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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Stratagemini wrote:
What is the Golarion Equivalent of Shakespeare? Also? Who is the Golarion Equivalent of Herman Melville?

We've not done much about famous writers in Golarion yet... there's a few though. The writer of "The Six Trials of Larazod" is pretty famous... One of the MOST famous playwrights, though, was Merivesta Olinchi of Nex, who may or may not have been the first person assassinated by the Red Mantis.


Does your Tyrannosaurus take the Vital Strike feat chain?


James Jacobs wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
Which misspellings and mispronunciations of Golarion-words are you most surprised by? Most annoying ones?
Similar question. How do you pronounce Cheliax? My friends and I keep calling it Chill-axe

You're WRONG!!!!!!!

CHEL-ee-axe

lol fair enough. Now to convince them. Btw definitely enjoying the Brinewall Legacy. I get to play it fridays and I love playing my bard. Plus we are really getting into the caravan.


Dear James,

This concerns a possible misprint/omitted line in Inner Sea Magic

For your reference:
http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz5o6h?Misprint-in-Inner-Sea-Magic-for-Chelish-Di va

Is the Chelish Diva's scathing tirade ability supposed to come with a save, or is she really supposed to be able to, starting at level 8, make enemies frightened for up to 1d4+3 rounds, with NO SAVE, using only 1 round of bardic music?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
ShadowFighter88 wrote:
Would you be fine with a mage using Prestidigitation to create a flame around his finger or thumb for lighting a cigar or pipe?
I'm okay with that use of prestidigitation.

However, the last stipulation of the description of prestidigitation reads: "Finally, prestidigitation lacks the power to duplicate any other spell effects." Wouldn't such a use of prestidigitation duplicate the effect of spark?

On a related note, doesn't that stipulation also mean that as more spells are added to the game, prestidigitation becomes more limited?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:
Does your Tyrannosaurus take the Vital Strike feat chain?

If he has an Intelligence of 3 or higher, he could do a whole lot worse.

(I tend to try to avoid giving feats that require actual tactical choices to activate to monsters with an Intelligence of 2 or lower, with the relatively common exception of Power Attack...)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

FiddlersGreen wrote:

Dear James,

This concerns a possible misprint/omitted line in Inner Sea Magic

For your reference:
http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz5o6h?Misprint-in-Inner-Sea-Magic-for-Chelish-Di va

Is the Chelish Diva's scathing tirade ability supposed to come with a save, or is she really supposed to be able to, starting at level 8, make enemies frightened for up to 1d4+3 rounds, with NO SAVE, using only 1 round of bardic music?

There should be a Will save (DC = 10 + 1/2 the bard's level + the bard's Cha modifier).

It got left out of the text accidentally.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If you had natural attacks in v3.5 you didn't need to get Improved Unarmed Strike to pick up Improved Grapple.

I'm wondering if that's still true in Pathfinder. If I have natural attacks and/or the grab ability, do I still need to meet the improved unarmed strike prerequisite for Improved Grapple?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joana wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
ShadowFighter88 wrote:
Would you be fine with a mage using Prestidigitation to create a flame around his finger or thumb for lighting a cigar or pipe?
I'm okay with that use of prestidigitation.

However, the last stipulation of the description of prestidigitation reads: "Finally, prestidigitation lacks the power to duplicate any other spell effects." Wouldn't such a use of prestidigitation duplicate the effect of spark?

On a related note, doesn't that stipulation also mean that as more spells are added to the game, prestidigitation becomes more limited?

First of all, you've stumbled upon one of the many reasons I hate hate hate it when we design new cantrips.

Secondly, even if you did let prestidigitation light up cigars and campfires and the like... it's still got a much shorter range than spark, so both effects can exist side by side in my opinion.

(One of the MAIN reasons I hate adding new zero level spells, by the way, is the fact that wizards know all cantrips when he starts play. What does that mean if you create a wizard, play him for a year, and then we publish a book that has 10 new cantrips? Do those cantrips magically appear in your wizard's spellbook? Or do you have to manually learn them? And why is it harder, in that case, for a 10th level wizard to learn those 10 new cantrips than a brand new freshly-created one who learns them automatically?)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ravingdork wrote:

If you had natural attacks in v3.5 you didn't need to get Improved Unarmed Strike to pick up Improved Grapple.

I'm wondering if that's still true in Pathfinder. If I have natural attacks and/or the grab ability, do I still need to meet the improved unarmed strike prerequisite for Improved Grapple?

That'd be a GM call.

