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James Jacobs wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Can you use the Handle Animal skill to command someone else's mount, animal companion, a wild animal, or purchased attack animal?
Yes. That's kind of the whole point of the skill; to let you influence animals. With an animal companion, though, I'd treat the skill more like diplomacy or bluff or intimidate.

Not sure I understand the rationale of Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate being employed against an animal companion. HA is specifically intended to work on low (INT 1-2) intelligence creatures. Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, are intended to work on intelligent or sentient creatures. Being or not being someone's animal companion doesn't change that. More to the point, not even the animal's handler can substitute Diplomacy for Handle Animal checks, so why would anyone else be afforded that option?

James Jacobs wrote:
If it's just a wild animal, also unlikely. The point of the skill[HA] is to give direction to trained animals... the ability you're looking for is mostly covered by wild empathy and by spells like dominate animal.

Don't really understand this either. HA specifically says the "push" skill allows you to convince an animal to do something it's physically able to do, but isn't trained to do. If I can push a domesticated animal to do something it isn't trained to do, why wouldn't that apply to wild animals?

Wild Empathy is designed to improve the attitude of an animal. But what then? A Ranger makes a successful WE check and the wild tiger is now "Indifferent." The Ranger can't speak with the animal so now what? And even if it could, the rules state that even an animal with 3 INT must still be given Handle Animal commands.

Unlike Diplomacy or Intimidate, HA clearly works on animals in combat. Why couldn't the creature being attacked use a HA to command the creature to stop attacking it? I'm not saying that your belief isn't plausible, but can you support it in the context of the rules?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
So why do the Mordant Spire elves have a deal with the Decemvirate of the Pathfinder Society? I'd have thought a group dedicated to guarding Azlant's history and artifacts through brainwashing and lethal force to prevent the end of the world happening again would be violently opposed to a group dedicated to picking through old ruins for knowledge and artifacts as part of the job description.

That's a secret we may explore further in the future. It might not be all of the elves though...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

N N 959 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Can you use the Handle Animal skill to command someone else's mount, animal companion, a wild animal, or purchased attack animal?
Yes. That's kind of the whole point of the skill; to let you influence animals. With an animal companion, though, I'd treat the skill more like diplomacy or bluff or intimidate.

Not sure I understand the rationale of Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate being employed against an animal companion. HA is specifically intended to work on low (INT 1-2) intelligence creatures. Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, are intended to work on intelligent or sentient creatures. Being or not being someone's animal companion doesn't change that. More to the point, not even the animal's handler can substitute Diplomacy for Handle Animal checks, so why would anyone else be afforded that option?

James Jacobs wrote:
If it's just a wild animal, also unlikely. The point of the skill[HA] is to give direction to trained animals... the ability you're looking for is mostly covered by wild empathy and by spells like dominate animal.

Don't really understand this either. HA specifically says the "push" skill allows you to convince an animal to do something it's physically able to do, but isn't trained to do. If I can push a domesticated animal to do something it isn't trained to do, why wouldn't that apply to wild animals?

Wild Empathy is designed to improve the attitude of an animal. But what then? A Ranger makes a successful WE check and the wild tiger is now "Indifferent." The Ranger can't speak with the animal so now what? And even if it could, the rules state that even an animal with 3 INT must still be given Handle Animal commands.

Unlike Diplomacy or Intimidate, HA clearly works on animals in combat. Why couldn't the creature being attacked use a HA to command the creature to stop attacking it? I'm not saying that your belief isn't plausible, but can you support it in the context of the rules?

All good arguments to let Handle Animal do that... but reverse it and have an NPC use it against a PC's companion and it starts to get weird. It'd be like having an NPC use Diplomacy to force the PCs to not attack.

Your GM may feel differently... but it's a slippery slope.

Grand Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Can you use the Handle Animal skill to command someone else's mount, animal companion, a wild animal, or purchased attack animal?
Yes. That's kind of the whole point of the skill; to let you influence animals. With an animal companion, though, I'd treat the skill more like diplomacy or bluff or intimidate.

Sorry, I tried to make the question neutral and kind of took out the point of asking.

Could you use the handle animal skill to tell a mount or animal companion to attack their owner? Or a wild animal attacking you to attack something else ?

Unlikely. That'd be like using Bluff or Diplomacy to convince someone to attack a friend. You could do it, but it would take a long time and several checks... and would require you to be able to speak with animals as well. If it's just a wild animal, also unlikely. The point of the skill is to give direction to trained animals... the ability you're looking for is mostly covered by wild empathy and by spells like dominate animal.

