Vic Wertz wrote:
For those interested, Varian is as tall as Tom Hiddleston, while Radovan is the same height as Tom Cruise or Christian Kane.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
FAR WEST is a crazy mashup of wuxia (kung fu), westerns, and a little bit of steampunk. My story in that anthology pits a group of misfits against the rail baron who injured them.
A Knight in the Silk Purse is the second in an anthology of Mesoamerican fantasy stories. My story in that one is a little dark.
In both of them, you'll recognize at least one other Pathfinder Tales author among the contributors.
And return greetings from Canada.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
The new novella's something all-new, and it'll be in print with a gorgeous cover. It's in a setting for which I've long wanted to write, and
I once heard that the Iron Kingdoms books might one day see print, but that was a while ago, and I've had no concrete info on that front.
If you're looking for something to tide you over, I've stories in Champions of Aetaltis, Shattered Shields, and Gods, Memes, and Monsters--the latter of which got a nice nod from Ellen Datlow in the annual summary to her Best Horror of the Year.
Of those, the Champions story is the one closest to a Pathfinder Tale, and the one in Shields is the darkest--and the one I'm most likely to revisit one day. Both anthologies also include terrific stories by other Pathfinder Tales authors.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Thanks for the kind words and for the effusive review you left for Lord of Runes. I'm glad you liked the Egorian Gazetteer, too. That was a lot of fun.
There are no new Radovan & the Count novels in the works, but my next novella will be unleashed in February 2017. If you like "the boys," I bet you'll also like "the girls" in the new piece. As with Prince of Wolves and "The Devil's Pay," it launches a new line, and I can't wait to read the stories that follow. You may recognize a few familiar names on the covers.
That's all the detail I can offer now, but if you follow my web site or twitter feed, you'll be among the first to see the title and description once it's ready for mortal eyes.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
There's none in the works, but I appreciate your kind words. I hope some of those books stand up to re-reading.
DM Mathpro wrote:
If you guys were to see your novels turned into a movie who would you like to see play your main characters? Really interested in seeing Chris's response to this but its for anyone/everyone.
My first pro sale was for an open call for Forgotten Realms short fiction. That was "Every Dog His Day" for Realms of Magic. The editor liked that one well enough to invite me to submit for Realms of Mystery. I did a few more stories and a short novel (novella, really) for the Realms.
Later I pitched to an open call for Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft novels. The editors liked both of my pitches, but since there were so many Realms pitches, they asked me to do the Ravenloft one.
I should have heard the sinister organ music.
What they didn't tell me was that the Ravenloft line was doomed, and they cancelled it when I was only halfway through my manuscript. Fortunately, rather than a kill fee and a clumsy translation of my unfinished novel to the Realms, I asked for a clean shot. That got me invited to pitch for the Sembia series, for which I wrote "Thirty Days" for The Halls of Stormweather followed by Black Wolf, my first full-length novel.
How do you folks outline your novels? Bullet points? Mindmapping? Sticky-notes with push pins and string and low-res pictures on a cork board a la conspiracy theorist?
One of my many flaws is that I go overboard on outlines. I try to keep them below 5,000 words, but I've slipped and ended up with a 15k outline once or twice.
Mine are big word documents with a page or two on each chapter, sometimes including reminders to myself about foreshadowing and subplots, running jokes, setting-specific references and how they matter to the boys, and so on.
I also include a list of important characters with descriptions ranging from a few sentences to a page, and copious footnotes and appendices.
It's a sickness.
To All the authors: What was the biggest/coolest thing you bought with the money from your first novel?
With the money from my first novel, I bought the original cover art to The Halls of Stormweather and, later, Black Wolf.
With the money from my Pathfinder novels, the coolest purchase I made was a diorama featuring a couple of obscure characters.
I’m delighted you liked the conclusion of Winter Witch. I encouraged Elaine to pop in on this thread, but she suggested that I leave a comment.
As some already know, Elaine couldn't complete the book because of a year of family emergencies. To ensure that Pathfinder Tales launched on time, Paizo moved Prince of Wolves up to the August slot and consulted Elaine about enlisting a co-author for Winter Witch. She agreed that I'd finish the manuscript.
Elaine created most of the characters and plot of the novel. She wrote that fantastic prologue and the first nine chapters. I revised those chapters to address editorial feedback and to get a feeling for her style. (I like to tell her I did the job to absorb her powers.) Rather than try to mimic her exactly, I tried “leaning” toward her style. I'm delighted that no one has ever noticed the change point and many don't realize there were two writers.
