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Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Though I am a bit puzzled as to why Sarenrae would allow clerics that actively cause suffering through their warmongering to continue gaining spells. I always thought if a cleric stepped out of line like that, their deity would automatically revoke their powers, much like how a paladin falls. You'd think a few dozen clerics spontaneously having their gifts denied because of their behavior would cause her faithful to get the message.

Well... first of all, the gods and goddesses move in mysterious ways.

But more to the point, the deities do not, as a general rule, directly meddle with the affairs of mortals. Even if those mortals are frustrating them. The warmongering Sarenites of Qadira aren't evil—they're not sadists, and they're not cruel, but they ARE getting the religion kinda wrong. Not wrong enough that Sarenrae will cut them off, though.

The point at which this branch of her church goes too far and those clerics start losing their powers is a turning point for this story arc. It's a big deal. It's a big enough deal that if it DOES happen, it needs to be an event that takes place during an Adventure Path.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:

Is it possible for everyone at Paizo that participated in the Reaper KS to pool their minis together on a big table (or something) and take a picture of it?

If it is possible, will you guys do it?

We don't have a big enough table, and most of us who got our Reaper Bones have already taken them home and transporting them back to work is not all that feasible.

So... yes, possible, but no, we won't do it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Lord Snow wrote:

About the upcoming Osirion AP (still more than 6 months away, I know) - are we to expect it to actually be an "osirion" AP, or is it about a more focused theme? I'm asking because with Reign of Winter, for example, people seemed to expect a "Irrisen AP", and they got really disappointed that most of the focus wasn't on Irrisen or Queen Elvanna.

So is the AP about roaming Osirion and finsing adventure there, or about another thing completely (mummies, obviously) that just happens to be tied to osirion? as a reference point, I would consider "Shattered Star" to be a Varisia AP, while Curse of the Crimson Throne is not a Varisia AP, it's a Korvosa AP.

Another related question: will the AP feature a lot of travel, visiting many of the adventure locations in Osirion, or be more grounded?

As a more general question, do you think "country X AP" is a good way to design an AP? Carrion Crown is maybe the best example here. While it's considerd very good, the fact that it's a greedy, "grab-'em-all" story that aimed to showcase as much of Ustalav really hurt it. The most common complaint about the AP is that it feels disjointed - it's an Ustalav AP, while people seemed to want a "Whispering way" AP.
How much thought is given to the subject? Are Paizo more inclined to base APs on showcasing part of the Golarion world map, or about stories with countries as backdrops?

We NEVER talked about Reign of Winter as an "Irrisen AP" and in fact I did my damndest here on these boards to manage expectations by informing folks that it's not an Irrisen AP, that it's the Baba Yaga AP.

We ARE talking about "Mummy's Mask" being an Osirion AP though. This adventure goes all over the place in Osirion. It doesn't go to Sothis though.

There'll be a fair amount of travel in this AP, with the travel/exploration actually being a big part of at least one adventure.

Every country in the Inner Sea region is designed to host specific types of adventures, so yes, doing an AP that is "This is the story this nation tells" is a good way to do an AP. We kinda did that with Skull & Shackles, Wrath of the Righteous, Carrion Crown, and the River Kingdoms already, for example. Mummy's Mask is one as well.

We give an awful lot of thought to the subject. After all, building and creating a single AP is pretty much a full-time job for about 8-9 months. That's a lot of hours someone is devoting to those six adventures.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:
So, I've been asking myself this since I got the core rulebook years ago: What the heck is up with Seoni's knee (in Wayne Reynolds iconic representation of her on the Sorcerer class page)? Did she get a burned one time there and her skin lost her pigmentation?

Looks normal to me. Not sure what you're referring to.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Robert Brookes wrote:

Hey James!

Do you think lycanthropes based off of dinosaurs or other megafauna are thematically appropriate monsters for parts Arcadia?

They're thematically appropriate monsters for every continent—every continent on Golarion has a place where dinosaurs can call home.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Cojonuda wrote:

Hi James,

When it comes to monster CR's. What is the proper CR "conversion"? Lets say you have a CR 6 monster capable of casting 1 spell/day. If I want to increase that to 3 spells per day how it will translate to CR? Instead of spells, lets say I give the monster a +1 or +2 weapon or a magical item or an extra feat. How does CR translates?

Reason I ask is b/c sometimes I do not want to use templates and want to add things I find challenging but do not know how to adjudicate a fair and proper CR.

Can I do the same thing to NPC's?

Thanks.

There is no magic formula for adjusting CR. When you mess with a monster's stats or build a new monster, you should look to Table 1–1 in the Bestiary to see where your core values for hp, attacks, damage, AC, saves, and ability DCs should lie. Other things beyond this, such as how many spells a monster can use, are things you just have to learn to assign from experience.

One thing to keep in mind is that a monster is generally "on screen" for only 5 or so rounds before it's defeated in combat. So giving a monster 50 spells isn't really much more powerful than giving it 10 spells, since it's only gonna be able to cast 5 or so of them (and probably less as it does other things than spellcasting in a fight).