To follow up on this,

1.) Can you give an opponent's mount an order to flee.

2.) Can you give an animal you have just purchased an order to flee.

In other words, can you give a trained animal you don't know an order, then what is to stop you from giving an opponent's trained animal an order.

If you can only give an order to an animal you know really well, then what is the point of the exclusive trick, since it pretty much says only you can give your animal orders, and that's pretty much already the case.


1) Do the Great Old Ones/Outer Gods have antipaladins? If so, how do the operate and what rule to they fulfill in the Great Old Ones/Outer Gods' designs?

Grand Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
All good arguments to let Handle Animal do that... but reverse it and have an NPC use it against a PC's companion and it starts to get weird. It'd be like having an NPC use Diplomacy to force the PCs to not attack.

You know, I don't really see what's wrong with an NPC using diplomacy to force the PC's not to attack.

Assuming that the NPC *has* the several minutes or so to wheedle and plead for his life, and has a good argument, if he made a really good diplomacy check, I would be very disappointed in my players if they said "yeah, heck with his skills, stats, and the dice, we're going to kill him anyway." Now I would certainly let them tell me their starting attitude, (presumably hostile) and I would certainly let them explain any additional modifiers that would boost the difficulty ("dude, it's the 4th time he pulled this stunt" for example.) And I would probably frame it as "You know, he makes a really convincing case, and you would feel pretty rotten about it if you killed him out of hand after what he offered you."

Yeah, diplomacy isn't mind control, but players aren't immune to it either. Otherwise, what is to stop the GM from saying "Sure, you made a good case, and you rolled 40 on your diplomacy, but the king is going to execute you anyway."


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
So why do the Mordant Spire elves have a deal with the Decemvirate of the Pathfinder Society? I'd have thought a group dedicated to guarding Azlant's history and artifacts through brainwashing and lethal force to prevent the end of the world happening again would be violently opposed to a group dedicated to picking through old ruins for knowledge and artifacts as part of the job description.
That's a secret we may explore further in the future. It might not be all of the elves though...

An Azlanti AP!? oh please, oh please, oh pretty pleaaassseeee?

(probably not)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

FLite wrote:

To follow up on this,

1.) Can you give an opponent's mount an order to flee.

2.) Can you give an animal you have just purchased an order to flee.

In other words, can you give a trained animal you don't know an order, then what is to stop you from giving an opponent's trained animal an order.

If you can only give an order to an animal you know really well, then what is the point of the exclusive trick, since it pretty much says only you can give your animal orders, and that's pretty much already the case.

1) Not really, since that animal's being handled already by its rider. You could, I suppose, do so if the animal knew a trick that was "flee". "Down" is close, I guess.

2) If it's been trained to do so.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Axial wrote:

1) Do the Great Old Ones/Outer Gods have antipaladins? If so, how do the operate and what rule to they fulfill in the Great Old Ones/Outer Gods' designs?

No, they don't. There might be lone antipaladins who worship them, but their faiths don't have any organized antipaladin orders or codes. Antipaladins are better suited to worshiping demon lords and other evil deities.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If not otherwise stated in an aura's description, is there a standard time when it takes effect? (when entering the aura, at the start of your turn if starting in the aura, if a creature with an aura approaches you, etc)?
Activating auras from a cleric domain is a standard action, right? (since it says "unless otherwise specified, activating a domain ability is a standard action"). Is it a standard action to maintain it? For example the Liberation domain's Freedom Call 30ft aura. Or does it even take an action to activate it?
Can an ability score go below zero, and therefore have to be healed up to zero to bring the person back conscious?
Does darkvision negate many of a Shadowdancer's abilities or no?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ched Greyfell wrote:

If not otherwise stated in an aura's description, is there a standard time when it takes effect? (when entering the aura, at the start of your turn if starting in the aura, if a creature with an aura approaches you, etc)?

Activating auras from a cleric domain is a standard action, right? (since it says "unless otherwise specified, activating a domain ability is a standard action"). Is it a standard action to maintain it? For example the Liberation domain's Freedom Call 30ft aura. Or does it even take an action to activate it?
Can an ability score go below zero, and therefore have to be healed up to zero to bring the person back conscious?
Does darkvision negate many of a Shadowdancer's abilities or no?

