Let's guess James Jacobs' Secret Project


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

James Jacobs mentioned before and wrote in one of the most recent Adventure Path issues that he had been pulled from Strange Aeons to work on a super-secret project that has been on his mind for at least 10 yeaers now.

Intriguing, isn't it? What could be so important to pull Mr. Jacobs from developing what would probably be his favorite theme for an Adventure Path ever?

Now people around here have always shown a remarkable ability to come up with inside information, rumors, and competent guesswork to figure out stuff like this so I pose the question to the community:

What could James Jacobs be working on?

(If a thread like this already exists, I apologize and would like the link. My search-fu was not enough to find any.)


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Nullpunkt wrote:

James Jacobs mentioned before and wrote in one of the most recent Adventure Path issues that he had been pulled from Strange Aeons to work on a super-secret project that has been on his mind for at least 10 yeaers now.

Intriguing, isn't it? What could be so important to pull Mr. Jacobs from developing what would probably be his favorite theme for an Adventure Path ever?

Now people around here have always shown a remarkable ability to come up with inside information, rumors, and competent guesswork to figure out stuff like this so I pose the question to the community:

What could James Jacobs be working on?

(If a thread like this already exists, I apologize and would like the link. My search-fu was not enough to find any.)

My guess is a re-write of Second Darkness, Anniversary Edition style... its the AP that he's said he'd most like to re-do and it'd be secret because Paizo keeps swearing that they're never doing that again despite near constant requests for it.

Might not be it but aman can dream, can't he?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Pulled from strange aeons? Noooo =(

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Also hoping for the Second Darkness Anniversary Edition. ^_^

"If this is a dream... then it is a good dream."

Liberty's Edge

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10 years would be 2006 at the latest. So before Pathfinder APs. And pre-Golarion. Still the Dragon era. So have to be a very different project.

Maybe something for the Dungeon Master's Guild website and 5e.
Or WotC has maybe tapped Paizo to partner with them to do a storyline adventure. Getting into the D&D IP and setting playground would be fun for many Paizo staffers, and they likely had thoughts for a follow ups the final Dungeon AP they could no longer do.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I thought the "final Dungeon AP" was Genie War - the one that became Legacy of Fire.

Still... I missed that bit about 10 years. Sad-face.

Liberty's Edge

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(Why would people buy a Second Darkness anniversary edition when you can buy the originals at a discounted $10 each? Paizo can't seem to give them away.)

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

For the record, the actual text that Nullpunkt is referring to:

James Jacobs wrote:


And with these words, I’ll be bidding adieu to these pages for a time. While I’ll continue to play a part in the next several Adventure Paths to come, I won’t be developing them—they’ll be in the capable hands of Rob McCreary (for Hell’s Vengeance), Adam Daigle (for Strange Aeons), and Crystal Frasier (for an Adventure Path so new to us that we’re still trying to figure out what to name it). I may or may not return to the lead developer’s seat for another Adventure Path down the road, but it won’t be before a year and a half passes. I trust that you’ll enjoy what Rob and Adam and Crystal have cooked up for you—I’ve seen some of what they’ve got planned, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t green with envy about some of the toys they’re going to get to play with in the months to come (particularly Adam and the Lovecraft-influenced horrors of Strange Aeons). But I know that having a wider range of developers guiding the voice and content of the Adventure Paths as we stomp toward volume #200 will not only keep things going strong, but will increase the diversity and excellence of the adventures yet to play out on your tabletop!
Of course... I do have plans for a particularly epic Adventure Path that has long been close to my heart, one that I’ve been eager to launch for nearly a decade now. It’ll be a few more years until it sees print, but if it works out, it’ll be worth the wait, and maybe—just maybe—it’ll take players to a higher level than ever before. I’m still formulating my master plan on exactly how to get this done, but a big part of it will be having the help of awesome developers like Rob, Adam, and Crystal!

If we're going to speculate, we should at least have the text to obsessively pick apart. ^_^

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Jester David wrote:
(Why would people buy a Second Darkness anniversary edition when you can buy the originals at a discounted $10 each? Paizo can't seem to give them away.)

Because they're waiting for the Anniversary Edition? :P


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Perhaps I'm missing something here, but as I go over the text I'm not seeing it as an indication of being pulled away to complete a secret project so much as stepping away (and arguably down) from his position in general. The bit about a future AP reads more to me as, “although I (for the time being) will not be developing adventure paths, I still have one in mind that I'd still like to see done some day.” While I'd like to believe this is more than simply a heads-up, I don't know that that is the case.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

True, you could read it like that, but there is also this post, where he implies that his new project is "well suited for [his] skills, a higher profile project, or whatever."

So the question remains, what could be better suited for his skills or higher profile than the Adventure Path line?

As I understand it, the AP line is paizo's flagship and primary source of revenue. What could be so important to reassign one of your most experienced and most qualified people from that to a different project?

