Celebrating Women in our Community Part 2

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Last Thursday, we shared a blog highlighting the presence of women creators and professionals in the Paizo community. We have so many fantastic women that today we take the opportunity to celebrate more of them. Every aspect of Paizo involves women and they make our spaces richer for their contributions. Let’s give it up for more awesome women in the Paizo community!

Emily Crowell

I first started working in the video game industry where I worked with Nintendo on many fun projects, a favorite being Zelda: Twilight Princess. While there, I got to work with Sonja and met Sarah briefly. I then worked freelance making strategy guides for Pokémon and video game maps for guides like Skyfall and Mass Effect. I was then offered a great opportunity to join the Paizo family and learn about producing TTRPGs and have been there ever since. I now get to work with Sonja, Sarah, and an incredible art team. I once again am working on maps, laying out new products, and really enjoy ordering art as a Senior Graphic Designer. I love seeing the amazing pieces we have come in and the fans reactions to them.

Sonja Morris

I have been working in gaming since 1991, starting in the video game industry then moving to TTRPG in 2012, achieving the position of Managing Art Director. I have many favorite projects that I have worked on at Paizo, but the thing I love the most is collaborating with my colleagues to come up with fun and engaging art and design. In addition to gaming, I love horror movies, music, and spending time with my wife Alex and chihuahua Max.

Sarah Robinson

I am one of the most senior employees here at Paizo and hold the position of Director of Visual Design. I started with Dragon Magazine and have worked on almost every project since. Working with the many artists that take our art descriptions to final illustrations, for all of our projects, is the best part of my job. I knew Sonja long before my days here at Paizo when we were creating layouts for Nintendo Power and I met Emily during that time. It has been great to work with them again, along with the rest of the art team.

A large blue and white bear with ruins on its chest and lightning between its claws

Art by Teresa Guidio

Jessica Catalan

Hi everyone! My name is Jessica Catalan. I’m a mom, freelance author, and blogger, and I’m thrilled to stand alongside the many talented women working in tabletop gaming. As a huge fan of Pathfinder and Starfinder, writing for Paizo is a dream come true. It’s been a wonderful experience full of exciting projects, fulfilling work, and welcoming people, both in the company and among my fellow freelancers. (You can find my announced projects here: https://paizo.com/people/JessicaCatalan )

When I was offered the opportunity to write for today’s blog, I pounced—then faltered. The words wouldn’t come and, as much as I’m happy in my skin, that wasn’t always true. Like many women, I heard “you can’t” and “you’re just a girl” more than I care to remember. I endured the insults and arbitrary constraints. But as a girl growing up in the 90s, when ‘girl power’ was in full swing and sarcastic girls kicked ass in robot pterodactyls, I reclaimed my femininity with pride while young. Media—from Sailor Moon to Pink and countless others—made all the difference. I had it easy.

I’ve always been a quiet person—never one to stand up or seek recognition. But I have a daughter. And when she came home from Kindergarten a few years ago, in tears from enduring all too familiar insults for the first time, it became glaringly obvious the issues I’d thought I’d left behind weren’t better; I’d just became accustomed to fighting past them. Now I had to teach her to do the same.

There’s a moment in Avengers: End Game where the Marvel women unite onscreen. It’s short, but the sight brought my daughter to tears. That was her Spice Girls—forty seconds of female superheroes carrying a glove—and then it was gone. My son didn’t even notice. Representation matters—for girls like my daughter, yes, but also for countless other people enduring so much worse with less visibility.

My name is Jessica Catalan. I’m a Canadian, Métis woman and author in the gaming industry. This is me standing up to be counted. Whoever you represent and whatever you stand for, I hope you join me. To someone out there, it means world.

Jenny Jarzabski, Starfinder Society Developer

Jenny Jarzabski is a longtime Paizo freelancer who writes prolifically for Pathfinder and Starfinder, though authoring organized play scenarios was always her favorite. She’s best known for her Starfinder Society scenarios #1-07: The Solar Sortie, #2-01: Pact World Warriors, and the interactive special #3-00: The Last Bite. Jenny now works as the Starfinder Society Developer at Paizo, helming the strange and beautiful ship that is SFS full time. You can find her on Twitter (@jenjski), Twitch (jezebel77), and Instagram (cutie_gothbot).