And if you give a monster a magic weapon, it shouldn't increase it's CR at all unless that weapon causes its attack and damage averages to increase, at which point you should consider increasing its other stats to match the new CR value.

Monster and NPC CR scores work exactly the same.

If you really want to see examples on how we do this, your best bet is to read lots of our adventures—we always are advancing monsters and NPCs in this way, and the ways we do so are represented in those monsters' stat blocks.

Silver Crusade

James Jacobs wrote:
Sporge wrote:
So I was considering trying a Sorcerer/Oracle Mystic Theurge out... and realized that the combined spells ability is worded in a way that seems to hate a dual spontaneous caster. I was wondering if that ability, since written before there were any spontaneous divine casters (Oracle and Inquisitor), ever got errata or if that combination just does not get to use that ability at all.
As far as I know it's not been given errata, but not every class is designed to be the perfect choice for every combination.

(For anyone interested in this question, I've created an FAQ thread over on the Rules Forum. Go click that FAQ flag!)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

James Jacobs wrote:
Robert Brookes wrote:

Hey James!

Do you think lycanthropes based off of dinosaurs or other megafauna are thematically appropriate monsters for parts Arcadia?

They're thematically appropriate monsters for every continent—every continent on Golarion has a place where dinosaurs can call home.

Fantastic!


1)Does negative energy damage constructs and/or objects?

2)During Paizo Con bestiary 4 art was previewed for Al Miraj, Kitsune, and Tooth Fairy, were there any other creatures who were shown?

3)In the Mythic Rules book will there be any mythic dragons? Will they be unique or new species?

4)Would radiation be a disease, poison, or other kind of effect?

5)If a creature/character is immune to min-affecting effects then they do not gain benefits from morale or emotion effects like bardic music, bless, good hope, etc., correct?

6)Will we ever see a tribe/town/city of good aligned Orcs?

7)Are the pathfinder version of gnomes considered "rock" gnomes, "forest" gnomes, or other?

8)Do sea elves still exist on Golarion since the last time I remember seeing anything about them was when you guys were still 3.5?

9)Will we ever see religions like Buddhism or Shintoism in Pathfinder?

10)What were your favorite classes in Final Fantasy X-2?

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

James Jacobs wrote:
It doesn't go to Sothis though.

Woah.

Color me extremely surprised on this. I had expected an Osirion-based AP to start in Sothis, if not end in it. This shifts my expectations quite a bit!

I don't know if you can answer just yet, but will we see anything of the lost city of Tumen in the AP?

Dark Archive

James, we hear a lot about potential adventure paths in the future, but what about past ideas. Have you considered and then scrapped some ideas for adventure paths? Anything crazy?

Also, could one use a wish spell to get a simple template like fiendish, celestial or advanced? I ask because Baba Yaga was statted up as an advanced human. Did she gain that template through extraordinary means, or was she born with it?


What Piazo product do you think has not gotten the attention it deserves?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
So, I've been asking myself this since I got the core rulebook years ago: What the heck is up with Seoni's knee (in Wayne Reynolds iconic representation of her on the Sorcerer class page)? Did she get a burned one time there and her skin lost her pigmentation?
Looks normal to me. Not sure what you're referring to.

Um, you mean you can't see the very obvious change of skin color her left knee has in comparison to the rest of the skin of her leg just a few centimeters above ( I am referring the the zone between her "extended shoes" and the cloth stripe she has bound around her leg above her knee.)? It has really stood out glaringly since I first saw the image years ago.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Though I am a bit puzzled as to why Sarenrae would allow clerics that actively cause suffering through their warmongering to continue gaining spells. I always thought if a cleric stepped out of line like that, their deity would automatically revoke their powers, much like how a paladin falls. You'd think a few dozen clerics spontaneously having their gifts denied because of their behavior would cause her faithful to get the message.

Well... first of all, the gods and goddesses move in mysterious ways.

But more to the point, the deities do not, as a general rule, directly meddle with the affairs of mortals. Even if those mortals are frustrating them. The warmongering Sarenites of Qadira aren't evil—they're not sadists, and they're not cruel, but they ARE getting the religion kinda wrong. Not wrong enough that Sarenrae will cut them off, though.

The point at which this branch of her church goes too far and those clerics start losing their powers is a turning point for this story arc. It's a big deal. It's a big enough deal that if it DOES happen, it needs to be an event that takes place during an Adventure Path.

If they don't meddle in the affairs of mortals then why do they grant clerics their powers in the first place? From what I've read, it's evident that Golarion is not like Eberron, where the gods are inscrutable beings that cannot be understood and may or may not exist. Deities CAN talk to their followers. Receiving cleric powers is a direct sign of favor from your deity, your deity saying "You're one of my most devoted and pure followers, and you deserve these powers as a reward." And these clerics CAN contact their god via spells to consult them if there's a moral quandary. You can plane-shift to Nirvana and walk right up to Sarenrae and say "Hey, are we on the right track here?" In Carrion Crown, you can be personally thanked by Desna for reconsecrating a temple to her, and are granted a vision of the future that turns your irises permanently silver as a reward. Heck, there's a magic item that can do that for anybody (Phylactery of Faithfulness). I feel like schisms like this shouldn't happen when they have a much greater ability to examine and check their own behavior via magic. They can't move in mysterious ways when mortals have the means to observe and collect evidence on those movements by planar travel. And though, yes, ordinary people can get it wrong, their leaders have no excuse, as they have the power, and have a responsibility to represent their revelations accurately lest they incur their deity's disappointment and lose their powers as a clear punishment.

