Introducing the Narrative Team

Friday, December 9, 2022

Hi! Those of you who have been watching the credits of recent products or the discourse on social media may have noticed some shake-ups in Paizo’s staff recently.

Over the past couple of months, we’ve done some restructuring on the editorial team, and we’ve also welcomed many new faces. This restructuring includes reorganizing the designers, developers, and creative directors into three broad teams: the Narrative Team, led by me (Linda); the Rules and Lore team, led by Michael Sayre; and the Starfinder Team, led by Thurston Hillman.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the narrative team. The narrative team is responsible for all Pathfinder adventures, including Adventure Paths, standalone Pathfinder Adventures, and Pathfinder Society. The team also includes Starfinder Society due to its close connections to Pathfinder Society through our Organized Play programs.

And without further ado, here’s who’s who in their own words, as well as how to contact each of us.

A crowd of people gathers in a city street to celebrate a festival. The streets are decorated with brightly colored flowers and strings of pennants. Some of the people are wearing blue butterfly masks, and hundreds of blue butterflies soar through the sky.


Jessica Catalan

Hi everyone! I’m Jessica Catalan and I’m the Starfinder Society Developer! I’m thrilled to be in charge of planning, outlining, assigning, and developing our Starfinder Society Scenarios, Starfinder Bounties, and our upcoming Starfinder Society Specials. In addition to working at Paizo full-time, I’m a frequent freelance author for the Pathfinder and Starfinder RPGs. Outside of writing, I love reading and playing board games. I live in wonderful Winnipeg, Canada with my husband, two kids, and pet rabbit. You can follow me on twitter @d20diaries. If you’re interested in writing a Starfinder Bounty or Starfinder Society Scenario, reach out to me at jessica.catalan@paizo.com.

Take care, folks!

John Compton

I’m John Compton, a senior developer currently working on Pathfinder’s Adventure Paths. Previously, I’ve overseen various organized play programs’ creative content and most recently co-led Starfinder’s hardcover book production, and it’s great to be revisiting adventure design on the narrative team (starting with the recently announced Sky King’s Tomb adventures). I love a good intrigue, heist, investigation, or adventure sandbox, and I’m excited about the to-be-announced stories we have in the works. While my assignments are few and far between, I’m always interested in meeting and training up our game’s next authors. You can contact me at john.compton@paizo.com.

When I’m not playing or creating RPG content in the Seattle area, I’m usually gardening, spoiling my friends’ various pets, socializing on Discord (I’m in the Pathfinder RPG and Starfinder RPG servers), dissecting whatever narrative media I consume, or learning eclectic trivia that then seeps into my professional writing.


Josh Foster

Greetings Pathfinders and Starfinders! I’m Josh Foster, a Pathfinder Society Developer. I’m full of ideas for short adventures and can’t wait to get them on the page. I’ll be the one outlining, assigning, and developing new Pathfinder Quests—and I’m extremely excited that Quests are coming back. I’ll also be working on non-metaplot scenarios for both Pathfinder and Starfinder Societies (though mainly Pathfinder), as well as helping the narrative team with the metaplot whenever they need my overly-caffeinated input.

I’ve been a mainstay of Pathfinder Society play since way back toward the launch of the campaign. I’m a five-star GM, have helped run the Pathfinder Society programs at several stores, and served as a Venture-Lieutenant in Georgia. When not playing tabletop RPGs, I spend way too much time playing Final Fantasy XIV. I’m now living in downtown Seattle with my amazing wife and our adorable dog.

If you’re interested in writing a quest or scenario, you can contact me at joshua.foster@paizo.com.
Good gaming everyone!


Vanessa Hoskins

I’m Vanessa Hoskins, a Developer on the Narrative Team, and I get to assign talented freelancers to help shape the stories we tell on Golarion (and beyond?). I’ll be outlining, assigning, and developing long-form adventures and their backmatter. This includes Adventure Paths and standalone adventures.

In addition to serving on the board of directors at the Know Direction Network, I’m a cast member on the Adventurous! actual play. I also co-author Vellum & Lace, the first piece of serialized Pathfinder fiction on Pathfinder Infinite, with Helen Savore. Finally, I recently started Ninja Cat Games, an indie video game studio. I do all of this while living in Indiana with my brilliant wife and our adorable dog.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NinjaCatVanessa
Mastodon: https://dice.camp/@ninjacatvanessa
Contact me about work here: vanessa.hoskins@paizo.com


James Jacobs

Ahoy! I’m James Jacobs, Creative Director for the Pathfinder narrative team. I’ve been with Paizo for about a year less than Paizo’s been a thing, and over the past 19 and a half years have worn enough hats in the editorial department to make a whole family of ettins with chimera pets proud! Going forward, my focus will be on guiding the stories for all of the Pathfinder adventures Paizo will be producing, along with actually developing adventures for both the standalone line and the Adventure Path line. I’m hoping to be able to chat soon about some fun things we’ve got planned as the Adventure Path nears its 200th volume, and some new and exciting stuff we’ll be doing on the standalone adventure side. I’m also involved in other narrative-based things you’ll see coming from Paizo or our partners when it comes to stories beyond adventures.

