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We *do* try to be gender inclusive! And while there are always ways to improve, I think we've been pretty successful so far. A lot of our efforts simply involve creating gender balance in our characters and ordering gender-balanced art (and pushing back when artists give us ridiculous chainmail bikinis, etc.). We also try to make sure that there's gender balance within character types as well (so it's not all male fighters and female witches, etc.) In terms of text and pronouns, defaulting to our gender-balanced iconics is pretty effective, or we just try to flop back and forth. Worst-case scenario, you can try to pluralize things or use "he and she," etc. (While I know that such things enforce a false sense of gender dichotomy, we haven't yet found a gender-neutral singular pronoun that doesn't rankle the majority of Grammar Gods, and as editors we feel we have to comply... for now.)
As for the second/third person switches--a lot of those are relics carried over from 3.5, or else based off of similar rules elements that were that way in 3.5. Wooo legacy grammar!
The best ways to get good at editing are:
a) Study it, via books, blogs, school, and just being around editors.
b) Edit! Volunteer to read slush or intern for publications and editors you respect! There's always more work than an editor has time for, and a willingness to do the gruntwork can get you in the door, or at least into the presence of the door.
1. They're awesome! It's really important to us (particularly to Wes and I) that our good outsiders be just as weird and alien and interesting as our evil outsiders. Too many people think "good outsider" means "boring winged paladin," and I think we've challenged that well.
2) While I'm not completely ignorant, that IS a Wes question. :) Or maybe a Patrick question. If folks are good enough to defer to me on my areas of expertise, the least I can do is return the favor!
3) They're all pretty rad, but I'll go with Vildeis because I think it's awesome that she's super creepy, and because I love things that bend stereotypes about alignment. :)
Dave did indeed run a contest to let fans stat up characters, which I think is a great way to do it. While I statted up Radovan in Kobold Quarterly years ago, and you can get short stat blocks in books like Inner Sea Combat and Inner Sea Magic, but while I absolutely expect my authors to know the basic stats of their characters, I'm generally against publishing official stats.
I've written up my reasons before, but they are:
1) Novel characters are always evolving, and stat blocks are static, a snapshot in time. Do you stat up the character at the beginning of the novel? The end? Two books in? Official stats make a character feel frozen to me, and I don't want my authors to feel restricted that way.
2) Publishing an official stat block is just asking people to nitpick. In my mind, there's zero value to publishing a stat block and then having someone say "Actually, in book two you have him climb up that wall, but you never gave him ranks in Climb, so he shouldn't have been able to do that." Too much technical information knocks certain types of readers out of the story.
3) I want to leave a certain amount of flexibility for future stories. If a sorcerer character knows five spells but only uses three of them in Book A, then I want to leave those empty slots well and truly open so that they can be whatever they need to be for Book B. It would be a shame to publish a stat block that fills in those spells known at random, then have the character be unable to cast a certain spell that we need for the plot of Book B.
In short, the answer is that I always lean toward creative freedom and intriguing mysteries. :)
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Oh man, Marble Hornets! I watched a few select episodes of that with Wes and was like "THIS IS SO COOL AND I'M NEVER ALLOWED TO WATCH THIS."
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Ah! Yeah, I see what you mean. In that sense, I suppose it is!
I really like the flavor of the old oriental adventures from 1st edition. Does paizo have any thoughts on flushing out the east with Yakuza, wujen and the like, or would it be up to the dm to just find the archtypes that fit?
Well, we have the Dragon Empires Gazetteer and the Jade Regent Adventure Path, which were really our love letter to that, and we certainly draw on a lot of eastern mythology for things like the Bestiaries. And as folks have mentioned, eastern fantasy certainly influences the rules with things like archetypes and classes.
Beyond that--we're not currently planning on devoting a bunch of time to Tian Xia when there's still so much of Golarion left to explore, but I suspect you'll see a bit here and there!
I have no idea, actually! If anybody has plans in that regard, it's probably Mark Moreland and John Compton, who are in many ways the creative heads of the in-world Pathfinder Society.
I'm published! I have my own published module and I want to do more. I'm finally in a position where I feel I have the time to take on more work, but I don't know how to get started. What do you recommend I do to catch the attention of Paizo or third-party publishers and get a chance to write more PFRPG material?
