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Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

So I was watching the Paizo-con videos again about Pathfinder fiction and I had a thought.

You guys said you didn't want to do world changing stories.. that's fair. But what about backstories or stories used to foreshadow an upcoming event/ap?

I'll use Curse of the Crimson Throne as an example. What if before Curse came out, a novel was written of a hero discovering a plot to kill the king, to get tangled up in it, only to fail to save the king and the queen succeeding... enter the AP.

Basically tie-in novels to stuff you're already doing.

Qadira

Paizo Superscriber

Hmm, you got me there. I know I am not them, but I would say "no" to be safe. Spoilers and such.

I think Legacy novels would be the way, as far as "everyone knows that" events. You know, well known history relived.

However, you thought is an intrigueing idea, nonetheless. Paizo is known for breaking the mold and that is precisely why I could be dead wrong.

Paizo Employee Developer

Yeah, I think historical events are the way to go. Anything tied to closely to an adventure also risks confusing players who may have read the novel and whose GM changes things. If there's a novel set during the Oath Wars or the Shining Crusade or the Age of Darkness, however, there's much less of a chance of that interfering with game elements. After all, everyone knows how those events turned out, and they were all centuries or millennia in the past. Specifics of a character's journey would still be suspenseful and not necessarily part of common knowledge, but there's no risk that an Arcadian attack fleet of griffon-mounted shamans is going to take over the Lands of the Linnorm Kings at the end of the Age of Destiny.


Also, one problem with ideas like this...

SirUrza wrote:
What if before Curse came out, a novel was written of a hero discovering a plot to kill the king, to get tangled up in it, only to fail to save the king and the queen succeeding... enter the AP.

...is that it requires the heroes to fail, which won't make for a very satisfying story, even if the reader DOESN'T know the outcome.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

While historical novels are always an option, they're not something we're really looking at for the first year. I'm more interested in introducing new adventures and ideas to inspire folks than playing a lot with big historical events or tying closely into APs. In my mind, those things aren't hurting for airtime, and I'd rather see what new stories the authors can come up with than play directly with big chunks of canon.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Aaron Bitman wrote:

Also, one problem with ideas like this...

SirUrza wrote:
What if before Curse came out, a novel was written of a hero discovering a plot to kill the king, to get tangled up in it, only to fail to save the king and the queen succeeding... enter the AP.
...is that it requires the heroes to fail, which won't make for a very satisfying story, even if the reader DOESN'T know the outcome.

Sure it does, Empire Strikes Back. The mood needs to be set right, the tragedy has to be meaningful. Thus gets players interested in picking up the AP and continuing the good fight.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
While historical novels are always an option, they're not something we're really looking at for the first year. I'm more interested in introducing new adventures and ideas to inspire folks than playing a lot with big historical events or tying closely into APs. In my mind, those things aren't hurting for airtime, and I'd rather see what new stories the authors can come up with than play directly with big chunks of canon.

I was more interested in foreshadowing the events of an Adventure Path with a novel then doing a historical novel.


SirUrza wrote:
Sure it does, Empire Strikes Back. The mood needs to be set right, the tragedy has to be meaningful. Thus gets players interested in picking up the AP and continuing the good fight.

Many may disagree with me, but I personally think that, had The Empire Strikes Back been the FIRST Star Wars movie, it would have been most dissatisfying. The first one HAD to end with a Death Star explosion. Only after that could there be a story that left things unresolved.

And I'm sure that, with a novel, Paizo wants to appeal to the general reading public, not just to gamers.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Aaron Bitman wrote:
Many may disagree with me, but I personally think that, had The Empire Strikes Back been the FIRST Star Wars movie, it would have been most dissatisfying. The first one HAD to end with a Death Star explosion. Only after that could there be a story that left things unresolved.

Except that gamers are smart enough to realize that such an end of a novel isn't the end of the story, particularly if Paizo were saying "now play the adventure."

While it should not be the first in the bookline, it's certainly an entry point into the game for those that read game fiction.. and there are many more then some like to be, hi Bob Salvatore, but don't play D&D.

Paizo Employee Developer

I think one issue with making prequel fiction, especially before an adventure was released is that unless it were released far enough in advance that the authors of said AP could incorporate elements from the book into their own work, it would lead to more than a few missed opportunities. As it is, Dark Markets and Guide to Korvosa planted tons of seeds that the adventures set there never picked up on because they were developed concurrently.


Would a standard book proposal be enough or would you like a first chapter or other such writing sample to go along with it? Is there a specific fiction editor that would oversee such proposals?

Paizo Employee Developer

delphi wrote:

Would a standard book proposal be enough or would you like a first chapter or other such writing sample to go along with it? Is there a specific fiction editor that would oversee such proposals?

