Meet the Tian Xia Authors!

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Hello everyone,
James, Eleanor, and Ianara here, your leads for the Tian Xia project. As of yesterday, the Pathfinder Lost Omens Tian Xia World Guide is officially out! This is a region of our setting that we know many of you (not to mention us at Paizo as well!) have been looking forward to for some time, and it’s great to be able to share this look into the continent with you. Tian Xia takes inspiration from Asian fantasy and folklore, and we knew that we wouldn’t be able to bring this vast range of stories to life without an all-star team of writers and designers, many of whom also worked on the Pathfinder Lost Omens Tian Xia Character Guide, which releases in August. Get to know some of them below!

James Case
Senior Designer

Eleanor Ferron
Senior Developer

Ianara Natividad
Senior Editor


Tian Xia World Guide in standard and special edition

Eren Ahn (they/them primarily)

안녕하세요, 여러분! My name is Eren, and I had the incredibly fun opportunity to refresh Daikitsu and Lao Shu Po for the Tian Xia World Guide as well as contributing some lore around the mystical imugi. As someone who loves exploring the relationship between mortality and divinity, it was an absolute dream to have the opportunity to expand on Tian Xia's pantheon. I hope you all fall as deeply in love with the Lady of Foxes and Old Rat Woman as I did while writing them.

You can find me sporadically talking about my writing on Bluesky (by the time you're reading this, I'll have posted more detailed threads on my contributions for this book, if you're interested in reading about my process) and talking about everything else on Twitter. You will also see me in a couple of months for the Tian Xia Character Guide!


Alyx Bui

Hear ye, hear ye! Here come the imperial dragons of Tian Xia! I had the pleasure of crafting and writing on the Imperial Dragons and the peoples and land of Zi Ha! This was a massive collaboration between so many talented writers and artists—Basheer Ghouse to place Arindham, a forest dragon within the Valashmai Jungle, with Jay Zhang to place Luong Phung, a sea dragon within Xidao, with Jacky Leung to place Shen Ra, a sky dragon within Po Li, with Kevin Thien Vu Long Nguyen to place a sovereign dragon, Pham Duc Quan within Xa Hoi, and Grady Wang to place an underworld dragon, Zhu Long, within Chu Ye.

For Zi Ha, it was brilliant to connect with Kienna Shaw, as we placed the samsaran peoples and their origins in this magical land. We wanted to make sure that we inserted a non-colonial view of this world. I wanted joy and wonder to come out of these harsh, wintery lands—from bioluminescent fungi and large, carnivorous plant hunting to festivals that honor the mountain peaks, dragon cycles, and the long day and night phases. Enjoy the epic lore of Shei Long, a Sky Dragon, and the moon deity Tsukiyo! Continue the conversation with me on X (Twitter) @daredevilalyx!


Empress Amatatsu Ameiko of Minkai, dressed in warm red and yellow robes Empress Nai Yan Fei of Goka dressed in cool blue and purple robes hoding a sharp fan(art by Vira Linevych)

Two rulers of Tian Xia, Empress Amatatsu Ameiko of Minkai (art by Gunship Revolution) and Empress Nai Yan Fei of Goka (art by Vira Linevych)

Banana Chan (she/they/he)

I'm Banana and I wrote a bunch of stuff for Tian Xia, but what I need EVERYONE to know about is the Great Flood, based on the creature Xiangliu. It's one of my favorite mythical creatures because of how silly it looks in drawings, but if you could see it in real life, it would probably be a body horror disaster. It has the body of a giant snake or eel with nine human heads attached to it. I'd been wanting to write about the Xiangliu for the longest time, so I'm extremely grateful that Paizo gave me that opportunity.


Connie Chang (they/he/she)

Hey there! I'm Connie Chang, and I wrote Quain, a location full of wuxia fantasies, grandmasters, and cultivation! As a queer and trans diasporic Chinese person, I'm a huge fan of the wuxia and xianxia genres as a way to explore historical fantasy beyond western imaginations—so of course I jumped at the chance to help create something with Paizo. I'm especially interested in seeing the stories that will bloom from centuries-old, deeply complicated rivalries between grandmasters!

Social media: Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Twitch


The exuberant pixiu, a blue dog-like creature with horns protruding from its head and wings from its body (art by Gunship Revolution) the monstrous Great Flood, a monster with the body of a snake and five human heads

The exuberant pixiu (art by Gunship Revolution) and the monstrous Great Flood (art by Mylene Bertrand)

Hiromi Cota (they/them)

Hai tai! Wanne Hiromi yaibiin! Hi! I’m Hiromi! For folks unfamiliar with me, I’ve worked on over a hundred books and games, usually as a writer or game designer. I’m excited to have worked with Paizo, as I’ve wanted to for years. I’m even more excited to say that I also got to work on the Tian Xia Character Guide and pen the tie-in fiction The Matsuri! Hopefully, I’ll have more opportunities to work with Paizo in the future. If I do, you’ll find out about them from my Bluesky account @hiromicota!

