With the Lost Omens World Guide and Lost Omens Character Guide now being out for a while and with previews and reviews of all kinds floating around the web, I wanted to delve a little further behind the scenes to the authors who actually wrote the material contained within. While the writers of our Paizo products are always credited in the front and back of the books, a simple name in a byline doesn’t give readers much information on the people who work to bring the setting to life! As a final blog to wrap up our promotion of the first two Lost Omens Guides, I reached out to the authors of the two books with the intent of promoting them—as well as any other personal work they would like to promote, so that new fans of their work could find other projects, RPG products, websites, livestreams, and more to enjoy!
LOST OMENS WORLD GUIDE
I’m James Jacobs, and I wrote about Runelords and Linnorm Kings and Winter Witches and other Saga-worthy Stuff in this book. A certain amount of what lives today in Golarion first came to be in my homebrew setting, which I’ve been working on since the 80s… but today, Golarion is so much more than that! I’d like to take this chance to thank everyone else who has helped build up Golarion over the years, be they any of the amazing writers I feel so honored to be counted among in this book, but also every other writer out there who’s contributed to Golarion lore. And ESPECIALLY thanks to Eleanor and Luis, who hit the ground running with the daunting task of developing and organizing the Lost Omen line of books—Golarion couldn’t be in better hands!
I'm Lyz, a game editor-turned-designer who had the privilege of updating the Shining Kingdoms for the World Guide. Working on this section was a fun opportunity to decide how some of the oldest nations of our campaign setting have fared given the epic events occurring around and within them—some for the better, and some for the worse! While rolling dice and writing new ways to roll them is my day job and a big chunk of my free time, my degrees are actually in music performance and am a passionate professional performer of medieval, renaissance, and baroque music. I specialize in recorders, other wind instruments, and viola da gamba, though I’m always finding and learning how to play new old instruments. You can check out my writing and musical work at LyzLiddell.com, and I tweet pictures of outer space and my cats for everyone to enjoy at @LyzMayTweet.
I’m Ron Lundeen, and I’ve been a developer here at Paizo for nearly two years. Adventures are the thing I love most; when I’m not developing adventure path volumes during the day, I’m often writing adventures for Pathfinder, Starfinder, or other systems at night. But every good adventure needs a gripping setting, and I was thrilled to contribute to the Lost Omens World Guide. I’d just finished developing the Tyrant’s Grasp Adventure Path at the time, so I knew quite a lot about the Gravelands (the nation formerly known as Lastwall) and the Whispering Tyrant. Because I’d contributed to the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path as an author and freelance developer, I also knew quite a bit about Nirmathas and the new hobgoblin nation (which I got to name!). The Eye of Dread is a rough region, and I was very excited to lay it out for everyone for our new edition! You can check out my RPG advice, including a free Pathfinder Second Edition adventure path I’m writing, on my blog at RunAmokGames.com.
Over the last decade, I’ve been accumulating a 90,000-word continuity document on everything we’ve ever published about the city of Absalom. From the names of minor streetsweepers mentioned in a Pathfinder Society scenario to details on the many times the city has come under siege, it’s all gone in there to make sure we don’t mess anything up when we inevitably make room in the schedule for a big Absalom book. With that enormous research project in hand, I snagged the Absalom and Starstone Isle section of this book, and used it as an opportunity to flesh out the rest of the Isle of Kortos. Given the island’s huge size, I knew that it must contain more than just a couple of other towns and a big mountain, and the Lost Omens World Guide gave me the opportunity to set that stuff down for the first time. We’ll be fleshing out Kortos in the upcoming Extinction Curse Adventure Path, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve also long had my creative marker on the Impossible Lands, which I invented way back for the Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer, which offered me a chance to add more flesh to one of Golarion’s most mysterious and exciting regions! What a joy to get to watch the campaign setting develop from a badly drawn map and a few pages of notes that started way back in 2006!
I'm Mark Seifter, game designer and one of the four leads on the creation of Pathfinder Second Edition. Check out my twitch stream with Linda Zayas-Palmer, Arcane Mark, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7PM Pacific, and Saturdays at 10 AM Pacific at https://www.twitch.tv/arcanemark. We cover a variety of RPG and Pathfinder topics on Tuesdays and Saturdays, chosen by the viewers, with interviews on Thursdays!
I’m James L. Sutter, former Paizo Executive Editor, developer, and Starfinder Creative Director. Since that first gazetteer of Varisia in Pathfinder Adventure Path #3, I’ve spent more than a dozen years writing about Golarion, and been honored to work alongside some of the most creative people in the business as we watched a handful of proper nouns and graph-paper maps transform into the living world it is today. So when the folks at Paizo offered to let me help usher the setting into a new edition, I leapt at the chance to revisit my first fantasy home. (The fact that they let me play with some of my favorite toys didn’t hurt, either. I’ll forever be a champion of godless Rahadoum, which led me to write my first novel, Death’s Heretic. And how could I resist Hermea, with everyone’s favorite problematic dragon lord...) These days you can find me on Twitter at @jameslsutter or over at jameslsutter.com. In addition to writing novels, comics, and RPG adventures, I also teach online classes in writing and worldbuilding, in which I share what I've learned from my time on Pathfinder and Starfinder.
