What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

Friday, September 2, 2022

I am officially announcing my retirement from the adventure game industry. After 35 years of making some of the most amazing games and getting to work with the most amazing people, it is time for me to step away and move on to the next chapter in my life. In January 2020, I was diagnosed with a very rare disease that, while not life-threatening, is debilitating, sapping me of much of my energy and making it hard to do my job. The pandemic allowed me to step back from the day-to-day operations of Paizo enough to help me feel comfortable making this life change at this time.

Lisa Stevens standing at the Paizo booth at a convention


There are so many people to thank for my amazing career that it would be impossible to list them all, but there are certain pivotal people who made a huge impact, and I would like to shine the spotlight on them for a little bit. First, to Jonathan Tweet and Mark Rein•Hagen, who not only allowed a young Lisa to edit Ars Magica, but also let me get involved with the design of their first game. They allowed me to wear a lot of hats at Lion Rampant, which formed the seed that blossomed into my career. To Stewart Wieck and Mark Rein•Hagen, who listened to my crazy plan to merge Lion Rampant with White Wolf magazine and actually agreed to do it! This led to my involvement from the ground up on Vampire: The Masquerade. To Peter Adkison, for giving me the hard sell and convincing me to pick up my life in Atlanta and move to Seattle to become employee number one at a fledgling Wizards of the Coast. Being involved with the creation of Magic: The Gathering, the acquisition of TSR, and making some Star Wars games were a few of the highlights from my career there. Thanks to Johnny Wilson for being the only person to “take the bait” when I left Wizards and formed Paizo with him and Vic. And to Erik Mona and Jeff Alvarez, for being with me for the last 20 years and helping me grow Paizo into the company it is today. From the magazines to Pathfinder and Starfinder, it has been an incredible journey! And finally, to Vic Wertz, for being my partner both in business and in life. Your guidance, support, tough love, and off-the-charts intelligence have been a constant at my side since 1993. I am so happy we were able to share our careers together!

Lisa standing in the middle of a convention show floor Lisa Stevens standing at a podium giving a speech Lisa Stevens standing in a group photo holding the pathfinder first edition Core Rulebook


To the hundreds and hundreds of people who played a part in my career, both big and small, you have my eternal THANKS, and I look forward to staying in touch through my retirement years.

Vic and I still own Paizo, so I won’t be entirely gone. However, I have turned over all the operations to Paizo’s amazing Leadership Team, helmed by Jim Butler with Erik Mona, Mike Webb, Rai Kong, and Maggie Gallagher. If there is anything you would have previously talked to me about regarding Paizo’s operations, please address it to my team there instead. If you want to talk to me as the owner of Paizo, I can still be reached at lisa@paizo.com.

Lisa Stevens standing in a convention booth, holding up a book Lisa Stevens standing for a photo Lisa Stevens standing for a photo

I look back on my career with great satisfaction. I was truly blessed to be able to work with some of the pivotal people and games in this industry’s storied history. It has been a really good run, and I have all of you to thank for it! Keep making great games—I look forward to seeing what the next generation brings to our industry.

Lisa Stevens
Retired

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

A well-earned retirement! Enjoy it and thanks for all you've done!


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Congratulations! I hope you've some celebrations planned this weekend. Thanks for helping to bring Pathfinder to all of us!

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Best of luck in your retirement, Lisa! It's been a pleasure to work with you over the years, and I (and the rest of us on staff) owe you a lot for setting this whole Paizo/Pathfinder/Starfinder thing in motion. Enjoy your well-earned leisure in the coming years.

Dataphiles

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Thanks for all the great games you gave me to play.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks so much for bringing us Pathfinders 1 and 2, Starfinder, and most of all, Organized Play!


11 people marked this as a favorite.

In April 2014, on my very first day on-staff at Paizo, you came down to say hi, and make sure I was settling in well.
That meant a lot to me.
I hope you settle in to your retirement well, and find it fulfilling and worth the wait.
Take care, Lisa.

The Exchange

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

Congratulations on your retirement, and thank you for all the games.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

20 people marked this as a favorite.

Can't help but notice that Lisa's retiring just as we publish the Lost Omens Travel Guide. Coincidence, or finally got enough information to choose the location of her retirement home?

Congratulations and thank you, Lisa!

Sovereign Court

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

Have a great retirement and thank you for all your hard work, dedication, and risks you have taken to help shape the gaming industry into what it is today.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations and thank you.

Buona fortuna per il futuro!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Good luck and enjoy the retirement. :)

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Best of luck and thanks for all you have done!

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Good bye!

Grand Lodge

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

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Have a happy retirement Lisa!

Sovereign Court

4 people marked this as a favorite.