An aura's effects happen instantly as soon as a creature comes in range of the aura.

A cleric domain aura power must be activated by a standard action unless otherwise specified.

An ability score cannot be drained below zero. Note that ability DAMAGE does not actually lower the score.

Nope. Darkvision does not cancel darkness. The shadowdancer merely needs darkness to activate most of her powers, and whether or not someone can see in the dark is irrelevant... she still gets to make her checks and use her abilities as normal.


James Jacobs wrote:

All good arguments to let Handle Animal do that... but reverse it and have an NPC use it against a PC's companion and it starts to get weird. It'd be like having an NPC use Diplomacy to force the PCs to not attack.

Your GM may feel differently... but it's a slippery slope.

I don't think your analogy is actually representative of the situation. Here's what Ultimate Campaign says about an animal companion:

Quote:
Nonsentient Companions: A nonsentient companion (one with animal-level intelligence) is loyal to you in the way a well-trained dog is—the creature is conditioned to obey your commands, but its behavior is limited by its intelligence and it can't make altruistic moral decisions—such as nobly sacrificing itself to save another. Animal companions, cavalier mounts, and purchased creatures (such as common horses and guard dogs) fall into this category. In general they're GM-controlled companions. You can direct them using the Handle Animal skill, but their specific behavior is up to the GM.

Since the A/C is actually controlled by the GM. It's more accurate to say the NPC would be attempting to control another NPC....not a PC. That would not be weird.

I think what might engender a feeling of weirdness is that very few, if any, GMs actually control companions they way the rules are written. Players are generally allowed to treat the A/C/Mounts like a second character, contrary to the rules. Because of this, it would feel weird to let an NPC control someone's A/C, despite the fact that RAW might actually allow it.

If there's a way out of it, I think we have to interpret the HA skill to only be usable on an animal that is Indifferent or friendlier. In combat, a wild animal or an animal companion would be Hostile to the NPC and thus the NPC could not make any use of HA. This coincides with the restriction of using HA untrained on domesticated animals, with giving Wild Empathy a purpose, with precluding the use of HA on a hostile animal i.e. when you're in combat.

But I think it's important to notice that the Exclusive trick essentially mandates that NPC's can issue commands to a PC's AC/Mount.


James Jacobs wrote:
FLite wrote:

To follow up on this,

1.) Can you give an opponent's mount an order to flee.

2.) Can you give an animal you have just purchased an order to flee.

In other words, can you give a trained animal you don't know an order, then what is to stop you from giving an opponent's trained animal an order.

If you can only give an order to an animal you know really well, then what is the point of the exclusive trick, since it pretty much says only you can give your animal orders, and that's pretty much already the case.

1) Not really, since that animal's being handled already by its rider. You could, I suppose, do so if the animal knew a trick that was "flee". "Down" is close, I guess.

2) If it's been trained to do so.

Not sure I understand #1. HA says you can "push" an animal to do this. Is there something in the rules that says Ride supercedes HA?

on #2, can't you "push" a purchased animal to flee?

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
Axial wrote:

1) Do the Great Old Ones/Outer Gods have antipaladins? If so, how do the operate and what rule to they fulfill in the Great Old Ones/Outer Gods' designs?

No, they don't. There might be lone antipaladins who worship them, but their faiths don't have any organized antipaladin orders or codes. Antipaladins are better suited to worshiping demon lords and other evil deities.

Antipaladins, a class built around being Chaotic Evil, have orders?

I thought lone servants was right up the class's ally; the rule rather than the exception, even.

Tell us more about these Antipaladin Orders, please!


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

1) There's an antipaladin code for Calistria, amongst others, in Faiths of Corruption. How does Calistria generally feel about these followers that dedicate themselves vengeance in her name?

2) What are your three favorite kinds of undead, and what do you like about them?

3) In Isles of the Shackles, there was a monster called a soucouyant that was published, which were also noted to be called blood crones; in Bestiary 4, there was a monster called a blood hag that was published, which is noted to be called a soucouyant. The monsters have a number of nearly identical abilities, though soucouyants were not hags, and there are certainly differences (such as soucouyants all looking like old women normally)...so, is the blood hag supposed to replace the soucouyant, or are they just supposed to be very similar monsters that are sometimes confused with each other?


Have your players ever roleplayed their familiar as an actual character?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

N N 959 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

All good arguments to let Handle Animal do that... but reverse it and have an NPC use it against a PC's companion and it starts to get weird. It'd be like having an NPC use Diplomacy to force the PCs to not attack.

