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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
ANebulousMistress wrote:
Actually, that's a good question. Is the Rise of the Runelords hardcover shiny?

Since it doesn't exist yet... I can't say for sure...

But it'll at least look as shiny as our other hardcovers! I'll look into the possibility of making it even shinier.

Personally, as far as cover go, I prefer a matte finish.

I even prefer high quality not coated paper (I hope it is the right term in English) to coated paper has it has better long term survivability.
The coating is generally water soluble and if it get wet it can lose the coating, becoming very susceptible to damage.
If, for some reason, the book get wet and it is not immediately dried and the pages separated with absorbent paper there is a high risk of them ending glued together by the coating.

As we all know incidents with beverages aren't a unknown event while playing and using a book with a weak Saving Throw against them isn't the best option for me.

I doubt I will convince anyone, but it is worth a try. ;)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As you are the creator, what is the actual size of a starknife?
The core rulebook don't give a description, looking the illustrations in different products I would say about the size of a small shiled (4-5 inches central handle and 10-12 inches blades or so), but some poster think that the whole weapon is only slightly larger than a fist.

Maybe it would be a good idea to add to the weapon description in the next errata of the Core rulebook.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No question here, but this is rad.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

aridun64 wrote:

I am not sure if this has even been answered since it was last asked. I am highly interested in a Gun Mage Archetype for the Magus class ever since seeing the new gun rules listed in Ultimate Combat.

The closest ive come is the Iron Kingdoms version that I and several other players have tried to convert using the pathfinder conversion rules. An official answer to this would be helpful as my DM is a stickler for official products and answers

Unfortunately, you'll likely never see us do an "Official" conversion of something from Iron Kingdoms. This is a GREAT example of something you should seek out other rules experts on these boards for advice on.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shoggothic wrote:

James,

Will there be an updated set of RotR Gamemastery Item Cards to go along with the 'RotR' anniversary release?

Also, will the Eel's Skull and/or the Temple of The Ravenous Moon dungeon sites be featured in the S&S AP?

Nope... the hardcover will be the same adventure, with the same treasures pretty much. No need to "update" the item card set at all, as a result.

Neither Eel's Skull or the Temple of the Ravenous Moon will appear in Skull & Shackles.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Diego Rossi wrote:

As you are the creator, what is the actual size of a starknife?

The core rulebook don't give a description, looking the illustrations in different products I would say about the size of a small shiled (4-5 inches central handle and 10-12 inches blades or so), but some poster think that the whole weapon is only slightly larger than a fist.

Maybe it would be a good idea to add to the weapon description in the next errata of the Core rulebook.

A starknife is certainly larger than a fist. Each blade is about the size of a dagger, with the central handle being about the diameter of a dagger's handle.

A full on description isn't gonna happen as errata, since that would force the word flow for the chapter to change and would force us to delete something else later in that chapter to account for it. And that type of tinkering when something's not technically broken in the first place is not only needless, but actually kind of dangerous—there's a LOT of opportunity to introduce new layout errors making that kind of change.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

buzzby wrote:

No question here, but this is rad.

Agreed.

Especially when you remember how the coelacanth is still alive today...


Concerning Erastil:

1) Did Erastil start as a god, or did he ascend to godhood later on? Was he once mortal? Was he an archon?

2) Did Erastil participate in the fight with Rovagug? If not, did he exist at that time? If he existed at the time but stayed out of the fight, why?

3) Is Erastil a widower? If he's a bachelor, why? In light of what he stands for, Erastil not having a wife himself strikes me as unusual. While gods don't normally take spouses, he seems the sort to do that anyways.

I recently wrote up a cleric of Erastil, and had those questions after reading his Gods & Magic entry and the article in Rivers Run Red. I found the parts in the article about (a) Erastil discussing the other gods like they're his siblings or rowdy neighbors and (b) how Erastil will sometimes send high-end servants in response to a low level Summon Monster spell (compensating for his clerics normally not adventuring and therefore being too low level to cast planar ally), to be really nice touches.

Thank you.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zhangar wrote:

Concerning Erastil:

1) Did Erastil start as a god, or did he ascend to godhood later on? Was he once mortal? Was he an archon?

