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Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Et cetera et cetera wrote:
What would a hypothetical level 31, spell granting entity be considered as? Would they still be a demigod?

The whole point of having a cut-off as for how high the levels go before you stop making monsters is so that we as world creators have a scale, and so readers can trust and use that scale.

The point of a demigod to me is "A creature whose level is beyond that which can be achieved by a PC, to a set maximum." We chose 30 because of the theory that this would be the upper limit as to what a 20th level, mythic 10 party could face.

The number itself is arbitrary, be it 30 or 20 or 31 or 301. As long as it has a stat block, it can be killed in combat. If it doesn't it can only be killed by plot. So by my definition, if one were to expand it to level 31, then that would still be a demigod... but it would cheapen and weaken the position of all the other demigods simply by expanding the scale.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Konradleijon wrote:
it says that Intelligent devours host still have a “modicum of awareness” despite their brain being eaten. and i presume it is basic emotional states like fear and surprise. but i’d like to know what exactly “modicum of awareness” means.
I'm not sure what you're asking exactly about (seems like you skipped a word or two in the question), but the phrase "modicum of awareness" means that you retain a little bit of the ability to sense the world around you, sort of as if you were suffering from extensive brain damage or a lobotomy or the like—you're very limited in how you react to the world, and I"d say basic emotional states would be completely gone.
Wait. So if an intellect devourer burrows into the brain of a human and eat the brain, the human is still technically alive? And the human's soul still resides in his own body? Perhaps the human can become healthy again if a cleric casts heal or regenerate?

Nope. In that case the human is dead and the soul has moved on. What's left in the brainless body is, basically, a meat robot with broken programming. The rules, I believe, are pretty clear on how you fix being intellect devourered—you have to use something to restore life to death.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Konradleijon wrote:

sorry James. the tabletop community regularly use “fluff” as a value neutral statement of lore in comparison to “crunch” lore.

and speaking of parasites. Ghlauder is most commonly seen as a mosquito and has mosquito like minions. but in nature only female mosquitos drink blood. with the males only drinking nectar.

i know Ghlauder isn’t a flesh and blood mosquito. but is it that you didn’t know that only female mosquitos drank blood when creating him? and if you did would you make Ghlauder female?

or did you know and made him make too diffrate him from Desna and Lamutshu?

I know some in the community use "fluff" that way. What I'm saying is that it's an insulting term to me because of the definition of the actual word. This is something I've tried to coax folks away from doing for decades, but I'm just one person, so I can't get that message out to everyone.

Ghlaunder is an abberant monstrosity weirdo. I know how mosquitos work. I made him male to lean in to the fact that he's not ACTUALLY a giant mosquito... he's something entirely different and stranger and more difficult for a human (and as it turns out, human artists) to comprehend.


James Jacobs wrote:
Aenigma wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Konradleijon wrote:
it says that Intelligent devours host still have a “modicum of awareness” despite their brain being eaten. and i presume it is basic emotional states like fear and surprise. but i’d like to know what exactly “modicum of awareness” means.
I'm not sure what you're asking exactly about (seems like you skipped a word or two in the question), but the phrase "modicum of awareness" means that you retain a little bit of the ability to sense the world around you, sort of as if you were suffering from extensive brain damage or a lobotomy or the like—you're very limited in how you react to the world, and I"d say basic emotional states would be completely gone.
Wait. So if an intellect devourer burrows into the brain of a human and eat the brain, the human is still technically alive? And the human's soul still resides in his own body? Perhaps the human can become healthy again if a cleric casts heal or regenerate?
Nope. In that case the human is dead and the soul has moved on. What's left in the brainless body is, basically, a meat robot with broken programming. The rules, I believe, are pretty clear on how you fix being intellect devourered—you have to use something to restore life to death.

But you said that the brainless host still has a "modicum of awareness" and thus still retains a little bit of the ability to sense the world around him. Doesn't that mean the host is still alive? Am I missing something?


James Jacobs wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:

Hi James,

In a world where good and evil are objective fact, and detect alignment is a level 1 spell, I was wondering how you roleplayed evil aligned villains who still believe their actions are morally justified even when either they or their underlings cast spells like that and realize they're not actually holier than thou.