For the most part, though... no. If you want a monster to be able to have a better chance at grappling foes, it's best to give that monster the grab ability or just a racial bonus on grapple checks.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

When and how do you use the chokehold feat? It says you make a grapple check with a -5 penalty against an already grappled opponent, but it doesn't say whether or not this is a free grapple check made right after you successfully grapple someone, or if it has to be done later as part of the pin action (which is typically a standard action).

Looking for clarification.

Also, do you like kittens?

Dark Archive

I am going to be running PFS Mists of Mwangi soon for my regular group and it will be the first time that I have ever been the GM other than running the adventure in the Beginners box for my wife and two young kids.

Have you played the scenario before? if you have, any tips for me? and if you had to pick the most invaluable advice to a new GM like myself, what would it be besides have fun?

And one final question with regards to zombies; Slow and moaning or sprinting and screeching?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ravingdork wrote:

When and how do you use the chokehold feat? It says you make a grapple check with a -5 penalty against an already grappled opponent, but it doesn't say whether or not this is a free grapple check made right after you successfully grapple someone, or if it has to be done later as part of the pin action (which is typically a standard action).

Looking for clarification.

Also, do you like kittens?

Answering the more important question first: Yes, I adore kittens.

As for the other question... where's the Chokehold feat from? From your description, my suspicion would be that you don't get to try to chokehold a victim until you've already established a grapple—which means you use the feat on round 2 of an established grapple and no earlier.

Generally, if something occurs right when you grapple (such as constrict), it'll say so specifically.


James Jacobs wrote:
... One of the MOST famous playwrights, though, was Merivesta Olinchi of Nex, who may or may not have been the first person assassinated by the Red Mantis.

Interesting tidbit. Could you expand on this any? Why did they kill this person? Had she offended the gods or was it a run of the mill contract killing?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

What is most painful to step on: a piece of lego or a four-sided die?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

(Or the tail of a really mean cat?)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rhea wrote:

I am going to be running PFS Mists of Mwangi soon for my regular group and it will be the first time that I have ever been the GM other than running the adventure in the Beginners box for my wife and two young kids.

Have you played the scenario before? if you have, any tips for me? and if you had to pick the most invaluable advice to a new GM like myself, what would it be besides have fun?

And one final question with regards to zombies; Slow and moaning or sprinting and screeching?

I've not played that before. In fact, I've only playtested Erik Mona's PFS scenario—I've not played (or even read) any of the others, since I generally get to spend 120% or so of my time working on other products.

As for zombies... both versions are cool, since they allow for different stories.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Khonger wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
... One of the MOST famous playwrights, though, was Merivesta Olinchi of Nex, who may or may not have been the first person assassinated by the Red Mantis.
Interesting tidbit. Could you expand on this any? Why did they kill this person? Had she offended the gods or was it a run of the mill contract killing?

I could expand on it, but I don't want to yet. It's one of many events I put into the Inner Sea timeline (this particular event occurred in 3923 AR) as a possible placeholder for something I might want to do in the future.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kajehase wrote:
What is most painful to step on: a piece of lego or a four-sided die?

Four sided die on a hard floor, a lego on carpet.

Dark Archive

My pbps keep dying due to players losing interest, what can i do to keep them interested?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ulgulanoth wrote:
My pbps keep dying due to players losing interest, what can i do to keep them interested?

I don't have a lot of experience with play-by-post games... so I can't really say. Maybe seek out new players?


James Jacobs wrote:
blahpers wrote:

Dear Señor Jacobs:

Was the Dimensional Occultist witch archetype intended to receive all of the planar binding spells but be left with no way to cast them without having access to magic circle? The only use I can see for these patron spells is to call extraplanar entities without the trap and ask them nicely.

That's an unintended wrinkle... but the witch can certainly do exactly as you say—cast the spell and ask nicely. That said, adding a magic circle spell of the witch's choice as a 3rd level patron spell is fine too.

This is very helpful.


So, how far is the Elder Scrolls MMO that will be available for Mac going to set back the APs?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cheapy wrote:
So, how far is the Elder Scrolls MMO that will be available for Mac going to set back the APs?

Probably not much at all.

I MUCH prefer single-player games. The only MMO I've ever really played much at all is Warcraft—pretty much every other MMO I've played has annoyed or frustrated me after only a few weeks. (I'm hoping, of course, that the Pathfinder MMO breaks that pattern...).

That said... distracting video games don't actually really impact an Adventure Path's schedule at all... I know that your post is half joke, half announcement about the MMO, but as it turns out, people who abandon work responsibilities to play video games generally find that they've got a LOT more time to play video games after a while. Because they get themselves fired.