2) Did Erastil participate in the fight with Rovagug? If not, did he exist at that time? If he existed at the time but stayed out of the fight, why?

3) Is Erastil a widower? If he's a bachelor, why? In light of what he stands for, Erastil not having a wife himself strikes me as unusual. While gods don't normally take spouses, he seems the sort to do that anyways.

I recently wrote up a cleric of Erastil, and had those questions after reading his Gods & Magic entry and the article in Rivers Run Red. I found the parts in the article about (a) Erastil discussing the other gods like they're his siblings or rowdy neighbors and (b) how Erastil will sometimes send high-end servants in response to a low level Summon Monster spell (compensating for his clerics normally not adventuring and therefore being too low level to cast planar ally), to be really nice touches.

Thank you.

Beyond what Sean said about Erastil in his article in "Rivers Run Red," we haven't said much more about Erastil yet. I haven't done MUCH additional thought about him, so I reserve the right to some day backpedal on the answers I give below (and indeed, may already have said different things already about him).

1) Erastil started as a god. He did not ascend to his position from a lesser being, either mortal (as in the case of Iomedae or Norgorber or Irori) or immortal (as in the case of Lamashtu or Asmodeus or Sarenrae).

2) Erastil did not participate in the fight with Rovagug. That was before his time. He came about at a later date—I'm guessing at some point during the end of the Age of Darkness as the Ulfen people were finally organizing and getting civilized.

3) Erastil is indeed a bachelor—he sort of regards the other gods as his family, but does not himself have a wife. The reasons WHY a god of "family" doesn't have an actual family of his own is certainly interesting, but it's not something we've explored yet.


James,

In Golarion, when the spell Lower Water is cast, are the affected water molecules compressed to take up less space, is the water temporarily displaced to some pocket dimension, does it simply lower the water table in the affected area and raise it elsewhere to compensate, or is it teleported to fill the toilets at Paizo?

Also, continuing our conversation with regards to the value of currency in Golarion, is there a mark-up for the standard exchange rate of copper to silver, silver to gold, or gold to platinum? In other words, is it typical for moneychangers/banks to charge a percentage or flat fee for exchanging one type of metal coin for another?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Shoggothic wrote:

James,

In Golarion, when the spell Lower Water is cast, are the affected water molecules compressed to take up less space, is the water temporarily displaced to some pocket dimension, does it simply lower the water table in the affected area and raise it elsewhere to compensate, or is it teleported to fill the toilets at Paizo?

Also, continuing our conversation with regards to the value of currency in Golarion, is there a mark-up for the standard exchange rate of copper to silver, silver to gold, or gold to platinum? In other words, is it typical for moneychangers/banks to charge a percentage or flat fee for exchanging one type of metal coin for another?

It's magic. It doesn't need to interact with science.

The water is simply lowered, and what happens to the water to MAKE it lower doesn't really matter.

As for moneychangers... while it might be "realistic" for them to charge a fee for exchanging one type of coin for the other, that type of micromanagement has NEVER, in my nearly 30 years of gaming experience, made a game more fun. It has almost ALWAYS made the game more annoying. Changing money is something that the players can handle on their own without needing the GM to roleplay through the exchange every single time, in my opinion.


James Jacobs wrote:
that type of micromanagement has NEVER, in my nearly 30 years of gaming experience, made a game more fun. It has almost ALWAYS made the game more annoying.

Okay, annoying role playing situations aside, how widely accepted are trade bars in Golarion? Are they accepted in large cities only or in specific nations?

Dark Archive

James since your a fan of Bards (my favourite Old School class for Long Campaigns) and the Cthulhu Mythos, would you please make brief comments on these threads?

Modern Badass Bard

Occupy Carcosa!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shoggothic wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
that type of micromanagement has NEVER, in my nearly 30 years of gaming experience, made a game more fun. It has almost ALWAYS made the game more annoying.
Okay, annoying role playing situations aside, how widely accepted are trade bars in Golarion? Are they accepted in large cities only or in specific nations?

They exist, I guess, but not so much that we really ever talk about them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

baron arem heshvaun wrote:

James since your a fan of Bards (my favourite Old School class for Long Campaigns) and the Cthulhu Mythos, would you please make brief comments on these threads?

Modern Badass Bard

Occupy Carcosa!