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, there are some Runelords out there still to be defeated, aren't they?

I think it will be called the TRoA*-AP (The Runelords over Absalom)

Spoiler:
In reality, it means "The Return of Aroden" *ducks*


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

He's working his fingers to the bone producing "Pathfinder: Big Trouble in Little China."

Wherein we find out that Lo Pan killed Aroden and...


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't think the "particularly epic Adventure Path" James is talking about is one that has already been published. The "for nearly a decade" points to the very beginnings of Paizo's Golarion products, so there may even be some hints or adventure hooks placed first in an early product such as perhaps the Gazetteer or the original Campaign Setting hardcover. Interestingly "maybe—it’ll take players to a higher level than ever before" which means beyond Level 20 - Wrath of the Righteous already goes there. So he'll probably need some new rules created before it comes to that ("still formulating my master plan on exactly how to get this done"). That is why "It’ll be a few more years until it sees print".

However, I don't think that working on that special adventure path is what is drawing James away from the AP line at this time. So, since I don't think he'll be sitting in his office twiddling his thumbs and playing video games, what is he working on now? It doesn't seem to be an adventure path, and James is not one of the guys to work on rulebooks. He's still the Creative Director, so maybe his attention is needed for some special Campaign Setting product similar in scope to the Inner Sea Work Guide?

Or maybe it is something else entirely. Maybe he got the go-ahead to finally put Unspeakable Futures into print. Now that would be something. :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

There was a thread that has been necro'd a few times over the last couple of years about a Shadow Under Sandpoint based group of modules or Adventure Path.

Sounds pretty likely? :)

If so I would be pretty happy.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

No.

Let the man work in his mad laboratory in peace, I always say.

Contributor

My guesses:
Sandpoint Box Set
New Runelords Project
Anniversary Project (either CotCT or SD)


Any of those would realy please me!... I'm keeping a eye on this!

Scarab Sages

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My guess... a Fallout 4 Pathfinder crossover!
That's right, not only is Earth in the PF universe, but so is multiple parallel Earths at different periods of time!

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't think a Shadows Under Sandpoint AP would warrant pulling JJ off the AP line unless it were a stand-alone megamodule sorta thing.

A Second Darkness Anniversary Edition is a good guess.

Right now, if I were just to come up with an idea, I'd guess that JJ is working on the story backbone (or shepherding the story elements on the Paizo IP side) of a Golarion/Pathfinder CRPG to be released under license by Obsidian.

-Skeld

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Well, he says it will be about a year and a half and that the first part is to work on Horror Adventures... which is targeted for about six months from now. So... whatever the second thing is would require about a year of work. Wouldn't that make it bigger than an entire new AP? And since he is specifically stepping away from the AP line I'm gonna guess some kind of large hardcover.

Androffan World Guide :]


*fingers crossed for kaiju-fightan*

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

IIRC, JJ worked on RotRL:AE for about a year. That was in addition to leading the AP line. At the time, they didn't have the manpower to pull him off completely; he had to work both projects and it nearly drove home crazy. Sooo, if he were working on a new AE, it would make sense to pull him off the AP line because no one wants the repeat the workload he took on last time.

-Skeld


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When I read that, I assumed it was more of a "hey we need to reorg and refocus internally a bit, so we need you to wear your Creative Developer hat more than your 'in charge of an AP hat' for awhile".

Could be his Unspeakable Futures thing where the gunslinger was pulled from, if I had to guess an alternate "secret project" though.

Editor

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He's actually designing the ultimate gaming-themed nuclear fallout shelter. Just in case.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Having read the original text and the related text, I suspect we have no way of accurately guessing.

There's no reason to believe he's working on an AP, or an AP re-write. There's no reason to believe it's an adventure at all.

Honestly, it sounds to me like it's something Paizo hasn't already done. I'd say "alternate campaign setting" if I thought that they were ever inclined to do so, but I'm not. I figure he's writing something unique, and since it's unique, I can't speculate what it might be.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Knowing will bring their eyes apon you. Pay no attention to this thread and drink to forget.

//no idea but secrets like this are secrets for a reason.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"I do have plans for a particularly epic Adventure Path that has long been close to my heart, one that I’ve been eager to launch for nearly a decade now. It’ll be a few more years until it sees print, but if it works out, it’ll be worth the wait, and maybe—just maybe—it’ll take players to a higher level than ever before."

Since Wrath took everyone up to 20/10, I'm guessing based on this it'll either hit level 21+ and/or have something related to divinity (test of the starstone, perhaps?).


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

That comment about "higher level than ever before" is indeed very intriguing because as you say, the currently available power scale has already been climbed all the way to the top!

Without another rule supplement, this won't currently be possible. And extending the level range (or adding another scale like the Mythic Tiers) would definitely require a hardcover.