Could they reject the objective truth as wrong? Or accidentally be casting the spell to screen for the wrong alignment? I'm curious how you present non-mustache-twirling extremists like that.

Those villains are still evil. I just don't play them as obvious evil, and don't have players who spam detect alignment spells... and when they do I let them figure it out. You can be evil and not mustache-twirling.

Ah, sorry, that's not really what I meant.

I was actually asking about how, if at all, villains might justify to themselves that they're still good when the universe is screaming at them that they're objectively wrong.

Say, when Mr Villain or his henchman casts detect alignment and the spell tells them "dude, you're literally evil as hell."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aenigma wrote:
But you said that the brainless host still has a "modicum of awareness" and thus still retains a little bit of the ability to sense the world around him. Doesn't that mean the host is still alive? Am I missing something?

The body is alive but without a soul or mind. It's like those ants that get taken over by cordyceps fungi; what's left of them isn't an ant, but a meat puppet being directed by another thing.

When an intellect devourer eats your brain, you die. What's left is a body that is horrifically still biologically alive, but not spiritually alive, as long as it continues to be regularly worn by its host. Left alone, the body will seem to be alive to someone looking at it as long as the hole in the head is hidden, but it can't react, can't fend for itself, can't speak, can't react to pain, etc. It's a strange and unnatural and hopefully unsettling and frightening body-horror condition, a fate worse than death, even.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Calliope5431 wrote:

I was actually asking about how, if at all, villains might justify to themselves that they're still good when the universe is screaming at them that they're objectively wrong.

Say, when Mr Villain or his henchman casts detect alignment and the spell tells them "dude, you're literally evil as hell."

He'd disagree. Depending on his personality, he might do so eloquently, or violently, or with humor, or whatever. Or he'll say the spell is wrong, or that the caster is wrong, or that something is manipulating the truth. Whether or not others believe him depends on the result of his Deception check. Whether or not a PLAYER believes him depends on the player.

Silver Crusade

Favourite recent meal you’ve had, Directorsaur?

Radiant Oath

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

In a thread over in the Lost Omens Setting board, you mentioned that 2e elves mature at the same rate humans do, so a human and an elf could conceivably go to college at the same age. How does that change the existing concept of Forlorn elves, whose whole shtick is that they grew up among non-elves and thus were forced to watch generations of friends grow old and die in the century or so before they'd even come of age, and that that took an emotional toll on them?


James Jacobs wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:

Hey James,

So, planar etymology question - is abyssal the original language of the qlippoth, or was it only invented by the demons and the qlippoth used something else/telepathy before then?

It's the original language of the Abyss, although I suspect qlippoth speak it with an archaic accent. Kinda like the difference between modern English and middle or even old English.
Thanks! Of course, I do have a follow up - is the same true of Infernal, with devils and asuras?

Yup, but on a much shorter timespan. Not that "shorter" in this case would be perceived as short by mortal minds, of course. Just that the qlippoth vastly predate the asuras.

I almost think that the qlippoth might even predate the concept of language, and that them speaking Abyssal is an evolution, and that before they either didn't communicate at all or used some other method of communication that isn't something humanity can comprehend. Something like the ideas of language that are explored in "The Arrival" for example.

Can I assume that, before qlippoth began speaking Abyssal, they communicated via telepathy?


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If we could send the Pathfinder 2e rules and setting back in time (not the books themselves, but the texts) how far back do you think it could go and people would still like it?

Do you think there is a point in time in RPG history where it would be near universally disliked because the world wasn't ready for the kind of play? Or do you think it could play in any era?

If you build something off of decades experience, and transport a work back to before that experience, do you think an audience can still understand the art?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
In a thread over in the Lost Omens Setting board, you mentioned that 2e elves mature at the same rate humans do, so a human and an elf could conceivably go to college at the same age. How does that change the existing concept of Forlorn elves, whose whole shtick is that they grew up among non-elves and thus were forced to watch generations of friends grow old and die in the century or so before they'd even come of age, and that that took an emotional toll on them?

You can still 100% be forlorn, it's just a case of "once you get to be around 17 or 18, you slow down and stay there and watch as your childhood friends grow old and die of old age. A forlorn elf might be 100 years old when they start play at 1st level still. It works pretty much the same as before.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
Favourite recent meal you’ve had, Directorsaur?