Answering questions on THIS thread takes up too much of my energy to spread out to other threads.


Why is it after a long day of writing I find I can't talk? I actually lose the ability to remember what spoken words mean.

Maybe the goblins are right! :O

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ANebulousMistress wrote:

Why is it after a long day of writing I find I can't talk? I actually lose the ability to remember what spoken words mean.

Maybe the goblins are right! :O

Try writing with your lips instead of your fingers, maybe?


How would YOU pronounce my handle?

And any chance you guys give preference to veterans when hiring... I'm kinda looking for something to do after the Army tells me I can't command a rocket and missle launching tank-like tracked vehicle anymore :)


James Jacobs wrote:
They exist, I guess, but not so much that we really ever talk about them.

Well, they exist in a very real sense as treasure in Night of Frozen Shadows. That's why I asked.

None of my questions are meant to bother you or waste your time. I ask because my group wants me to ask 'the man', whose adventures we have had the pleasure of killing our characters in, over the last decade.

Anyway, thanks for your time in answering my very real, but apparently trivial questions.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

As you are the creator, what is the actual size of a starknife?

The core rulebook don't give a description, looking the illustrations in different products I would say about the size of a small shiled (4-5 inches central handle and 10-12 inches blades or so), but some poster think that the whole weapon is only slightly larger than a fist.

Maybe it would be a good idea to add to the weapon description in the next errata of the Core rulebook.

A starknife is certainly larger than a fist. Each blade is about the size of a dagger, with the central handle being about the diameter of a dagger's handle.

A full on description isn't gonna happen as errata, since that would force the word flow for the chapter to change and would force us to delete something else later in that chapter to account for it. And that type of tinkering when something's not technically broken in the first place is not only needless, but actually kind of dangerous—there's a LOT of opportunity to introduce new layout errors making that kind of change.

There is a possible solution for that: you can add a page to the end of the book in the appendices (so that you keep the same page count) with the image of several weapons and other equipment and possibly a human figure and the legend: weapon an equipment, in scale.

It is a bit of a "brute force" solution, but it will work.

It came to me this morning while waking up, a sign that some section of my brain is thinking about this stuff even while sleeping.
You think I should be preoccupied? :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Concerning Erastil:

3) Is Erastil a widower? If he's a bachelor, why? In light of what he stands for, Erastil not having a wife himself strikes me as unusual. While gods don't normally take spouses, he seems the sort to do that anyways.

3) Erastil is indeed a bachelor—he sort of regards the other gods as his family, but does not himself have a wife. The reasons WHY a god of "family" doesn't have an actual family of his own is certainly interesting, but it's not something we've explored yet.

If I could suggest a reason:

- family harmony is important for him, so he is waiting for the right "person" to marry. Choosing a wife in a hurry would easily mean the wrong choice, especially as he hasn't older, wiser parents to suggest the right match, so he is careful as his choice will be for life and for a god that will be along, long time.
Being who and what he is he would never divorce.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Obakararuir wrote:

How would YOU pronounce my handle?

And any chance you guys give preference to veterans when hiring... I'm kinda looking for something to do after the Army tells me I can't command a rocket and missle launching tank-like tracked vehicle anymore :)

"mai HAN-del"

Ha. I'm funny.

ob-a-ka-RARE-err

As for hiring... we don't really give preference to anyone but awesome game designers, veterans or not. There's (thankfully) not a lot of call for Paizo to have someone who can launch missiles. Pretty much because we have you guys and gals out there keeping things safe FOR us! Keep on being awesome. And be SAFE! :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shoggothic wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
that type of micromanagement has NEVER, in my nearly 30 years of gaming experience, made a game more fun. It has almost ALWAYS made the game more annoying.
Okay, annoying role playing situations aside, how widely accepted are trade bars in Golarion? Are they accepted in large cities only or in specific nations?

I haven't notice trade bars in the equipment. Where they are (or you are using them from older products)?

I usually let the players exchange gems at face value as means to transport large sums and have the church of Adabar and some merchant house issue Letters of Credit.

Shoggothic wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
They exist, I guess, but not so much that we really ever talk about them.

Well, they exist in a very real sense as treasure in Night of Frozen Shadows. That's why I asked.