LOST OMENS CHARACTER GUIDE
I’m John Compton, recently organized play lead developer and now Starfinder senior developer. When I started working at Paizo about 7 years ago, I quickly became the local gnome enthusiast, and it’s been a delight to carry that passion into Second Edition by writing about our gnomes and our expanded understanding of how they absorb and ultimately bleed magic based on the four magical traditions. As we explored non-human ethnicities, these seemed a fun way to show how the eclectic gnomes’ features vary less by ancestry and more by local eldritch phenomena.
If you’d like to hear more from me, I frequent Twitter (@Archaeotagh) and several Pathfinder, Starfinder, and Organized Play servers on Discord. Definitely check out my more recent works like the Adventure Path volumes Pathfinder #144: Midwives of Death and Pathfinder #149: Against the Scarlet Triad; Pathfinder Campaign Setting books like Faiths of Golarion (Tsukiyo), Concordance of Rivals (aeons, inevitables, and creation myths), and Druma, Profit and Prophecy (history, culture, and faith). I love writing about our setting, its history, its cosmology, and its cultures, and there’s a lot more of that to come in Pathfinder Lost Omens: Absalom, City of Lost Omens!
Sasha Laranoa Harving
Hi all, my name is Sasha Laranoa Harving, but I've been credited as Sasha Hall and Sasha Lindley Hall in the past. I wrote the dwarf section of Lost Omens Character Guide, and I'm really happy with what I got done! I tend to write for a number of 3rd Party publishers, and some of my proudest accomplishments are the Successor Base Class from Lost Spheres Publishing (found here), and the Mythos Mystic Connection from Everybody Games (found here), although my body of work has a few more items than that. I hope that my work can grace your tabletops soon!
Venture-Lieutenant Sasha Laranoa Harving
she/her/hers/herself or nov/nov/novs/novself
Hey folks! I'm Mike Kimmel, and I've been writing for Paizo since 2014. The Organized Play program holds a special place in my heart, so it was an honor to write about the Pathfinder Society in the Lost Omens Character Guide. Writing new mechanics for a system-in-progress was a challenging and rewarding experience that deepened my appreciation for Pathfinder's new edition. I am grateful to be able to contribute to the games that have played such an important role in my life. Another way I show thanks to the community is by running Freelance Forge, a forum for RPG freelancers. You can learn more at https://freelanceforge.boards.net/, or get in touch with me personally on Paizo.com or at https://twitter.com/_MikeKimmel.
I’m Ron Lundeen, a developer on the Pathfinder adventure path line here at Paizo. I’m also a big fan of little halflings. When we talked internally about establishing ethnicities for non-human ancestries, I came to the meeting with about a dozen handouts and two pages of notes on othobans and mihrinis and other ethnicities I’d invented. So I had a lot to say during that meeting, and I jumped at the chance to write the halfling section of this book. I love that the little flourishes I wrote—like hallinettes and bill-bands and slang terms—all made it in. But halflings weren’t all I wrote about! I’d recently described the new hobgoblin nation of Oprak in the Lost Omens World Guide and was eager to create the new hobgoblin ancestry. This was a bit of a struggle, because the hobgoblins presented in the Bestiary aren’t too smart, but the hobgoblin focus on military strategy and alchemy in our world led me to insist they had to get an Intelligence bonus. I’m glad that carried the day! You can check out my RPG advice, including a free Pathfinder Second Edition adventure path I’m writing, on my blog at RunAmokGames.com.
In 2015, encouraged by an amazing group of creative friends, I made a showing in RPG Superstar, and that experience pushed me to explore writing for 3rd-party companies. I’ve been lucky enough to work extensively with Everybody Games and Rogue Genius Games, producing a variety of rules options for Pathfinder and the popular Starfarer’s Companion for Starfinder.
Recently, I’ve enjoyed working with a talented group of collaborators at Paizo, beginning with my contributions to the Starfinder Armory and Alien Archive 2. My work on Pathfinder Player Companions has had me body slamming, bushwacking, and relic hunting my way through Golarion, and writing back matter for an Adventure Path has even taken me to the Boneyard! The Lost Omens line for Pathfinder Second Edition has given me the opportunity to explore some of my favorite parts of the setting, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what is in store from the line in the future! For the Lost Omens Character Guide, I wrote the Firebrands, Hellknights, Knights of Lastwall, and Magaambya Adepts in the NPC Gallery.
I keep an up-to-date list of my work on my Paizo profile, and I’m always looking for interesting projects, so feel free to send me a message via the forums if you are looking for a reliable writer!