I just have a hard time imagining that deities have personalities outside their alignments/portfolios, but aren't completely amoral like the Greek or Norse gods, who didn't take stances because of some sort of morality, but because of perceived personal insults. Athena didn't turn Medusa into a Gorgon because Medusa did something that denigrated wisdom or the practice of just war. She did it because Medusa had sexual congress (without Medusa's actual consent, I might add) in Athena's temple and Athena found sex of any kind disgusting. If a god's personality IS tied to their ethos, if they are literally the cosmic manifestations of tyranny or redemption or balance, etc, then by definition they wouldn't tolerate behavior not in line with their own practices and teachings, right? If Sarenrae IS the strongest manifestation of the Neutral Good alignment in the Pathfinder universe, why did she even grant these clerics power, especially if these warmongering clerics are still supposed to be Lawful Good, Neutral Good or Chaotic Good to continue to be able to cast spells according to the rules?

Although maybe my opinion of these matters is largely influenced by this particular page of a particular comic. This is how I view D&D gods behaving when their cleric steps out of line:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0407.html

That the instant a cleric acts out of accordance with their gods' tenets, they lose their powers.


Do familiars gain additional skills and feats as the caster increases in level? Or is that only Animal Companions?

Silver Crusade

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

I must add, this is in no way a criticism of your talents as a writer, which are incredibly awesome and have created the books I spend a majority of my spending cash on (I dropped about $100 at the game store yesterday to purchase the Serpent's Skull books, I'm only missing Racing to Ruin now).

I just have a hard time reconciling the characters of the deities with the demands placed on a cleric character via the rules and alignment. I'm trying to wrap my head around how to be a cleric on Golarion, especially when trying to reconcile it with the kinds of characters I like to play and the demands of good narrative structure.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Robert Brookes wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
It doesn't go to Sothis though.

Woah.

Color me extremely surprised on this. I had expected an Osirion-based AP to start in Sothis, if not end in it. This shifts my expectations quite a bit!

I don't know if you can answer just yet, but will we see anything of the lost city of Tumen in the AP?

Nothing about Tumen either.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

DrDeth wrote:
What Piazo product do you think has not gotten the attention it deserves?

Hmmm. Nothing comes to mind, frankly.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Atrocious wrote:

James, we hear a lot about potential adventure paths in the future, but what about past ideas. Have you considered and then scrapped some ideas for adventure paths? Anything crazy?

Also, could one use a wish spell to get a simple template like fiendish, celestial or advanced? I ask because Baba Yaga was statted up as an advanced human. Did she gain that template through extraordinary means, or was she born with it?

We were going to do a big dragon-themed AP where the bad guy at the end of each adventure was a different dragon, and the final bad guy was a dragon mastermind. We ended up scrapping that entire AP because the adventures started feeling REALLY repetitive, and because management was universally underwhelmed by the whole thing.

As for wishes... sure! Wishes can do all sorts of things. That's not how Baba Yaga got the advanced template though—she's just naturally badass.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

magnuskn wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
So, I've been asking myself this since I got the core rulebook years ago: What the heck is up with Seoni's knee (in Wayne Reynolds iconic representation of her on the Sorcerer class page)? Did she get a burned one time there and her skin lost her pigmentation?
Looks normal to me. Not sure what you're referring to.
Um, you mean you can't see the very obvious change of skin color her left knee has in comparison to the rest of the skin of her leg just a few centimeters above ( I am referring the the zone between her "extended shoes" and the cloth stripe she has bound around her leg above her knee.)? It has really stood out glaringly since I first saw the image years ago.

Oh; I do see it. I've always interpreted that as a highlight catching the curves of her leg and knee just right. It's never stood out to me before and always looked just like light reflecting from her knee.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Although maybe my opinion of these matters is largely influenced by this particular page of a particular comic. This is how I view D&D gods behaving when their cleric steps out of line:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0407.html

That the instant a cleric acts out of accordance with their gods' tenets, they lose their powers.

By allowing clerics to be more varied in the way they interpret and worship their faith, we get a much more interesting set of character possibilities, which is important. Just as in the real world, a dozen members of a single faith taken from a dozen different locations in the world will have different ways of worshiping, so it is on Golarion. It keeps things interesting.


James: thanks for everything. I heard that many of the pathfinder society organized play games were very ... mechanically oriented and pretty much lacking much rp. I understand the limitations of the format, but have the boys and girls in marketing ever considered a push for making pathfinder society games maybe a bit more rp-centric and a bit less tactical/tabletop-centric?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Dragon78 wrote:

1)Does negative energy damage constructs and/or objects?

2)During Paizo Con bestiary 4 art was previewed for Al Miraj, Kitsune, and Tooth Fairy, were there any other creatures who were shown?