None of my questions are meant to bother you or waste your time. I ask because my group wants me to ask 'the man', whose adventures we have had the pleasure of killing our characters in, over the last decade.

Anyway, thanks for your time in answering my very real, but apparently trivial questions.

I see you have already replied, albeit indirectly. :)

Sorry for the post spam.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Shoggothic wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
They exist, I guess, but not so much that we really ever talk about them.

Well, they exist in a very real sense as treasure in Night of Frozen Shadows. That's why I asked.

None of my questions are meant to bother you or waste your time. I ask because my group wants me to ask 'the man', whose adventures we have had the pleasure of killing our characters in, over the last decade.

Anyway, thanks for your time in answering my very real, but apparently trivial questions.

Oh... don't get me wrong. I don't think your question was trivial OR a waste of time.

Trade bars aren't something we really have as part of the game... either as the core game or as Pathfinder, since most of what we do with the game is via the gold piece standard.

That said, trade bars ARE a neat way to give out treasure when giving out coins gets old.

It can never hurt, by the way, to cite books or sources when you ask questions. In the case of Night of Frozen Shadows... I've actually not been much of a part of that adventure. It was written by Greg and developed by Rob, so I was unaware that we'd put trade bars into it. I like that we did, though!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Diego Rossi wrote:

There is a possible solution for that: you can add a page to the end of the book in the appendices (so that you keep the same page count) with the image of several weapons and other equipment and possibly a human figure and the legend: weapon an equipment, in scale.

It is a bit of a "brute force" solution, but it will work.

It came to me this morning while waking up, a sign that some section of my brain is thinking about this stuff even while sleeping.
You think I should be preoccupied? :)

There's an even better solution—put that type of additional information into other books. Exact descriptions of a starknife might be helpful, but are they MORE helpful than anything else in the Core Rulebook? Maybe... maybe not.

But what we CAN do is publish other books, like the Campaign Setting, the Rise of the Runelords Players Guide (where we first introduced starknives over four years ago), Arms and Equipment, and perhaps the upcoming Ultimate Equipment Guide... all GREAT places for us to get super detailed on what new weapons like this are like.

Even adding that information to the end of the book would require us to reflow the words and adjust layout of text, in any case, and since the end of the book is in fact tighter than the equipment chapter... that solution would probably end up being HARDER to make work.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


There's an even better solution—put that type of additional information into other books. Exact descriptions of a starknife might be helpful, but are they MORE helpful than anything else in the Core Rulebook? Maybe... maybe not.

But what we CAN do is publish other books, like the Campaign Setting, the Rise of the Runelords Players Guide (where we first introduced starknives over four years ago), Arms and Equipment, and perhaps the upcoming Ultimate Equipment Guide... all GREAT places for us to get super detailed on what new weapons like this are like.

Even adding that information to the end of the book would require us to reflow the words and adjust layout of text, in any case, and since the end of the book is in fact tighter than the equipment chapter... that solution would probably end up being HARDER to make work.

The idea was to add it as the last page or so to make a minimal disruption in the flow of pages.

Checking the Core Rulebook I see the problem: 576 written pages are exactly 72 eights. Adding another one to add a page would be a waste.

For the non initiated, when you print something you count the number of pages produced by folding the original piece of paper before cutting it, generally to use all the printing surface the end product number of pages is a multiplier of that number, so you don't add a single page to a book, you add 8 or 16, depending on the size.

Well, I hope you will do something like my suggestion in a future product.
We DM/players are suckers for equipment books.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
Modern Badass Bard
Answering questions on THIS thread takes up too much of my energy to spread out to other threads.

That was a badass Bard picture though right?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
There's (thankfully) not a lot of call for Paizo to have someone who can launch missiles.

Not that that's been stopping the Post Monster General and Sara Marie, if I recall correctly. :D

Scarab Sages

James,

Which would you prefer: Sumo wrestling or midget wrestling?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aberzombie wrote:

James,

Which would you prefer: Sumo wrestling or midget wrestling?

Why not midget sumo wrestling?


Justin Franklin wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

James,

Which would you prefer: Sumo wrestling or midget wrestling?

Why not midget sumo wrestling?