As for myself? I’m from a small town, Point Arena, on the remote coast of northern California, but for the past half of my life I’ve been living up north in the Seattle hinterlands. (And yes, there’s a fair amount about the town of Sandpoint that’s inspired from my hometown… although we do have fewer goblins living there, especially since I moved up north!) I’m sort of a social media recluse, but I’m pretty active here on our message boards, and have started to de-lurk over on Reddit’s 2nd Edition Pathfinder page as well. Feel free to drop me a message anytime in either place, or shoot me an email at james.jacobs@paizo.com. I try to answer quickly, because who knows if I’ll get distracted chasing a bigfoot or chupacabra or mothman ten minutes from now and… wait… WHAT’S THAT NOISE! THAT HAND AT THE WINDOW……


Shay Snow

Hello, friends! I’m Shay Snow, one of the new developers for Pathfinder Society! You’ve probably seen my writing floating around, as I’ve been freelancing with Paizo since 2020 and was previously a member of Paizo’s fantastic editing team since October 2021!

While I’ve written two Starfinder Society scenarios, I’m quite new to Organized Play. However, the Emerald City Lodge has been extremely welcoming and willing to show me the ropes! I’ve enjoyed running and attending games, and I love the chance to interact with Paizo fans on the ground and get their opinions on the game and the Society. (Yes, you can tell me about your level 12 champion of Shelyn! But in exchange you must listen to me talk about my level 4 rogue!)

I’m from Watauga, Texas, a suburb between Dallas and Fort Worth, and I moved to Washington in February of 2022. I’m Native American, mixed Caddo and Swampy Cree. When not centered on tabletop games, I’m usually consuming horror content and spending time with my spouse and two cats, Beans and Sweet Corn. The best place to find me outside of my home office is on Twitter @spellsinsugar, or you can email me at shay.snow@paizo.com!


Linda Zayas-Palmer

Hi, I’m Linda Zayas-Palmer, the manager of the narrative team. My job mostly involves logistical tasks like scheduling, training, and reviewing text from developers.

I’ve been a fan of Paizo’s adventures since Pathfinder First Edition came out. The story of Rise of the Runelords inspired my home group to make the jump to Golarion, and Council of Thieves was my first-ever campaign as a GM. As for Organized Play, after positive experiences with the community at my first GenCon, I wound up joining the Boston Lodge as a player, GM, and eventually Venture-Lieutenant. Paizo’s adventures and the community around them have brought so much joy and togetherness to my life, and it’s a privilege to be part of the team that brings those kinds of experiences to the world.

In addition to my day job, I also do freelance writing for Pathfinder and Starfinder. Some of my recent projects include the raxilite section of Starfinder Interstellar Species and the final part of Roll for Combat’s Jewel of the Indigo Isles Adventure Path. Every Tuesday at 7pm Pacific and Saturday at 10am Pacific, I stream on Twitch together with former Paizo design manager Mark Seifter, under Arcane Mark (twitch.tv/arcanemark). Outside of Paizo and its products, I enjoy reading, math, teaching, solving puzzles, playing video games, watching anime, and singing.

I don’t engage much with social media, but if you’d like to reach out to me, you can email me at linda.zayas-palmer@paizo.com, or join Arcane Mark’s discord server at tiny.cc/arcanemark.


Jessica Catalan
Developer

John Compton
Senior Developer

Josh Foster
Developer

Vanessa Hoskins
Developer

James Jacobs
Creative Director

Shay Snow
Developer

Linda Zayas-Palmer
Development Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Community Organized Play Paizo Paizo Staff Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Yarr,

Nice to see introductions and such with some extra info on how to contact etc.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Excited to see what this killer team makes!


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Talk about a stacked team!


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

So excited to see what new stories are spun in the following years!

Silver Crusade

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

Very excited about the restructuring, I look forward to what the future brings, and it's nice to see John back in the Pathfinder side of the office for a bit!


12 people marked this as a favorite.

Go go Narrative Team! I'm looking forward to seeing more adventures to come.

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

2 people marked this as a favorite.

What a fantastic team!


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

Wooh!


