Conjuring Phrases: Meet the Secrets of Magic Authors part 1!

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

When putting together a book, the lead designer or developer gives the text its framework and structure, with the authors breathing life into the shell, then returning it to the designer for molding into its final form. In the case of Secrets of Magic, Pathfinder Lead Designer Logan Bonner set the stage for the many authors who contributed to the book. While each author receives credit in the book itself, space is limited. By shining the blog spotlight on them, we can share more information, including what parts they worked on or other projects they’re involved with.

We reached out to the authors and so many responded that we’re splitting the blog into two parts. The first is below, and the second will be posted later today. Authors are listed in no particular order. Check back this afternoon for more creator goodness! If you're a fan of a particular author, consider visiting their social media (if provided) or giving a shout out in the comments below!

Almanac Enchanter

Illustration by Lucas Villalva Machado

Ruvaid Virk (he/him)

Hello there! I’m Ruvaid, a Pakistani-American writer who’s been playing Pathfinder Second Edition since release. I’m super stoked to have been a part of this great book alongside so many amazing people. I wrote a bunch of magic items that made it into both the consumable and permanent item sections. I’m excited to see what you all think, and to see those items used in action. You can find more of my work for Paizo in Bestiary 3, as well as books 2 and 3 of the Fists of the Ruby Phoenix Adventure Path, and hopefully in more future books! If you’d like to try out any of the awesome new options from this book with me, I run a discord channel that hosts Pathfinder Society games every Saturday morning at 9am EST, and I would love to have you in it! You can also find me playing a Pathfinder Second Edition homebrew campaign, The Longstriders, on Wednesday nights at 9pm EST with a group of awesome people on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/codygarettwells. I’m also on Twitter @Darth_Ruvaider, where I talk about my work, Pathfinder as a whole, FFXIV, and whatever else comes to mind. I’m always looking for interesting projects or even just people to talk games with, so feel free to send me a message! I hope you all enjoy this book, and I will perhaps catch you on another blog some time again, someday – cheers! Find me on Twitter: @Darth_Ruvaider.


Jessica Catalan (she/her)

Hi everyone! My name is Jessica and I’m a full-time freelance author. I’ve contributed to over thirty projects for Paizo since I started freelancing two years ago, including seven organized play scenarios, Pathfinder’s Advanced Player’s Guide, Bestiary 3, Lost Omens Legends, and Lost Omens Ancestry Guide, and Starfinder’s Alien Archive 4, Starship Operations Manual, Galaxy Exploration Manual, and The Gilded Cage (book 6 of the Fly Free or Die Adventure Path). Some of my upcoming releases include Guns & Gears, Lost Omens Grand Bazaar, Tech Revolution, and Galactic Magic! For Secrets of Magic, I wrote Elementalism and a bunch of new spells.

Secrets of Magic is a really unique book, and I desperately look forward to cracking open a copy. I hope you enjoy Secrets of Magic as much as I do! You can find me on Twitter @d20diaries.
Until next time,
Jessica


Andrew White (He/Him) – Paizo Front End Engineering Lead

Hello! I'm Andrew White, Paizo's front-end engineering lead and occasional contributor to various Pathfinder and Starfinder projects, including Advanced Player's Guide, Bestiary 3, Guns & Gears, Book of the Dead, Tech Revolution, and a handful of super secret, as-yet unannounced things. Secrets of Magic was a blast to work on; I wrote a bunch of luck-focused and miscellaneous utility spells and a couple of rituals, and I am unreasonably happy that my weird spell that makes inanimate objects sentient without giving them the ability to move or communicate made it into the final product. Hope you have fun with it!


Minty Belmont of the Belmont System (She/her and Dae/Daem)

I’m Minty! I’m a plural polyamorous trans woman. You may know me from my work on a little series called “Hot or Not”, a series I run on @rpgegirl on twitter where we rate TTRPG monsters (and aliens) as to whether they are hot or not! We dive into the lore, the way monsters are built, and the general artwork for it! I’m also something of a Twitch streamer at twitch.tv/shineychariot on Monday–Thursday nights, and I do moderation work for Twitch streamers in my free time. I’ve been playing Tabletop RPGs for over half my life now. Currently, I’m just obsessed with the Paizo family of products, but previously I’ve played D&D 3.5, a little bit of 4e, D20 modern, D&D 5e, Numenera, Zombie Survivalist second edition, Interstitial, and a little bit of Pathfinder first edition. In the past I’ve made an entire TTRPG myself that’s on hiatus for development and have written a few homebrew classes for 5e and mini homebrew adventures for Pathfinder 2e! My favorite monster for Pathfinder Second Edition is the Cacodaemon, and for Starfinder it’s the Calecor and literally any undead creature. If you had a gun to my head asking what my favorite ice cream was, first I’d ask you to put the gun down and then tell you it’s birthday cake and you could have just asked.