The biggest two culprits in the "What causes an AP to get behind schedule?" are:

1) Authors who fail to provide the words we ask them to provide (this, fortunately, has only happened about 8 times in the 60-some AP modules), forcing a Paizo employee (me or Rob) to write large portions of the adventure at the last minute.

2) Other projects pulling resources away (usually things that come in boxes or between hard covers). This one's the more common cause of delays, alas.

Steps have been taken to ensure those two problems vex us less and less.

ANYWAY.

The Elders Scrolls MMO won't impact APs at all. I'm glad it's coming out for the Mac though, and I'll definitely try it out... but I doubt I'll play it much more than a few weeks if my MMO track-record holds.


James -

I'm currently in the process of twisting a Skull & Shackles campaign to my own evil designs...without access to the rest of it, should I be worried about breaking the Path?

Also, what advice might you have for a decent writer with no credentials whatsoever, who would like to maybe make a career out of it? Hypothetically, of course. Er.


What would you say are the chances that there's a flying fortress based on recovered Shory aeromancy hanging around in some remote corner of Golarion?


James have you seen these home brew rules for Pathfinder? xoth.net/blog/

I am considering using them to run a "grittier" Golarion campaign for Jade Regent. Your sort of style?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

James,
I've got an interesting concept in mind for a new PFS character, and I need some guidance regarding races and nationalities.

See, I already have an 8th level fighter in PFS, and he owns a bakery just outside the Grand Lodge in Absalom and has a general manager to look after it while he's away on a mission.

So then I thought, how cool would it be for the general manager to become a Pathfinder agent himself?

Okay, so who is he? Well, Cledwyn (the fighter who owns the bakery) is a very intelligent man (17 INT), so he would've hired someone good at business who could help the place thrive.

So based on the Organized Play faction system, that just screams Qadira.

What's Qadira (the nation) all about, in a nutshell? I have the ISWG at home, but if you had to sum it up in a sentence or two, how would you tell me what Qadira is?

What core races are common in Qadira? Obviously humans are everywhere, but what about the others? Am I more likely to meet a Qadiran half-elf or a Qadiran half-orc? Are there any that are extremely rare in that part of the world? Do any of the races have interesting quirks in Qadira that set them apart from their brethren in other parts of the Inner Sea?

Thanks!

EDIT: One last thing! What would be the appropriate Profession skill for a business/managerial type? Not Profession (baking) because I don't think this guy actually does any of the baking, he just supervises and handles paperwork and marketing and whatnot. What would you call that in the Profession skill?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Michael Radagast wrote:

James -

I'm currently in the process of twisting a Skull & Shackles campaign to my own evil designs...without access to the rest of it, should I be worried about breaking the Path?

Also, what advice might you have for a decent writer with no credentials whatsoever, who would like to maybe make a career out of it? Hypothetically, of course. Er.

If you're making big changes to an AP, it's always a good idea to wait until you have all six parts on hand. We try to keep folks informed about who and what elements impact later events, both in the body of the text and in the first volume's campaign outline... but things change during development.

As for how to become a writer... the big things would be:

1) Read voraciously in the genre you want to write. That's a GREAT way to learn about writing.

2) Study English (or whatever language you want to write in), and hone your mechanical skills (spelling, grammar, etc.) to be as strong as your creative ones.

3) Surround yourself with inspiration. Be it other writers, inspiring landscape, or whatever. Find a muse.

4) Write every day. Practice, practice, practice!!!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Analysis wrote:
What would you say are the chances that there's a flying fortress based on recovered Shory aeromancy hanging around in some remote corner of Golarion?

100%. See the Dragon Empires Gazetteer.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alan_Beven wrote:

James have you seen these home brew rules for Pathfinder? xoth.net/blog/

I am considering using them to run a "grittier" Golarion campaign for Jade Regent. Your sort of style?

I had not seen those rules.

My style of gaming is pretty much what's implied by the Adventure Paths. High magic, but grim, dark, and mature, with strong and interesting NPCs and story lines, now and then interspersed with light points and comedy. All gritty all the time gets exhausting. The PCs need time to relax and laugh.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Jiggy wrote:

James,

I've got an interesting concept in mind for a new PFS character, and I need some guidance regarding races and nationalities.

See, I already have an 8th level fighter in PFS, and he owns a bakery just outside the Grand Lodge in Absalom and has a general manager to look after it while he's away on a mission.

So then I thought, how cool would it be for the general manager to become a Pathfinder agent himself?

Okay, so who is he? Well, Cledwyn (the fighter who owns the bakery) is a very intelligent man (17 INT), so he would've hired someone good at business who could help the place thrive.

So based on the Organized Play faction system, that just screams Qadira.

