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James Sutter

James Sutter's page

Executive Editor. 2,558 posts (2,589 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 aliases.


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Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Anguish wrote:


Incidentally, since we're on the topic of the Tales line, anything in the works by oh... say... James Sutter? Or, I guess... DAVE GROSS? <Grin> I admit I've been kind of neglecting paying any attention to the line since last year's changes, because, well, all of the reasons a bunch of people checked out of that hotel.

We're always scheming. :) Right now the big news for me is that Death's Heretic is free on Audible until next week at audible.com/deathsheretic. But in terms of what's coming up in the line, I've actually got some new (to us) authors coming up that I'm really stoked about, as well as new books from folks like Chris Jackson, Tim Pratt, and Liane Merciel. It's a pretty exciting time for the line. :)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
doctor_wu wrote:

Would you want to write a Neila avanory novel?

Am I the first person to ask you this?

You're the first person to ask for a solo book! Though lots of people have asked to see her come back.

As it turns out, I really want to bring her and Salim back together in a third book, because she's been up to a lot of interesting things since Death's Heretic, which will result in a very different dynamic than Salim would expect... :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

JohnHawkins wrote:
As far as I can tell this only applies to customers who buy via audible.com, which means none american customers do not have access to the audible book offer.

I know it's at least available through Audible's UK site, and probably others as well, you just have to search for it on your country's localized instance of Audible.

Conversely, I hear you can sign up and grab it via your browser's Incognito Mode.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Alleran wrote:
"Lawful ShutUpMark" .

It should be noted that this is the alignment of many of us here at Paizo as well. If you cast detect shutupmark in the Paizo offices, you'd be overwhelmed by the auras everywhere.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Therrux wrote:
Hey James would you ever consider making the first pathfinder chronicle into a pathfinder tale?

For the most part, we tend to focus on stories set in Golarion's present, simply because it lends to the sense of immediacy. That said, "why is X that way?" stories are also fun, so I'd certainly consider it!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Rysky wrote:

Came here after asking the Directorsaur if you and him had ever talked about doing a collection of short stories in the Tales line.

Is that something you would be interested in?

A short story anthology is something we've always wanted to do, but they're just really hard to sell in the current fiction market. That said, for several years we were able to get away with publishing short Pathfinder Stories for free online, and they're all still up there!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

captain yesterday wrote:
Do you watch Drunk History.

I watched two episodes, and it was hilarious!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Thanks everybody! (And yeah, Death's Heretic is currently missing from the landing page—they say they'll add it as soon as the promotion's over.)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Just dropped in to cackle and twiddle my fingers.

Hermea: Teach the controversy.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Dragon78 wrote:

I agree with everything you just said about movie:)

Have you seen any interesting TV shows?

See my notes above about Game of Thrones and Sherlock! Other than that, I just started Carnivale, which I'm enjoying as much as everyone around Paizo said I would. :)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Rysky wrote:
Speaking of mustache-twirling, have you watched any Epic Rap Battles of History?

Not yet! I'm sadly so busy these days that I have a "youtube to watch" section of my to-do list app. :P

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
James Sutter wrote:
Alayern wrote:
To All the authors: What was the biggest/coolest thing you bought with the money from your first novel?

Honestly, I probably just invested it. I'm boring like that. :P

(Then again, our honeymoon wasn't that long afterward, so... let's say the wedding and going to New Zealand. :D)

EDIT: The money went *toward* wedding and honeymoon, rather than paying for them outright. I'd have to be doing significantly better than I am if I could make that much money off one novel. :P

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Alayern wrote:
To All the authors: What was the biggest/coolest thing you bought with the money from your first novel?

Honestly, I probably just invested it. I'm boring like that. :P

(Then again, our honeymoon wasn't that long afterward, so... let's say the wedding and going to New Zealand. :D)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Duncan7291 wrote:

Finished listening to the book and have started Redemption Engine. It is well written with good descriptions of various game mechanics that frankly will help me as a GM describe events to my players. Characters are well thought out (mostly - there is one priest whose motivations are a little too simplistic given the scope of what he does). I enjoyed the novel and the narrator (as evidence by the fact I bought the follow-up novel and I'm listening to it now). Overall 4 stars out of 5.

EDIT: also posted review on Audible.

Yay! Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the review!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:

Seen any movies lately? If so what did you think?