3)In the Mythic Rules book will there be any mythic dragons? Will they be unique or new species?

4)Would radiation be a disease, poison, or other kind of effect?

5)If a creature/character is immune to min-affecting effects then they do not gain benefits from morale or emotion effects like bardic music, bless, good hope, etc., correct?

6)Will we ever see a tribe/town/city of good aligned Orcs?

7)Are the pathfinder version of gnomes considered "rock" gnomes, "forest" gnomes, or other?

8)Do sea elves still exist on Golarion since the last time I remember seeing anything about them was when you guys were still 3.5?

9)Will we ever see religions like Buddhism or Shintoism in Pathfinder?

10)What were your favorite classes in Final Fantasy X-2?

1) No; constructs aren't living creatures, and are thus not subject to positive or negative energy.

2) One of the Kaiju was shown, as was Cthulhu. There may have been one or two others.

3) There are no "brand new" monsters in Mythic Adventures, but there are mythic versions of the five chromatic dragons.

4) The closest analogy would be disease.

5) Being immune to mind-affecting effects does indeed prevent you from gaining morale bonuses... but note that bardic performances do not grant morale bonuses as a general rule.

6) We've already done a little of this in Lands of the Linnorm Kings... but it's not something I'm eager to do much more with at this point since that's SO much a thing in Warcraft.

7) They're just gnomes. We don't have "rock" gnomes or "forest" gnomes.

8) They do exist; see the elf entry on page 25 of Inner Sea World Guide for rules.

9) No.

10) It's been years since I played the game, but I do recall being fond of the Lady Luck class and the Gunmage class, I think...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:
Do familiars gain additional skills and feats as the caster increases in level? Or is that only Animal Companions?

Familiars do not.


James Jacobs wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
Also, could one use a wish spell to get a simple template like fiendish, celestial or advanced?
As for wishes... sure! Wishes can do all sorts of things.

Are you sure allowing people to acquire a template through a spell is wise?


Will we be able to buy Minis of the Mythic Iconics?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

I must add, this is in no way a criticism of your talents as a writer, which are incredibly awesome and have created the books I spend a majority of my spending cash on (I dropped about $100 at the game store yesterday to purchase the Serpent's Skull books, I'm only missing Racing to Ruin now).

I just have a hard time reconciling the characters of the deities with the demands placed on a cleric character via the rules and alignment. I'm trying to wrap my head around how to be a cleric on Golarion, especially when trying to reconcile it with the kinds of characters I like to play and the demands of good narrative structure.

No worries!

But yeah... alignment is not and should not be SO restrictive that every single cleric of any one deity is exactly the same, personality-wise. There needs to be a lot of room there for clerics, and ANY worshipers of any deity, to be their own characters. And keep in mind as well that not all worshipers of deities are clerics.

My advice for playing a cleric on Golarion is to play your character as if he or she were roleplaying their deity in question. So if you're playing a cleric of Desna, you're not just playing a cleric who worships Desna, you're playing a character who idolizes Desna enough to want to, in some way, BE Desna. Just as someone dresses up as Batman for Halloween or a convention pretends to be Batman. But unlike that case, the character's worship actually grants them magic powers and spells, and so for the cleric, EVERY DAY is cosplay.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Leonard Pimentel wrote:
James: thanks for everything. I heard that many of the pathfinder society organized play games were very ... mechanically oriented and pretty much lacking much rp. I understand the limitations of the format, but have the boys and girls in marketing ever considered a push for making pathfinder society games maybe a bit more rp-centric and a bit less tactical/tabletop-centric?

It's the nature of the organized play environment, and that's not really something we can change, I don't think, without completely restructuring Pathfinder Society. We try to include lots of roleplaying encounters in those adventures, but the fact that you play those adventures in noisy convention rooms with players you may have never met means that it's just not a conducive atmosphere, in my opinion, to build a shared history and storyline.

It's one way that home games are, in my opinion, vastly superior to convention games or organized play games.

And in the end, it's really just a different mode of playing. It's not for everyone, and trying to MAKE it be for everyone is a good way to ruin it for the people who currently enjoy it.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Although maybe my opinion of these matters is largely influenced by this particular page of a particular comic. This is how I view D&D gods behaving when their cleric steps out of line:

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0407.html

That the instant a cleric acts out of accordance with their gods' tenets, they lose their powers.

By allowing clerics to be more varied in the way they interpret and worship their faith, we get a much more interesting set of character possibilities, which is important. Just as in the real world, a dozen members of a single faith taken from a dozen different locations in the world will have different ways of worshiping, so it is on Golarion. It keeps things interesting.

I understand and think that's valuable, but the problem I have with it is that the reason for those variations in the real world is because it is up to human interpretation of something that by its very definition cannot be empirically examined or proven. That's not possible in a world where you can plane shift or cast commune to communicate directly with the deity of your choice at a certain character level. At that point, human interpretation has no value because you can instead consult the god personally, without any of the possibilities of getting it different that are inherent here. We believe many different things on Earth because we can't talk to God or Buddha and ask him to clarify, or even prove that such beings exist, and have to rely on the interpretations of other, fallible humans to fill that gap. Golarion's clerics CAN talk to Sarenrae or Zon-Kuthon, and get their doctrine right from their deity's infallible lips.