Your GM may feel differently... but it's a slippery slope.

I don't think your analogy is actually representative of the situation. Here's what Ultimate Campaign says about an animal companion:

Quote:
Nonsentient Companions: A nonsentient companion (one with animal-level intelligence) is loyal to you in the way a well-trained dog is—the creature is conditioned to obey your commands, but its behavior is limited by its intelligence and it can't make altruistic moral decisions—such as nobly sacrificing itself to save another. Animal companions, cavalier mounts, and purchased creatures (such as common horses and guard dogs) fall into this category. In general they're GM-controlled companions. You can direct them using the Handle Animal skill, but their specific behavior is up to the GM.

Since the A/C is actually controlled by the GM. It's more accurate to say the NPC would be attempting to control another NPC....not a PC. That would not be weird.

I think what might engender a feeling of weirdness is that very few, if any, GMs actually control companions they way the rules are written. Players are generally allowed to treat the A/C/Mounts like a second character, contrary to the rules. Because of this, it would feel weird to let an NPC control someone's A/C, despite the fact that RAW might actually allow it.

If there's a way out of it, I think we have to interpret the HA skill to only be usable on an animal that is Indifferent or friendlier. In combat, a wild animal or an animal companion would be Hostile to the NPC and thus the NPC could not make any use of HA. This coincides with the restriction of using HA untrained on domesticated animals, with giving Wild Empathy a purpose, with precluding the use of HA on a hostile animal i.e....

All good reasons why I tend to try to avoid rules questions. If you're looking for more debate on how Handle Animal works... it's now time to either take it to the rules forums so it can be FAQed, or to its own thread for its own discussion.

Let's keep this thread to questions.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alexander Augunas wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Axial wrote:

1) Do the Great Old Ones/Outer Gods have antipaladins? If so, how do the operate and what rule to they fulfill in the Great Old Ones/Outer Gods' designs?

No, they don't. There might be lone antipaladins who worship them, but their faiths don't have any organized antipaladin orders or codes. Antipaladins are better suited to worshiping demon lords and other evil deities.

Antipaladins, a class built around being Chaotic Evil, have orders?

I thought lone servants was right up the class's ally; the rule rather than the exception, even.

Tell us more about these Antipaladin Orders, please!

Absolutely. Being chaotic doesn't mean you can't belong to a group. We've detailed antipaladin codes in a few of our Player Companion books. They're not as strongly organized as paladin orders, of course.

But yeah... the flavor of an antipaladin doesn't mesh well, in my opinion, with the worship of the Great Old Ones.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Luthorne wrote:

1) There's an antipaladin code for Calistria, amongst others, in Faiths of Corruption. How does Calistria generally feel about these followers that dedicate themselves vengeance in her name?

2) What are your three favorite kinds of undead, and what do you like about them?

3) In Isles of the Shackles, there was a monster called a soucouyant that was published, which were also noted to be called blood crones; in Bestiary 4, there was a monster called a blood hag that was published, which is noted to be called a soucouyant. The monsters have a number of nearly identical abilities, though soucouyants were not hags, and there are certainly differences (such as soucouyants all looking like old women normally)...so, is the blood hag supposed to replace the soucouyant, or are they just supposed to be very similar monsters that are sometimes confused with each other?

1) They're pretty rare. She approves of them, understanding that they have their uses.

2) Ghost, vampire, and ghoul; the thing I like about them is how customizable they are and how many incredible stories there are about them to draw from for inspiration.

3) That's unfortunately close design; they're different monsters. Bestiary 4 shouldn't have called them soucouyants, I don't think... unless they DO have the same exact stats.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Voyd211 wrote:
Have your players ever roleplayed their familiar as an actual character?

Yes. Pretty much every time.


James,

What are the chances of us getting a novel focusing on the/a Red Mantis any time soon, like Cayden Cailean it seems like for being such a major player/faction they generally seem to be removed from the world at large outside of being minions in a few adventure paths.


James Jacobs wrote:

All good reasons why I tend to try to avoid rules questions. If you're looking for more debate on how Handle Animal works... it's now time to either take it to the rules forums so it can be FAQed, or to its own thread for its own discussion.

Let's keep this thread to questions.