I'm woefully behind on my movie-watching! The last one I saw was The Force Awakens. My potentially contentious thoughts here:

Spoiler:

I enjoyed it, but I found myself resenting that it was basically a reboot instead of a sequel—so many story beats and scenes were stolen outright from the original trilogy that it just felt like a rehash (albeit a totally fine one). I think I understand why they were doing it—so that new fans who saw only this movie would still share most of the key nostalgia points with old-time fans without having to watch movies released decades before they were born. And I'll totally forgive that if it means that, having laid that necessary groundwork, they can now go make a ton of new Star Wars movies that do interesting new things. But it means that I won't really feel like I've seen a *new* Star Wars movie until the next one comes out. I hope. :P

Also, the bad guy speech before the firing of the planet-killer was a little painful. I don't have a lot of tolerance for unexplained evil anymore, and I felt like 5 minutes from a Game of Thrones writer could have easily given the new bad guys a compelling reason for doing what they're doing. (There are PLENTY of logical reasons to want a new empire, and even to justify what they're doing to achieve it, but the film went instead for unexplained mustache-twirling evil, which just feels sloppy and uninteresting to me.)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:

What's your favorite f+#*ing t.v. show right now?

What's your favorite f$+%ing instance of f%#+ing swearing in a g~!!#&n movie?
:-)

My favorite TV show right now is a toss-up between Sherlock and Game of Thrones. Both are among the best shows I've ever seen, in terms of writing and acting, though these days I'm a touch afraid that GoT might pull a Rome and just go down the rabbit hole of despair, forgetting that what makes the grim elements of shows work is the dynamic range, the contrast. Once you lose hope, grimdark just becomes painful and unsatisfying.

Favorite swearing: There's a scene in an early season of The Wire where two detectives do an entire crime scene investigation and share their conclusions using only the word "f%&%" and body language. It's a stunt, but one that the actors totally nail, making for one of the most brilliant pieces of screenwriting I've seen. :)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
baron arem heshvaun wrote:

Hi James, I think I found a picture of your extended family, which one is you? Or were you the one taking the pic?

Who is the camera whore of the family?

I can never tell which is me in those pictures, but that's definitely my brother in the back—he's *way* taller than me, and much handsomer.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
mathpro18 wrote:
Do you know when the audible copy of Pirate's Prophesy will be available.

Very soon! The audio versions usually trail the print release by a little bit, and the *actual* on-sale date is tomorrow... subscribers often get the print books early just because they're special. :)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Kevin Mack wrote:
So out of curiosity does this have any extra material/stories not found in the 6 seperate issues?

No, it's just a straight-up compilation of the 6 issues in hardback form.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

11 people marked this as a favorite.

I would LOVE to do a Distant Worlds adventure path, and it's really nice to hear this kind of enthusiasm for it. Please keep banging the drum, as we all look to the boards when making these sorts of decisions. :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

5 people marked this as a favorite.

The Audible stuff TOTALLY counts for the boons! Just show the books in your audiobook library via your phone, laptop, printed out screenshot—whatever works for you. We want to make it as easy for folks as possible.

You can consider this a totally official ruling, on the grounds that I yelled across the hall to the PFS office saying "I'm saying this is official, cool?" and they agreed. :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

flash_cxxi wrote:
Just so you guys are aware, searching for Pathfinder or Pathfinder Tales on Audible only brings up the original 17 releases, not any of the new ones. I had been wanting to pick up Forge of Ashes, and literally only just checked Audible yesterday by searching Pathfinder Tales, and when it didn't show up, I spent my monthly credit on another book.

Thanks for letting us know! That's no good at all—I'll ping Audible right now and ask them to fix it.

In the meantime, you can find all the releases at audible.com/pathfinder

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
H2Osw wrote:


So is Salim a character that has seen tabletop time or just a work of fiction for pathfinder tales?

I've never played Salim in an actual game, but I *did* play an atheist character for several years in James Jacobs' Shadows under Sandpoint campaign. Kirin the Heretic was a very different type of atheist from Salim—he actively rejected the gods' existence, claiming that all divine casters were "just sorcerers without the guts to take responsibility for their powers"—a stance that is frankly pretty crazy given the body of evidence, but that's what made him fun to play. :) So while I didn't realize it until years later, Kirin was clearly an influence on what Salim would become. Him and Deckard from Blade Runner. :)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Duncan7291 wrote:

James,

Im still finishing up the book (I got the sequel based off my enjoyment so far and desire to support the author). I'll review it once finished (Probably end of the week). For future books, please try to keep that narrator. He is doing an excellent job on so far in book one. Im glad he is the narrator for book 2.

Duncan

Awesome! Thank you! :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

H2Osw wrote:
I'm listening to this today. I find Salim a very interesting character. Is this his first story? Is there more on how he became who he is? James is this also a character you've played as a character at a table?

If you want to know how he became who he is, keep listening. That's the best part of the book. :D

In terms of more Salim: As mentioned, there's the sequel, The Redemption Engine (also on Audible!), and the free short story "Faithful Servants" available in written form here and in audio form here.