When you can use what in Golarion isn't supernatural but an established part of the natural laws (magic, in this case) to prove the gods not only exist but can produce the effects their followers say they can, then you're not dealing with faith, but with scientific inquiry. I dunno, maybe I've been watching too much AronRa. His video probably explains this better than me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnj7PlqmJ5o

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
But more to the point, the deities do not, as a general rule, directly meddle with the affairs of mortals. Even if those mortals are frustrating them. The warmongering Sarenites of Qadira aren't evil—they're not sadists, and they're not cruel, but they ARE getting the religion kinda wrong. Not wrong enough that Sarenrae will cut them off, though.

As you said, the Gods move in mysterious ways. The warlike Sarenites of Qadira might be a bit offputting to their colleagues in the West, but it seems that they're doing a good job of keeping her church strong. If gods are ultimately shaped by their worshipers... Couldn't it be just as likely that Sarenae will change herself or develop an aspect that's perfectly in tune with their warlike ambitions? After all who are the Qadirans really hurting with their ambitions? A nation which has made her worship illegal?

It would be pretty close to how Chauntea puts on a different face and identity when she is revered as the Earthmother in the Moonshae Isles.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Porphyrogenitus wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Atrocious wrote:
Also, could one use a wish spell to get a simple template like fiendish, celestial or advanced?
As for wishes... sure! Wishes can do all sorts of things.
Are you sure allowing people to acquire a template through a spell is wise?

It's a wish. It can already do all sorts of things. That's the whole point of wish.

The various lower-level polymorph spells already essentially grant the effects of a template, after all.

THAT SAID... I wouldn't allow a wish spell to give yourself such a template FOREVER. I mean... a wish can increase an ability score by +1. The advanced template increases ALL your ability scores by +4. So right there you can see that a wish to permanently gain +1 Strength is not nearly as powerful as a wish to gain the advanced template. And therefore, I'd say that the wish to gain the advanced template would need to be one that is granted by someone a lot more powerful, or has a much bigger material component cost, or isn't permanent... or maybe has a pretty significant side effect.

I've always viewed wishes as "break the rules but for a price" things anyway. If you want to use one to create one of the bog-standard effects listed in the spell, fine. But if you want to do something wild and crazy... that's your character giving me the GM permission to mess with you in some way! :-D


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
If Sarenrae IS the strongest manifestation of the Neutral Good alignment in the Pathfinder universe, why did she even grant these clerics power, especially if these warmongering clerics are still supposed to be Lawful Good, Neutral Good or Chaotic Good to continue to be able to cast spells according to the rules?

Sarenrae isn't the "God of neutral good," and there are other neutral good gods even in the inner sea pantheon (Shelyn). And clerics of Sarenrae or Shelyn can also be true neutral, which presumably the warlike keleshite sarenites are.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tels wrote:
Will we be able to buy Minis of the Mythic Iconics?

We have no plans at this point to do miniatures of mythic iconics.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

I understand and think that's valuable, but the problem I have with it is that the reason for those variations in the real world is because it is up to human interpretation of something that by its very definition cannot be empirically examined or proven. That's not possible in a world where you can plane shift or cast commune to communicate directly with the deity of your choice at a certain character level. At that point, human interpretation has no value because you can instead consult the god personally, without any of the possibilities of getting it different that are inherent here. We believe many different things on Earth because we can't talk to God or Buddha and ask him to clarify, or even prove that such beings exist, and have to rely on the interpretations of other, fallible humans to fill that gap. Golarion's clerics CAN talk to Sarenrae or Zon-Kuthon, and get their doctrine right from their deity's infallible lips.

When you can use what in Golarion isn't supernatural but an established part of the natural laws (magic, in this case) to prove the gods not only exist but can produce the effects their followers say they can, then you're not dealing with faith, but with scientific inquiry. I dunno, maybe I've been...

Well... keep in mind that the GM is the one roleplaying those deities. And just because you can "talk to the gods" using spells like commune doesn't mean that the god's not lying to you in order to test you, or lying to you in order to trick you into doing the thing he/she actually wants you to do, or just telling you what you want to hear, or so forth. Of course, some gods will be less likely to lie in this manner, but they might simply say something like "In order for you to find out why I allow heretics to cast spells, you need to [INSERT ADVENTURE HOOK HERE]."

And keep in mind further that commune does not allow discussion. It's yes/no or simple answers, and those can EASILY be misunderstood, especially if the question being asked is poorly constructed. Further, you have to be 9th level to cast that spell in the first place, and that's not something the vast bulk of the worshiping masses can do.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The Golux wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
If Sarenrae IS the strongest manifestation of the Neutral Good alignment in the Pathfinder universe, why did she even grant these clerics power, especially if these warmongering clerics are still supposed to be Lawful Good, Neutral Good or Chaotic Good to continue to be able to cast spells according to the rules?
Sarenrae isn't the "God of neutral good," and there are other neutral good gods even in the inner sea pantheon (Shelyn). And clerics of Sarenrae or Shelyn can also be true neutral, which presumably the warlike kelishite sarenites are.

