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James Sutter

James Sutter's page

Managing Editor. 2,294 posts (2,325 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Karazh in Casmaron is also a good spot, as it drew a fair bit of influence from Mongolia and Kazakhstan. So far, it's only been detailed in the web fiction story Boar and Rabbit.

So far. :)

Karazh = Cambulac?

Not exactly! The capital (such as it is) of Karazh is Ular Kel, but while I drew inspiration from all over the region, I didn't have a direct analogue for the city.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Karazh in Casmaron is also a good spot, as it drew a fair bit of influence from Mongolia and Kazakhstan. So far, it's only been detailed in the web fiction story Boar and Rabbit.

So far. :)

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Kajehase is right! (Sorry I didn't respond to this thread earlier--I thought it was the same one.)

It was necessary in order to turn our full editorial might on some print products, but we'll be back in action in January!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Drejk wrote:


In a completely unrelated announced, I would like to see more about Kaer Maga.

I know we're entering Shameless Plug Town*, but did you Kaer Maga fans know that THE REDEMPTION ENGINE is set there? I do a fair bit of expanding on the details from CITY OF STRANGERS in that one, as well as in Pathfinder #63: The Asylum Stone.

Spoiler:

*Welcome to Spoilertown! Population: Me.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
I like places that are more questions than answers.

Hear, hear!

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I saw these at Gen Con, and can confirm that they are totally delightful.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yay! These are so cute!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
W E Ray wrote:

Absalom.

Really, Absalom is my my top 5 -- then, in order: Korvosa, Egorian, Augustana, Nisroch, Ilizmagorti, Magnimar and Katapesh.

But it's a shame the designers seem to refuse to do much with the Flagship Location of the campaign setting. Absalom needs so much more development!

That's because Absalom is destined to be Erik's opus, and he refuses to do anything in half measures. One day he'll reveal his glorious city-child, and all will quail in love and fear...

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

*stuffs ballot box*

*whistles innocently*

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3 people marked this as a favorite.

While I know staffers shouldn't play favorites, it really warms my heart to see all the Kaer Maga love in this thread. :D

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Varian and Radovan will be back with significant fanfare this summer. :)

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Kajehase wrote:
So, how come there's been no new web fiction for about a month?

We ran into a major crunch between the holidays, a bunch of key projects, and some people being out of the office for extended periods, and rather than risk lowering the editorial quality, we decided to take a brief sabbatical from web fiction and focus on print products.

At the same time, we've also transferred responsibility for the web fiction from me to Associate Editor Chris Carey—he's actually been in charge for the last few stories. The gap is also to help give him time to get everything up and running on his watch. Developing web fiction is no easy task!

All of that said, we'll be back with more web fiction starting in the new year. Thanks for your patience!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Narquelion wrote:

This is very nice thank you for sharing!

Anyway, I was contesting the much wider assertion that the planets "behave according to normal scientific principles". Liavara and Bretheda have moons with liquid oceans - of water, on their surfaces. Triaxus doesn't get as cold as it should traveling so far from its star. Verces laugh in the face of meteorology. Etc Etc.
Thankfully it's a fantasy world with magic and Shantaks and Aucturn so we can come up with explanations.

Actually, I designed Verces to be consistent with an astronomy paper I read once about tidally locked planets and how the weather might not be as extreme as you'd think, though I sadly no longer have the link.

But yeah, there's certainly still a fair amount of magic and handwavium going on in the setting. I was heavily *inspired* by real science, but ultimately, "how much fun would it be to adventure here?" was my primary concern. :)

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Yeah, it's a rounding issue, since I tried to base Golarion and its sun on our own. Sorry for the confusion! (Honestly, I'm a little surprised that I rounded that much, but oh well... perhaps I was working from older/less accurate information...)

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I'm not sure when exactly it'll be announced, but very soon we'll be able to tell you about the comic plans. Which is good, because this is the most excited I've been about a comic project in... well, ever. :)

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

4 people marked this as a favorite.

As has been mentioned, Opparal from King of Chaos is an LG paladin and one of the three POV characters, and I think of Drelm from Stalking the Beast as lawful good, so there are definitely some folks around already who likely fit your bill.