For the Tian Xia World Guide, I worked on Kwanlai. I had fun providing an in-world explanation as to why Kwanlai is principally populated by tengu (a Japanese creature) but has a Chinese name. The answer, in short, is colonialism. In real life, Japan colonized Uchinaa and foisted the exonym “Okinawa” upon my people. So, it was natural for me to depict the Lung Wa conquering the nation of Ootoya and foisting the exonym “Kwanlai” on the Ootoyans. Another fun tidbit in the writeup is takoyaki (battered and fried octopus) becoming a popular snack due to Wanshou (a nation ruled by a kraken) attacking Kwanlai.


Dana Ebert (she/her)

Dana Ebert (nonchalant female human writer) is a common author to find credited in Pathfinder publications, and the Tian Xia World Guide is no exception. Known for fanciful and often extravagant prose, her work reimagining Minata is most evident in phrases like "swallowing dragons like krill" and "churned the sea like a mortar and pestle." In addition to authoring the chapter on Minata, she contributed substantial Minata-adjacent content to the Tian Xia Character Guide. When she's not writing for Pathfinder, Dana is a full-time content creator at TPK Brewing Co., a tabletop roleplaying-themed brewery she co-owns in Portland, Oregon.


The sorrowful dragon Luong Phung the draconic emperor Pham Duc Quan

The sorrowful dragon Luong Phung (art by Gunship Revolution) and the draconic emperor Pham Duc Quan (art by Gunship Revolution)

John Godek III (he/him)

Hi! I’m John, a mixed-race Filipino American gamer, gamemaster, freelancer, and podcaster. For the Pathfinder Lost Omens Tian Xia World Guide I wrote the Oceans of Tian Xia as well as several new Tian ships, along with Yamatsumi the mountain god and General Susumu. I was very excited to work on these as I spent my early childhood in Hawai'i and Philippines, and later sailed the seven seas as I started my career.

As a freelance game designer, I’ve written mostly for Paizo but also some for Evil Robot Games and Legendary Games. As a gamemaster, I earned my 5th Nova in 2021 and have volunteered at dozens of gaming conventions. As a podcaster, I produce three podcasts on the Know Direction Network: Digital Divination, with Paizo Senior Designer Jason Keeley and D&D Designer Ron Lundeen; Intrepid Heroes, an RPG actual play where we just completed the Devastation Ark AP and soon begin a Scum and Villainy adventure run by Jason Keeley; and Presenting - Gamers Making Games, a podcast where I have interviewed over 100 game designers, developers, artists, and editors. In addition, I am also GMing a Fists of the Ruby Phoenix campaign and playing Outlaws of Alkenstar and Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse. In my non-gaming life, I am a university professor teaching entrepreneurship and social venture creation in the Seattle area.

You can reach me on Twitter @JohnGodekIII and find my podcasts at https://knowdirectionpodcast.com/ or on YouTube.


Daniel Kwan (he/him)

Hello! My name's Daniel! I'm the co-host of the Asians Represent Podcast and am a freelance game designer and cultural consultant with over 40 games credits! The Tian Xia World Guide is my second Paizo contribution and certainly the one I'm most excited about. I had a blast bringing my love of weapons, horror, and mythology to life for the project. It is such an honor to be part of such a diverse team of Asian creatives who have worked so hard to bring life to Tian Xia! Fun fact, some of my fellow freelancers and I started a home game to test out many of our contributions during the development period!

Twitter: @danielhkwan Website: https://danielhkwan.carrd.co/


the goddess of liminal spaces, Lady Jingxi the lovers-turned-rivals Mugura and Nrithu

Two of Tian Xia’s deities, the goddess of liminal spaces, Lady Jingxi (art by Carl Springer), and the lovers-turned-rivals Mugura and Nrithu (art by Carl Springer)

Jacky Leung (he/they)

Hey, everyone! I'm Jacky Leung, and it's been a while since I worked freelance for Paizo. Tian Xia was an amazing experience to revisit as a player and a creator. I had the pleasure of writing for Po Li and expanding life in a country ruled by the theologic elite and how people governed by oracles thrive despite its previously sheltered portrayal in earlier works. I had the opportunity to provide faces to the extremely secretive Oracular Council that governs Po Li, introduce the equally secretive Lapis Watchers, and expand new iconic locations for players to explore such as Tuotuo, the Enlightened City—a historical education center containing special archives housing racks of prophecies and oracular writings. Beyond the nostalgic glamor lies also the Emperor's Footprint, a site rumored to contain mystical properties, a supposed asteroid, and stunning panoramic beauty—just highly dangerous and full of monsters, I'm sure it's fine. I hope folx gets to experience the social and political dissonance that awaits them when adventuring through Po Li; it was a fantastic challenge.