Also, as a reminder to folks: If you enjoy the book—or even if you don't—please review it on Audible and Amazon! Even just clicking a star rating goes a long way to helping raise the profile of the book, and gives potential readers valuable info. Reviews are the lifeblood of the publishing industry!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Glad to see people are excited. I was also thrilled to bring Knaak on board, given his books' extreme influence on me as an impressionable child. :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Alayern wrote:

As far as I can gauge, PF (if it were rated by an inappropriate rating system such as the following) would have a PG-13 rating.

Under that assumption (and feel free to correct me if you feel that's an erroneous one) would you allow one of your authors to use the F-word in a novel?

Would you be willing to suggest (perhaps spoilered) any alternatives if you don't allow the F-word?

I grew up in a very Irish household, so the F-word is common parlance here.

In general, you're right that PG-13 is roughly the mark we strive to hit with the Pathfinder Tales novels. While I'm personally a big fan of letting kids read pretty much whatever they want—I sure learned some interesting things from Tom Robbins and Stephen King as a child—I can appreciate that a lot of parents feel differently, and so we try to walk a line that's edgy enough to keep everyone interested but not so far that the average parent (or teacher, or librarian) is going to have to worry about graphic sex scenes or explicit language. (There IS a lot of violence, though, and some books like Nightglass get pretty darn dark. Somehow that doesn't raise as many eyebrows, though. I have no idea why the USA is still so permissive of severed limbs but freaked out by nipples, but so it goes.)

For that reason, I don't allow authors to drop F-bombs in the books. Instead, I often encourage them to introduce profanity that feels more rooted in the world and its religions—for instance, in the comic scripts I write for Dynamite, I have Valeros say things like "Cayden's balls!" It still gets the point across, and feels in keeping with the setting, but isn't going to trigger some folks' profanity filters in the same way.

Outside of the books, of course, I, too, use the F-word more than I probably should. :P

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Duncan7291 wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Duncan7291 wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
All the voices in the books are the narrators and producers' choice—I can provide guidelines, but they make the ultimate call. In the case of Ceyanan, I think Ray was just trying to make the voice creepy, and perhaps also to keep it from sounding clearly male or female.
Thanks James for info. I'm enjoying the book so far. The main character just got to that place after he was told he needed to do a thing before the other thing happened or he/she would have to you know. ;)

Ooh, I LOVE that part!

:P

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Duncan7291 wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

All the voices in the books are the narrators and producers' choice—I can provide guidelines, but they make the ultimate call. In the case of Ceyanan, I think Ray was just trying to make the voice creepy, and perhaps also to keep it from sounding clearly male or female.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Schnappy das kleine Kobold wrote:

I really enjoyed Death's Heretic and just finished Redemption Engine, both in paperback. I'd love to see a third in this series, preferably in paperback or DRM-free audio (for those of us who like to live unchained).

;)

I can guarantee that if (and hopefully more like "when") the third book comes out, it'll be available in paperback. We here at Paizo must continue our killing of trees until our blood feud is satisfied!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

jcg wrote:

Awesome.

Free.
Win.

I didn't realize PF Tales were on Audible. I've made it about 50% through this on the last few commutes, and while painting minis at night. Great story and narration. Simply awesome depiction of an inquisitor!

Yay! Glad you're liking it! And yeah, there are about 30 other PF Tales on Audible now, just waiting for you. ;)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Heine Stick wrote:
Very cool! Is that the final cover art?

Yup, that's the real deal!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

GeraintElberion wrote:

I'm confused by this whole audible nonsense.

Why can't I just download the file? It's annoying.

Pass.

Because Audible is the publisher for the backlist audiobooks. Everything regarding those audiobooks—including the decision to give one away for free—is their call.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Valantrix1 wrote:


Downloaded it last night when I saw your post on facebook. I loved the print version, even reading it with my horrible blind accessible software, so I'm excited to get an actual person reading it for me. Congrats!

Thank you! It's always been my hope that the audiobooks would help make the books accessible to a wider audience. Thanks for soldiering through the print versions, and here's to never having to do so again. :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Your question has been answered... plus FREE STUFF! :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Here's the webfiction story he starred in!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Really excited to be able to give this one out to folks! I'm listening to it for the first time myself right now, and Ray Porter's voice for

Spoiler:

the protean

makes me *extremely* happy. :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Really! I had no idea—that's fascinating!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

CorvusMask wrote:

I dunno, I think its also cool scene when a villain is throwing his flunkies at heroes who take them down easily and then focus on villain.

<_< Or maybe I just have bad tastes ^_^;

Oh, totally! It can be very cool, I just don't like the idea that it *always* has to be that way. :P

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2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes, absolutely! The PFS team is working hard on other stuff right now, but it's definitely on their list!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Fact: Pretty much any time I give a straight answer in a setting book, I immediately follow it up with "...but SOME rumors suggest that the truth is far stranger, such as..." I know several of the other devs here also follow that general philosophy.

