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James Sutter

James Sutter's page

Creative Director, Starfinder Team. 2,640 posts (2,671 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

ninjaken wrote:
Is this Eando's entire series ?

Yes! :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I hope the monster selection will be as interesting as the Planes of Power one is. Also I wonder if it will have the same format/set up/organized as Planes of Power did?

This book is kind of doing its own thing organizationally, but the closest analogue is the Books of the Damned.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In our new grimdark universe, the economy is totally just dwarf parts. "Gimme five teeth for an ear," you'll hear someone say.

Spoiler:

Okay, maybe not. Actually, I'm really happy with our idea for the futuristic currency—I think we've figured out a cool way to have it be both physical *and* digital (and plausible) while avoiding some of the pitfalls of either alone. Dunno when we'll be revealing it, but I'm excited to share with y'all!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

I initially asked James Jacobs this, and he stated you were the best person to ask questions related to the Pathfinder novels.

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:

You've got a good eye. ;)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

flash_cxxi wrote:

James?

I'm starting to get a bit annoyed about it not being available now. It's been released in the US for over a month now. >:|

Haven't heard anything back from Macmillan Audio yet, but these things move slowly. I'll ping them again.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Will Huston wrote:

Hey James, we spoke briefly at gen con, and I shook your hand outside the panel room, and then like, three minutes later as we entered the room, you announced you felt like you were dying of con-crud. Which was great.

Just want to know if you were feeling better

I apologize for spreading the crud. Shaking hands is a hard reflex to break!

But yeah, I recovered in fairly short order. Hope you did as well. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

4 people marked this as a favorite.

One thing I should point out in the various narrators' defenses: The Steve West/Ilyana Kadushin books were produced *at the same time* as all of the backlist titles. We signed two separate deals—with Macmillan Audio to make audiobooks of the new Tor-produced novels, and with Audible to release all our backlist. The two companies were working in parallel, recording simultaneously to try and get the whole line out in a relatively short window of time. Trying to use the same narrators for all of them would have created a world of problems, especially since each company had its chosen narrators that it like to use, so in the end we opted to let each company operate independently. (At least this way, if you don't like one narrator, you've got a lot of alternative choices.) But it definitely wasn't that the narrators weren't following each other's leads and trying to maintain continuity with previous narration, because there literally *wasn't* any previous narration when they started!

This has been your Behind the Scenes Business Moment at Paizo! :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Shadow_Charlatan wrote:
Liar's Island featured some material from** spoiler omitted **, is there any other Pathfinder Tales that have any of the occult classes show up ?

While I can't think of any off the top of my head, Meligaster from occult Adventures features prominently in the Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain comics! :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Blackfingers wrote:


Also, I know it's a bit early to talk about now, but will Starfinder AP's have fiction?

We're not planning to do any fiction in the Starfinder Adventure Path—since it's the start of a whole new game, we need all the backmatter space we can get for new setting and rules info! That said, I can pretty much promise you'll see some fiction-like things popping up elsewhere...

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

7 people marked this as a favorite.

The journal debate is dead—long live the journal debate! :P

Seriously, though: Thanks for the feedback, everyone! The idea of doing a short story collection or some sort of short story subscription (like a paid version of the web fiction) is deeply appealing to me as a creator, but so far we've shied away from it because the sales numbers on short story collections are pretty dismal compared to novels. Ditto for short fiction in other formats—the web fiction, while beloved by some, just didn't generate enough buzz by the end to justify the opportunity cost in addition to the *actual* cost. Each web fiction blog cost the company around $500, and even more importantly took some of our top editors away from working on the products that were *making* the company money. As with other discontinued projects like Planet Stories, we kept it going as long as we could out of love for the art form, but in the end, we had to do the responsible thing.

That said, it's really nice to hear from people who appreciate short fiction, and who knows? If the demand is there, perhaps it could return in a new and improved form someday...

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Amanda Plageman wrote:


Even the few paragraphs of in-world fiction at the beginning of the chapters in the hardcovers really get me stoked up for what's inside. For example, the interaction between Sajan and Seelah in Chapter 1 of Horror Adventures made me really keen to know What Happens Next?!?!?. The importance of even the shortest bits of fiction should never be undervalued.

Thank you! I've written those little chapter opener bits for almost all the hardcovers, and I've really enjoyed developing the iconics' personalities through them. So much good-natured snark. :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Also, thank you to everyone posting their fond memories of the journal! This sort of thing is always bittersweet, but I promise that it's helping make way for brand new awesomeness.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Moreland wrote:
I too am sad to see the fiction go, both because it means 6 pages of extra work for me to do on a monthly basis, but also because it was one of the elements of Pathfinder that first hooked me as a fan. Back when I was just "superfan" Yoda8myhead, I even made my own lulu.com compilation of all of Eando Kline's adventures so I could more easily read them on my daily commute (see this blog post from 2009 for pictures)—my first foray into publishing.