+1

Scarab Sages

Justin Franklin wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

James,

Which would you prefer: Sumo wrestling or midget wrestling?

Why not midget sumo wrestling?

When you say it as "midget sumo" it sort of sounds kind of like "jumbo shrimp".


Hi James,

I would like to get your take on fudging vs hero points and your feelings about fudging in general.

I have searched through your responses to some other posts, and I get the feeling that you are not actually against fudging, but that you do prefer to use a hero point system when you are behind the screens. I also think that you prefer the story to take precedence over the dice, and I find that most GMs who are also writers feel that way.

Recently I was part of a thread about fudging, and I was quite bothered by the number of people who feel that a GM fudging the dice is basically cheating, lying, and an indication of a lack of moral fiber.

How do you feel about the “no fudging ever” GM? Would you play in that campaign?

How do you feel about a player who would rather have a TPK than have the DM fudge a die roll?

My players and I have agreed that I will only fudge to save a PC's life, and that is if the players cannot tell I am doing it – do you think is silly? Would they be better served by using hero points instead?

What about a GM who fudges to prevent the boss battle from ending badly – like a failed saving throw in the first round?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aberzombie wrote:

James,

Which would you prefer: Sumo wrestling or midget wrestling?

Both are equal in my eyes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Dren Everblack wrote:

Hi James,

I would like to get your take on fudging vs hero points and your feelings about fudging in general.

I absolutely prefer to use a hero point system—not the one we detail in the Advanced Player's Guide, though. My current preference is to use Plot Twist cards; give one to a PC each time he levels and each time he does something significant, then let him use the card at a point where, without the card, something bad would happen. But exactly HOW it pans out is left up to me, with some input by the player and the card.

This way, the players can't accuse the GM of "cheating" since, by playing their card in a dire situation, they're effectively ASKING the GM to cheat.

Beyond that, I AM a fan of allowing the GM to be dynamic, and to change the nature and balance of an encounter as it unfolds. If the GM realizes what he designed or set up was too tough or not tough enough, he should be able to change things to adjust to make the game more fun. I'm not a fan of simply faking die rolls or lying about the results you roll, and indeed I generally roll ALL of my dice right out in the open and don't use a GM screen ever.

But if you have an encounter that the PCs are smashing and it's supposed to be tough... I'm not adverse to changing a few monsters in the battle so that suddenly they have the Advanced template or maximum hit points. Or to having reinforcements or other new combatants enter the fray. Or to changing the environs of the encounter suddenly (having a wall collapse as a result of the battle and thus turning the place into difficult terrain, for example). I do try to incorporate these changes in so that, to the players, it FEELS like part of the story advancing (in the case of reinforcements or changes to the terrain), or without letting the PCs realize I changed anything at all (since they don't know the monster's stats, they have no way to know when something suddenly gets more hit points). And in the reverse, if things are TOO tough and it looks like it's gonna be a TPK... ESPECIALLY if said TPK is gonna happen because something I messed up in the design made the encounter too tough, I'm fine with having the bad guys make tactical mistakes, letting the PCs auto kill them at the last minute, having PC reinforcements show up, changing the terrain to favor the PCs, and so on. Again, in a way that it looks like it's part of the story. If there are plot twist cards, though... those are what the PCs need to use in a situation like that.

I think that allowing a GM to be versatile like this (and fudging die rolls is the simplest form of this versatility) is important, but MORE important is that the GM retains the players' trust. If I caught a GM fudging, I'd trust him less, and that'd be lame. But if I don't catch him fudging and the game is fun, I'm okay with it.

I think that a player preferring a TPK over a GM fudging a die roll is interesting... but unless ALL the players have this preference, I think that player's being disruptive to the flow of the game and needs to calm down and just deal with the fact that the GM isn't running the game exactly how that player might prefer.

Using hero points or plot twist cards is better than fudging, since that keeps the tension in the game. Hero points and plot twist cards are things the PLAYERS control, and even better, they're a limited resource. Agreeing to let the GM fudge in the case of imminent PC death is NOT a limited resource and it isn't in the players' control, which is kind of lame, I think.

