Celebrating Women in our Community

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Both in the office and in our works, Paizo honors the presence of women creators and professionals in our spaces. Today, we want to introduce you to a few of those fantastic staffers and freelancers that make our games amazing! Some submissions came from the women themselves, some from their friends and colleagues, and we are so very pleased to share them with you!

Tineke Bolleman

If you’ve ever been to PaizoCon, either online or in the flesh, you probably have a memory of a friendly conversation or late-night shenanigans with Tineke Bolleman. Tineke’s a longtime volunteer— she started in 2014 and became the Venture Captain of the Netherlands region in 2017, to be exact—and is a positive force for change, inclusion, and welcoming others into our shared spaces.
After years of serving our community as a volunteer, Tineke started freelancing for Paizo. She’s an author for Starfinder Society scenario’s #1-16: Dreaming of the Future and #1-24:Siege of Enlightenment as well as Pathfinder Society scenario’s #1-05: Trailblazers’ Bounty and #2-03: Catastrophe’s Spark. Her work has also been published by Rusted Iron Games, Wayfinder, Eyes Unclouded (a really neat setting based on Studio Ghibli’s works), and A Crystal Heart. On working with a few months ago on Starfinder Society #3-15: Frozen Ambitions: The Preluria Connection, Starfinder Society Developer Jenny Jarzabski says, “I feel confident saying that she’s a rising star you should keep your eye on! Whether she’s writing adventures, roleplaying vesk in tiaras, or telling us all about weird animals, Tineke brings joy and laughter to our community. We’re lucky to have her!”
When asked, Tineke noted she is very proud of writing the Marixah Republic and the Gideron Authority in SFS 1-24 and Near Space and that she has written many favorite characters including the Chelaxian kids from Trailblazer’s Bounty, Amkha from Catastrophe’s Spark, and Kanavu from Dreaming of the Future. She also gave a honorable mention to Wilbert the Saint Bernard.


Linda Zayas-Palmer

Linda participated in the Pathfinder Society as a player, then GM, then volunteer coordinator several years before she join the Paizo staff as a Pathfinder Society developer in spring 2015. Over the past six years, she’s help shepherd the Society through an edition change and several in-game world shattering events. As managing developer, she worked closely with the Lost Omens team of Eleanor and Luis in creating the Lost Omens: Pathfinder Society Guide. Linda is known for her love of leshys, creating many of the creatures that appear in the Pathfinder RPG. Lesser known, but as loved, is venture-captain Armeline Jirneau, a reform-minded-member of the Envoy’s Alliance with a secret identity. First introduced in PFS 8-06: Reaping What We Sow, Armeline’s part of a new generation of venture-captains. Readers can learn more about Armeline in the Lost Omens: Pathfinder Society Guide.


Armeline Jirneau, an elf dressed in a basic tunic and trousers, wearing a pack an side bag full of scholarly materials such as scrolls, inks, and quills

Art by Riccardo Moscatello

Hilary Moon Murphy

Hilary Moon Murphy (aka Hmm) is a librarian, mom and a gamer chick. She's passionate about building community, and so has spent a lot of time as an Paizo Organized Play GM and volunteer. Writing for Paizo has been a ton of fun, and she always loves when she sees players using something cool that she wrote for either Starfinder or Pathfinder. Instead of talking more about herself in the third person though, she'd like to address all the other women who may be reading this blog and asking themselves the question: "Could I become a freelancer too?" So, here's the straight answer: if you're a female gamer, chances are you already know a lot about working hard, being creative and finding time for what's important. If you want to write, go for it! Submit to Wayfinder. Write for 3PP products. Get business cards. Contact Paizo developers at conventions and say, "I want to write for you" and hand them your business card. Do it and be awesome!


Sara Marie

While many of the women in this blog are from our editorial department, Sara Marie comes from the operations side of Paizo. Sara Marie started at Paizo over ten years ago, working her way up through the ranks of Customer Service to her current position of manager of the Customer Service and Community departments. This is a huge amount of effort, as not only does she lead one of the most public facing teams, but she also moderates the forums and is a staunch advocate of our play-by-post community. If you’ve ever travelled to PaizoCon or Gen Con, you most likely encountered her expertly directing activities in the registration queue or store. When she isn’t busy keeping the wheels turning, she loves crafts and exploring the beautiful outdoor landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Sara has also been learning about the interactions between businesses and local government, and how the community of tabletop roleplaying games here in Washington can continue to grow and thrive.


Jessica Redekop

My name is Jessica Redekop and I'm a woman in tabletop gaming. I contributed to the recent Pathfinder Lost Omens: Ancestry Guide and the upcoming Bestiary 3 and PFS #2-16 Freedom for Wishes. I was also a contributor to Lost Spheres Publishing's City of 7 Seraphs, and I play Xiadani on Know Direction's Valiant, an actual play podcast. I'm on twitter and Instagram as @tectonomancer.
I love RPGs and I am grateful to every person I've known on my journey into this industry, to the people I've played games with and to those who gave me a chance as a writer, who welcomed me into this hobby and made me feel like I belonged. I know how often women and enbies are turned away from gaming, heard the horror stories about convention experiences, and have had some of those horror story experiences myself. It's easy to imagine how differently I'd feel about RPGs with that kind of introduction to them. I'm grateful that didn't happen to me.