You can find me on Twitter/X under @deathbymage and Bluesky under deathbymage.bsky.social. You can find my website and portfolio here: https://deathbymage.carrd.co/.


Jessie "Aki" Lo (she/her)

I'm a freelance writer, artist, GM, producer, editor, and TTRPG performer who just can't say no. Tian Xia was my first big Paizo gig, but if you want to see more of my little grabby hands making a gorgeous mess of Pathfinder 2e, you should check out my podcast! Goblets and Gays is an award-winning, Pathfinder 2e Actual Play podcast. With our first campaign "Blood of Kings" wrapped up, we're in the middle of releasing our second campaign "Tyrant of the Dark Star". ToDS is a grim dark Pathfinder 2e Remastered actual play set in the gothic-horror homebrew world of Noxlight.

Goblets and Gays Twitter and Podlink


A woman demonstrating the technology of ancient Yjae A member of the seafaring Nisama people

A woman demonstrating the technology of ancient Yjae (art by Alexander Nanitchkov) and a member of the seafaring Nisama people (art by Riley Spalding)

Adam Ma (he/him)

Hello friends! I'm so excited for you all to sink into this beautiful world. For many of you it will be a marvelous opportunity to immerse yourself in a land rich with cultures perhaps outside your own. I'm right there with you. This was my first contribution to Pathfinder's rich world, and I never expected to go so deep into exploring my own culture and heritage through the lens of Wanshou's horror and paranoia. Just remember, if anything bad happens to your party while exploring this flooded land, it's definitely not a coincidence and probably your party member's fault. You know which one I'm talking about.

I work on all kinds of TTRPG content, so if you're into grand adventure with a bit of horror, then we'll get along great! If you're a fan of my contribution to Tian Xia and want to follow my other work you can find me on Bsky and Twitter as 34thGingerbread - or you can visit my website: https://www.adam34th.com/


Tan Shao Han

Hi! I'm Tan Shao Han / 陈绍涵 (family name Tan/Chen, 陈; generational name, Shao 绍; personal name, Han 涵), a TTRPG creator, lecturer, and cultural consultant from Singapore, Southeast Asia. I'm proudly part of the RPGSEA TTRPG design movement based in Southeast Asia! I grew up a steady diet on wuxia media (movies, books, TV series, manhua), and am happy to re-imagine and create settings (the histories, lands, and peoples of Goka and Songbai) in the Tian Xia World Guide to inspire the telling of new wuxia-influenced stories in your Pathfinder games! It has been an absolute privilege to work on the Tian Xia books, alongside great colleagues and supervisors whom I now have the pleasure to call my friends.

Outside of freelancing with Paizo, I also run an indie TTRPG company, Curious Chimeras. If you're interested in more of my takes on Chinese fantasy, check out my recent indie games: Swordfarer, a wuxia journaling game of jianghu melancholia and friendships and Shrine, a xianxia storytelling game of karma, despair, and reincarnation. To find out more about the other amazing TTRPGs and creators from Southeast Asia, please check out https://across-rpgsea.com/ as well!


Urakadussi, the High Matriarch of Xidao Zhanagorr, Divine Savior of Wanshou

Urakadussi, the High Matriarch of Xidao (art by Sammy Khalid), and Zhanagorr, Divine Savior of Wanshou (art by Nicholas Phillips)

Ruvaid Virk (he/him)

Hello, y’all! Ruvaid here. You may have seen my name in previous Paizo books such as Dark Archive, Impossible Lands, and Rage of Elements. For the Tian Xia World Guide, I wrote the entry for the nation of Hongal. I have a deep appreciation for Mongolian culture from which Hongal draws inspiration, and I endeavored to bring as much respect to my words as possible. I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading about Hongal as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

If you’re looking for a South Asian/Muslim freelancer for your next project, or should you simply wish to perceive me, you can find me on Twitter @Darth_Ruvaider, or the other one @darthruvaider.bsky.social. Until next time, and happy Pathfinding!


Grady Wang (he/him)

Howdy, I'm Grady and my work on Chu Ye in the World Guide was my first-ever assignment for Paizo! I'm so excited that it's finally out! This nation has incredible potential for grand stories, from its historical contributions to medicinal knowledge to the present-day four-way clash between its greedy oni ruling class, a scrappy humanoid rebellion, an underworld dragon out for revenge, and a jealous god. I was also thrilled to be able to draw upon my Chinese and Taiwanese heritages to expand Chu Ye’s culture and its experiences under occupation.

