Over the Mountain
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Working at Paizo is awesome—there can be no question about that. Most days—those days when I'm in my happy-hippie, all-is-right-with-the-world mood—I show up to work and think, "Wow, we're all so lucky to be editing RPGs all day! How did we ever get so lucky?" That's most days.
And some days, we *@ing earn it.
Last Saturday was one of those days. Every year around this time, we start to reach the mission critical phase on our Gen Con products, and it's all hands on deck trying to get them out the door in time for the do-or-die ship date which will allow them to be at Gen Con. This year is no exception, and while most of the big products (such as Dave Gross's Prince of Wolves—more on that soon!) have already been put to bed, the Advanced Player's Guide is still in the last, messy phases of its birth. Thus it was that Saturday found me, Rob McCreary, Judy Bauer, Sarah Robinson, Wes Schneider, James Jacobs, and Erik Mona in here for more than 11 hours on Saturday to try and get things handled. (It should be noted that Chris Carey was in his Fortress of Editorial Solitude, having been saddled with the final proofing of Before They Were Giants, and Sean was busy moving. I'm pretty sure Jason was in a coma somewhere.)
Even with most of the Editorial Pit on hand, weekend workdays still feel different than normal ones. Everything's a little looser, and what professionalism we cultivate tends to get abandoned (though I did not, as originally planned, wear my jammie pants).
All of this is necessary to explain the photographs, I promise.
You see, when we moved into our new office last September, it was immediately noted that the otherwise normal-looking office building is bordered on two sides by a big field of brambles (reportedly haunted by vagabonds and feral corgis) and a big grassy ridge. At several points since the move, Wes and I have looked up at the ridge and wondered what mysteries might lie, Narnia-like, just over its crest.
Around 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, having just finished editing chunks of the classes chapter of the APG until my eyes were ready to bleed, I decided I needed something stronger than caffeine to keep me going, and stormed into Wes's office.
"Wes," I said, in my most inspiring voice, "It is time. We're going over the mountain."
Wes looked at me for a moment.
"Yeah, okay," he said.
Thus it was that everyone save Erik and Sarah (who had left for the evening) and Jacobs (who's too old and wise for such things) trooped outside on our Voyage of Discovery. Leaping over the drainage ditch, we scrabbled up the steep, grassy rise and came out into a magical wonderland!
Well, okay, maybe it was a gravel pit. But the point was, we had gone over the mountain! And for what it's worth, the gravel pit was pretty cool. Wes and I spent a few minutes running up the mountain of rubble to get a view of the surrounding countryside, then noticed the idling dump trucks and realized it was an active gravel pit—one which might not appreciate a bunch of trespassing nerds—and beat a hasty retreat to recommence editing.
And there you have it—the wild excitement of a Saturday at the Paizo offices!
(EDITORIAL NOTE: Sutter and Wes would like any authority figures to know that the preceding anecdote is entirely fictional; that they in no way condone trespassing, accidental or otherwise; and that they're both too pretty for jail.)
James L. Sutter