Tonya Woldridge

Hello nufriends! My Paizo-adjacent journey started as a volunteer in England. I was venture officer of several places before joining the Paizo team as the Organized Play Coordinator in 2015. Though I joined a publishing company, I never thought of writing as a creative outlet. My goals focused on growing the organized play program, partly through making play spaces more inclusive so that everyone would want to participate. A couple years in, I wanted to understand more about the publishing side of our business. I mentioned this to Linda. She helped me secure an assignment and mentored me through the whole process. This help gave me the confidence to ask for another assignment, which led to me writing for Pathfinder Lost Omens: Pathfinder Society Guide. While I’m not seeking a writing career, being part of the production of a book led to deeper insight and helps me be a more effective manager of the Organized Play program.
Between organized play and freelancing, I’ve met a host of fantastic people I love spending time with! To anyone thinking they want to join gaming communities, please do, we can’t wait to meet you! You can find me on Facebook (PaizoOrgPlay), Twitter (@PaizoOPM) and Discord (TonyaOPM#6396). I look forward to saying hi!


Jel Squidtch, a vesk adventurer dressed in a dark purple shirt, with a travel pack and a wide brimmed hat

Art by William Marton

Ivis Flanagan

Hi, I’m Ivis – one of Paizo’s newer freelancers, and OPF Venture Officer. Bounty 8: The Tireless Path comes out at the end of this month. I also wrote part of quest pack SFS 3-11 Into the Veskarium, was released late last year, which was written and developed by a group that was all women or non-binary!
Marian Wright Edleman once said “you can’t be what you can’t see,” and it is a thought that comes full circle for me. I was taught as a kid that “girls can’t play RPGs” by the boys who ran them, and since I never saw anyone other than that core crew doing so, I took it to heart that they must be right. For years I stayed out of the tabletop space, believing that it wasn’t a place that I belonged. Then I found Paizo’s Organized Play, where for the first time I saw people that looked like me participating, and I felt like I could take part.
In my time in this space, I have met some incredible women. Many of them I have looked up to as mentors, and some I am even lucky enough to call friends. They have all encouraged me to move forward, to step into out and into my own, becoming confident in my abilities through the process. I have come from being very shy player, to a competent gm, and now to an author – getting to help build the worlds that I love for those that come after. My greatest hope in all of this is to be seen by someone else and help them step forward onto their own path.


Devinne Caples

Devine joined us just over a year ago as our HR generalist. It was just before we transitioned to work from home. She moved into the office next to the Customer Service department. Sara Marie shared her experience of Devinne. “Often in the mornings, we would be arriving at the same time for work and get to catch up about work and life while I got a pot of coffee started for the day. Devinne has been a source of inspiration and camaraderie over the past year, checking in on me during some very rough spots, being a compassionate listener as I try to navigate my career as a parent and a woman. Devinne provided insight, advice, empathy, and so much knowledge. From my colleagues at here Paizo, I’ve heard so many similarly positive things about how she has been able to help and support them.”
Writing this out for this blog is bittersweet, as this March also marks the end of Devinne’s time at Paizo, as she had an absolutely wonderful opportunity come up elsewhere. Her new organization is lucky to have her, though she will be sorely missed here at Paizo. Congratulations Devinne!

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These are just a few of the absolute rock stars involved in producing the games you love. If you get a chance, please let them know how much their contributions benefit your hobby!

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Paizo Paizo Staff Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Starfinder Roleplaying Game

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yay!! Thank you all for being awesome and contributing to Paizo and its products!


7 people marked this as a favorite.

We're so lucky to have you all as part of this community! :)

Wayfinders Contributor

12 people marked this as a favorite.

There are so many wonderful people in this blog! If you're reading this, and are dreaming of being a part of our freelance community, please go for it! We want you to succeed!

Hmm

Shadow Lodge

8 people marked this as a favorite.

You are all so very awesome, and our community as a whole is so much better for having you in it! Thank you for all that you do!

Scarab Sages

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Excellent insight, great to have you all on board.

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Such an awesome group of gamers, authors and developers!

Paizo Employee

7 people marked this as a favorite.

It's impossible to think of what our community would be like without the hard work and dedication of our women. Thank you all!

Sovereign Court

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Great read, and great to hear from so many wonderful gamers.

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm glad and honored to be able to count myself among those above. As HMM said, if you are interested in writing, reach out and go for it. It is such a rewarding experience!

Sovereign Court

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you all, life would be boring without YOU !!!

Sovereign Court Organized Play Manager

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Love our community!!!!

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.

An awesome post about great creators!

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

CELEBRATE!

The Exchange

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Fantastic - so many amazing and awesome women in the community that all contribute so much to it. I am in constant amazement at how much you all do (and in a constant state of exhaustion trying to keep up!) Thank you.

Scarab Sages

5 people marked this as a favorite.

<3

Grand Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oooh! Awesome! :3
All awesome people here.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Tineke also swings a mighty metal binder.

I'm happy I can call most of these women my friend.

Scarab Sages

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Leg o' Lamb wrote:

Tineke also swings a mighty metal binder.

I'm happy I can call most of these women my friend.

Love you too :P


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The game products have continued to improve over the months and years. What a wonderful and diverse group of creative people. It really shows. This is coming from an old man who has been around playing and GMing RPG's since the early 70's.

Shadow Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

And, of course, we wouldn't be reading this blog if it wasn't for Auntie Lisa ...

Customer Service Lead

27 people marked this as a favorite.

I have removed some posts and replies to them.

This is an industry that has been traditionally dominated by men. Men are visible in the every aspect of it every day. The contributions and presence of the women in the industry is often overlooked or downplayed. It is important to bring women more fully into the spotlight where the tremendous contributions and invaluable perspectives they bring can be seen. Men don't need a celebratory blog, every day celebrates us. So let's keep this thread on the topic of celebrating the many wonderful women in our industry.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It is very interesting to look at this list in retrospective and see who is not affiliated with Paizo at the moment and who is, and how much shake-up happened in the span of eight months.

Customer Service Representative

15 people marked this as a favorite.

I have removed a post and some comments related to it. As Diego mentioned, this is an industry dominated by men. There is nothing wrong with recognizing the women that have made a name for themselves at this company.

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