What's Qadira (the nation) all about, in a nutshell? I have the ISWG at home, but if you had to sum it up in a sentence or two, how would you tell me what Qadira is?

What core races are common in Qadira? Obviously humans are everywhere, but what about the others? Am I more likely to meet a Qadiran half-elf or a Qadiran half-orc? Are there any that are extremely rare in that part of the world? Do any of the races have interesting quirks in Qadira that set them apart from their brethren in other parts of the Inner Sea?

Thanks!

EDIT: One last thing! What would be the appropriate Profession skill for a business/managerial type? Not Profession (baking) because I don't think this guy actually does any of the baking, he just supervises and handles paperwork and marketing and whatnot. What would you call that in the Profession skill?

Qadira is the land of Arabian Nights. Think Sinbad and Aladin, basically. There's a 32 page Player's Companion that's all about it if you want to learn more than is just in the Inner Sea World Guide.

Common core races in Qadira are listed in the Inner Sea Primer (which is itself a good place to go for a smaller summation of what Qadira is... there's a half-page entry about it specifically tailored toward PCs). The races are pretty much humans and half-elves... although the four elemental races (ifrit, undine, oread, and sylph) are slightly more common there than in most other nations.

I would recommend Profession (bookkeeper) or Profession (merchant).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:

Qadira is the land of Arabian Nights. Think Sinbad and Aladin, basically. There's a 32 page Player's Companion that's all about it if you want to learn more than is just in the Inner Sea World Guide.

Common core races in Qadira are listed in the Inner Sea Primer (which is itself a good place to go for a smaller summation of what Qadira is... there's a half-page entry about it specifically tailored toward PCs). The races are pretty much humans and half-elves... although the four elemental races (ifrit, undine, oread, and sylph) are slightly more common there than in most other nations.

I would recommend Profession (bookkeeper) or Profession (merchant).

Thanks! I'm not sure how I feel about being all desert-y, though... Maybe he won't be Qadiran-born, but still have ties to Qadira one way or the other... Hm...

EDIT: Alternatively, are there any non-Qadira nationalities/backdrops that would be an equally good fit for a commerce-minded individual? (Sczarni doesn't count - I'm going legit.)


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Druma and Katapesh have a strong mercantile flavour. As does Absalom, Goka, and Andoran.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Kajehase wrote:
Druma and Katapesh have a strong mercantile flavour. As does Absalom and Andoran.

Hm... I could do something with that... Of course, now I have to find out what races are most common for those areas... :P


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Andoran - Taldan and Chelish folk.
Katapesh - Keleshites mostly, but plenty of the other darker-skinned ethnicities (and gnolls)
Druma - Not sure, but I think it's probably Taldorans, Kellids, Varisiabs and dwarves.
Absalom - Everyone! ;)
Goka - As Absalom, but for Tian Xia.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Kajehase wrote:

Andoran - Taldan and Chelish folk.

Katapesh - Keleshites mostly, but plenty of the other darker-skinned ethnicities (and gnolls)
Druma - Not sure, but I think it's probably Taldorans, Kellids, Varisiabs and dwarves.
Absalom - Everyone! ;)
Goka - As Absalom, but for Tian Xia.

So... humans and dwarves? How disappointingly bland. :(

EDIT: New thread to avoid further threadjacking. :)


James Jacobs wrote:

I had not seen those rules.

My style of gaming is pretty much what's implied by the Adventure Paths. High magic, but grim, dark, and mature, with strong and interesting NPCs and story lines, now and then interspersed with light points and comedy. All gritty all the time gets exhausting. The PCs need time to relax and laugh.

I take your point on the too much grit thing. I really really like 85% of the adventure path modules, so your design philosophy certainly speaks to me. I keep hitting a hurdle (and it is probably MY hurdle as my players always tell me they enjoy my games) where the characters become so powerful that invoking a dark or grim mood it tough as they have an expectation that they can overcome most things via battle. And to be fair the APs and Pathfinder generally (at least using the implied play style) offers balanced encounters meaning players always have a sense that sword and spell can prevail.

Any tips for how you invoke the occasional sense of dread or fear in the players in your games? I seem to have not so much trouble at lower levels.


Okay...my question pertains to a question you answered in 2010. Most specificly, "There is a possible omission in the description of the Improved Natural Attack Feat. The feat is missing a 'Special' entry in order to be taken multiple times for different kind of Natural Attacks (like, for example, Weapon Focus does). This feature was included in the 3.x version, but is amiss in the Pathfinder version. Is this intentional change?"

To this, you answered, "That is indeed an error; you can't take Improved Natural Attack more than once per attack type, but you CAN take it multiple times per attack."