That said, I've already purchased a novel starring an LG paladin and a GG* cleric from Gabrielle Harbowy, so if you're willing to wait a little bit, I think I've got the novel you want pretty much made to order. :)

Spoiler:

*Gnome Good

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Rysky wrote:
On reading through a bunch of the Tales: Why is there always a gnome on the ships?

I think it just pairs well with their interests. Gnomes are naturally in a constant search for novelty and exploration, so what better way to see the world than to become a sailor? Plus, their small size makes them extra useful in the cramped spaces one finds on ships, from making repairs down in the bilge to taking up slightly less space when hanging a sleeping hammock.

Really, the question should be "Why don't captains hire *more* gnomes?" (I presume the answer has to do with the problems that come with an overabundance of curiosity and distractibility...)

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Kajehase wrote:

If you could pick anyone you wanted, regardless of their fee, to paint the cover for your next novel, who'd it be?

** spoiler omitted **

Oh man! That's hard. Michael Whelan at his best (the cover to Dan Simmons' Endymion) would be a childhood dream, but I'm also a huge fan of folks like Stephan Martinierre who do such highly detailed and imaginative worldbuilding. (If Stephan were a little less monochrome, he'd probably be a slam dunk.)

Fantasy and SF landscapes are by far my favorite type of art (contrary to many folks' ideas of what makes a good book cover), so there are probably also a ton of concept artists used to doing that sort of thing that I'd want to check out.

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Thanks, Philip! And yeah, we would love to bring back Planet Stories someday, but at the moment the opportunity cost for us is just too high. We're very proud of the books we were able to put out, though!

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey, thanks Darkborn! I hope you enjoy the novels--I think I'm honestly better at those than adventures, though I'll admit that I had a lot of fun designing my Emerald Spire level. Once you read Death's Heretic, you'll know why I absolutely *had* to have proteans in my level... :)

Also, to the book club as a whole: A book club should absolutely be an author-free space so that people can voice their honest opinions without feeling like jerks. That said, if the book club covers a given author's book and has questions, I suspect that many of the authors who hang around these boards would be happy to stop by and answer them, provided they're in a separate forum so we're not stepping on toes.

Have fun, everyone!

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am super supportive of this sort of thing! Good luck, Darkborn!

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Alayern wrote:
Is it safe to assume that the same requirements for Tales writing for newer authors also applies to the webfiction? I.E. the 'having been previously published' caveat?

At the moment, yes. But if you don't want to wait until you've published elsewhere, there's always Wayfinder and Pathfinder Chronicler, both of which are awesome fanfic communities!

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Justin Sluder wrote:
What are the chances of a Tales novel with a bugbear as the main character?

Fairly low in the near future, I'm afraid. There are a lot of other popular races to get through first!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Wow, that's awesome! Thank you to everyone who's posted reviews--you keep our creative fires stoked. :D

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8 people marked this as a favorite.

I also think it's worth noting that Associate Editor Judy Bauer, like all our editors, has had significant influence on the development of the game and our setting. Speaking as someone who's been both a developer and an editor (and a customer service person, and a website person...) at Paizo, there's a lot more overlap between the jobs than people might think. And Judy has extra influence in that she's in charge of hiring all our freelance editors—folks like Lyz Liddell and Christina herself, who you may have seen in the credits in the last year.

This is not to say "Oh, we have some women on the team, we're covered." Not at all. We're still a long way from gender parity (and even farther from an ideal racial distribution) on our creative staff, and it's one of the reasons we've been trying so hard to get the word out to people who feel underrepresented in the industry. I just don't want the contributions of folks who are already here to get overlooked.

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Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:

http://i.imgur.com/5P9MvbL.jpg

Sorry not very good at this can someone let me know if this works?

RAD!

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5 people marked this as a favorite.

Just noting that I read the title of this thread, and my head immediately began putting it to the tune of "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof.

If I were a Razmir... yubba deedle deedle deedle deedle deedle deedle dum..."

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leo1925 wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

@ Leo - Mummy's Mask Book 6, yes.

Ok, do we know if this was an intentional change on what we knew before (mainly from death's heretic) or if it was another instance of bad communications?

Wes and I worked together closely on that article, so it should match up with Death's Heretic pretty well... I don't remember anything in there that conflicts. What in particular are you wondering about?

