>>Ask *James Jacobs* ALL your Questions Here!<<


Off-Topic Discussions

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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ringtail wrote:
Have you played Cthulhu Saves the World? If so: Did you enjoy it?

A little; it's fun! I've been distracted by the GAME GLUT for the past few months though, between Skyrim and Arkham City and Assassin's Creed Revelations and Dark Souls, combined with the perhaps not-wise decision to play Half-Life 2 again has been dominating my gaming attentions.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Before, I've maintained a special list of what spells were available, drawing from core rulebooks and numerous other books, augmented by a significant number of spells I designed myself. In some incarnations of my homebrew, I even organized the spells into categories of common, uncommon, and rare. Common spells are available to anyone. Uncommon spells must be sought out and purchased or found. Rare spells can only be found as a result of adventuring.

When I GM a non Society game this is how I always have done it, but I would say I am more liberal on what goes on the common and uncommon list.

From the time when you did limit spell access, Can you give a few spells and their categories as an example, especially player favorites like Charm Person, Invisibility, Rope Trick, Haste, Fireball, Dimession Door, and Teleport.

Dark Archive

Not a question James but I just saw what you posted on another thread.

I really liked the interior covers of Carrion Crown too, I am all for keeping that space for inspiration for GMs running APs as opposed to a place to put tables and stat blocs. I know there is tradition in our games to have this but I think the steps taken in Carrion Crown is a great example of what can be done with the interior covers of an AP.


Squicky question; what happen if a Lycanthrope and an Animal Lord mate?

I know they have some similarities, maybe the lycanthropes are decendants of the Animal Lords...

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I need a life

Paizo Employee Creative Director

C. Nutcase wrote:
Squicky question; what happen if a Lycanthrope and an Animal Lord mate?

Up to the GM. I'd probably say that the offspring would be something like THE BEASTMASTER though.


James Jacobs wrote:
C. Nutcase wrote:
Squicky question; what happen if a Lycanthrope and an Animal Lord mate?
Up to the GM. I'd probably say that the offspring would be something like THE BEASTMASTER though.

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I don't know what this is.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
C. Nutcase wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
C. Nutcase wrote:
Squicky question; what happen if a Lycanthrope and an Animal Lord mate?
Up to the GM. I'd probably say that the offspring would be something like THE BEASTMASTER though.

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I don't know what this is.

It's an awesome movie from the 80s!

Check it out.


Pretty awesome that information on a full Book of the Damned will be showing up in the semi-near future.

What line, if you can say, will that appear in?

While my two subscriptions are obvious, I also pretty much by every Pathfinder Campaign Setting, though I usually buy them when I need them, or there's a good sale.

Since so much of that is your doing, let me once more say a big "Thank You" for making Golarion as detailed and amazing as it is!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Monkeygod wrote:

Pretty awesome that information on a full Book of the Damned will be showing up in the semi-near future.

What line, if you can say, will that appear in?

While my two subscriptions are obvious, I also pretty much by every Pathfinder Campaign Setting, though I usually buy them when I need them, or there's a good sale.

Since so much of that is your doing, let me once more say a big "Thank You" for making Golarion as detailed and amazing as it is!!

I can confirm that information on the Book of the Damned will NOT be appearing in the rulebook line. Since it has Golarion flavor in it. Beyond that... can't say more yet.

And thanks for the thanks! :-)


It was probably asked before but, if you could choose one of the Iconic to be your "other-half", which one would it be?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Belle Mythix wrote:
It was probably asked before but, if you could choose one of the Iconic to be your "other-half", which one would it be?

It has been asked before. Merisiel.


What is Wayfinder?


James Jacobs wrote:
Belle Mythix wrote:
It was probably asked before but, if you could choose one of the Iconic to be your "other-half", which one would it be?
It has been asked before. Merisiel.

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I didn't want to read thousands of posts to find the answer...

My choice would be Amiri, maybe I'm a bit xenophobic.


I'll try here: Who's idea was it to have a country ruled by a

Spoiler:
jorogumo?


Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
What is Wayfinder?

Fan made magazine about the world of golarion. Do a search here for it.


Cheapy wrote:
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
What is Wayfinder?
Fan made magazine about the world of golarion. Do a search here for it.

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To add, paizo fans united's wayfinder

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kaidan Booster wrote:
I'll try here: Who's idea was it to have a country ruled by a ** spoiler omitted **

Mine.