I believe the idea is to use established authors who will sell books just on their name alone (proposed names include Elaine Cunningham, R.A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood, etc. though no one has been confirmed by Paizo publicly) to launch the line. I imagine eventually there will be a submission procedure, but there isn't one yet. Anyone wanting to write Pathfinder material should look at the Pathfinder Society and RPG Superstar, both of which are currently taking open submissions.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

There is currently no submission process, and unlikely to be one for at least another year - as various folks have pointed out, we need to start off the line with the biggest bang possible in order to ensure shelf space in bookstores and decent sales. After that, we can start thinking about introducing newer authors. Trust me, if you're a new author, you want to publish in a line that's already well established by major authors... credibility by association, baby. :)

Also, I'm definitely not averse to a few AP easter eggs (there were several in the Eando Kline story arc), but at this point all the various scheduling concerns (not to mention artistic ones) point to giving both AP and the novels some room to grow without stepping all over each other's toes.

Paizo Employee Developer

So when are we getting the official announcement? When, James? When? Erik said in the chat one night a few weeks ago that chances were very high we'd have the announcement before the end of the year. So where is it, James? Where? Also, what's the name of/plot behind the upcoming Kingmaker Pathfinder's Journal? What, James? What?

As you can see, there are many questions still unanswered regarding Pathfinder fiction.

Spoiler:
Is that you on the cover of Who Fears the Devil?

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Soon.

Paizo Employee Developer

Are we there yet?

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Soon.

I'm guess the announcement is going to be our christmas present. :P

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

I can give you part of that - I actually thought I'd already announced the Kingmaker Pathfinder's Journal. It's called "Prodigal Sons," and it's got a team of 6 authors working together to tell the story of disgraced noble scion Ollix Kaddar and his long-suffering priest companion as they tramp through the River Kingdoms in search of fame and fortune (while studiously avoiding the hard work that usually goes with such things). It's by far the most comedic Pathfinder fiction we've ever done, somewhere between Fritz Leiber and Robert Asprin, and so far I'm pretty pleased darn pleased.

The first chapter, "Death at the Swaddled Otter!", appears in Pathfinder #31, and is written by yours truly.

As for the rest of it... the holidays are a crazy time, but work on Pathfinder Fiction is proceeding apace. You'll know as soon as humanly - and more importantly, legally - possible!


James Sutter wrote:
The first chapter, "Death at the Swaddled Otter!", appears in Pathfinder #31, and is written by yours truly.

For a second there I though it said "Death by Swaddled Otter!" Would have been so much cooler. *sad face*

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Soon.

Now Erik the question was when will there be an announcement of Pathfinder Fiction not "When will then be now?"

Although if the two questions fit together, please don't get raspberry jam on the books.

Qadira

Paizo Superscriber
yoda8myhead wrote:
So when are we getting the official announcement? When, James? When? Erik said in the chat one night a few weeks ago that chances were very high we'd have the announcement before the end of the year. So where is it, James? Where? Also, what's the name of/plot behind the upcoming Kingmaker Pathfinder's Journal? What, James? What?

So blunt yoda! You are always (absolutely) saying what is hard to say, but there it is.

James Sutter wrote:
While historical novels are always an option, they're not something we're really looking at for the first year. I'm more interested in introducing new adventures and ideas to inspire folks than playing a lot with big historical events or tying closely into APs. In my mind, those things aren't hurting for airtime, and I'd rather see what new stories the authors can come up with than play directly with big chunks of canon.

Paizo is really a group of handpicked people. Perhaps what is so special about you all is what you don't say, but in fact, do say in the absence of words. I love reading all Paizo answers, because Paizo says more in how the question was handled as opposed to the actual response to the question. It is like vindication...I am not crazy for digging you guys.


Mark Moreland wrote:
Are we there yet?

That post is a lot funnier now that Mark's got the developer tag after his name.


So, mister James Sutter, I (and many others here, I think) would like to know about the status of the Pathfinder Tales novel authorship, and how likely it is for someone to start up in your line-up as a first-time writer.

If you don't mind my saying so, I personally would like to officially get published some time soon, but not that soon with all the projects that are hanging around that I need to get back to... though deadlines are important, as every author will attest to, and I should know of the dreaded schedule slip myself.

Anyway *ahem*, please inform us all of what needs to be met for criteria among first-time authors, alright? Thanks.

Paizo Employee Managing Editor

Xamusel wrote:

So, mister James Sutter, I (and many others here, I think) would like to know about the status of the Pathfinder Tales novel authorship, and how likely it is for someone to start up in your line-up as a first-time writer.

If you don't mind my saying so, I personally would like to officially get published some time soon, but not that soon with all the projects that are hanging around that I need to get back to... though deadlines are important, as every author will attest to, and I should know of the dreaded schedule slip myself.

Anyway *ahem*, please inform us all of what needs to be met for criteria among first-time authors, alright? Thanks.

Already replied in your original thread! :)


Thankfully I noticed.

*ahem* Sorry to have bothered you with both posts.

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