Actually got brave enough to go eat in a restaurant yesterday for lunch at a local pub where I had fish and chips, so that was pretty good.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aenigma wrote:
Can I assume that, before qlippoth began speaking Abyssal, they communicated via telepathy?

You still need a language to communicate in. If there was a "before Abyssal was a language" era, then the qlippoth had a different langauge, and whether or not they spoke it aloud or via telepathy depended on the situation and whether the qlippoth had a voice in the first place.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BobTheCoward wrote:

If we could send the Pathfinder 2e rules and setting back in time (not the books themselves, but the texts) how far back do you think it could go and people would still like it?

Do you think there is a point in time in RPG history where it would be near universally disliked because the world wasn't ready for the kind of play? Or do you think it could play in any era?

If you build something off of decades experience, and transport a work back to before that experience, do you think an audience can still understand the art?

I think that the rules themselves would work just as well in any era, although of course if you go back before the 70s you'll need to also explain how TRPGS work in the first place.

Whether or not fans would accept it, or it would have been more or less successful, I suspect that'd err on the side of less successful because change is scary and folks react to it better when there's time for them to prepare for it. I also think that coming out at about the same time as the launch of any odd-numbered edition of D&D would be tough, success-wise.

But I think an audience can understand the concept of the art regardless of the era. I just think that potential audience shrinks dramatically if you go back too far in time and the idea of what an RPG is becomes mysterious and strange and new. There was a LOT of irrational fear back in the early 80s where folks were convinced that D&D was teaching the children of the world how to be demon worshipers. I'm fine not going back to that particular theme.


James I noticed that most Fungi creatures are evil and i’m wondering why? did you get a nasty yeast infection when you where a teenager?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Konradleijon wrote:
James I noticed that most Fungi creatures are evil and i’m wondering why? did you get a nasty yeast infection when you where a teenager?

I've always been grossed out by fungi. They grow on dead things. But more to the point, the idea of being turned into a fungus has always terrified me. In part because of a short story I read as a kid: "The Voice in the Night" by WIlliam Hope Hodgson. This story was adapted to "Matango/Attack of the Mushroom People" by Ishiro Honda (director of the original "Godzilla") back in the 50s, and it was also one of the first horror movies I saw as a kid as well. Didn't realize at the time that those two stories were from the same person, but they left their mark on me.

Furthermore, since I grew up in the woods, my dad from day one pretty much drilled into my head to NOT EAT brightly colored mushrooms, because if I did... I would DIE. So my fear of mushrooms was baked into me from the start in the same way kids who grew up in the big city might have been taught to avoid creepers with free candy.

Fungus is gross.


Got a dose of "ah ****, I need to pay more attention to the news", I didn't notice I was being insensitive recently.

On topic:
Suppose some gods had reasons to show up on the Material Plane (more than one so that they can keep each others in check), anything that would prevent them from "fixing" some issues like freeing Acavna's sould from the Mordant Spire or expelling Ydersius from the Material Plane, or just plain kill the serpent god?


Is the skin of stone giants, gargoyles, and ropers made of stone? Likewise, is the skin of wood giants, dryads, arboreals, and leshies made of wood? I mean, would a scientist conclude that the skin of these monsters are chemically identical to the real stone and wood?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Souls At War wrote:


Suppose some gods had reasons to show up on the Material Plane (more than one so that they can keep each others in check), anything that would prevent them from "fixing" some issues like freeing Acavna's sould from the Mordant Spire or expelling Ydersius from the Material Plane, or just plain kill the serpent god?

Only thing preventing them from fixing those is us or you telling that story in a game. The reason we avoid those stories is that it takes agency away from the player characters if there's a perception that if you just wait a bit, the gods will fix it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Aenigma wrote:
Is the skin of stone giants, gargoyles, and ropers made of stone? Likewise, is the skin of wood giants, dryads, arboreals, and leshies made of wood? I mean, would a scientist conclude that the skin of these monsters are chemically identical to the real stone and wood?

It's not made of stone or wood, but also not made entirley of biological flesh. A scientist would be baffled by those things because they are magic, not scientific.

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