Correct.

And again... not every member of her church is a cleric. There are plenty of non-clerics involved in making bad decisions for every faith.

Silver Crusade

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

But the very presence of spellcasting ability due to proper adherence to your god of choice, and the fact that this power is revoked should that adherence falter, is an answer too, isn't it? How can there be Sarenites that go to Hell or Abaddon upon death that could still cast spells while alive? In order to go to those places after death, you have to be Evil, and clerics have to be within one step of their deity's alignment in order to cast spells, which means that Sarenrae worshipers can only be Lawful Good, Neutral Good or Chaotic Good. Being Evil enough to need to go to an Evil plane after death means they're in direct opposition on the alignment chart and thus can't cast spells.

The scenario your describing just doesn't seem to work with the RAW.


Thanks for the reply.

James Jacobs wrote:

It's a wish. It can already do all sorts of things. That's the whole point of wish.

The various lower-level polymorph spells already essentially grant the effects of a template, after all.

THAT SAID... I wouldn't allow a wish spell to give yourself such a template FOREVER. I mean... a wish can increase an ability score by +1. The advanced template increases ALL your ability scores by +4.

Ok, goodo and thanks for the clarification because that's just the type of thing I was puzzling through as the potential results of using wishes to gain templates.

Temporary as a polymorph-style effect is kewl though. It does display the flexibility of wishes, but without busting the game. I mistakenly thought you meant people could get templates permanently with (9th level) wishes.

Thanks again for the response!

Sczarni

James, I've got a couple of questions about blue dragons and simulacrum for an upcoming adventure session. These are hopefully more flavor-ish than rules-ish, or at least I'll be plenty happy with flavor-ish answers. :)

1. A Wyrm blue dragon (26 HD) casts simulacrum on itself, making a 13 HD simulacrum. I assume the simulacrum should basically use the stats for the 12 HD Juvenile blue dragon, right?

2. If so, would you say that it still would look like a Gargantuan creature, or would it look Large? Simulacrum says, "It appears to be the same as the original..." but the Juvenile dragon stats are highly dependent on it only being Large. How would you do it? Especially if you'd rather have it *not* be immediately obvious that this is merely a simulacrum...?

3. This goes for simulacra in general: How much of the original creature's personality and knowledge do you figure a simulacrum has? Would it have the same kind of knowledge and expertise? Or half as much knowledge (due to half skill ranks)? Or none?

4. Would the answer to 3 maybe be different depending on whether the caster was making a simulacrum of a well-known subject (such as himself), or making one of somebody else, perhaps someone he doesn't even know too well apart from their appearance?

5. Speaking of appearance, how accurate and detailed do you figure the ice sculpture has to be?


James, I have tried asking this question on the Rules Forum, but after twice listing it, I've had no response, so could I ask your view?

The question relates to the fiendish vessel archetype and the rules for "channel evil". The rules (Advanced Race Guide pg 170) state:

At 1st level, a fiendish vessel, rather than channeling positive or negative energy, instead channels the pure evil power of her fiendish patron. This ability is similar to channeling negative energy, but instead of healing undead and dealing damage to living creatures, this blast of evil energy automatically heals evil creatures and debilitates good creatures within its burst.

Channeling this evil causes a burst that affects all creatures in a 30-foot radius centered on the fiendish vessel. In the case of evil creatures, the amount of damage healed is equal to 1d4 points of damage and increases by 1d4 at every two levels beyond 1st (to a maximum of 10d4 at 19th level). Good creatures in the burst receive a Will saving throw to negate this damage. Good creatures that fail their saving throws are sickened for 1d4 rounds.

The first paragraph seems to make clear that this power allows the fiendish vessel to heal evil creates, but only to "debilitate" good creates (as opposed to "damage" them - the previous sentence specifically uses the term "damage" when referring to channeling positive and negative energy - I assume this difference is deliberate).

The second paragraph confuses the issue by stating good creatures receive a saving throw to "negate this damage" but then goes on to state that failing the saving throw results in being sickened for 1d4 rounds.

I think the words "negate this damage" refer to the sickening given the use of the term "debilitate" in the first paragraph, but its confusing as it could mean that good creatures take 1d4 damage per two levels AND suffer 1d4 rounds of sickening. However, if that were the case why didn't the first paragraph refer to "damage and debilitate" instead of just "debilitate".

Any advice/help would be welcomed. Thanks (and apologies for asking a rules question – I know you don’t like them here).

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

But the very presence of spellcasting ability due to proper adherence to your god of choice, and the fact that this power is revoked should that adherence falter, is an answer too, isn't it? How can there be Sarenites that go to Hell or Abaddon upon death that could still cast spells while alive? In order to go to those places after death, you have to be Evil, and clerics have to be within one step of their deity's alignment in order to cast spells, which means that Sarenrae worshipers can only be Lawful Good, Neutral Good or Chaotic Good. Being Evil enough to need to go to an Evil plane after death means they're in direct opposition on the alignment chart and thus can't cast spells.

The scenario your describing just doesn't seem to work with the RAW.