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

If you want to hear a Rahadoumi explain it in his own words, you might want to check out Death's Heretic...

Spoiler:

THE SHAMELESS PLUGGER STRIKES AGAIN!

*vanishes in a swirl of cape*

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations to all of the finalists, and kudos to everyone who participated! It take courage to sit down and write a story, and even more to submit it for critiquing, so everyone who wrote for this contest clearly has that first and most important part of being a professional author.

As always, it was an honor to be involved. And though this is my last year as final judge, it's *not* the last year that the final round will involve a special Paizo judge. Stay tuned... ;)

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh man, I'm super excited to see what shows up on this thread! :)

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havoc xiii wrote:
So I'm rereading this book and I notice Lissete a song about a certain "hero" and his halfling brother. That was awesome to see.

I was wondering how many people noticed that particular Easter egg. :) Glad you enjoyed it!

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's like Fight Club.

The first Law of Man is: "Let no man be beholden to a god."

The second Law of Man is: "Let no man be beholden to a god."

Spoiler:

If this is your first night in Rahadoum, you have to reject the gods.

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
HikariStarshine wrote:

That thumb.

Just.... that thumb.

What on earth is the purpose of an extra thumb like that?

Apparently Tim imagined it being on the *other* side of the hand, which would admittedly be more useful. But sometimes the art is cool enough that you just run with it!

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Rysky wrote:
Zaister wrote:
nohar wrote:
she's jadwiga i believe...ethnicity of human mixed with the blood of baba yaga's daughters...
Why does she have blue skin then?
Some Jadwiga do have blue skin, White Witches moreso.

Zernebeth is fond of magical experimentation. Her supernaturally cold skin is the result of that--it doesn't come stock on Jadwiga. :)

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Neongelion wrote:
So I'm confused, is Ozmyn Zaidow or Zernebeth leader of the League?

The novel takes place *before* the AP. At the time of the novel, Zernebeth is the most powerful member of the Technic League.

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:

How does James feel about books which deliberately mess with reader expectations? Or those that are crafted with incomplete conclusions?

Some people think that Pathfinder Tales *owes* them third-person, past-tense writing. Are they correct?

To speak to the latter: I'm not saying that *all* fan entitlement is valid. If you expect a happy ending, or past tense, or whatever, and an author chooses to do something different, that's totally fine by me. The point is not that everyone gets exactly the book they want or expect, only that if your selling point is "check out this awesome story arc!" rather than "check out this great standalone book!", it's reasonable for fans to expect you to provide what you sold them on, rather than simply a portion of it.

For instance, if we went crazy and decided to stop publishing Iron Gods at the third volume, a lot of people would be justifiably upset. The whole idea of an AP as we've promoted it is that it has a six-volume arc. Could it be continued beyond there? Sure, and we encourage people to do so, but we're always careful to wrap up the main arc in the volumes we publish. Even though each volume is a great adventure on its own, our advertising focuses on the larger story, and thus we have an obligation (in my mind) to provide it.

Now, that doesn't mean anybody should go to jail, or that GRRM owes people refunds if he doesn't finish, or whatever. This isn't about legislation. The discussion of social contract is really just about recognizing *why* fans might feel a certain way, and admitting that there's validity to it, rather than just waving it all aside and claiming those readers (who are the exact people who supported you as an author) are somehow immature, which is what I feel some authors do.

What should we as authors lose if we violate those expectations? Nothing but our good name with readers. But in this business, until you're as big as GRRM, your good name is all you have...

Thanks for the awesome discussion, everyone!

(P.S: Books that mess with reader expectations or have incomplete-feeling conclusions are just fine. I like the "looking off into the distance" endings, and it's fine if we never see what happens after our hobbit protagonist sails off with the elves. If GRRM wants to publish a one-page book that says "And then everyone dies when the Klingons attach King's Landing," that would be fulfilling the social contract, albeit maybe not in *quite* as good faith as it could be. It would also make him a pretty crappy artist, but that's its own issue.)

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Yeah, like Itchy says, we try to do them in big batches, and they unfortunately make way less money than most other products (they're available for free online, after all), and thus fall lower on the priority list. But they're definitely still on our radar! Glad you're interested in them!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

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That is absolutely not true.