I agree that this is a rules question. However, you have to understand how impossible it is to get any Paizo authority to respond to questions in the Rules section, regardless of how many people FAQ them. So a lot of people come to you seeking answers which you generously provide. What you may not realize is that in the absence of a Rules response, your responses are treated as the next best thing. Your earlier statements about it being "unlikely" that someone could HA an AC to attak its master are now being waived in our face in another thread as some definitive statement that it can't happen. Not what you intended, but just giving you an FYI as to why I was following up.

In any event, I do appreciate your willingness to share your opinion on rules questions. Thank you.

The Exchange

N N 959 wrote:
... you have to understand how impossible it is to get any Paizo authority to respond to questions in the Rules section, regardless of how many people FAQ them. So a lot of people come to you seeking answers which you generously provide. What you may not realize is that in the absence of a Rules response, your responses are treated as the next best thing. ...

Q: Have you seen the Life of Brian (Monty Python)? Do you identify with Brian?

As a follow-up, Are you a virgin?

:-)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Joseph Blackhand wrote:

James,

What are the chances of us getting a novel focusing on the/a Red Mantis any time soon, like Cayden Cailean it seems like for being such a major player/faction they generally seem to be removed from the world at large outside of being minions in a few adventure paths.

The chances are there. I've actually got a Red Mantis themed novel in my head... and I've put a marker on the group as well, so if it's gonna happen, I'm gonna be the one to write it.

Note, that's NOT the same as "there's one in the works." Far from it.

In any event, the chance of such a novel coming out "any time soon" are very very very low.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

N N 959 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

All good reasons why I tend to try to avoid rules questions. If you're looking for more debate on how Handle Animal works... it's now time to either take it to the rules forums so it can be FAQed, or to its own thread for its own discussion.

Let's keep this thread to questions.

I agree that this is a rules question. However, you have to understand how impossible it is to get any Paizo authority to respond to questions in the Rules section, regardless of how many people FAQ them. So a lot of people come to you seeking answers which you generously provide. What you may not realize is that in the absence of a Rules response, your responses are treated as the next best thing. Your earlier statements about it being "unlikely" that someone could HA an AC to attak its master are now being waived in our face in another thread as some definitive statement that it can't happen. Not what you intended, but just giving you an FYI as to why I was following up.

In any event, I do appreciate your willingness to share your opinion on rules questions. Thank you.

Not what I intended, but a PERFECT example why I am so hesitant to provide rules answers here. Because folks abuse those answers. And to be honest... having one of the rules team provide that answer would not change that outcome at all, I fear.

Ask your GM. He or she is the one who gets to make the call.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

eldergod0515 wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
... you have to understand how impossible it is to get any Paizo authority to respond to questions in the Rules section, regardless of how many people FAQ them. So a lot of people come to you seeking answers which you generously provide. What you may not realize is that in the absence of a Rules response, your responses are treated as the next best thing. ...

Q: Have you seen the Life of Brian (Monty Python)? Do you identify with Brian?

As a follow-up, Are you a virgin?

:-)

Q: I've seen it, but I don't remember it much at all. Wasn't all that big a fan of the movie.

And as a follow-up... I guess I'm kinda surprised it took this long for that question to finally surface here.

Radiant Oath

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

In addition to his influence over chivalry and duty, Ragathiel is described as an Empyreal Lord of vengeance. How does the concept of vengeance gel with being a perfectly (in as much as Empyreal Lords are manifestations of abstract concepts of good) good being? Generally in fiction vengeance is contrasted with justice, justice being reserved and more merciful, while vengeance is often associated with being indiscriminate and full of collateral damage and going too far.


Okay, I'm curious now. Are there drow cavaliers out there that ride giant spiders? It really seems like Spider Rider should be a drow archetype, and I totally didn't jack that name from an obscure anime that aired on Kids WB.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
eldergod0515 wrote:
As a follow-up, Are you a virgin?
And as a follow-up... I guess I'm kinda surprised it took this long for that question to finally surface here.

Most of us aren't that uncouth...

James, what kind of bribe will it take to get more info on the kyton demagogues? Or just more info on kytons in general?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:

All good reasons why I tend to try to avoid rules questions. If you're looking for more debate on how Handle Animal works... it's now time to either take it to the rules forums so it can be FAQed, or to its own thread for its own discussion.

Let's keep this thread to questions.