Starfinder, white furred, ysoki sitting in an officers uniform with an apple in her hand

Art by Mark Molnar

Simone D. Sallé

Hi fellow creatives! I first worked with the Paizo team in 2018 as a contract editor for the 2e Playtest, then spent the past few years as a freelance contributor (including the Starfinder Character Operations Manual, Lost Omens: Gods and Magic, Bestiary 3, & more). As of this month I'm once again contracted with the editorial team full-time! I'm so grateful to get to learn from and work alongside such bright, creative people who are as passionate as I am about making TTRPGs accessible and welcoming to all. There are so many more stories to be told, so for those who want to be involved in making games—especially if you haven't seen yourself well represented in gaming spaces before—I'll share the same advice I needed to hear: don't tell yourself you're not experienced enough to belong! GM that game, join community groups like Freelance Forge, answer the open author calls. There's room for you at the table.

Nicole Heits

Nicole joined the Paizo organized play volunteer community with a bang, jumping in to get a group going in her town, becoming a venture-agent in April of 2020. Since then, she’s lent her hands and her typing skills to many a convention online, including ConCurrent, Gen Con Online, PAX Online, and ReaperCon. The latter was a short notice event when the original organizer became ill and needed assistance and Nichole responded instantaly with offers of assistance. She lends experience to any event she’s involved in. More recently, she took on a larger leadership role in the volunteer community, including building a Rivers Region discord and helping process volunteer agreements. Her energy and enthusiasm spread to the venture-officer corps and she is an important member of the team.

There are more women working on projects at Paizo, sharing their creativity and energy with our community. To those in the blog and those who prefer to remain behind the scenes, we thank you for sharing your gifts with our community. For anyone interested in joining the greater Paizo community of freelancers, games professionals, and volunteer coordinators, please take the leap and join us.

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Paizo Paizo Staff Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Starfinder Roleplaying Game
Second Seekers (Jadnura)

6 people marked this as a favorite.

So great to have such talented people working on these wonderful games!

Dark Archive

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

So grateful to be able to work alongside many of these women, and to even call some of them friends. You are all amazing, helping to create expansive, diverse, beautiful worlds and part of what makes Paizo such a unique company.

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Wish there was a way to add a fave to the whole blog post.

Thanks to all of you for pushing past your doubts and hesitancy and stepping into public roles. It really does make a difference seeing women who are on the road ahead of you.

Grand Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jessica Catalan wrote:
There’s a moment in Avengers: End Game where the Marvel women unite onscreen. It’s short, but the sight brought my daughter to tears. That was her Spice Girls—forty seconds of female superheroes carrying a glove—and then it was gone. My son didn’t even notice. Representation matters—for girls like my daughter, yes, but also for countless other people enduring so much worse with less visibility.

That's exactly why I can't wait for Iron Heart, Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, and all the other awesome young superheroines to come to the MCU. They are important.

I really hope your daughter gets to find people to surround herself with that will treat her with the decency she deserves.

Wayfinders Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am so happy to see this Part II appear!

Scarab Sages

So thankful for all the talented creators here!

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I can attest that Nicole is an great GM and organizer. (This means don’t kill my character Nicole. I mean, unless it’s awesome.)

And Jenny Jarzabski wrote my two favorite SF products: 3-00 and the Penumbral Protocol. We are fortunate to have all of the talented female contributors mentioned here involved in this great hobby. I know that it can help inspire those like my nerdy awesome teenage daughter and many like her.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I've been lucky enough to work with some of the women in both parts of this blog, and although my schedule was a bit too packed at the moment to submit a snippet myself, I just want to say that I appreciate the care and attention Paizo's shown over the years to representing us not just in their products, but in staff and freelancers as well. It really does make a difference to see yourself in something. I hope it makes an impact on the younger or teenage girls who pick up a Pathfinder or Starfinder book, to let them know that they're welcome here too!

Community / Forums / Paizo / General Discussion / Paizo Blog: Celebrating Women in our Community Part 2 All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in General Discussion