A Farewell to Web Fiction

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

For the last five years, Wednesdays have held a special place on this blog. Every Wednesday, it was our distinct pleasure to present a new chapter of serial Pathfinder web fiction. Some stories were from authors you already knew, tied into the latest Pathfinder novels. Others were from first-time Pathfinder authors, trying out new characters in front of a live audience—the entire internet.


Illustrations by Eric Belisle

Of all the fun that the web fiction has brought us, far and away the part I appreciate most is the number of authors who started with web fiction, knocked it out of the park, and went on to become beloved authors in the novel line. Some, like Chris. A. Jackson and Liane Merciel, were already accomplished novelists, simply taking their first crack at shared-world writing. Yet for others, like Wendy N. Wagner, Josh Vogt, and Gary Kloster, scoring a critical hit on their web fiction led directly to the sale of their first published novels. As an editor, there's no greater joy than being the first to snag an author destined for great things, and I cackle with glee at the thought of having been the midwife to those awesome authors' first novels.

But all good things must come to an end.

Over the last half a decade, Pathfinder has grown immensely, and Paizo with it. This blog, once such a fragile creature that it could be taken out simply by removing all the keys on Wes's keyboard, is now a robust beast with more posts per week than there are days. And while the web fiction was once one of very few outlets for folks hungry for Pathfinder fiction, there are now dozens of novels, not to mention the Pathfinder's journals, comics, audio dramas, and a huge backlist of free short fiction. Where once I (and later Senior Editor Chris Carey) desperately needed the web fiction to help us find the next great Pathfinder Tales authors, in the wake of Pathfinder Tales teaming up with Tor/Macmillan, I've got amazing, established authors like Max Gladstone, Sam Sykes, and Richard A. Knaak joining a roster already packed with folks like Tim Pratt, Dave Gross, Chris Jackson, and Liane Merciel. Add in the expense, both in time and money, of buying and illustrating free web fiction stories, and it just doesn't make sense to continue the tradition.

The web fiction we've already posted will continue to be available for free in perpetuity, and I'm also hoping to complete the ePub processing of the stories very soon for folks who prefer to read them that way. We'll also continue to post free sample chapters of the novels as each one comes out to let you test-drive the books before you buy.

Many thanks to all the faithful web fiction readers, and I hope you continue to enjoy Pathfinder Tales in all its various forms!

James L. Sutter
Executive Editor

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Tags: Eric Belisle Pathfinder Tales Web Fiction
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First the change to books in a format I don't buy and now this.
Bummed :(

-TimD


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Oh man, this is sad news indeed.

I really liked the Web Fiction and was always looking forward to another NPC I could steal for my games, or an author's name to put on my lookout list. And maybe it's just my bad luck, but of the eight or so Pathfinder novels I've read so far only about three of them were really good - unlike the Web Serials, which I really liked more often than not.

Add my voice to those who wish for some new blog content in the future that does not advertise miniatures, the card game, or Pathfinder Online. Make some more entries like that one about poisons, or light and darkness. Heck, let the developers just ramble on a subject that they are tackling right now, or that's popular across the messageboard right now. Adventure ideas that didn't made it through Q&A but would be funny to share, or a monster that was cut from an AP volume for some reason or another.

Because if we can't have free stories anymore, just give us some odds and ends so we can assemble one for ourselves once a week :)


Count me among the very sad. Disappointing news. The free Wednesday web fiction was one of those things that made Paizo different to me and drew me to regularly visiting Paizo.com. I hope they don't become just another commercial website. Money, money, money. We all need money. :(

D


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
UnArcaneElection wrote:
About the accompanying art that will be missed: Does this mean that we are going to get messageboard avatar icons at a reduced rate?

I'm pretty sure most to all of the avatar art comes from published products. It's just a matter of Chris and the staff having the available time to add them to the mix.


Kevin Mack wrote:
So anyone else feeling the blogs are becoming a shadow of what they once were? Of all the things they used it for the wedsday story was one of the few slots that held any real intrest for me (Dont play society, dont play the card game, dont use minatures and the less said about pathfinder online the better.)

