full of gratefulness for your work, creating Pathfinder in first place, and for your answers here (i've read more or less the 40 first pages and some random others, including the lasts xD).
I'm not sure if you can answer to rules. So, if you can't... well; you'll write that you can't xD but let's try:
1st Edition; Sorcerers, skill class "Heavenly Fire (Sp)".
You can use it with evil creatures; a ranged touch attack that deals damage; ok.
But you can use it too with good creatures; and there are no rules about ranged touch vs allies.
A touch spell is automatic; you don't need to make an attack; but a ranged touch attack?
You have that Skill (heavenly fire) and a feat in the Advanced Player's Guide (Reach Spell-Metamagic) that approach this topic. And there aren't any rules about it.
Can you hit automatically with the Sorcerer skill to your friends? I suppose you need to do a ranged touch attack, but then... at what AC? 10? The touch AC of your friend? he wouldn't use Dex modifier to evade the ray. And the rest of the modifiers? Luck?? xD Circumstance? alchemical? inherent? morale? racial? insight? dodge? deflection? competence?
If he wants to be actively hit, shouldn't the Dex modifier be -5?
Sorry for this weird question; i find really difficult to play here, in my town and, after 3 years without any game, i finally convinced my friends this last july and it's the very first time we play Pathfinder- - They didn't want to, until now... and surprisingly, after 3 years of NOTHING, they agreed and i started my very 1st Adventure Path as Master. So, i am learning and finding a lot of things and minor details... But i haven't found any response to that question in any place since july... So, today (now it's 2.35am here) i've decided to try with You (and You is in capital, because i feel that it's a real honor to write youthis way...). I don't know if you can answer this; i know you can give answer to rules; but Pathfinder is in 2nd Ed, this question doesn't have an official answer and at least, i would appreciate your "house rule" if you cannot give an official answer.
Thanks again... it's an honor to write here... ^^U
(And again, sorry for my english ^^U).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Haides wrote:

Hello! New here (and from Spain; sorry for my English), but full of gratefulness for your work, creating Pathfinder in first place, and for your answers here (i've read more or less the 40 first pages and some random others, including the lasts xD).

I'm not sure if you can answer to rules. So, if you can't... well; you'll write that you can't xD but let's try:
1st Edition; Sorcerers, skill class "Heavenly Fire (Sp)".
You can use it with evil creatures; a ranged touch attack that deals damage; ok.
But you can use it too with good creatures; and there are no rules about ranged touch vs allies.
A touch spell is automatic; you don't need to make an attack; but a ranged touch attack?
You have that Skill (heavenly fire) and a feat in the Advanced Player's Guide (Reach Spell-Metamagic) that approach this topic. And there aren't any rules about it.
Can you hit automatically with the Sorcerer skill to your friends? I suppose you need to do a ranged touch attack, but then... at what AC? 10? The touch AC of your friend? he wouldn't use Dex modifier to evade the ray. And the rest of the modifiers? Luck?? xD Circumstance? alchemical? inherent? morale? racial? insight? dodge? deflection? competence?
If he wants to be actively hit, shouldn't the Dex modifier be -5?
Sorry for this weird question; i find really difficult to play here, in my town and, after 3 years without any game, i finally convinced my friends this last july and it's the very first time we play Pathfinder- - They didn't want to, until now... and surprisingly, after 3 years of NOTHING, they agreed and i started my very 1st Adventure Path as Master. So, i am learning and finding a lot of things and minor details... But i haven't found any response to that question in any place since july... So, today (now it's 2.35am here) i've decided to try with You (and You is in capital, because i feel that it's a real honor to write youthis way...). I don't know if you can answer this; i know you can give answer to rules; but Pathfinder is in 2nd...

Hi there; thanks for the question! Alas, I'm not answering rules questions here, since that tends to cause confusion as to whether it's official errata or not. But that said, if an ally wants you to touch them to deliver a spell or anything, my personal take is that you don't need to roll in most cases where the ally is able to be touched. Makes the game easier that way.

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