You are one of the best!
Just about every endeavor you mentioned above has somehow touched my life.
Thank you for all the time and effort you put into every project.
I wish you nothing but good luck and good health in your retirement.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Congratulations on your retirement <3! I have been a huge fan of Paizo since ~2003. When I think of Paizo I always think of Lisa Stevens at the helm. Glad to know you still have ownership while also handing the reins to a capable team.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Thank you for everything, and good luck on the next chapter!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Congrats on your retirement! Thank you for all the incredible games and products you have contributed to. This world would not be as bright a place as it is without you. :)

Jon Brazer Enterprises

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for everything, Lisa. The gaming industry salutes you.

The Concordance

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Best wishes, and thank you - from a fellow Ole; Um Ya Ya! (IYKYK)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Farewell Lisa,and we thank you.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Enjoy your retirement! Thanks for all your work!

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Poroporoaki me te waimarie, Lisa!

Farewell and good luck.

Thank you for all that you've done.

Nga mihi nui.


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

Have a good retirement Lisa!

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

For all you have done, thank you Lisa! Enjoy your retirement... you have more than earned it!

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Enjoy your retirement, and thank you for starting a company that has given me more hours of fun than any other.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

Best wishes in this new stage in your life. Many of Paizo's creations have a pride of place in my library, my hard drive, and my memories. Thank you!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for all that you've done; wishing you the very best and a well-deserved retirement!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Your legend, communication of experiences in gamin and work drive have inspired me since I was a young designer. May you go on to rest and have luck in future pursuits.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you, Lisa! Enjoy yourself!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for that amazing Dungeon/Dragon run of magazines, your support for Greyhawk, and an excellent PF game. I wish you health and happiness in your well-earned retirement.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for making such a great game. Take care of yourself.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So long, and thanks for all the fish.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for everything, Lisa. And by everything...

Paizo's stunning work in the aughts pulled me back into gaming, and these boards introduced to me to so many incredible people, including the Werecabbage Freelancers Guild who were kind enough to take me in.

You and the rest of Paizo's amazing team always took such good care of any company from which I've approached you for support. You all changed my life and I hope you spend your time away living the ever loving righteous heck outta yours. Squeeze it for all it's worth.

Much love to you (and Vic!).

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well deserved retirement. Thank you so much for finding this path and helping all of us to join you on it.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Congrats! Well deserved, and thanks for all you have done!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

You're an absolute legend. Congratulations on your retirement and your amazing career. Thank you for playing a huge role in providing me and so many others with hours of entertainment beyond counting. You will be missed, but I'm confident your legacy will carry on.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Congratulations on an amazing career, I hope you enjoy whatever comes next. Thanks for all the joy you brought into my life through the various companies you've been involved in.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for making so many of my favorite games over the years, Lisa! I hope you have a long and happy retirement!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I hope you make the most out of your retirement!

Thank you for your steadfast dedication and incomparable contribution to the hobby.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

May The Force be with you!

Thank you for your years of dedication and leadership in the RPG industry, and for making so many great adventures possible for so many fans.

The Exchange

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you for all the splendid work you did that has made me invest in this wonderful hobby for more than 20 years now. I loved basically everything you touched during your career and while we all love to sing praises to the creatives in the business, we sometimes tend to forget how pivotal the people behind the curtain are.

I kinda lost interest in Pathfinder in recent years for different reasons, but I'll ever be thankful to all the people that helped start Paizo and especially the Pathfinder endeavor, so again, thank you very much and I truly hope you can enjoy retirement and that you stay healthy enough to do so.

All the best,

Wormy


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Being involved with the creation of Vampire: The Masquerade, Magic the Gathering. Employee #1 at Wizards? And Pathfinder of course.

Wow, you've had an amazing career!

Thanks for having a hand in making some of the best games ever!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Enjoy your new adventure that lies ahead of you into the wild unknown. Go well. Go strong.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What an incredible career path! Most of the places you list, and their subsequent offerings, were hugely impactful to my tabletop gaming experience. Thank you for all your efforts along the way, and may the future be good to you!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A true modern day heroine! Thank you SO much!

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Happy retirement, Lisa!!!!

Thank you for your work. Pathfinder First Edition brought me back to gaming after a lapse, partially caused by the collapse of a long standing gaming group, a major move, and not really being enthused by some other choices.

I am now a venture agent and would like to thank you and everyone that has made Paizo a success. Be safe, be well, and be strong.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

First time posting in Paizo but for this occasion I have to.
Thanks for creating Paizo and doing all the good thing you did do and will do


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

May you find peace of mind, comfort, and relaxation away from the rigors of the workplace environment.

Fair winds and following seas...

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