A GM who fudges to prevent a boss battle from ending badly (for the boss, I assume) needs to grow up. Let the players have their unexpected sudden victories, because those are what memories are made of! My players STILL remember and brag about some of those types of wins (such as the time a wizard PC used polymorph any object to turn a demon lord into a brick), and that's really cool. More importantly, letting a player periodically end a big fight like that makes the players feel like they're ACTUALLY becoming more powerful. If every single fight is equally tough, be it a 1st level or a 20th level fight, what's the point of getting more powerful at all? Just stay 1st level where the rules are simpler!


James Jacobs wrote:
Obakararuir wrote:

How would YOU pronounce my handle?

And any chance you guys give preference to veterans when hiring... I'm kinda looking for something to do after the Army tells me I can't command a rocket and missle launching tank-like tracked vehicle anymore :)

"mai HAN-del"

Ha. I'm funny.

ob-a-ka-RARE-err

As for hiring... we don't really give preference to anyone but awesome game designers, veterans or not. There's (thankfully) not a lot of call for Paizo to have someone who can launch missiles. Pretty much because we have you guys and gals out there keeping things safe FOR us! Keep on being awesome. And be SAFE! :)

Close but no cigar :) OH bah kah RAH rue er With rolled Rs on the RAH and rue while under-emphasising the er.

However, if Red Dawn does actually happen, I'll put in for a transfer to Lewis so I can at least run counterfire for you guys :P

Now on to the real question...

What strategies do you have for creating fantasy settings? I started mapping out a world with minimal to moderate details and went on to races and backstory. I've been told a few times that I'm doing to backwards, but starting from one point and working my way out as necessary just seems... unnatural.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Obakararuir wrote:
What strategies do you have for creating fantasy settings? I started mapping out a world with minimal to moderate details and went on to races and backstory. I've been told a few times that I'm doing to backwards, but starting from one point and working my way out as necessary just seems... unnatural.

Chapter 6 of the GameMastery Guide pretty much sums all that up. I've always started small and worked up to the big things, over the course of decades.

Silver Crusade

James, ive got a question about Ultimate Magic, and I was hoping you could help me. In the Witch Gravewalker Archetype, since the bone thrall ability dosen't specify a level, does the gravewalker get it at first level, or at fourth (the level of the ability replaced)? If it is 4th level, what is the point of the Aura of Desecration for the first three levels? {see below}

Also, how do you deal with wizards changing their familiars at 7th level when they get their Improved Familiar feat? It always seemed kind of cold to me to just abandon your best friend of six levels now that something better has come along, but I've always wanted a pseudodragon...

And speaking of me, is there any chance of getting any illusionist archetypes or prestige classes? I know they have schools, and sub schools, but I'm still holding out hope that the first edition Illusionist will find a way back into the sun. It wouldn't be any different, really, than the Summoner (not your favorite, I know). If there is enough room for Conjurors and Summoners, surely something can be done for the poor Illusionist?

PRD wrote:
Bonethrall (Su): A gravewalker can take control of an undead creature within her aura of desecration by forcing her will upon it (Will negates). If it fails the save, the creature falls under her control as if she had used command undead (once control is established, the undead remain controlled even if outside the witch's aura). Intelligent undead receive a new saving throw each day to resist her command. The witch can control up to 1 HD of undead creatures per caster level. If an undead creature is under the control of another creature, the witch must make an opposed Charisma check whenever her orders conflict with that creature's. This replaces the witch's hex gained at 4th level.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

uriel222 wrote:

James, ive got a question about Ultimate Magic, and I was hoping you could help me. In the Witch Gravewalker Archetype, since the bone thrall ability dosen't specify a level, does the gravewalker get it at first level, or at fourth (the level of the ability replaced)? If it is 4th level, what is the point of the Aura of Desecration for the first three levels? {see below}

Also, how do you deal with wizards changing their familiars at 7th level when they get their Improved Familiar feat? It always seemed kind of cold to me to just abandon your best friend of six levels now that something better has come along, but I've always wanted a pseudodragon...

And speaking of me, is there any chance of getting any illusionist archetypes or prestige classes? I know they have schools, and sub schools, but I'm still holding out hope that the first edition Illusionist will find a way back into the sun. It wouldn't be any different, really, than the Summoner (not your favorite, I know). If there is enough room for Conjurors and Summoners, surely something can be done for the poor Illusionist?