Oh man, blast from the past! Mark handing me that little book was one of my most memorable fan interactions, as it was the closest I'd ever been at the time to holding a novel I'd written.

Fun fact: For several years after, my author photo was that picture with Death's Heretic photoshopped in over the cover. :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
A Mite Excessive wrote:
Vikings vs. Cthulhu is a better title and would probably tripled sales. Looking forward to it.

That was the original name for the project, and I was extremely tempted to let it stand, but in the end it felt a little too on-the-nose. :P

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

flash_cxxi wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
flash_cxxi wrote:

I have a question regarding the Audiobooks on Audible.

I know that some people (in the US) are already listening to their copies, and they have told me that the release date for it said the 15th of August. I went searching for it yesterday to use my monthly Credit on it, but I can't find it anywhere (in the AU Audible Store).
I've searched for Starspawn, Star Spawn, Pathfinder, Pathfinder Tales... nothing.

Are there different regional release dates for the Audiobooks, and if so, why?

Hmm... I'll have to check with Macmillan and see what's up with that. Are the other Pathfinder Tales novels showing up for you?

Yep, all of the other books are showing up without issue.

I did have a problem a few months ago with another PFTales book showing up a few weeks after the actual book released as well. I'm not sure if other regions got that book earlier than I could access it though. The other audiobooks, I've been in the middle of "reading" other books when they released, and didn't get them straight away when the Dead Tree became available, so I'm not sure if it's an isolated or ongoing problem, as I only have a small sample set to work with, sorry.

That's useful info, thank you!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

flash_cxxi wrote:

I have a question regarding the Audiobooks on Audible.

I know that some people (in the US) are already listening to their copies, and they have told me that the release date for it said the 15th of August. I went searching for it yesterday to use my monthly Credit on it, but I can't find it anywhere (in the AU Audible Store).
I've searched for Starspawn, Star Spawn, Pathfinder, Pathfinder Tales... nothing.

Are there different regional release dates for the Audiobooks, and if so, why?

Hmm... I'll have to check with Macmillan and see what's up with that. Are the other Pathfinder Tales novels showing up for you?

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

6 people marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:

i just thought in highlighting this question made by Dragon78 and others. Will there be art for all of the Eldest?

Yup! :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:


Thank you, for the wild and crazyness of Kaer Maga, by the way. I'm getting a few friends geared up to do a more laid-back slice-of-life kinda roleplay set there, and they're really excited!

Hey, thank *you*! I still love the City of Strangers, and I'm so glad people keep adventuring there. :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Athos710 wrote:
IonutRO wrote:
Will Eoxians be playable?
During the GenCon Starfinder panel, Erik Mona said their goal was to have PC playable stats in every bestiary entries. He also acknowledged they might not be able to make that goal, but it exists.

Erik was saying he wants PC playable stats in every *bestiary*, not every bestiary *entry*. As a general design goal, we feel like a science fantasy game benefits from having a lot of playable races, and thus we want to lean toward including that info where feasible. But we are absolutely *not* promising that every CR 18 space whale will be a playable race. :P

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

6 people marked this as a favorite.

"Classic" Pathfinder races like elves are indeed in the core rulebook. They just get less limelight than the new races.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

Gark the Goblin wrote:

Hey James,

If you'd had the radiation rules set (from the Technology Guide) when you wrote Distant Worlds, would you have given the sun a similar effect?

Probably? The sun's a rough place to be.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

While trying to find a name for my Vigilante devoted to The Last Prince of the Eldest (a Vilderavn that got "demoted" to a mortal) a friend brought up the Rook.

Which got me looking over the Lost Prince's stuff. Was the connection between his symbol, a crumbling black tower (in chess, a Rook) and his sacred animal the Raven (a Corvus, of which a Rook is as well) intentional?

:-O

I mean... yeah, totally intentional, I'm the king of symbolism.

<_<

>_ >

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Will we ever learn more about the mysterious child-goddess(es) of Ankar-Te in Kaer Maga?

I kinda hope not. I always saw that as a present to GMs, in that it's something you can make whatever you want!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

In City of Strangers you mention that Elias Sayer of The Strapping Lad (and the Tallow Boys) holds egalitarian views on the profession of sex work, that Rosaline "Madame Rose" Merithane does not share.

What, exactly, ARE those views? What are they arguing over?

I'm sure I knew at the time, but I actually don't remember! Perhaps he's more into having his staff be happy and empowered and calling the shots—it would certainly make sense, since his workers are also espionage experts.