Archpaladin. They also can be TRUE NEUTRAL. Just so you are aware as it is within One step of Neutral Good. I would know, I'm playing a True Neutral Cleric of Urgathoa in Carrion Crown.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

But the very presence of spellcasting ability due to proper adherence to your god of choice, and the fact that this power is revoked should that adherence falter, is an answer too, isn't it? How can there be Sarenites that go to Hell or Abaddon upon death that could still cast spells while alive? In order to go to those places after death, you have to be Evil, and clerics have to be within one step of their deity's alignment in order to cast spells, which means that Sarenrae worshipers can only be Lawful Good, Neutral Good or Chaotic Good. Being Evil enough to need to go to an Evil plane after death means they're in direct opposition on the alignment chart and thus can't cast spells.

The scenario your describing just doesn't seem to work with the RAW.

This is a can of worms I'm not interested in continuing to open here on this thread. I saw that you started a new thread about the topic, which is the right thing to do; thanks!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

But the very presence of spellcasting ability due to proper adherence to your god of choice, and the fact that this power is revoked should that adherence falter, is an answer too, isn't it? How can there be Sarenites that go to Hell or Abaddon upon death that could still cast spells while alive? In order to go to those places after death, you have to be Evil, and clerics have to be within one step of their deity's alignment in order to cast spells, which means that Sarenrae worshipers can only be Lawful Good, Neutral Good or Chaotic Good. Being Evil enough to need to go to an Evil plane after death means they're in direct opposition on the alignment chart and thus can't cast spells.

The scenario your describing just doesn't seem to work with the RAW.

FULL DISCLOSURE:

To be perfectly frank, the whole problem is something I've been trying to sort of clear up for years. The introduction of the whole Taldor/Qadira war thing which involved Sarenrae in the way it did was something that more or less developed when I wasn't looking, and is NOT the way I would have preferred to have Sarenrae's church and faith represented, due to some miscommunications and poor decisions made by others (not me) during the development and writing of the Qadira and Taldor player's guides many years ago.

What's in the Inner Sea World Guide is, basically, step one of me trying to fix this problem and explain why it is there are worshipers of Sarenrae on both sides of the fence who still gain spellcasting. It's not a solution I can explain in the context of one four-page entry in the world guide, and it's CERTAINLY not one I can explain here. It will take an adventure path or something of the nature to explain.

It was either that, or ret-con large bulks of what we published (unfortunately) in those previous Player's Guides. I decided to roll with those unfortunate decisions, but a part of me now thinks it would have been better to rewrite Taldan and Qadiran history a bit to make a less complicated reason for the two nations to be at each other's throats.

That ship has sailed, though.

So here we are. You'll just have to wait for some unscheduled and possibly never-to-be Adventure Path or other product to go into greater detail about how and why this is the way it is.

For now, if knowing it was a case of folks working on one product not really following the creative direction I had for Sarenrae, and me not realizing that it was happening because it was too late and I was busy working on other products helps to settle some nerves, then good. If not... then please have patience. We'll get to it eventually. Might take a few years though!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Trinite wrote:

James, I've got a couple of questions about blue dragons and simulacrum for an upcoming adventure session. These are hopefully more flavor-ish than rules-ish, or at least I'll be plenty happy with flavor-ish answers. :)

1. A Wyrm blue dragon (26 HD) casts simulacrum on itself, making a 13 HD simulacrum. I assume the simulacrum should basically use the stats for the 12 HD Juvenile blue dragon, right?

2. If so, would you say that it still would look like a Gargantuan creature, or would it look Large? Simulacrum says, "It appears to be the same as the original..." but the Juvenile dragon stats are highly dependent on it only being Large. How would you do it? Especially if you'd rather have it *not* be immediately obvious that this is merely a simulacrum...?

3. This goes for simulacra in general: How much of the original creature's personality and knowledge do you figure a simulacrum has? Would it have the same kind of knowledge and expertise? Or half as much knowledge (due to half skill ranks)? Or none?

4. Would the answer to 3 maybe be different depending on whether the caster was making a simulacrum of a well-known subject (such as himself), or making one of somebody else, perhaps someone he doesn't even know too well apart from their appearance?

5. Speaking of appearance, how accurate and detailed do you figure the ice sculpture has to be?

First off, simulacrum is a really wacky spell. It presents some really cool adventure possibilities and plotlines, but it is also a spell that can cause a bunch of weird things to happen if you really start digging into it. So, Handle With Care!

1) Not really... it'd be a 13 HD version of a Wyrm blue dragon. It would be the same size, in other words, but would have half everything HD related.

2) It wouldn't be a juvenile dragon, so this question isn't an issue.

3) A simulacrum does not possess any of the original creature's memories. It's personality is whatever you as the caster want it to be. It's knowledge is determined by how it spends its half-of-the-original's skill ranks and feats and the like.

4) Nope. The simulacrum is what the caster wants it to be.

5) The more accurate and detailed (as determined by the result of your Disguise check) the statue is, the more realistic and alike to the original the completed simulacrum will be.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Timothy Ferdinand wrote:

James, I have tried asking this question on the Rules Forum, but after twice listing it, I've had no response, so could I ask your view?