I'd recommend tracking down the websites of some of the third-party publishers you like the most and then emailing them to see if they'd consider you for an assignment.The Pathfinder Society Open Call is also a good place to start, along with RPG Superstar.
Good luck, and congratulations!
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Nope! I actually think that while Thassilon's gotten a lot of play, it's just one element of our world, and I'm very excited to see things continue to grow and detail some of the other empires and important historical figures!
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
James, what would you say is 2SPOOKY4U?
Most scary movies, honestly. I'm terrible at them. Wes tried to show me The Ring many years ago, and I made it through about 10 minutes before shouting "OUT!" and making him switch to something else (might have been Deadwood).
I think the thing that scares me the most (in terms of irrational fears) is the idea of the old-school "gray" aliens peering in my windows at night.
Matrix Dragon wrote:
Yeah, the skinwalkers in this book are definitely *not* the iconic skinwalkers. Skinwalkers aren't inherently bad folks, it's just that the raiders in this one also happen to be skinwalkers.
Have you seen any of these animated movies: Frozen, Wreck it Ralph, ParaNorman, Coraline, Hotel Transylvania, and/or Mr. Peabody and Sherman? If so what did you think?
I thought Coraline was pretty decent! I haven't seen any of the others, though. I definitely enjoy animated stuff in general, though. (I must have seen the original Toy Story twenty times.)
Yeah, I'll admit that when I was creating this adventure, I didn't really keep the whole "single spellcaster is weak" angle in mind. It's really too bad that single-spellcaster combats don't work better under our rules set, because from a story angle, it always seems cheesy to me to add a bunch of meat shields just to balance things (especially when you're in a small space, like castle rooms). But I should have taken that into account.
Hopefully the flavor is satisfying enough to even things out. :)
The Guardian Beyond Beyond wrote:
Just because we've done a thing doesn't mean we all agree about it, or that we'll implement the policy universally. :) Jacobs loves statting up demon lords, and they're his babies, so those of us who aren't as keen on god/demigod stats didn't raise a fuss. The Eldest, however, are mostly *my* babies, and since there's no pressing need for those stat blocks, I can't see why we'd publish them. (I'm not saying we never will, just stating my opinion/prediction.)
Sometimes the easiest way to run a company with a bunch of creative types is just to focus on publishing material *everyone* is excited about, and leave contentious issues on the table. :D
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Eyeglasses are definitely around, but I don't think they're mass-produced. I imagine they're mostly for people with plenty of money to burn.
I've never played Guild Wars, and I'd actually never heard of Kowloon until after I published City of Strangers, at which point I went "OH MY GOD IT'S KAER MAGA!" Favelas like Rocinha were definitely an inspiration, particularly for The Warren.
Even though it ended up being fairly different, pictures of Ait Benhaddou from National Geographic were one of the earliest seeds for the city in my mind. I imagine it as kind of a mash-up between there and the Pentagon. :)
In case I seemed too brusque before (I was honestly caught of guard!), I'd like to reiterate that we *are* very careful in how we deal with sensitive issues, specifically violence against children, rape, etc. For instance, you're never going to see a rape scene in a Pathfinder Tales novel. Just not going to happen.
That said, I *do* think it's important to remember that while some of the Pathfinder books may be appropriate for children, our world has never been branded as child-safe. Whether you think a given issue is too mature for a given child is totally up to you. I *can* say that I don't think anything we print is anywhere near as potentially objectionable as best-sellers like Stephen King, George R. R. Martin, etc. (We don't even use the F-word, which is more than can be said of PG-13 movies.)
Darkness has a place in Pathfinder. For this book in particular, it was important to me that we not soft-sell the Kalvamen, the cannibal raiders that even badass vikings are afraid of. So yes, there is cannibalism. There is death (though I didn't feel like it was the grisliest warfare we've seen in Pathfinder Tales so far). There is even a three-word reference to rape, one that neither the author nor I took lightly, and which we thought several times about cutting. But in the end, we gambled and opted to leave it in, because as much as rape is a terribly overused and often harmful crutch in fiction, and should generally be left out of a story unless you're prepared to treat the issue with the gravitas it warrants, it felt disingenuous to us to gloss over that aspect of the raiders completely.
Did we choose poorly? Perhaps we did, and I apologize to those who were disappointed or triggered by the book. But I'd also like to hear the opinions of as many folks as possible, to help us better calibrate to what all of you want to read. Because this is as much about your opinions as it is about ours.