Sorry I can't be of more use. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

Why the decision to announce Starfinder over a year in advance? Are you trying to create anxiety in people? Enjoying all the speculation and requests?

And most importantly, has the team decided what genre of sci-fi stories they want to tell?

Best of luck!

Genre: Most of them! If we do this right, you'll be able to play Alien and Event Horizon as easily as Star Wars and Fifth Element. :D

And we decided to announce it so far in advance because we wanted to do it at Paizocon, surrounded by a bunch of hardcore fans, rather than at some convention where only a portion of the audience gives a hoot.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BMovieMonster wrote:
Are there any new classes on the horizon? Also are there any areas of Pathfinder you'd like to explore more?

Starfinder will have a bunch of new classes. :)

In terms of areas of Pathfinder I'd like to explore more, I just finished a First World book that's coming out this fall, so that's one of my bucket list items! But right now, most of my attention is really turned to the other planets in the system.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

17 people marked this as a favorite.

Wow, with all the Starfinder hubbub, I somehow missed that this had been announced!

One thing that isn't mentioned in the solicitation is that I wrote this whole book—been working on it on and off for probably two years now. Can't wait for you all to see it. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Torbyne wrote:
"if your Pathfinder barbarian runs around the space station with a sword and no shirt, he’s gonna get torn up by some first-level soldier with an assault rifle. As he should. " feeling so warm and fuzzy inside :D

:D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:


That's pretty much an exact description of the Suicide Squad comic. Like... precisely. ^_^

Exactly. :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

Torbyne wrote:


But will your panel have a video uploaded afterwards and will that video have a transcript available? :P

I don't think there'll be anything official, but I believe Know Direction is planning to record and post it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

illumina3 wrote:
Are you accepting idea pitches and suggestions I assume?

If you're talking about actually writing products, the answer is no—open submissions, even just ideas, require really time-intensive sifting processes, and can end up in weird legal limbo if you're not careful. So for now all Starfinder writing is invite-only. But you're welcome to post suggestions for the types of things you want to see on the boards, so that we know what you're into!

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Wzrd wrote:
Alaryth wrote:
...will be new details of Starfinder on GenCon?

At the 1:04:05 mark, James Sutter was asked if there will be a Starfinder panel at Gen Con? He replied that "I will be shocked if there wasn't, I'm not sure what is planned, but probably".

So here's hoping there will be a panel, and some more juicy information.

I can now confirm there's a Starfinder panel at Gen Con! I don't know what new info we'll reveal there—we're all pretty leery of saying too much when the game's still a year away—but I'm sure something new will leak. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Is there any timeline on when details of the playtesting will be announced?

Nothing I can commit to yet, but before the end of the summer.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

19 people marked this as a favorite.

Look, if Paizo splits in half, it's inevitably going to be Upstairs vs. Downstairs. You'd think that we down here in the pit would have the natural advantage, being on the ground floor and controlling the stairwells, but that's underestimating Customer Service's willingness to use Cosmo as a human shield as they rush the barricades...

Seriously, though: If we thought there was *any* reasonable chance that Starfinder would fail or split the company in some terrible way, we wouldn't be doing this. As somebody who's put 12 years into Paizo, and whose ability to not sleep outside in the rain directly depends on its profitability, I'm certainly not eager to throw caution to the wind. So while I know I'm a biased source, I hope that helps put some minds at ease. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.

*clears throat*

Ahem:

Spoiler:

quantum

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

Steve Geddes wrote:

Just finished reading this. It's right up there in my (admittedly quite long) list of absolute favourites.

Anyone looking to run a game in Cheliax should set this as prescribed reading for their players, IMO. The detail on the setting was exquisite- from Thrune to politicking to hellknights to westcrown snippets....It was an effortless way to learn some solid Cheliax lore.

The characters were interesting and complicated without being difficult to follow or confusing. I ended up wanting to know more about all three of the heroes and the villain, but still felt satisfied by the conclusion to the book. It was great to read the exploits of some truly competent characters.

Thoroughly enjoyed it. We need to move to monthly releases. :)

Yay! Glad you liked it, Steve! :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Just to clarify: Learning things about the Gap is only *one* of the Starfinders' missions. There are other aspects to what they do, all based around the core idea of exploring new worlds and sharing that information for the good of all.

Beyond that, I should probably hold my tongue until we're finished with development on those sections. :P

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the interview, guys! And thanks as well to everyone who watched—making the game is taking up so much of my time that I don't get to the boards as much as I'd like to, but I really enjoy answering y'all's questions... at least as much as I can at this point. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
DragoDorn wrote:
Is Gorum going to be like a Decepticon in Starfinder?