PRD wrote:
Bonethrall (Su): A gravewalker can take control of an undead creature within her aura of desecration by forcing her will upon it (Will negates). If it fails the save, the creature falls under her control as if she had used command undead (once control is established, the undead remain controlled even if outside the witch's aura). Intelligent undead receive a new saving throw each day to resist her command. The witch can control up to 1 HD of undead creatures per caster level. If an undead creature is under the control of another creature, the witch must make an opposed Charisma check whenever her orders conflict with that creature's. This replaces the witch's hex gained at 4th level.

Regarding the Gravewalker archetype; that sounds like errata. I'd post that question in an Ultimate Magic thread and hit the FAQ button.

As for how I feel about wizards changing their familiars? As a GM, I don't care. As a player, it would depend entirely on the wizard... but I suspect that most players who want to get such a familiar want it from 1st level, and therefore might not treat whatever familiar they get at lower levels as anything more than a "placeholder." I wouldn't be shocked to find out some such players just never call up a familiar at all until they get the feat and can get the familiar they really want.

There's a better chance of us some day doing an illusion-based prestige class than there is us doing an archetype specifically for an illusionist specialist. As far as I'm concerned, the illusionist specialist IS the replacement for the 1st edition illusionist. I don't really see the need to go much further with that.


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Speaking of roleplaying with and about familiars, one interesting way I've seen it handled is to treat familiars as daemons from the "His Dark Materials" series by Pulman. Essentially, the familiars are a portion of your soul that can talk to you and appears to be semi-autonomous. It changes the relationship, and makes the level 7 improved familiar feat just a matter of the familiar evolving similar to how some of the daemons in the His Dark Materials series evolve, and learning to take on new forms. Even the idea of having a less than honest familiar (imps and such) can be thought of how some people may have self-destructive tendencies, and the familiar is just the physical manifestation of this part of their nature.


What is the significance of the "para-" prefix on many/all Chelaxian noble titles? For all the times that they've been mentioned, I can't recall a single point in the entire product line -- even in the Cheliax splatbook -- where it was explained. (It's a big product line, of course, and I may well have missed it.)

Do alchemists have a caster level equal to their class level, or are they "considered to have a caster level" for only a few purposes and none not specifically mentioned? This really needs to be settled, it's close to starting a civil war. ^.^

(For that matter, can alchemists apply metamagic feats to their extracts?)

Which parts of the Dragons of Golarion article from Rise of the Runelords are still canon? (Maybe it'd be better to ask which parts have definitely been stricken from canon. I hope it's not many, I liked all of it.)

What is the taxonomic nomenclature for a fiendish T-rex? :)


James Jacobs wrote:
Dren Everblack wrote:

Hi James,

I would like to get your take on fudging vs hero points and your feelings about fudging in general.

I absolutely prefer to use a hero point system...

Thank you James. That is exactly the kind of detailed response I was hoping for. You have given me much to think about with regards to using a hero point system.

I see your point that a hero point system is a more balanced method than fudging. In my campaign, most of the time my players are way too savvy for me to fudge without them noticing. So the result has been that I have not fudged at all, and there have been a few deaths. So if I do find an opportunity to fudge for a PC, it won’t really be fair to the other players whose characters died because I did not have an opportunity to fudge for them.

However my players (all but one) have told me they prefer the suspension of disbelief that comes with not realizing when they have been saved. They don’t want to save themselves, and they don’t mind being saved by the GM if they don’t know when it is happening.

But I have been convinced... so in spite of their preference (and years of tradition) I am going to suggest a hero point system anyway, because it is simply fairer.


James Jacobs wrote:


As for moneychangers... while it might be "realistic" for them to charge a fee for exchanging one type of coin for the other, that type of micromanagement has NEVER, in my nearly 30 years of gaming experience, made a game more fun. It has almost ALWAYS made the game more annoying. Changing money is something that the players can handle on their own without needing the GM to roleplay through the exchange every single time, in my opinion.

What, you didn't like looting 2000 copper then having to go back to town and get it exchanged for 20 gold in Pools of Radiance and the other old SSI PC games?

Oh wait... that annoyed me too, especially because 70% of the time I wouldn't take that 2000 copper cause it was HEAVY and I couldn't carry it...