James Jacobs wrote:
Kaidan Booster wrote:
I'll try here: Who's idea was it to have a country ruled by a ** spoiler omitted **
Mine.

Let me be the umpteenth person to tell you: Very Cool.

Dark Archive

When you find that niche of intersecting powers and abilities that makes you go "Wow, this is/could be broken!" how do you proceed after that?

Mostly in the circumstance that once you point this combo out and others disagree, do you then put that into practice to show them that it is indeed too powerful?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Big Kyle wrote:

When you find that niche of intersecting powers and abilities that makes you go "Wow, this is/could be broken!" how do you proceed after that?

Mostly in the circumstance that once you point this combo out and others disagree, do you then put that into practice to show them that it is indeed too powerful?

It depends on who's the primary developer of said niche. If it's me, I listen to the opinions of those who might disagree and then use that information to guide my final decisions. If it's not me, I offer advice and assume the actual developer will do the same. As for how I proceed... by fixing it, I guess. Changing things until they're not broken.


Got a question about the website. I think it's great that you regularly discuss and promote third party products on the main page / store blog. But there are more 3PPs than you could ever possibly showcase, even if you did one every weekday -- which of course you can't, since you need that space for your own products too.

So, how do you decide which ones to put up?

Doug M.


James Jacobs wrote:
Daristal wrote:

I have been searching these forums but can't seem to find the answer I am seeking so here goes:

I am running my group through the Kingmaker Adventure path, which my group is really enjoying, and I discovered a discrepancy that I can't seem to reconcile. using the Kingmaker kingdom building rules, each city block equates to 250 people.

In Kingmaker #4 "Blood for Blood" the Village of Tatzlford is described as a village but and adding up its city blocks would equate to 4000 people, which according to the Gamemastery Guide is a large town.

I know that population doesn't really matter from a game mechanics stand point, but this also affects my other cities/towns throughout the Stolen Lands in my campaign.

Another example is Varnhold, which while isn't given a stat block in Kingmaker #3, still turns into an instant small city once the PC's liberate and annex it (population wise).

Can you give me any advice on how to 'fix' these population issues?

Thanks! Will do. Just wondering if I just couldn't find the section where it was already explained. it's no wonder that the Kingmaker rules are so popular. They're awesome.

How you "fix" the population problems is you pick which one you want and go with it, frankly.

Varnhold, Tatzlford, and most of the other cities in the actual adventures were NOT built using the city-building rules presented in Pathfinder #32, and as a result, there are the discrepancies you note. This is mostly on purpose since while at the time we HOPED folks would like the kingdom and city building rules, we had no idea they'd end up as popular as they have been. When we were building Kingmaker, we decided to sort of "quarantine" the city rules in their section; we included some bits of advice here and there on how to "translate" other cities like Tatzlford into that system, but mostly rely on the fact that the "one city block = 250 people" is really only meant to be a rough generalization.

As you note, population doesn't affect ANY game rules. Pick the numbers that make the most sense for you and your game and those are the right numbers.


1)In the Bestairy 3, the Pale stranger's ability called stranger's shot deals an extra 6d6 damage, is this damage considered prescision damage?

2)Do bloodline arcanas count for all spells cast or only for the ones from the sorcerer class?

3)Do arcanas that add to dice damage stack such as a crossblooded red dragon and fire elemental bloodlines for fire spells?

4)Will we ever see the frost chiselers or that evil cold based fey template updated to pathfinder?

5)Are there any monsters from the Bestairy 3 that you designed?

Contributor

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Got a question about the website. I think it's great that you regularly discuss and promote third party products on the main page / store blog. But there are more 3PPs than you could ever possibly showcase, even if you did one every weekday -- which of course you can't, since you need that space for your own products too.

So, how do you decide which ones to put up?

Doug M.

I'll answer this one, since I'm the one that ends up writing the store blogs (as well as approving third-party PDFs for sale). We generally have the blogs planned out roughly a month in advance, and Jeff Alvarez makes the determination of what gets put up. Consistent releases from 3PPs make it much easier to plan what to show on the blog, so that certainly is a factor when we decide what goes up (or not). Every now and then we'll do a "grab bag" of lesser-known third-party publishers to garner some attention, but those are rare.