He transforms into an Amazon Fresh truck.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Belabras wrote:
Any Starfinder Tales in the works anyone can talk about?

I'd love to, but first we have to make the game. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Years later, I still think my original answer from that older thread is pretty good:

James Sutter wrote:

This actually comes up in The Redemption Engine as well. (Aliens and the planes in one of my novels? Shocking, I know.)

Another way to think about this is that Heaven and the other planes are sort of "instanced," to borrow an MMO term. Heaven isn't just a place--it's also a concept, and thus its physics are malleable and naturally accommodate the observer. In order for humanoid (or alien) brains to comprehend it, it has to sort of squish itself down into a shape we can perceive and understand. So is the mountain so huge you could never reach the top, or is it something you could walk up in a day? The answer is to both questions is yes. Similarly, the lawful good realm we call Heaven accommodates all creatures and societies that need it, but must therefore take shapes as varied as all the cultures of the universe. So Heaven is at once the Heaven of Golarion and ALSO all other Heavens put together.

As Jacobs said, so far, all of our setting material has detailed the "Golarion" interpretation of Heaven, but that's only because alternate versions aren't really as useful for our game. (And also because detailing and mapping alternate versions of a near-infinite realm is a sucker's game.) If you want to include a different version, such as from the real world or another game system--go for it! Our assumption is that all of those exist as user-specific aspects of the same intangible, unclassifiable concept-realm.

Confused yet? If so, don't worry. As has often been said, whether or not you believe in this interpretation of Heaven... it believes in you. :D

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alayern wrote:


James S's reactions to prodding about a new Salim novel included "I'd really like to." and "I'm too busy at the moment."

As folks have said, Starfinder shouldn't really affect Pathfinder. As for it affecting how soon we get another Salim novel... well, that's actually pretty fair, as my brain and writing time are both full to the brim with Starfinder at the moment, and likely to stay that way for quite some time. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alayern wrote:

This is a question that, despite my burning desire to have answered, you almost certainly can't answer yet. Besides the FTL bequeathing AI will there have been any major deific shakeup?

** spoiler omitted **

Yes. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Gark the Goblin wrote:
And while you're at it, why did Aroden die?

Bad milkshake. Left it in the fridge for like a week, but didn't want to throw it out, so...

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

You will totally be able to use bows in Starfinder. That said, most people probably choose laser guns or assault rifles instead, for the same reasons most people would do so in real life. :P

It should be noted that all the weapon/armor/item math is getting tweaked for Starfinder, so things will likely look different than what you're used to, even in the tech guide.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

They'll be more intertwined than in Pathfinder, simply because there's almost no setting information in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, and the races will be uniquely Starfinder rather than classic fantasy tropes. That said, I think you could totally ignore all the setting material easily. (And in fact, GMs will be strongly encouraged to go out and explore brand new worlds anyway, so there's a lot more room to worldbuild even within the canon than in Pathfinder...)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Malwing wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
I wanted to know if it's in the official future of the pathfinder universe:|

The answer is yes and no.

Or the answer is that it's as much as Golarion's official future as a universe with time travel will allow. Also this is a future with a huge non-linear gap in time lost that happened across the multiverse so the galaxy could be in the matrix, technically in the past, in another dimension or in the dream of a water-soccer player for all we know.

The question doesn't have a definite answer in context so you're never going to get one.

That's okay because this answer satisfies me enough:)

Malwing is spot-on. As befits a science fantasy setting, Starfinder is quantum superposition canon: it both is and is not the actual future of Pathfinder until observed by an outside party—you—at which point the wave function collapses and it becomes either canon or not for your game. :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Luthorne wrote:
Not sure if you can answer this yet, but can you comment on the likelihood of lizardfolk (the ones from Akiton), maraquoi (from Marata), reptoids, sarcesians, trox (whether the originals from Nchak, the descendents of the modified versions that wound up enslaved on Golarion, or both), urogs (from Dykon), and vercites being core races in Starfinder? Or perhaps the centaur-like creatures from Arkanen, the kalo from Kalo-Mahoi, or the thin humanoids with light-absorbing skin from Thyst? I think a 0-HD formian caste would also be neat, but trox could serve as an insectile race...

I can't say anything yet, sorry! Stay tuned. :)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the well-wishes, folks! Things are super crazy right now as we get the massive beast that is the Starfinder project rolled out in earnest, but it's really exciting finally being able to talk about it!

Oh, and I haven't read Simon Green before, and Salim... well, he *probably* isn't around in the Starfinder era, but it's pretty tempting to imagine, isn't it? :)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kevin Mack wrote:
Hi just wondering what ever happend to the novel that was to feature Zae, Appleslayer and co?

I'm working on it right now. :)

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