Everquest did that too... very annoying, although I've heard from a friend that still plays it that now they upgrade money automatically like World of Warcraft and it's weightless too.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
What is the significance of the "para-" prefix on many/all Chelaxian noble titles? For all the times that they've been mentioned, I can't recall a single point in the entire product line -- even in the Cheliax splatbook -- where it was explained. (It's a big product line, of course, and I may well have missed it.)

Rather than the traditional ceremony for awarding someone a knighthood, in Cheliax you have to jump out from some sort of flying conveyance (dragon, airship, hot air balloon, etc). Anyone who lands unscathed is awarded a para-something title, those who don't... well, usually their daddies can afford to pay for a resurrection/good burial.


Hey James,

How would you limit the use of a Lyre of Building in a non-Kingmaker game?

I mean would you put limits on it? If not what kind of humans do you use as the base 100 humans [laborers, unskilled, craftsman etc]

Thanks


Is it enjoyable sifting through the Runelords AP forum for tidbits?

I personally find the tone of the AP forums vastly more pleasant than the majority of forums that staff are somewhat obligated to look through (playtests and rules forums I am looking at you!)

Are there any things you've found in your review that amused/impressed/scared/pleased you? Anything you care to share with the thread?


James Jacobs wrote:
My players STILL remember and brag about some of those types of wins (such as the time a wizard PC used polymorph any object to turn a demon lord into a brick), and that's really cool.

Whatever became of that sinister brick?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:

What is the significance of the "para-" prefix on many/all Chelaxian noble titles? For all the times that they've been mentioned, I can't recall a single point in the entire product line -- even in the Cheliax splatbook -- where it was explained. (It's a big product line, of course, and I may well have missed it.)

Do alchemists have a caster level equal to their class level, or are they "considered to have a caster level" for only a few purposes and none not specifically mentioned? This really needs to be settled, it's close to starting a civil war. ^.^

(For that matter, can alchemists apply metamagic feats to their extracts?)

Which parts of the Dragons of Golarion article from Rise of the Runelords are still canon? (Maybe it'd be better to ask which parts have definitely been stricken from canon. I hope it's not many, I liked all of it.)

What is the taxonomic nomenclature for a fiendish T-rex? :)

The "significance" of para is that it makes the Chelaxian noble titles seem more fancy and potent and powerful and ostentatious and all that. It's just how Chelish nobles roll, in other words.

Alchemist caster levels equal their alchemist level. Note we don't generally call it a "SPELLcaster level." Neither do we call it an "ELIXIRcaster level." The rules apply for all spell or spell-similar effects.

Alchemists can't apply metamagic feats to their elixirs.

I actually haven't gone through the Dragons article lately and made a list... but more of it is not canon than is these days, it seems.

Thannatyrannosaurus Rex, perhaps? Or maybe Demotyrannosaurus Rex?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Sleep-Walker wrote:

Hey James,

How would you limit the use of a Lyre of Building in a non-Kingmaker game?

I mean would you put limits on it? If not what kind of humans do you use as the base 100 humans [laborers, unskilled, craftsman etc]

Thanks

I wouldn't put limits on it. If I had a problem with a lyre of building's long-term campaign effects, I just wouldn't put them into the game nor would I allow them to be purchased.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Evil Lincoln wrote:

Is it enjoyable sifting through the Runelords AP forum for tidbits?

I personally find the tone of the AP forums vastly more pleasant than the majority of forums that staff are somewhat obligated to look through (playtests and rules forums I am looking at you!)

Are there any things you've found in your review that amused/impressed/scared/pleased you? Anything you care to share with the thread?

It's certainly interesting. There's a lot of great feedback in there, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to go through it—I actually finished yesterday. A significant amount of the feedback is actually feedback or questions about things that have long since been resolved, like "What role is Ameiko Kaijitsu going to play in the future?" or "Are there drow in Varisia?" or "Where can I get more information about Thassilon" and the like.

I actualy AVOID most of the playtest forums except when they're involving something I worked on... and that's actually pretty rare. The designers are the ones on the front lines there, and I thank them every day for it.

I was actually quite impressed with some of the things folks came up with to expand the campaign, to be honest. To the point that I might be contacting a few folks with some questions and the like...

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