I agree that this is a rules question. However, you have to understand how impossible it is to get any Paizo authority to respond to questions in the Rules section, regardless of how many people FAQ them. So a lot of people come to you seeking answers which you generously provide. What you may not realize is that in the absence of a Rules response, your responses are treated as the next best thing. Your earlier statements about it being "unlikely" that someone could HA an AC to attak its master are now being waived in our face in another thread as some definitive statement that it can't happen. Not what you intended, but just giving you an FYI as to why I was following up.

In any event, I do appreciate your willingness to share your opinion on rules questions. Thank you.

Not what I intended, but a PERFECT example why I am so hesitant to provide rules answers here. Because folks abuse those answers. And to be honest... having one of the rules team provide that answer would not change that outcome at all, I fear.

Ask your GM. He or she is the one who gets to make the call.

To be honest, the reason (and for my book, it's a bad one) that many people are looking for dev answers is to club their GM with them.


Mr. James Jacobs,

Do you ever think that you've turned out regrettably human?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
eldergod0515 wrote:
As a follow-up, Are you a virgin?
And as a follow-up... I guess I'm kinda surprised it took this long for that question to finally surface here.

Most of us aren't that uncouth...

James, what kind of bribe will it take to get more info on the kyton demagogues? Or just more info on kytons in general?

That's probably more of a Wes question.

Follow-up: that's probably none of our business?


James,

Are you totally as excited as I am about the impending conclusion to Wrath of the Righteous? :)

Is the ending going down as you imagined it when you folks worked out the framework for the adventure, or has it changed a lot since then?


Wait, I thought WotR was already over?

Contributor

If I wanted to summon you with planar ally, what condition(s) would increase my chances of garnering your services?

(For example, in Chronicle of the Righteous, your chance of garnering the services of a hound archon go up if you take in a stray dog and swear to find it a good home after the hound archon performs its services.)


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
In addition to his influence over chivalry and duty, Ragathiel is described as an Empyreal Lord of vengeance. How does the concept of vengeance gel with being a perfectly (in as much as Empyreal Lords are manifestations of abstract concepts of good) good being? Generally in fiction vengeance is contrasted with justice, justice being reserved and more merciful, while vengeance is often associated with being indiscriminate and full of collateral damage and going too far.

I wondered about that also when info on Ragathiel came out. To add to the above not only does fiction in general consider vengeance bad, but so do many if not most real life societies and religions as vengeance is associated much more with revenge than justice.

In some ways, in my opinion, having an Empyreal Lord of vengeance seems to be only a small step away from having an an Empyreal Lord of murder, rape, or torture. It's a concept that seems like it shouldn't exist as it involves two things that should be completely incompatible.

My question is am I just interpreting what "vengeance" means for Golarion to be wrong here, was the contradiction unintentional or not thought much about, is "vengeance" just used as a substitute for the concept of "justice" because it sounds cooler, is it intentional in that it shows that despite his continuing efforts to be good Ragathiel is still tainted by his origins and whom his father is and has some ways to go, or is it something else?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Voyd211 wrote:
Wait, I thought WotR was already over?

One more book to go.

Radiant Oath

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Drock11 wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
In addition to his influence over chivalry and duty, Ragathiel is described as an Empyreal Lord of vengeance. How does the concept of vengeance gel with being a perfectly (in as much as Empyreal Lords are manifestations of abstract concepts of good) good being? Generally in fiction vengeance is contrasted with justice, justice being reserved and more merciful, while vengeance is often associated with being indiscriminate and full of collateral damage and going too far.

I wondered about that also when info on Ragathiel came out. To add to the above not only does fiction in general consider vengeance bad, but so do many if not most real life societies and religions as vengeance is associated much more with revenge than justice.

In some ways, in my opinion, having an Empyreal Lord of vengeance seems to be only a small step away from having an an Empyreal Lord of murder, rape, or torture. It's a concept that seems like it shouldn't exist as it involves two things that should be completely incompatible.

My question is am I just interpreting what "vengeance" means for Golarion to be wrong here, was the contradiction unintentional or not thought much about, is "vengeance" just used as a substitute for the concept of "justice" because it sounds cooler, is it intentional in that it shows that despite his continuing efforts to be good Ragathiel is still tainted by his origins and whom his father is and has some ways to go, or is it something else?