Chapters 10 and beyond are my work based on Elaine's outline, which I altered in response to editorial feedback. My changes began with matching the book to the setting, but I also combined a few characters into one (Mareshka), added a few more monstrous adversaries, and kept Olenka in the story longer. There were lots of other changes, but those stand out in memory.
A couple of my changes were choices Elaine wouldn’t have made. She still teases me about making it more of a “kissing book,” and I’m sorry to have made one of her favorite characters more brutal than she’d envisioned her. (Elaine usually has the darker imagination, but I have my moments.)
A while after she recovered from the very bad horrible year, Elaine and I often chatted about continuing the story of Declan and Ellasif with an “on-purpose” collaboration, perhaps one in which Radovan and the Count played supporting roles. We even sketched out a few outlines. Unfortunately, we did this simultaneously and took the characters in different directions.
In the end we realized we both like to lead too much to collaborate. There were never any quarrels, just a gradual realization that we’re better off supporting each other with manuscript critiques, gossip, and awful puns.
So while some of the character issues you've mentioned have indeed swirled in my imagination and Elaine's, I'm doubtful we'll ever get to explore them beyond our occasional "what if?" chats. If a continuance of Winter Witch ever appears, it’ll be by Elaine alone, and I’ll be the first to read it.
A while back in another thread, someone asked when I planned to do a Calgary signing. At the time, I wasn't sure.
Now the answer is, "Next Thursday."
It's at the Sentry Box, the best game store I've ever found (with its own bookstore nestled inside). Riding shotgun on the Red Carriage is the estimable Vanessa Cardui, Calgarian filker extraordinaire.
Hope to see some of you cowboys and cowgirls there.
* Edited because Thursday isn't a Wednesday.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
It's because I was putting away the Lamashtu mini after running Thistletop for the second time that I thought, "I want all the gods about this size. As statues."
I have a couple extra Karzoug figures which I'm likely to strip and repaint as statues. It would be nice (but maybe not practical) to have statue versions of famous figures who'd likely have statues as chase minis or convention specials, but really it's not too hard to strip and repaint, especially as stone.
Looking forward to the next set, and generally very happy with the current one. Two requests, one of which you've surely heard from me before.
1. More contrast on the paint design, please! Figures that are mostly dark colors lose so much detail. I can't count how many otherwise good figures pre-painted black & brown have been a huge disappointment until I peered closely and saw that the figure itself was pretty good; there was just no way to see that.
When in doubt, default to much lighter shades. The paint should enhance rather than obscure the sculpture.
Also, just more color in general. There are too many black, gray, and brown figures that would really pop with a brighter color scheme.
2. I would love to see a couple or three large statues of Golarion's major gods in each future set, preferably not simply painted stone gray but in interesting variations (maybe a jade, maybe a painted statue, maybe one in mosaic tiles, and so on), but all of a similar size so we could construct things like the Sandpoint Cathedral, with the uniform size of the statues working to advantage.
Most of these figures would still be useful to non-Golarion players, since the gods make for pretty great general (if not generic) statue subjects.
One of my key references for this book was the Magic of Thassilon web supplement, in which you'll find all the mysteries of the Gluttonous Tome.
I've purposefully not statted out Radovan and the count.
Radovan is not only a rogue (and perhaps another class, which I've left vague because readers have statted him out so much better than I ever could) but also a special entity (as revealed a little at a time in "Hell's Pawns" and the first four novels).
Varian began as a (magically disabled) wizard/aristocrat/fighter but retrains almost every novel as he learns more about his unusual affliction. After Chapter 17 of Lord of Runes, I think it's safe to say that Varian has achieved his "final form." I'll leave the game experts to say just what class that is.
The Shadowless Sword has not been statted out (to my knowledge), but that's partly because Varian has not yet discovered all of its abilities. After reading Lord of Runes, you know its main attributes: speed, revealing illusions, and the ability to cut damned near anything.
Janneke is a ranger/fighter. Kazyah is indeed a druid and one of the two highest-level allies the boys have met. (The other, incidentally, is also a druid.)
Illyria is a necromancer.
The Oracle I never statted out, but it's safe to say he too was a high-level divine caster.
Usually I listen to the audio sample before deciding which format to buy, although I still buy the physical book if I expect to get it signed or if the book is lavishly illustrated or otherwise physically beautiful.