So what do you think?
The Guardian Beyond Beyond wrote:
Eldest details of the sort we give for the core 20 gods show up in Inner Sea Gods! But if you mean full, let's-get-in-a-fight stat blocks, I sincerely hope not and will endeavor to prevent--in my mind, saying "you must do X damage to kill this god" makes them inherently less godly. I'd rather leave that up to individual GMs if they want to go that route.
And while I'm only speaking my own opinion, I think the average person in Cheliax probably feels roughly the same about Thrune as we Americans do when our "rival" political party is in power. A sort of "yeah, well, whaddaya expect when the devil folks are in control?" But I'm betting it's more casual kvetching than outright sedition. It turns out, average (see also: poor) folks in a medieval society are usually too concerned with immediate problems like jobs/family/etc. to worry overmuch about which faction's running the government. And while the Thrune administration isn't *nice*, per se, it isn't really persecuting its own citizens that much.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...
Wow, I'm really surprised to see people balking at the violence. When Wendy and I were first talking about this book, the closest analogues we could come up with were Beowulf/Eaters of the Dead, and I was actually afraid that the book *wouldn't* seem gritty enough to get across the same Viking flavor. I was afraid of making the Jendara story too soft and fairy-tale-ish. Perhaps we leaned too far the opposite direction.
Thanks for the feedback! I'm curious if others agree or disagree...?
Yay! Thanks, MeanDM! :D
I like dogs a lot--especially when they're old and sleepy--but I'm too busy to really take care of one. Fortunately, I live with a roommate who has a corgi/aussie shepherd mix named Zefram the Warp Corgi. I get to have all of the fun of a dog and none of the responsibility!
It depends on the food. I'm pretty picky, but if it's some high-quality cheese pizza, the answer is that I'd unhinge my jaw like a snake, ingest it, and then spend the rest of the day asleep on the floor of my cubicle.
I don't really drink much these days, but I'd appreciate the offer!
Honestly, I've had a bunch of really interesting projects! I'd say Distant Worlds was probably the most interesting in that I got to do a bunch of astronomy research, but really, I love all the books I've written. And Death's Heretic will always have a special place in my heart, as writing a novel for the first time is both terrifying and deeply gratifying.
Boring things... well, I've never been passionate about building stat blocks, so anything where the crunch-to-fluff ratio is high is naturally less interesting to me. Fortunately, these days I get to cherry-pick my projects!
The Purity of Violence wrote:
That's a courtyard, not a bathroom. I foresee an awkward roleplaying encounter in your PC's future... :)
A fine point about desert heat, though. While I wouldn't expect every editor to have sweated in a desert, it turns out I have once or twice, so I could have caught that. Mea culpa.
EDIT: Looks like your edit went into effect while I was responding. :)
(づ｡◕‿‿◕｡)づ *♥:･ﾟ✧ *♥:･ﾟ✧
This is the greatest and weirdest compliment I have ever received.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I think you've pretty much got it figured out. :) The character sounds fascinating to me, so I'd say go for it! Just talk to your GM to figure out any rules weirdness that may arise, and otherwise it's all about your character's personality and personal story, which is pure flavor.
I can't speak for Pathfinder Society, of course, but if you were in my home game, I'd allow it!
These are the ones who lived.
Yeah, the point of Mengkare inviting non-humans or part-humans there is for the good of the overall human perfection experiment, so while I suppose he might invite the occasional exotic race to come teach or otherwise help facilitate, his main focus is the breeding program.
I'm not sure if the people of Geb are white or not, but Nex and his arclords are pretty black, and they are by far the better magi than Geb's crew.
Both Geb and Nex are populated predominantly by black people. While not all of our art has reflected this--it can be surprisingly difficult to get fantasy artists to paint non-Caucasians, and sometimes you have to go to print with the art that you have--the intention has always been that that area (and Alkenstar, for that matter) is overwhelmingly black/POC.
We've said on various occasions that Mengkare is cool with adding periodic dashes of non-human or part-human races to his experiment in order to bring out the best of humanity. Plus, given how many different races can breed with humans, combined with the long length of human history, I'd venture that *most* folks probably have a non-human somewhere in their family tree, it's just a question of how much and how far back. So "human" is kind of in the eye of the beholder.
In short: go for it!