Lastly, if you have a group that wants to play Extinction Curse and you are missing one person, contact me. I’m @rpgegirl on Twitter, Shineychariot on Twitch.


Eidolon fey, a sprite-like eidolon with bark-like skin, leafy hair, and butterfly wings

Illustration by Christopher Kimball

Mark Seifter (he/him) – Paizo Design Manager

I'm Mark Seifter, Paizo's design manager and one of the four leads on the creation of Pathfinder Second Edition.

In Secrets of Magic, I wrote a variety of different sections, including a few items and spells like scorching ray and the flexible preparation section of the Book of Unlimited Magic. But my favorite contribution was the treatise on magical essences. I’ve been excited to expand on the philosophical underpinnings of those essences with all of you for a while, and I hope you enjoy the treatise!

I’m @markseifter on twitter. 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!


Shay Snow (they/them)

Hello, I’m Shay and I wrote the sympathetic rituals for Secrets of Magic! I’ve been freelance writing and editing for Paizo’s Pathfinder and Starfinder lines for over a year now, and they’ve definitely kept me busy with work. My next available piece of work is the Starfinder Society Scenario 4-06, which I wrote on my own and I’m both excited and nervous to have it out there for everyone! You can also keep an eye out for my contributions in the upcoming Lost Omens Grand Bazaar! When I’m not writing at 5am (because I haven’t gone to bed yet) you can find me @spellsinsugar on Twitter!


Mikhail Rekun (he/him)

Дорогие читатели! My name is Mikhail Sergeyevich Rekun, and you might remember me from Lost Omens Mwangi Expanse, Lost Omens Legends, Galaxy Exploration Manual, and PFS #1-15: Blooming Catastrophe and PFS #2-08: A Frosty Mug. Yes, I am the winter wolf hockey person!

For Secrets of Magic, I did a passel of spells and rites, including our very own Elizabeth Báthory-themed immortality rite (bring a towel) and mystic panoply, for when your wizard simply must look fabulous. But I’m most proud of the Arcane Treatise. I’ve always wondered, what exactly does magic feel like, how do you actually learn it, how do all of these highly intelligent wizards understand their own spellcasting? Getting a chance to try and answer those questions was an absolute treat.

But let’s talk about my other big project for a moment. Ourichor: Fulcrum of the Luminant Age is an upcoming PF2 Campaign Setting, a swashbuckling city of intrigue and weirdness built atop the ruins of a very different world. How does magic work when compared to the grandeur of the Preboreal Age, or to the alien omnipotence of the Angels? You’ll need to wait for a bit to find out, but in the meantime you can check out our twitter at https://twitter.com/LuminantA, and keep an eye out for our second Kickstarter, coming soon (Armaments of the Luminant Age)!


Liane Merciel

Liane Merciel has written for numerous fantasy and gaming shared worlds, including Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons, Bioware's Dragon Age universe, and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. She lives in Philadelphia with her family, which recently expanded to include Catherine the Great, aka "the Grub," who at two months old has already expressed an appreciation for Norwegian gothic metal and skull-festooned demons. Truly, a fine family tradition carries on.


Michael Sayre (He/Him) – Paizo Designer

Yo! I'm Michael Sayre and I worked on the shadow magic section of Secrets of Magic. I've also worked on quite a few other products for Paizo, including acting as design lead for the upcoming Guns & Gears book, as well as working with a number of third-party publishers supporting Pathfinder first and second editions, D&D 5E, and more. Secrets of Magic was an exciting book to work on as it represents the first book looking at new and interesting ways we can advance the game and introduce new options in innovative and unique formats. As the game continues to grow beyond the core foundation of the game represented by the CRB, APG, GMG, and Bestiaries, I'm really looking forward to more books like Secrets of Magic that can make both the world of Golarion and the rules of the game evolve in exciting ways! You can find some of my third-party work on DriveThruRPG at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?author=Michael%20Sayre and you can find me on Twitter as @MichaelJSayre1


Runelord Wizard, stands in long yellow robes with long hair and a spear in one hand

Illustration by Andrew Huerta

Kendra Leigh Speedling (she/her)

Hello, all! I'm Kendra Leigh Speedling, and I've been freelancing for about five years, doing both Pathfinder and Starfinder. For Secrets of Magic, I did some spells, including the incarnate spells previewed in an earlier blog. Coming up with super-powerful entities you can summon—but only keep hold of briefly—was a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing what new incarnate spells might pop up in the future!

As for my most recent Paizo projects, I'm an author on the upcoming Guns & Gears and the recently released Galaxy Exploration Manual for Starfinder. I've got some other cool things in the works, but nothing I can talk about yet! When I'm not freelancing game stuff, I can usually be found writing fiction, reading, playing various video games, or baking in my very tiny Boston kitchen. I've just started up an ongoing blog series on my website where I make a new, fully statted NPC every couple weeks, alternating between Pathfinder and Starfinder. If you're looking for some NPCs to pop into your games, you can check that out at klspeedling.com. You can also find me on Twitter @KendraLS, where I'm making a valiant attempt to be slightly more active. (Fun side note: this blog is scheduled to come out on my birthday!)