I've been asking those questions myself. Dammerich is kinda problematic too. He's the Empyreal Lord of execution, judiciousness and responsibility. I think what makes him work, even though I personally consider the death penalty abhorent IRL, is that his write-up emphasizes that violence and death is ALWAYS the last resort to his followers, that a life is never something taken trivially or lightly. Ragathiel, on the other hand, seems more vague in terms of personality. Maybe it's because apart from his backstory there's little to differentiate him from Iomedae (which makes the fact that Iomedae's herald used to be HIS herald kinda funny). I personally wonder if the vengeance thing was to differentiate him from Iomedae, since justice is her portfolio. I dunno. Thanks for your candor on the matter.

Speaking of differentiating gods from Iomedae, what would you say separates her from Sarenrae? Both are zealous in their pursuit of good and stuff. Hell, both of them even have the Sun purview (Always wondered why Iomedae has that, apart from the fact that she got her start fighting undead things). So what makes a Sarenite paladin different from an Iomedean one (in terms of personality, not gear or trappings)?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
In addition to his influence over chivalry and duty, Ragathiel is described as an Empyreal Lord of vengeance. How does the concept of vengeance gel with being a perfectly (in as much as Empyreal Lords are manifestations of abstract concepts of good) good being? Generally in fiction vengeance is contrasted with justice, justice being reserved and more merciful, while vengeance is often associated with being indiscriminate and full of collateral damage and going too far.

It doesn't gel well, and that's by design. Perfectly faultless and flawless good guys are, well, boring. By giving a lot of our good deities faults and flaws, we make them more interesting. Some have larger flaws than others; Desna is impulsive and overly curious, for example. The fact that so many people are intrigued by Ragathiel makes sense, seeing has he rides the line of what's good and what's not so closely.

What allows him to be all about vengeance and still be good is the way he goes about getting vengeance. I would say vengenace is more associated with chaos than evil, and is the opposite of justice (aka law). The method by which you go about getting revenge can be good or evil.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Voyd211 wrote:
Okay, I'm curious now. Are there drow cavaliers out there that ride giant spiders? It really seems like Spider Rider should be a drow archetype, and I totally didn't jack that name from an obscure anime that aired on Kids WB.

Not really. Not on Golarion. The mounts of choice for drow in the Darklands are various sorts of cave lizards. Which are animals, and thus have Intelligence scores, and can thus be trained by Handle Animal to serve as mounts.

Giant spiders aren't animals, nor are they intelligent, and as such they make poor (aka unworkable) mounts unless the creature has some sort of vermin empathy, like a mite or an ettercap.

This is a significant change from D&D's drow. On purpose. There's a LOT more spiders and drow things going on in D&D... and I'm certain they've done plenty of drow spider riders there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
James, what kind of bribe will it take to get more info on the kyton demagogues? Or just more info on kytons in general?

Wrong person. You'll need to bribe Wes.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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LazarX wrote:
To be honest, the reason (and for my book, it's a bad one) that many people are looking for dev answers is to club their GM with them.

3rd edition did a LOT to enhance and improve and better the game... but the worst thing it did was quantify SO much of the rules that it kind of neutralized the power of the GM to be able to arbitrate things. Which is a shame.

Players need to turn to their GM first for rules clarifications, and they need to respect those clarifications.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

The NPC wrote:

Mr. James Jacobs,

Do you ever think that you've turned out regrettably human?

That's a strange question.

No. If anything, I regret not being MORE human.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Tirisfal wrote:

James,

Are you totally as excited as I am about the impending conclusion to Wrath of the Righteous? :)

Is the ending going down as you imagined it when you folks worked out the framework for the adventure, or has it changed a lot since then?

Not any more. I've been done with Wrath of the Righteous for about 3 months now. It's old news.

The ending is pretty cool, though. I hope folks like it. It was a LOT of work.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Voyd211 wrote:
Wait, I thought WotR was already over?

For me? Yes.

For the rest of the world? It's only 2/3 published so far. Still 2 volumes to go.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alexander Augunas wrote:

If I wanted to summon you with planar ally, what condition(s) would increase my chances of garnering your services?

(For example, in Chronicle of the Righteous, your chance of garnering the services of a hound archon go up if you take in a stray dog and swear to find it a good home after the hound archon performs its services.)

A wish spell to turn me into an outsider, since I'm currently a humanoid and thus cannot be conjured by planar ally, which only conjures outsiders.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Drock11 wrote:
My question is am I just interpreting what "vengeance" means for Golarion to be wrong here, was the contradiction unintentional or not thought much about, is "vengeance" just used as a substitute for the concept of "justice" because it sounds cooler, is it intentional in that it shows that despite his continuing efforts to be good Ragathiel is still tainted by his origins and whom his father is and has some ways to go, or is it something else?