At any rate, sending an email to Jeff will put you on the Blog Radar. :)


Liz Courts wrote:


I'll answer this one, since I'm the one that ends up writing the store blogs (as well as approving third-party PDFs for sale). We generally have the blogs planned out roughly a month in advance, and Jeff Alvarez makes the determination of what gets put up. Consistent releases from 3PPs make it much easier to plan what to show on the blog, so that certainly is a factor when we decide what goes up (or not). Every now and then we'll do a "grab bag" of lesser-known third-party publishers to garner some attention, but those are rare.
At any rate, sending an email to Jeff will put you on the Blog Radar. :)

May I suggest a daily or three-times-a-week spot going over what Pathfinder compatible stuff was released since the previous one?

Actually, I am going to go ahead and suggest that right now.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Douglas Muir 406 wrote:

Got a question about the website. I think it's great that you regularly discuss and promote third party products on the main page / store blog. But there are more 3PPs than you could ever possibly showcase, even if you did one every weekday -- which of course you can't, since you need that space for your own products too.

So, how do you decide which ones to put up?

Doug M.

I don't decide that at all. Those decisions are made by the web-store team, and I'm not sure how they go about deciding which ones to talk about... although I suspect that the ones that they personally find interesting or exciting is a significant factor in how they choose.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Having just heard of this new pathfinder comic I was wondering if you have any idea if it will be using the current iconics or be brand new characters?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:

1)In the Bestairy 3, the Pale stranger's ability called stranger's shot deals an extra 6d6 damage, is this damage considered prescision damage?

2)Do bloodline arcanas count for all spells cast or only for the ones from the sorcerer class?

3)Do arcanas that add to dice damage stack such as a crossblooded red dragon and fire elemental bloodlines for fire spells?

4)Will we ever see the frost chiselers or that evil cold based fey template updated to pathfinder?

5)Are there any monsters from the Bestairy 3 that you designed?

1) No; it would be indicated as precision damage if it were. Precision damage isn't a quality we use often at all, and I kind of wish we never mentioned it in the first place since it is, in my opinion, an overcomplication.

2) Please rephrase the question, it confuses me.

3) Please provide an example "arcana that add to dice damage."

4) I'm not a big fan of the frosty chiseler or the icy fey template, which doesn't mean that they'll NEVER be updated to Pathfinder, but it does mean it's unlikely. If they ARE updated, chances are significant that their names will be changed.

5) Sort of. I developed most of them, and a fair number of those I completely rewrote and rebuilt stats for. There are also a few that I designed the original incarnations of before they were included in this book and a few that were concepts I came up with but had other designers build.

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

Another Pathfinder Comic question: what level of involvement will you have approving or editing their stories to ensure that they fit well into Golarion?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kevin Mack wrote:
Having just heard of this new pathfinder comic I was wondering if you have any idea if it will be using the current iconics or be brand new characters?

I have a VERY good idea about what it's about, but since we've not made any official announcement about it ourselves, I'll leave it to Erik to say more about it elsewhere on these boards. Keep an eye out for his post!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

JoelF847 wrote:
Another Pathfinder Comic question: what level of involvement will you have approving or editing their stories to ensure that they fit well into Golarion?

Again, I'll leave that to Erik to fully answer.


Liz, James, thanks.

Doug M.


What (if any) third party content have you found helpful/used/enjoyed with Pathfinder?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

dunelord3001 wrote:
What (if any) third party content have you found helpful/used/enjoyed with Pathfinder?

Tome of Horrors (in its various incarnations)

Book of Fiends
Advanced Bestiary

Those are the three third party books that I use the most often. There are others, but they tend to be more specialized in content and only used for specific encounters.

I've actually not really had the time to do much reading of the more recent 3rd party publications for Pathfinder, unfortunately, and as such have not used many of them at all in products. With the exception of Kobold Quarterly, which I do read.

The Exchange

That villainous organizations would you love to flesh out more in the future?


How do you come across the ones you do use?


What are your favorite options from the Advanced Bestiary? I have a used copy in the mail right now, and I want to know what to dig into first when it arrives. What cool templates does it have?

Over 50% of the enemies I create for my campaigns are either necromancers, undead, or golems made from organic materiel (as in, flesh and carrion golems). Should I diversify?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

TheLoneCleric wrote:
That villainous organizations would you love to flesh out more in the future?

Ummm... that question makes no sense. If by "that" you meant to type "what" though...