When not writing, I’m teaching high school English near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I'm an ad agency copywriter and DJ from Baltimore. (Those ads where the kids ran the gummi bear factory—I wrote those!) But most people know me from The Daily Bestiary (dailybestiary.tumblr.com and dailybestiary.blogspot.com), where I spent 7+ years writing adventure seeds for nearly every monster in the Pathfinder Bestiaries. For Paizo, I typically write articles for Pathfinder Adventure Path—mostly ecologies, adventure seeds, and gazetteers for GMs. Shining a light on some overlooked corner of the game is pretty much my favorite thing to do, so working on the “Lizardfolk” and” Other Ancestries” sections of the Lost Omens Character Guide was a fantastic chance to do that for players, too! I hope all your iruxi PCs hit level 20.
Please find me on Twitter @patchdj. If your game world needs new cultures, subraces, settings, or lore, we can talk freelancing at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're a publisher interested in a system-neutral fantasy project (or an artist interesting in collaborating), definitely reach out. Ditto if you're a mid-Atlantic company with a $3–10 million annual media spend (#dayjob #gottaeat). Otherwise, tune in Tuesday nights, 9–11 PM EST, at wmuc.umd.edu to hear me spin indie rock/pop/folk on 88.1 WMUC-FM College Park.
Howdy! I wrote about the Magaambya—my favorite Golarion organization! —and figured I’d share my thinking process for the venerable institution’s 2e debut. Three bits of information were my ‘pillars’ when I was considering Magaambyan history and organizational structure: they’re about 8,000 years old; they’re capital-g Good; and no attacker has ever gotten within 20 miles of Nantambu.
What sort of organization lasts that long with that little (successful) aggression toward it? One with allies! Especially with the established Magaambyan focus on spreading knowledge, it made sense to me that the Magaambya had stuck around so long because they had good working relationships with their geographic neighbors. That idea lead to the five branches’ community-oriented duties and purviews, the contemporary Magaambya’s interest in helping groups outside of the Mwangi Expanse (plus the recent and intriguing ‘big magic’ events in Avistan), as well as the Perquisite, the traditional service period associated with entry into the organization.
That said, I think a cooperative Magaambya still leaves room for adventure-driving conflict and tension. Magaambyans can fly off to help those in need, sure, but there’s also the frustrations of a large organization trying to build consensus and affect greater change. That can spin off into all kinds of stories!
Приветствую, уважаемые читатели! My name is Mikhail Sergeyevich Rekun, and I am a Paizo freelancer who has previously worked on The Half-Dead (AP #139) and several Companions, with much more to come. Outside of gaming, I’m a Russian-American historian and educator, with a doctoral degree from Northeastern University, presently employed at Times College Nanjing. My research focus is late Imperial Russian foreign policy, and I’ve published a book on the subject, How Russia Lost Bulgaria, 1878-1886: Empire Unguided (Lexington Books, 2018).
My academic background means that when I write for games, I spend a lot of time thinking about the interplay of societies and individuals, what in historiography is called the concept of historical agency. How are choices constrained by upbringing, how can one person change a culture? In the Lost Omen Character Guide, where I wrote the human ethnicities, this meant asking what it meant to grow up Vudrani, or how a Taldan background can influence someone. Hopefully, the results did not disappoint.
Forthcoming publications include a large part of Absalom, City of Lost Omens, a few sections in the Advanced Player Guide, and two AP backmatter articles. Professional inquiries and effusive praise may be directed to MRekun@Gmail.com.
Owen K. C. Stephens
I’m Owen K.C. Stephens, and this is one of my first Pathfinder 2nd Ed credits! I was a tad surprised when I was told I was an author for this book, since the work I did was originally slated for another project. But, that’s one of the important things developers like Eleanor Ferron and Luis Loza do. They look at the needs of multiple projects, and put work where it does the most good and makes the most sense.
Since leaving my position as Paizo’s Starfinder Design Lead, I’ve taken a position as developer for Green Ronin’s Fantasy AGE rpg, and been focusing on my blog (owenkcstephens.com), and producing game material and rpg writer and developer advice supported by my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens).
Hello there! My name is Isabelle Thorne (though I previously wrote as Isabelle Lee), and I’ve been a contributor for a few years now. I’ve written for all the Pathfinder and Starfinder lines except Starfinder Society. While my work often centers on mechanical content, I enjoy writing flavor content when I can; as a trans girl, I prioritize LGBTQ+ inclusivity in my work.
For the Lost Omens Character Guide, I wrote some elements for the elf section (most notably the ancient elf heritage and the Vourinoi ethnicity) and the Knights of Lastwall section. Being able to shape and define this organization from scratch was absolutely thrilling, and I hope you all love them as much as I do. ^_^
You can find me here on the forums and on Twitter at @ThornyRoseGames, and I’m always potentially open to work opportunities and sensitivity reading. In addition, I now have a Patreon! I’m planning to release new content there on a monthly basis, covering both editions of Pathfinder as well as Starfinder. Feel free to check it out!
Meet the Authors!
Tuesday, November 26, 2019