As I mentioned above... vengeance is a chaotic concept, while justice is a lawful concept. Good and evil influence both, but that is all.

Ragathiel is intended to be on the edge. He's a good guy, but among all those other good guys and gals in that book... he might be the least good of them.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

I've been asking those questions myself. Dammerich is kinda problematic too. He's the Empyreal Lord of execution, judiciousness and responsibility. I think what makes him work, even though I personally consider the death penalty abhorent IRL, is that his write-up emphasizes that violence and death is ALWAYS the last resort to his followers, that a life is never something taken trivially or lightly. Ragathiel, on the other hand, seems more vague in terms of personality. Maybe it's because apart from his backstory there's little to differentiate him from Iomedae (which makes the fact that Iomedae's herald used to be HIS herald kinda funny). I personally wonder if the vengeance thing was to differentiate him from Iomedae, since justice is her portfolio. I dunno. Thanks for your candor on the matter.

Speaking of differentiating gods from Iomedae, what would you say separates her from Sarenrae? Both are zealous in their pursuit of good and stuff. Hell, both of them even have the Sun purview (Always wondered why Iomedae has that, apart from the fact that she got her start fighting undead things). So what makes a Sarenite paladin different from an Iomedean one (in terms of personality, not gear or trappings)?

There are a LOT of Empyreal Lords. We want them all to be different, and that means some of them are going to edge close to being not super-traditionally goodie-two-shoes.

What separates Iomedae from Sarenrae is kindness. Iomedae is pretty grim and serious, whereas Sarenrae has room for laughter and joy in her world. What makes a Sarentie paladin different from an Iomedean one is that the Iomedean paladin will be pretty dour and serious and pessimistic, whereas the Sarenite one will be more cheerful and optimistic. Generally speaking.

Also, the Sarenite paladin will be a LOT more willing to bend the rules of the law of the land in order to serve the greater good. They're still lawful good, but it's the good that's most important to the Sarenite. The Iomedean paladin treats the law and the good as equal.


James Jacobs wrote:
It doesn't gel well, and that's by design. Perfectly faultless and flawless good guys are, well, boring. By giving a lot of our good deities faults and flaws, we make them more interesting. Some have larger flaws than others; Desna is impulsive and overly curious, for example. The fact that so many people are intrigued by Ragathiel makes sense, seeing has he rides the line of what's good and what's not so closely.

What do you think Korada's and Arshea's flaws are? Or Vildeis? All seem intriguing and complex empyreal lords.

(And did you do design work for any of those three in particular?)

Dark Archive

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Voyd211 wrote:
Okay, I'm curious now. Are there drow cavaliers out there that ride giant spiders? It really seems like Spider Rider should be a drow archetype, and I totally didn't jack that name from an obscure anime that aired on Kids WB.

Note that, of the 12 demon lords that Drow normally worship, one is Mazmezz, who is pretty much a 'demon queen of spiders,' if you want her to be, right out of the box. Golarion has the *possibility* of spider-focused Drow, although it's 1/12th as prevalent as it would be in a setting where they are dominated by Lolth-worship, and, since Cyth-V'sug and Zura and Flauros and Jubilex are equally prevalent, different groups of Golarion Drow could be just as strongly focused on fungus/plants (thorny template riding lizards?), or vampiric/blood-sucking creatures (giant vampire bats?), or fiery creatures (like unintelligent salamander analogues or fire lizards), or oozes (riding slimes that envelop you and carry you along?).

The themes are there in the setting, even if Paizo has chosen not to go where just about everyone has gone before, and focus as heavily on a spider/Drow connection.

Mechanically, it's easy enough to either invent a feat that allows a Drow to train spiders as if they had an Int of 1 or 2 (like vermin empathy) *or* say that Drow have crossbred local giant spiders with fiendish critters to create a more malevolent and intelligent strain, that they beat into submission. Some might just be Int 1, others Int 2, and still others have so much fiendish cunning that they have Int scores ranging from 3 to 6, and, like the giant spiders of Tolkien's world, can even speak (probably Abyssal), and maybe even have the fiendish simple template. These smartest of giant spiders would, like goblins and worgs, not be so much 'trained' as 'partnered with' or 'enslaved.'

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