Some of the bad guy organizations I'd like to flesh out more in the future would include but would not be limited to:

Runelords
Technic League
White Witches
Demon Cults
Aspis Consortium
Orvians
Intellect Devourers

Paizo Employee Creative Director

dunelord3001 wrote:
How do you come across the ones you do use?

Partially from shopping in game stores, seeing an interesting book, picking it up, and liking what I see enough to buy.

Partially from word of mouth from other employees here at Paizo or from friends and contacts in the industry.


What are runelords and white witches, anyway?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:

What are your favorite options from the Advanced Bestiary? I have a used copy in the mail right now, and I want to know what to dig into first when it arrives. What cool templates does it have?

Over 50% of the enemies I create for my campaigns are either necromancers, undead, or golems made from organic materiel (as in, flesh and carrion golems). Should I diversify?

There's a fair amount of really great templates in Advanced Bestiary... and also a fair amount of templates I'll never use. My favorites would probably be the broken soul, the demon-possessed creature, the devil-bound creature, the divine guardian, the fungal creature, the metal-clad creature, the nightmare creature, the primitive creature, and the ravenous creature.

Probably.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
What are runelords and white witches, anyway?

Runelords are powerful ancient wizards who once ruled the northwestern reaches of Varisia before 10,000 years ago. They're the primary theme of the first Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rise of the Runelords, and have been part of various other APs and books ever since.

The white witches are the descendants of Baba Yaga who rule the frozen nation of Irrisen.


How come witches can't form a coven without a hag? I'm about to let them, but if there is a specific reason, such as balance issues, I'll back off.

Do you have a monster type that is by far your favorite? I have undead and organic golems (which are basically undead constructs anyway).


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
What are runelords and white witches, anyway?

Runelords are powerful ancient wizards who once ruled the northwestern reaches of Varisia before 10,000 years ago. They're the primary theme of the first Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rise of the Runelords, and have been part of various other APs and books ever since.

The white witches are the descendants of Baba Yaga who rule the frozen nation of Irrisen.

Are you looking forward to detailing Baba Yaga?

Contributor

Cheapy wrote:
May I suggest a daily or three-times-a-week spot going over what Pathfinder compatible stuff was released since the previous one?

That would not work with our blog schedule, though people that like to follow such things should look at the "New" and "Upcoming" RSS feeds on this page.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:

How come witches can't form a coven without a hag? I'm about to let them, but if there is a specific reason, such as balance issues, I'll back off.

Do you have a monster type that is by far your favorite? I have undead and organic golems (which are basically undead constructs anyway).

Because the powers granted by a coven, as they are currently defined in the green hag entry, are VERY good, and we want access to those powers to be very difficult for players to get access to. Requiring the aid of a hag is one of the ways we make access to having a coven difficult.

My favorite monster type is aberration. My favorite monster subtype is demon.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Justin Franklin wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
What are runelords and white witches, anyway?

Runelords are powerful ancient wizards who once ruled the northwestern reaches of Varisia before 10,000 years ago. They're the primary theme of the first Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rise of the Runelords, and have been part of various other APs and books ever since.

The white witches are the descendants of Baba Yaga who rule the frozen nation of Irrisen.

Are you looking forward to detailing Baba Yaga?

Are you trying to trick me into confirming something there?


James Jacobs wrote:
Are you trying to trick me into confirming something there?

I'm confused. Is James allowed to ask questions here?

Oh yeah, someone asked what spells you might normally ban, but i think they gave a list of things from the PH. I'm assuming by your other reply that you don't ban spells that are in the PH, like haste or fireball.

That sound about right?

Anyway, thanks for the story that I asked for. I enjoy hearing about the play testing and games that the designers have experienced. Did you ever find the playtesting notes to birthright? Rather hilarous read, found here.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
What are runelords and white witches, anyway?

Runelords are powerful ancient wizards who once ruled the northwestern reaches of Varisia before 10,000 years ago. They're the primary theme of the first Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rise of the Runelords, and have been part of various other APs and books ever since.

The white witches are the descendants of Baba Yaga who rule the frozen nation of Irrisen.

Are you looking forward to detailing Baba Yaga?
Are you trying to trick me into confirming something there?

No, of course not! Would you like to confirm something? ;)


Do you like Lord of the Rings? I, surprisingly enough for a Pathfinder player, do not.

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