Jason Tondro (he/him) – Paizo Developer

ason is a developer on the Starfinder RPG, where he helps to create Adventure Path volumes and stand-alone modules; when there’s three Jasons in the same Paizo meeting and it gets confusing, you can call him Jake. Jake was a college professor for many years, teaching writing, film, and world literature—especially from the medieval and Renaissance periods. He earned his PhD at the University of California Riverside—focusing on superhero stories across comics, film, and television—and that’s where he was given the nickname “Doctor Comics.” These days, however, he works with tabletop RPGs much more than with comics. Jake joined Paizo over three years ago as part of the editorial team, just as Pathfinder Second Edition was announced, and learned much from his colleagues over a year and a half. His first big project as a Starfinder developer was Fly Free or Die, a 6-volume adventure path about working class heroes trying to make ends meet in a cruel and greedy universe; the final volume to that AP came out in April, and while he assists Jason (see!) Keeley on Horizons of the Vast, he’s working on unannounced future projects. He lives in Seattle with Miss Tessmacher and Otis, his rescue dogs. He’s on social media—@doctorcomics (Twitter); Jason’s “Starfinder Developer Diary” videos walking through every aspect of AP development can be found on YouTube at the BAMF Podcast channel.


That’s it for Part 1 of our author blog. Don't forget to check back this afternoon for Part 2. In the meantime, be sure to preorder Secrets of Magic here on paizo.com or reserve a copy from your local game store, so you can check out the authors’ creations as soon as the book is released!

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Tags: Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
Horizon Hunters

So many talented and interesting authors with even more interesting projects! New settings coming to PF2, rate monsters as hot or not caught me off guard haha I laughed a lot! I can see we're going to have a lot of amazing spells coming in this book. I'm here for it! Thank you all!

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

What an awesome list of writers! The more I hear about this book, the more excited I get!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I am super duper excited for this book!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is that a Sloth Runelord? Weird that it is an attractive female as opposed to like a slovenly man given the sin.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
Is that a Sloth Runelord? Weird that it is an attractive female as opposed to like a slovenly man given the sin.

I'd wager that's Paizo showing that anyone can be slothful, not just the stereotype. We've had slovenly-adjacent men as sloth runelords bebfore. I'm excited to see a runelord wizard that decidedly... isn't.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I really appreciate seeing a plural creative on these!!

And Jessica is sneakily becoming one of my favorite 2e writers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So have Andrew White and Liane Merciel decided to reject pronouns entirely?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sasha Laranoa Harving wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
Is that a Sloth Runelord? Weird that it is an attractive female as opposed to like a slovenly man given the sin.
I'd wager that's Paizo showing that anyone can be slothful, not just the stereotype. We've had slovenly-adjacent men as sloth runelords bebfore. I'm excited to see a runelord wizard that decidedly... isn't.

Fair but Alazinist already defied what a Stereotype of Wrath may look like. Preferance and beauty being subjective I think she is more Beautiful than Shorshen. . .

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Kekkres wrote:
So have Andrew White and Liane Merciel decided to reject pronouns entirely?

We list contributors' pronouns when they are provided to us. If someone didn't volunteer such information, we neither seek it out, nor make assumptions.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Kekkres wrote:
So have Andrew White and Liane Merciel decided to reject pronouns entirely?
We list contributors' pronouns when they are provided to us. If someone didn't volunteer such information, we neither seek it out, nor make assumptions.

I want to also point out that at least a pronoun Liane Merciel uses is confirmed implicitely in the text, since "She lives (...)".

As usual I am very happy about these author spotlights, both to see what familiar faces contributed and to learn about new people in the business!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kekkres wrote:
So have Andrew White and Liane Merciel decided to reject pronouns entirely?

They didn't send them in and so were not included. You would want to ask them directly how they would prefer to be refered to.

Paizo Employee Front-End Engineering Lead

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Tonya Woldridge wrote:
Kekkres wrote:
So have Andrew White and Liane Merciel decided to reject pronouns entirely?
They didn't send them in and so were not included. You would want to ask them directly how they would prefer to be refered to.

Fortunately, you don't have to, because I have now provided them! (They're he/him, in case you don't want to scroll up and check.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Love having such wonderful people contributing to Paizo!

Moreover, I want to know what the heck an "Almanac Enchater" featured in that first image is.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ly'ualdre wrote:

Love having such wonderful people contributing to Paizo!

Moreover, I want to know what the heck an "Almanac Enchater" featured in that first image is.

There's an "Almanac" Evoker and Transmuter in the Part 2 blog. My guess is these are the images they have for the Treatises for the schools of magic.


The transmuter was shown in Logan's spoilers about schools, so it's save to assume these are the images on each schools page.

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I already posted in the part 2, but all the people here sound (and are) awesome! :3
Continue the great work!

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