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

A star studded cast of people I would definitely like to listen talk endlessly about their stories.


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

2023 doesn’t even know how Paizo is about to dunk on it.

Paizo Employee Developer

11 people marked this as a favorite.

John described the art as

Quote:
Caption: John pulling back the current on Vanessa’s latest adventure pitch, realizing it’s butterflies all the way down


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

YESSSS John, give us those intrigues and investigations!!!

Grand Archive

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

HUZZAH!
All wonderful people! I can't wait to see what you all end up writing! :3

Also...

Spoiler:
one of the first time I see a compagny use the term "restructuring" with the legit meaning, and not the reviled corporate meaning of "mass layoffs". ^^;


Thank you, all. I enjoyed the introductions and look forward to seeing what this incredibly talented and hard working team produce. I also appreciate the contact information.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Congratz to all!

Wayfinders Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So wonderful to see all your lovely names! Congratulations, everyone!

Hmm

Advocates

Precious team. Thank you for your hard work currently, and future hard work nailing down all the plot.

Grand Lodge Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

What an amazing team to carry Golarion's story into the future!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I know James is great at Shensen-nanigans! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yay so excited for what's to come!

Scarab Sages

Looks like a great team! Eager to see what the future holds.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Senior Developer

12 people marked this as a favorite.
Vanessa Hoskins wrote:

John described the art as

Quote:
Caption: John pulling back the current on Vanessa’s latest adventure pitch, realizing it’s butterflies all the way down

John: "Vanessa. This outline. It's..it's just butterflies, all the way down."

Vanessa: "Keep reading."
John: "So...this Desna festival is really run by a cult of Urgathoa, and the butterflies are glamered deaths-head moths?"
Vanessa: Nod nod nod
John: "..."
Vanessa: "..."
John: "Seems legit."
Vanessa: "Wait, you're not going to say no?"
John: "Nah, but I will make suggestions. So maybe the Urgathoans don't realize that they're also part of the upcoming sacrifice, with Urgathoa planning for only the moths to survive. So partway through the adventure, the PCs have the opportunity to team up with the Urgathoans they just exposed, and..."

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.

An awesome team! I can't wait to see what you come up with, and I hope to work with all of you in the future!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm a little disappointed to see things like Starfinder Adventures, Starfinder Adventure Paths etc left out of this narrative team, if I'm being honest. Kinda feels like things are being wound down outside of Org Play. Maybe I'm just paranoid.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Elegos wrote:
I'm a little disappointed to see things like Starfinder Adventures, Starfinder Adventure Paths etc left out of this narrative team, if I'm being honest. Kinda feels like things are being wound down outside of Org Play. Maybe I'm just paranoid.

The whole reason for this restructuring is to give us all more focus and support. This blog post is just the first to come, in other words.

Starfinder is a separate game with its own separate (and amazing!) team. Formalizing these new roles is a great step forward for us all internally, since it's allowing us the framework to interact more and more with other teams in a way that was trickier before. I know that personally, I've had some of the most constructive and inspiring cross-setting/cross-team chats with the Starfinder folks that I've had since the game launched as a result of this reorganization!

AKA: No need to be paranoid. There's some great stuff coming for Starfinder. We just can't do all the new organizational blogs to introduce the newly reorganized teams all at once is all.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

But I am wondering whether it might be a good idea to add "Pathfinder" to the names of the team(s) that do not involve Starfinder in any way, just for the sake of clarity. Then any team name with neither word in it could be understood to cover both games.

Paizo Employee Developer

9 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
Vanessa Hoskins wrote:

John described the art as

Quote:
Caption: John pulling back the current on Vanessa’s latest adventure pitch, realizing it’s butterflies all the way down

John: "Vanessa. This outline. It's..it's just butterflies, all the way down."

Vanessa: "Keep reading."
John: "So...this Desna festival is really run by a cult of Urgathoa, and the butterflies are glamered deaths-head moths?"
Vanessa: Nod nod nod
John: "..."
Vanessa: "..."
John: "Seems legit."
Vanessa: "Wait, you're not going to say no?"
John: "Nah, but I will make suggestions. So maybe the Urgathoans don't realize that they're also part of the upcoming sacrifice, with Urgathoa planning for only the moths to survive. So partway through the adventure, the PCs have the opportunity to team up with the Urgathoans they just exposed, and..."

This is... amazingly accurate.

Seriously, working with John is amazing. I come up with a simple and fun idea, and he finds nuance and angles that I never dreamed. Working as part of this team is going to be a BLAST!


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

It’s been great seeing your enthusiasm on twitter, Vanessa. It feels good supporting a company when the people working there clearly have so much love for what they’re doing!

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