Truth is fine, but conspiracy theories are more fun. :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

For the record: Yes, solo casters can be a problem tactically in Pathfinder, depending on your party. No adventure writer is perfect, and my biggest strength and biggest weakness is that I'm most interested in cool characters, locations, and roleplaying potential, and sometimes lose sight of hardcore tactics issues. (And as folks have said, there's such an awesome classic trope of the "party vs. single villain" encounter in fantasy that I sometimes feel weird adding lackeys just for the sake of tactics.)

So if you think your party might cakewalk through the single-caster fights, add some minions or additional prep (starting combat invisible, etc.). If not, don't. Either way, it's not worth anybody getting riled up. :)

Thanks for the feedback, and hope that folks are generally enjoying exploring Kaer Maga!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:

Just finished this. Awesome book, Wes. I really liked:

** spoiler omitted **

The rest was great too. You managed to make me like both the main characters, whilst also finding them both annoying at times. They really seemed like real people.

** spoiler omitted **

I'll get out the ol' bullwhip and see what I can do.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

deinol wrote:
Is there any chance that we will someday see a revised Planet Stories line? It's one of my favorite product lines from Paizo's "youth".

Until Erik wins the lottery, I think it'll remain on hiatus. Planet Stories was never a big seller, just a project of passion, and these days the opportunity cost is just too great.

That said, if you really like that old pulp stuff, keep an eye on the comics line after Pathfinder Hollow Mountain... ;)

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Will Huston wrote:

Based on a tweet you sent yesterday, did Wes tell you you're pretty? (based on your twitter profile pic, the objective answer is yes.)

Also, what did you mean by "review season"? Is it performance review week at Paizo?

Wes always tells me I'm pretty. (He knows the consequences if he doesn't.) And thank you. :)

And yeah, like any other company, Paizo has annual performance reviews so we can help each other improve and do the best work we can. I joke about it, but I actually feel like it's really important—I ask all my employees to send feedback to my bosses so that the reviews work both ways, not just top-down.

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

Alayern wrote:
Recently James Jacobs mentioned that you prefer the Tales authors to try and follow the rules when making characters (at least to a point.) What if they needed something that didn't exist within the rules as-is?

It's not just a preference—it's a requirement! Every character that shows up in Pathfinder Tales needs to be able to be adequately modeled by a class combination. Which doesn't mean they need to be optimized, or even use every possible ability—for instance, there might be plenty of politicians best modeled as rogues who never backstab anyone—but they should never display abilities that aren't explainable under the current rules set.

That said, novels are about adding to the game and the canon, not just displaying it—it's the same philosophy that guides our adventures and other books. If an author has a cool idea for, say, a spell or magic item that isn't in the game yet, but would be a cool and balanced addition to the system, there's no reason for us to not put it in there (likely statting it up in a later game book).

The important thing to remember is that the rulebooks we've published don't represent everything that's possible—if that were true, we'd never be able to publish new books without breaking the world. Instead, the rulebooks try to present the underlying laws of Golarion's universe and show examples of what's possible. As long as an author's idea fits within that framework, we consider it just one more tool for GMs to draw inspiration from.

Hope that answers the question!

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Andros Morino wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Andros Morino wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

I imagine they have plenty of normal laws as well, involving fines, imprisonment, community service, etc. But for what you're talking about, I think we're looking at a lot of knuckles. :)
Thanks for the input James. They managed to avoid the trial by asking a favor to Dakar. (I had run before the City of Strangers PFS scenarios and they thought that he could use his influence with the Ardocs). Boy I am going to have fun planning what they have to do to repay that favor. He warned them that it would be a big one. :)

Ah, Dakar! He was the first naga we ever introduced, way back in Pathfinder #3, and I'm still rather fond of him. :)

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
How was your Christmas? Did you get anything good?

It was great! On the gift side, I got a kindle (my first!) and a rad peacoat that makes me look even more like Wes than I already did. :P

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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Liane Merciel wrote:
Haldelar Baxter wrote:
have any of you done write-ups for those items ?

Not in the formal sense.

I have a general idea of what most of my unique magical items do (e.g., "this thing expands your carrying capacity when casting Teleport by x amount"), but a full rules writeup with cost, creation requirements, all that stuff -- no, I don't do that. It wouldn't serve any purpose in the story and I'd be worried about getting the details wrong. Balancing those specs is the province of game designers, not novelists.

That said, *we* have definitely statted up stuff from the novels—I've personally done or overseen the creation of several items and creatures that Liane dreamed up in her books. :D

Paizo Employee Executive Editor

No need to email! I can answer right now that fan fiction and campaign journals of our adventure paths are totally okay! As long as you're giving it away for free (and not violating the Community Use policies by putting super objectionable stuff in it), it's no problem—you just can't make any money off of it. That's how places like Wayfinder, Pathfinder Chronicler, and these forums work—it's all free for the enjoyment of the community.

Have fun!

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