While Calex is right that we don't discuss why anyone is let go, let alone our employees' gender/sexuality/etc. (talk about a breach of confidentiality!), to my knowledge this claim is completely baseless.

That said, I *do* challenge anyone to read Crystal's awesome write-up of Shardra and call it hamfisted. She did a rad job.

EDIT: When I say we don't discuss our employees' personal details, I mean as a company. Many of us at Paizo are pretty publicly GLBTQwhatever, and if individuals want to talk about it, that's totally cool. :)

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

I wrote an essay over at SF Signal about what series authors like George R. R. Martin owe their fans (partially to rebut Neil Gaiman's famous "George Martin is not your b$$#%" post), and I thought some of y'all might have opinions on the issue. While Paizo doesn't publish epic novel series, the parallels between something like that and Adventure Paths are numerous. :)

What Authors Owe Fans

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2 people marked this as a favorite.
mechaPoet wrote:

All right, here's my prediction for the final chapter:

Brea wakes up, manages to get mortal revenge on Deagan, then takes his head as a prize and flees.

She wanders through rural countryside until she finds a town, and figures she will abandon the life of a soldier and take up entertainment instead. She finds a small theater and gains an audition with the proprietor.

For her act, she brings Deagan's decapitated head and does a number of unspeakable things to it. The proprietor is stunned, and after her shocking performance can only ask: "What is this act called?"

She smiles and replies, "The Kalistocrats!"

:-O

*slow, stunned clapping*

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dave Gross wrote:

Studies indicate that the most effective means of speeding the arrival of another Radovan & the count novel are heavy doses of five-star reviews for the preceding volumes on Amazon, Goodreads, and right here.

It's scientific.

It is known.

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David knott 242 wrote:

Didn't somebody come up with a word like "dystheist" to describe people in fantasy settings who refuse to worship gods? In other words, they know that the gods exist, they just don't like any of them.

The best term I've found so far to define the Rahadoumi is alatrist. But even that's not really a perfect fit, since the Rahadoumi don't deny that divine magic/prayer works...

It would appear that it's hard to apply real-world labels to fantasy problems. :P

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1 person marked this as a favorite.

We used to do Pathfinder Tales bookmarks as promotional items, but it's been a while. I'll see if it's something we can start up again.

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NOG the Demoralizer wrote:


Redemption Engine: PG-13 for violence and sexual orientation implications which may challenge some families

Implications? Those were outright statements. ;)

(Seriously, though, thank you to everyone for your awesome ratings! I'm going to start directing people who ask me this question to this thread!)

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

I may have written two Pathfinder Tales novels about these very questions. :)

Death's Heretic

The Redemption Engine

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Rysky wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Just found out that both THE REDEMPTION ENGINE and DEATH'S HERETIC are getting close to selling out. So if you like paper books, you should get your copies now!

Thanks to everybody who's picked them up!

Does this mean there's a chance for a collected, illustrated Salim hardcover?

Ha! That would be lovely, but I think a proper omnibus would require THREE Salim novels... ;)

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Just found out that both THE REDEMPTION ENGINE and DEATH'S HERETIC are getting close to selling out. So if you like paper books, you should get your copies now!

Thanks to everybody who's picked them up!

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Christopher Paul Carey wrote:
Gordrenn Higgler wrote:
How big of an area is Silverlake?
This is the one Pathfinder Tales novel that I didn't have an opportunity to work on, but I'll run your question past Sutter when he gets back in the office next week. My best guess is that Silverlake is like a lot of River Kingdoms in that its size and borders fluctuate in response to local events and politics. Sutter might be able to give you a rough estimate of its area at the time the novel takes place.

I don't think it's specifically spelled out, but pretty small. Remember, the settlement doesn't exist at *all* at the start of the book, so in the beginning it's nothing but tents and shacks and animal pens, and by the end it's... well, that would be a spoiler, I suppose. :) The buildings are mostly clustered close together for defense, where that makes sense, so all told, I think the actual *town* is probably on the scale of hundreds of feet across instead of thousands, with outbuildings and stuff beyond that.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What, in your mind, would the Sarkorian "deity" Sturovenen the Dragoneagle and his "dawn-feathered" children summoned by the Neverhome god-callers look like?

Hmm... I'm thinking feathered dragon with red-orange plumage, but I'd have to go look at the source material!

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