My next contribution will be in the Character Guide coming later this year, which contains Tian Xia’s unique takes on medicine. You can also find me online at The Gallant Goblin where my partner and I review TTRPG products on https://www.youtube.com/thegallantgoblin, sell kobold plushies at heroplush.com, and produce expanded content for Pathfinder at https://www.pathfinderinfinite.com/, where we just released the first community print-on-demand product, Adventures in Jalmeray, which is an anthology of three adventures set in Jalmeray (Lost Omens: Impossible Lands) designed by an all-Desi team of writers!


A member of the spellcasting dovlokhuud dressed in blues and purples A magical school child studying intently

A member of the spellcasting dovlokhuud (art by Vira Linevych) and a magical student of Tang Mai (art by Carl Springer)


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Tags: Authors Community Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Tian Xia

Of *course* I would have liked Xiangliu to keep their name. -.- And I swear they were manipulating Gonggong the whole time...(See also: My hypothesis that the true villain of the Enuma Elish isn't Apsu, Tiamat, Marduk, or even Anshar, but Qingu, seeking from the onset to get the Tablets of Destiny for himself.)

Still, I look forward to seeing how the nations are detailed. Along with where gnomes are a notable presence. I have Ideas for a Tian Xia thaumaturge...

(Okay, it's mostly because the thaumaturge idea is sound-based, and the jiuhuandao has enough association with sound.)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Athamaru art in book is really pretty. Though all of the art is pretty. I like lot of the things in the book(its nice how all cultures were expanded and got new plot hooks and ), so I should do review later when I'm feeling less depressed. But yeah there are few things I'm confused about, but nothing that is really nitpick worthy.

Grand Archive

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

Oh my! Oh my!
So many awesome people! Q_Q
This book is AMAZING, and it's all because of ALL of you! THANK YOU!!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thank you to all the wonderful authors and artists for sharing your work on Tian Xia with us, it's been sucha delight to read <3

Need to look into making a kaiju witch....


2 people marked this as a favorite.

A gorgeous book, and one that I hope makes a real mark on TTRPG history. Thank you to everyone who worked on it!


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

Absolutely brilliant article! Love seeing the representation; part of why I love Paizo.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ootoya FOREVER!

Yayyyy art of Lady Jingxi!

With possible Annoyed Action Pose of What did my husband do THIS TIME??

I have to get it out of my brain about The Great Flood...

You are warned...:
Human snake-a-pede... Human snake-a-pede... Some city's gettin' flattened tonight...

I'm loving what I've seen of the .pdf so far, and have put the hard copy on order despite space issues because so many questions that have been bugging me are getting answered!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thank you to all these amazing authors and everyone else involved in bringing us this book. I am looking forward to many hours spent browsing and reading.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I love Sammy Khalid's art of Urakadussi, the High Matriarch of Xidao. A beautiful style.

And although the depiction of the "ancient technology of Yjae" looks about as informative as a BBC special effect from 80's sci-fi schlocker "Chocky" it has definitely piqued my interest. Another beautiful drawing - I love the staff accoutrements...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats on the release! I'm currently enjoying what I've read of the book so far!

Scarab Sages

Is this supplement book as Edition-neutral as the Absalom book?

I'm looking for Source material and not so much crunch, really.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Arkat wrote:

Is this supplement book as Edition-neutral as the Absalom book?

I'm looking for Source material and not so much crunch, really.

Yep, it's got very few 2e mechanics in it. Mostly a narrative exploration of the continent.

Scarab Sages

xroot wrote:
Arkat wrote:

Is this supplement book as Edition-neutral as the Absalom book?

I'm looking for Source material and not so much crunch, really.

Yep, it's got very few 2e mechanics in it. Mostly a narrative exploration of the continent.

Perfect!

Thanks.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Huh. So Paizo is still publishing PF1 books, sort of.
That's cool.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Only gotten to the bestiary so far, but I'm loving everything I've seen! I love how logical all of the monsters feel in the setting, even having just read the intro and bestiary; you guys absolutely crushed it.

"Crushed it" is how the youth say "good job," right?


I do have a question, if anyone has a desire to answer, was there a specific reason the population numbers for the capital cities were left out, were they forgotten or are future Lost Omens books not going to be having those numbers any longer?

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I enjoyed learning more about the authors and look forward to picking up the book at my local gaming shop.


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

I never really saw much need for Tian Xia themes in my games, so this book will likely end up being shelf dressing until one or more of my players show interest in it.

Even so, it is absolutely quality work and I'm happy to support such skilled authors and their work on these projects.

Envoy's Alliance

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is Empress Ameiko wearing a masterwork samisen on her back?! I love it!!

Paizo Employee Community and Social Media Specialist

12 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed off topic posts. This blog is the place to celebrate the authors of Tian Xia.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Finally getting the time to dive into this book properly and wow; it's absolutely amazing! You all did an absolutely marvelous job.

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