The question relates to the fiendish vessel archetype and the rules for "channel evil". The rules (Advanced Race Guide pg 170) state:

At 1st level, a fiendish vessel, rather than channeling positive or negative energy, instead channels the pure evil power of her fiendish patron. This ability is similar to channeling negative energy, but instead of healing undead and dealing damage to living creatures, this blast of evil energy automatically heals evil creatures and debilitates good creatures within its burst.

Channeling this evil causes a burst that affects all creatures in a 30-foot radius centered on the fiendish vessel. In the case of evil creatures, the amount of damage healed is equal to 1d4 points of damage and increases by 1d4 at every two levels beyond 1st (to a maximum of 10d4 at 19th level). Good creatures in the burst receive a Will saving throw to negate this damage. Good creatures that fail their saving throws are sickened for 1d4 rounds.

The first paragraph seems to make clear that this power allows the fiendish vessel to heal evil creates, but only to "debilitate" good creates (as opposed to "damage" them - the previous sentence specifically uses the term "damage" when referring to channeling positive and negative energy - I assume this difference is deliberate).

The second paragraph confuses the issue by stating good creatures receive a saving throw to "negate this damage" but then goes on to state that failing the saving throw results in being sickened for 1d4 rounds.

I think the words "negate this damage" refer to the sickening given the use of the term "debilitate" in the first paragraph, but its confusing as it could mean that good creatures take 1d4 damage per two levels AND suffer 1d4 rounds of sickening. However, if that were the case why didn't the first paragraph refer to "damage and debilitate" instead of just "debilitate".

Any advice/help would be welcomed. Thanks (and apologies for asking a rules question – I know you don’t like them here).

I'm not familiar with these rules, first off—I wasn't really involved in the creation of Advanced Race Guide apart from rewriting two or three paragraphs for the samsaran, so I'm not really the right person to ask these questions in the first place. The Rules Forum is the right place. I'm sorry that you've had no luck getting an answer.

My take on the question though is that the first paragraph is largely flavor text without any rules in there, and that the second paragraph is where the rules live. So if you want the raw rules for this ability, don't let the flavor text in the first paragraph distract you. Ignore the first paragraph and just go with the second paragraph's rules.


You can't pay for customer service like this. You rock James!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Buri wrote:
You can't pay for customer service like this. You rock James!

Turns out, all of you who buy Pathifnder products are in a roundabout way paying for my paycheck, which in turn paid for this fancy iMac I'm writing this on, and which in turn paid for the internet connection I'll be using to post it.

So, in fact, you CAN pay for customer service like this! :-D

But that said, thanks for the kind words!


Good point. :P

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

But the very presence of spellcasting ability due to proper adherence to your god of choice, and the fact that this power is revoked should that adherence falter, is an answer too, isn't it? How can there be Sarenites that go to Hell or Abaddon upon death that could still cast spells while alive? In order to go to those places after death, you have to be Evil, and clerics have to be within one step of their deity's alignment in order to cast spells, which means that Sarenrae worshipers can only be Lawful Good, Neutral Good or Chaotic Good. Being Evil enough to need to go to an Evil plane after death means they're in direct opposition on the alignment chart and thus can't cast spells.

The scenario your describing just doesn't seem to work with the RAW.

FULL DISCLOSURE:

To be perfectly frank, the whole problem is something I've been trying to sort of clear up for years. The introduction of the whole Taldor/Qadira war thing which involved Sarenrae in the way it did was something that more or less developed when I wasn't looking, and is NOT the way I would have preferred to have Sarenrae's church and faith represented, due to some miscommunications and poor decisions made by others (not me) during the development and writing of the Qadira and Taldor player's guides many years ago.

What's in the Inner Sea World Guide is, basically, step one of me trying to fix this problem and explain why it is there are worshipers of Sarenrae on both sides of the fence who still gain spellcasting. It's not a solution I can explain in the context of one four-page entry in the world guide, and it's CERTAINLY not one I can explain here. It will take an adventure path or something of the nature to explain.

It was either that, or ret-con large bulks of what we published (unfortunately) in those previous Player's Guides. I decided to roll with those unfortunate decisions, but a part of me now thinks it would have been better to rewrite Taldan and Qadiran history a bit to make a...

Wow. I...I didn't expect something like that at all. I'm sorry! I was wrong! :(

Lantern Lodge

Dear JJ,

I have been searching the forums of late trying to figure out a decent build for a character that throws Darts. A few people think that the Two-Weapon Fighting feats work with thrown weapons and that does not sound right to me. So my question is would Two-Weapon Fighting feats work with a character that throws Darts almost exclusively?

Thanks,
Psion-Psycho

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Psion-Psycho wrote:

Dear JJ,

I have been searching the forums of late trying to figure out a decent build for a character that throws Darts. A few people think that the Two-Weapon Fighting feats work with thrown weapons and that does not sound right to me. So my question is would Two-Weapon Fighting feats work with a character that throws Darts almost exclusively?

Thanks,
Psion-Psycho

Two-Weapon Fighting works with thrown weapons. You'll need Quick Draw too, though, for most thrown weapons.

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