You're not alone. I mostly agree.. Looks like I'll only be hitting things up for preview times around Gencon and playtest times... Though to be honest i even missed most of that last time around.

Community Manager

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VargrBoartusk wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
So anyone else feeling the blogs are becoming a shadow of what they once were? Of all the things they used it for the wedsday story was one of the few slots that held any real intrest for me (Dont play society, dont play the card game, dont use minatures and the less said about pathfinder online the better.)
You're not alone. I mostly agree.. Looks like I'll only be hitting things up for preview times around Gencon and playtest times... Though to be honest i even missed most of that last time around.

If there is something that you want to see in the blog, please let us know! The community team is very much interested in improving our blog offerings, but we can't read minds. Tell us what you want by emailing us at community@paizo.com.

Liberty's Edge

TimD wrote:

First the change to books in a format I don't buy and now this.

Bummed :(

-TimD

Just out of curiosity ... what does that mean?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Marc Radle wrote:
TimD wrote:

First the change to books in a format I don't buy and now this.

Bummed :(

-TimD

Just out of curiosity ... what does that mean?

Tor Publishing is printing the books in a larger, "trade paperback" format, as opposed to the "mass market" novels we've gotten thus far.


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

So grumpy about this.


Kalindlara wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
TimD wrote:

First the change to books in a format I don't buy and now this.

Bummed :(

-TimD

Just out of curiosity ... what does that mean?
Tor Publishing is printing the books in a larger, "trade paperback" format, as opposed to the "mass market" novels we've gotten thus far.

^ exactly.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
TimD wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
TimD wrote:

First the change to books in a format I don't buy and now this.

Bummed :(

-TimD

Just out of curiosity ... what does that mean?
Tor Publishing is printing the books in a larger, "trade paperback" format, as opposed to the "mass market" novels we've gotten thus far.

^ exactly.

I'm not happy about it either; I have a few books in that format and I don't like it very much. It's just - for me personally - it's not enough to stop me from reading them.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

THANKS A LOT FOR YEARS OF NICE FICTIONS

Contributor

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Robert Brookes wrote:
If only there were freelancers who would do blog posts for a pat on the back and a handshake. I wonder where you could find those! ;)

Get out of my brain! ;)


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Liz Courts wrote:
VargrBoartusk wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
So anyone else feeling the blogs are becoming a shadow of what they once were? Of all the things they used it for the wedsday story was one of the few slots that held any real intrest for me (Dont play society, dont play the card game, dont use minatures and the less said about pathfinder online the better.)
You're not alone. I mostly agree.. Looks like I'll only be hitting things up for preview times around Gencon and playtest times... Though to be honest i even missed most of that last time around.
If there is something that you want to see in the blog, please let us know! The community team is very much interested in improving our blog offerings, but we can't read minds. Tell us what you want by emailing us at community@paizo.com.

So I'm not saying the blog is bad as it is.. I'm just not as interested in Paizo's Golarion flavored side products as I am in Pathfinder. My interest in pathfinder is also more mechanical then fluff based. The fiction section was one of the only ways I had actually to get into the world you guys have built. My difficulty getting into the setting is very much a me thing and not a you thing.. As for the sort of stuff I'd like to see on the blogs Its probably not what most of the community would want.

See right now to me it's starting to feel more and more like a commercial for your cool new stuff coming out. There's nothing wrong with that it's just not my area of interest. Lots of people love the previews and sneak peeks.. I love them too whenever the new books and new iconics come out.

What do *i* want to see well of the top of my head heres a list and i'll try to keep it as open to all your products as possible.

1: I want it to feel more bloggish and less marketing oriented. I'm not asking every one of you to be Allie Brosh or the Oatmeal or anything that extreme so with that in mind...

2: I like to look into the creative process.. I know you guys put out great stuff but I'd like to see more 'So here's something we couldn't make work' and then let us know how eithr it was changed or scrapped.