So maybe he is developing that hardcover (maybe returning once that is done to develop the AP he wants to tell using that new system).

Which leads me to the next question: What further system could there be to add levels, tiers, circles, whatever?

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GeneticDrift wrote:
secrets like this are secrets for a reason.

That's something a follower of Norgorber might say, but we're Pathfinders, so we simply must find out what the secret is.

Contributor

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skizzerz wrote:

"I do have plans for a particularly epic Adventure Path that has long been close to my heart, one that I’ve been eager to launch for nearly a decade now. It’ll be a few more years until it sees print, but if it works out, it’ll be worth the wait, and maybe—just maybe—it’ll take players to a higher level than ever before."

Since Wrath took everyone up to 20/10, I'm guessing based on this it'll either hit level 21+ and/or have something related to divinity (test of the starstone, perhaps?).

My guess is that it could be the hard mode AP that he was probably brainstorming. It would probably be an AP with higher CR challenges that would be able to take a party from 1–20 in a single AP without Mythic.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Varisia hardcover.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

How about a Smurf themed AP? Could be tricky getting the IP though...

;)

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Varisia hardcover.

Now you just made me cry.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Guesses:

1) Anniversary edition of a prior AP: there is another big anniversary for the Paizo company coming up right? Although I don't think it would fit with the level of excitement suggested in that quote above, if it was just tinkering with and revising a previous AP. So I think no on this.

2) an Unannounced Hardcover rulebook. POSSIBLE. I know James is pro some ideas that have been talked about, like a higher level gamemastery guide and a few other ideas. I don't think it's unspeakable futures, since James has expressed an interest on keeping exclusive control of that, which he will lose if he develops it for Paizo. With Horror Adventures out soon, I doubt they would double down and do a Mythos Adventures book. Maybe a apocalyptic adventures book? Or a hardcover setting agnostic Tech book? James did write the original CS setting tech book

3) Hardcover campaign setting. Varisia seems most likely, but I could also see James psyched about a hardcover Darklands book (which is due for an update given the existing one is 3.5). It's also a big enough topic that you could easily write an entire book detailing the layers, major vaults, etc.

4) Megadungeon? Not sure if Paizo is interested in such a book

5)Robot Kaiju built to enslave humanity. Probably the most likely option...


Wait, who's project was the Bastard Hall mega scenario? I keep thinking its James.


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QuidEst wrote:
*fingers crossed for kaiju-fightan*

I guess this is J.J. here, so I should maintain reasonable expectations.

*fingers crossed for kaiju-fightan by possessing dire dinosaurs*


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Vaelen the Gote wrote:
Wait, who's project was the Bastard Hall mega scenario? I keep thinking its James.

Wes Schneider is the mad genius behind Bastard Hall.

Silver Crusade

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

Could be Paizo branching out, and maybe away from Golarion. Pathfinder Modern? Could be that they're trying to figure out a longer-term plan for where Paizo and Pathfinder are going to go. Could be working on, and launching, an entirely new product line. Or maybe he really wants to learn how to draw maps.


JJ is plotting to eliminate dwarves and monstrous races once and for all by use of a massive laser cannon on the moon.

JJ is working on an AP that starts out in Galt, then moves into Cheliax and is entirely about Cheliax.

JJ is constructing a device that will finally enlarge his little T-Rex arms to kobold proportions.

Wait, this isn't the Forum Games subforum!


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Pathfinder, Primeval Edition. Everyone plays dinosaurs.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Varisia hardcover.

I'd love either this or a Sandpoint hardcover.

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

I'm hoping it's either:

1) The story elements/campaign for an Obsidian single player cRPG based on the Pathfinder IP and part of their development agreement with Paizo.

2) Unspeakable Futures post-apocalyptic RPG based on the framework of the Pathfinder rules.

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

Josh Vogt wrote:
He's actually designing the ultimate gaming-themed nuclear fallout shelter. Just in case.

Isn't this already in the sub-basement of Paizo, guarded by the cave raptors?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think the computer game is a good guess.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Who said there's only one secret project?

Mwa ha ha etc.!

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's worth pointing out that a year and a half from Kalindlara's quote from JJ would be around August of 2017, which would br the 10 year anniversary of Pathfinder.

-Skeld

Lantern Lodge

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James Jacob's current secret project is figuring out what his next secret project should be?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I would guess no alternate world type of books, so probably no in depth look at other continents.

I've been to a few Paizocons where it was mentioned that they feel old D&D was competing against itself by making so many campaign settings. Its probably one of the major reasons we have only the Inner Sea after all these years.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Josh Vogt wrote:
He's actually designing the ultimate gaming-themed nuclear fallout shelter. Just in case.

If you combine that with the suggestion he's working on Second Darkness, and with the statement that Paizo can't seem to give away the original printings of that AP, then you'll realize he has been tasked with making the shelter out of the unsold copies.

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