I'm just having trouble understanding that explaination. Does it mean it can be applied to a monsters(lets say...a dire wolf's) bite attack multiple times, but it can only be applied to a dragon's claw or wing attack type once? Or to put it another way, "In this explaination, what is the difference between an attack, and an attack type?"

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Read a lot of horror fiction. Seriously. The cadence and pacing and style of horror stories really helps when you're GMing a group and want to creep them out. Use creepy voices and strange noises—either ones you make yourself or ones you play from a computer or whatever. Use handouts and props. Play with mood music or dimmer than normal lighting. Have them make saving throws or Perception checks for no apparent reason, and regardless of what they roll, act grim and say something like, "You feel a bit nervous, as if someone were watching you" or just "You see nothing unusual." That last one works VERY well with Perception checks, in fact, especially if the PCs roll high. They don't know that there really IS nothing to see, after all...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Himoteph wrote:

Okay...my question pertains to a question you answered in 2010. Most specificly, "There is a possible omission in the description of the Improved Natural Attack Feat. The feat is missing a 'Special' entry in order to be taken multiple times for different kind of Natural Attacks (like, for example, Weapon Focus does). This feature was included in the 3.x version, but is amiss in the Pathfinder version. Is this intentional change?"

To this, you answered, "That is indeed an error; you can't take Improved Natural Attack more than once per attack type, but you CAN take it multiple times per attack."

I'm just having trouble understanding that explaination. Does it mean it can be applied to a monsters(lets say...a dire wolf's) bite attack multiple times, but it can only be applied to a dragon's claw or wing attack type once? Or to put it another way, "In this explaination, what is the difference between an attack, and an attack type?"

Improved Natural Attack is something that should be applied only once to any one natural attack.

A stegosaurus could take Improved Natural Attack once for its tail. That's it.

A dragon, though, could have Improved Natural Attack four times, once for a bite, once for claws, once for tail slap, and once for wings. But not TWICE for bite.

Sovereign Court

ulgulanoth wrote:
My pbps keep dying due to players losing interest, what can i do to keep them interested?

IANJJ but... pbp is very much a storytelling medium. The GM needs to create rich, detailed and engaging descriptions of places and characters.

It lacks the snap and verve of a proper table-top game so tense combat encounters are not 'felt' in the same way.

It also develops slowly, so plots should be kept relatively simple and have strong characters: pbp players lose track much more easily then tabletop players.


I previously asked some things concerning necromantic archaeology, and now noticed there is a witch grand hex that summons the ghost of a high-HD humanoid. Could this be used, Witch of Endor-style, to call up historical figures so that they can be bargained with for information on past events or lore? Moreover, could a witch use it to call up the shades of dead spellcasters in order to (have their familiar) learn spells from them?


James I just started my new job 2 days ago, and I have already 2 Pathfinder converts. When do I get paizo ninjas to clean my house?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
The Minis Maniac wrote:
James I just started my new job 2 days ago, and I have already 2 Pathfinder converts. When do I get paizo ninjas to clean my house?

They already did.

If your house is dirty again, blame the pugwampis. We can't do much about their antics, alas.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Analysis wrote:
I previously asked some things concerning necromantic archaeology, and now noticed there is a witch grand hex that summons the ghost of a high-HD humanoid. Could this be used, Witch of Endor-style, to call up historical figures so that they can be bargained with for information on past events or lore? Moreover, could a witch use it to call up the shades of dead spellcasters in order to (have their familiar) learn spells from them?

It could if the GM is willing to go along with it. It's certainly a cool idea.

Liberty's Edge

Favorite Avenger?

Favorite Justice League character?

Favorite Comic book movie?

Scarab Sages

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

So, I was looking through the Wondrous item lists for String Instruments and I noticed something, There's a Harp of charming, A lyre of building, there's even a Harp of Storms, but there's no Fiddle. So here's my question:

Are there Fiddles in Golarion? Relatedly, are there Guitars?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Misery wrote:

Favorite Avenger?

Favorite Justice League character?

Favorite Comic book movie?

Haven't seen "The Avengers" yet (that's tomorrow morning at 11:30), so based solely on the lead-up movies... Iron Man. Although Black Widow's a close second.

Batman? Is he in the Justice League?

Hellboy. Close second to the Dark Knight.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Stratagemini wrote:

So, I was looking through the Wondrous item lists for String Instruments and I noticed something, There's a Harp of charming, A lyre of building, there's even a Harp of Storms, but there's no Fiddle. So here's my question:

Are there Fiddles in Golarion? Relatedly, are there Guitars?

There are fiddles. No guitars.

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