3: My inner system gamer wants a thing where you can have designers point out the little combo's they either threw in or found by happy accident and a little explanation of why they wanted that sort of thing in.. The best example I can think of is how cleave was changed from 3.5 then cleaving finish was added back in. Was this in response to community request or was it found that it was actually a needed sort of niche mechanic in the game and it was necessary. I really want to know the whys of things getting put in. Alternately just happy little aspects that were found and liked lie hey i put a merciful weapon on my enforcer build and it was the most fun thing evar.

4: Moar characters. I don't need the art.. I like it but I'll live without it but anything that can be done to flesh out adventure path and splatbook NPCs a little bit better.. I know game designers.. I know you wrote a few ten-page back stories for guys that only got a sentence or paragraph.. Hell don't just otlimit it to characters give it to me for cultures, spells, items, monuments, holidays whatever. Then telling me what inspired all of these things like. 'So i'm gonna be honest here... We were doing whippits and watching the Johnny Depp sleepy hollow movie when we made this witch.' <Not to say any of the Paizo employees do whippits or watch Tim Burton
movies.. Nor to endorse that they should.>

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I'd like to see more of #4. ^_^

Scarab Sages

So sad to hear it. I've loved the web fiction!


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Sad to see the web fiction go, even though I never read any as they were published on the blog, but only once they came out in ePub form. So I'm hoping the ePub collection will be complete soon; after reading this thread (and checking the Pathfinder Wiki) I want read about Appleslayer, too.


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James wrote:
more posts per week than there are days

What is with the Paizo obsession with one blog post per day?

On several occasions I have seen/heard mention of this "no available blog slots," or "Tuesday is the XYZ blog post day so we cant post another one that day," etc etc. Often this statement is tossed about as though it were self-evident as well; which is even more baffling.

I don't understand this self-imposed limit. Why not just put up the content you want to put up? Why make an artificial limit like this?

Scarab Sages

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Pardon the thread-o-mancy, but having finished all of the web fiction, books, and short fiction from the adventure paths months ago, I find I still miss the web fiction quite a bit.

I don't suppose the blog could feature selections from Wayfinder and Pathways at some point? Might make up for the loss a bit.

Heck, I'd be willing to put it together, if that made it any easier. If the problem is someone to put in the time, I'm game.

Silver Crusade

Robert Brookes wrote:
If only there were freelancers who would do blog posts for a pat on the back and a handshake. I wonder where you could find those! ;)

using good old fashioned Anglo saxon - Boll**ks I really enjoyed the fiction


Is it too much too ask for a list of the writings, from each author, in the order they were released?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I believe that the list on this page, in the Web Fiction box, is arranged chronologically. Unfortunately, you have to click on the titles to get the author's names.

Grand Lodge

Missed this post initially. The web fiction, the depth and great writing found here was what brought me back into RPGing again and to Pathfinder. I have just been rereading all the previously posted stories again...It will be missed.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So how is it going with releasing the remaining ones in epub form?


"The web fiction we've already posted will continue to be available for free in perpetuity"

Unfortunately that no longer holds true as my browser shows a blank page when I click on the link.

Liberty's Edge

I still hope Elaine Cunningham can come back.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Seamhainn wrote:

"The web fiction we've already posted will continue to be available for free in perpetuity"

Unfortunately that no longer holds true as my browser shows a blank page when I click on the link.

Must be a problem with your browser. It works fine for me.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Actually it doesn't work with chrome or explorer for me either. I can see the list of titles, but clicking any of them only gives me a blank page.
Armored
Stargazer

Doesn't work on my phone either.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hm. A more thorough check shows the same problem with Safari. The list is there, the stories aren't.

Dark Archive

Doesn't work for me in Chrome or Internet Explorer either. I think they removed the free options but forgot to drop the actual pages they were located on


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is a known bug and is on their to-do list to fix.

Until then, the web fiction can still be found by searching the blog; it's just much less convenient. :\


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

i just wish they would release the rest in epub form.

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