I confess that I bought hardcover, audio, and electronic copies of A Dance With Dragons. Hardcover because I knew George was visiting that particular bookstore and would sign one for me, electronic because I couldn't wait to start reading, and audio because it's my favorite way to experience the books, but it came out a short while later.
So I decided to keep listening to the Audio book and I am glad I did. Though I am still feeling like I am missing out on some back story, the novel itself is excellent.
Yes, there's certainly a lot that's happened before, but I don't think you need to know any of it to understand what's happening with this story.
That said, references to that backstory are there both for continuity (developing the characters without pressing a reset button at the end of every book) and in the hope that, if you liked this one, you'll want to go back and read or (eventually) listen to the others.
And if you did dig that audiobook, a review on the site would be much appreciated. The line is very young in audio format, so the more good word, the better.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts here already.
I read the book. Never read any of the other stories really, but I didn't feel like I was missing anything to be honest.
I can't testify from personal experience for the obvious reason, but I've heard from people who've started late that they've had no trouble. Others really need to go chronologically. I sympathize with them. I think I'm that way with other series, for the most part. The exceptions are usually crime/mystery series, where I often start way late and then just plunge around at random, usually to no ill effect.
Lou Diamond wrote:
Dave, with Varian's problems with casting memorized magic why has he not crafted a staff. Now that he is possibly an arcanist that might not be an issue I stll would like to see a high level caster in golarion have a staff.
Varian is much more a sword guy than a staff guy, but staves are cool.
Lou Diamond wrote:
The answer is "foreshadowing" and "maybe one day you'll see." I always seed these books with hints of what might happen next. You've just gotten too good and spotting those hints.
Read on. Radovan explains later.
I'd considered writing a longer version of the Janderhoff story as web fiction, but you wouldn't have needed it to get the reference.
No and yes. But mostly no.
Each of the Radovan & the Count novels stands alone with a complete, self-contained story. But they're also like a mystery series featuring the same detectives. If one loses a brother-in-law in an earlier story, you might read that the guy is dead later (but not how he died).
I think it's safe to read any of the novels first. Lord of Runes is a good starting point. The others that make particularly good entries are Queen of Thorns and Prince of Wolves. Master of Devils and King of Chaos are less good as starting points unless you're an especially big fan of wuxia or the Worldwound crusade, in which case they're just fine to start with.
Lou Diamond wrote:
James, In Lord of Runes it talks about some sort of upheaval in the political structure of Korovosa. Could you comment on was is going on in Korovosa.
It is indeed a purposefully vague reference to the events of Curse of the Crimson Throne. Players should be able to read it without being substantially spoiled.
I briefly considered just that when first writing from Count Jeggare's point of view but decided against. It's a great tool if you can pull it off, but even then quite a few readers will turn away the moment they see something that looks too academic.
Ross Byers wrote:
I have considered both of these questions in past and decided they'd be more interesting to answer in the context of a future story.
Say, what's this?
Come on by. I will answer spoiler questions, but I'll use the cloaking device. You won't have to see them if you don't want to.
Sigh. I had to cancel my subscription not long ago due to the worsening exchange rate. No idea when I'm going to get a chance to read this, which is a shame as I love Varian and Radovan (to the point that I have characters in a couple of different games, not Pathfinder ones, with names that reference them).
I miss the days of parity with the US dollar. Since I buy US goods more often than I'm paid in US dollars, it takes some adjusting my ordering habits.
Ernest Mueller wrote:
I bet Paizo will take this sort of specific criticism to heart and adjust the look of the line going forward, but I wouldn't be surprised if it takes another couple of releases for your feedback to catch up with the printed books.
Ed Reppert wrote:
Yes, as others have pointed out, "house drakes" in fiction are "pseudodragons" in the game, just as "hellspawn" in fiction are "tieflings" in the game. (Interestingly, "hellspawn" and a variety of other more-specific names have now become canonical in Pathfinder sourcebooks. Maybe the same will happen with house drakes, a term that Elaine Cunningham might have devised for Winter Witch, unless one of the Pathfinder devs suggested it to her.)
As for Varian's specific class, I'm cool with arcanist, although I was thinking of it in even more vague terms for reasons that will become apparent as you come closer to finishing the book and have yet a different question about his class.
I'll gladly answer this question at length and in more detail at my upcoming fantasy Reddit on June 4. I'll even answer spoiler questions now that I know how to use that tag.
For now, it's time to finish preparing for this afternoon's slightly belated birthday party.
I've been coy about the details (although I've been dropping hints at my blog), but just as Prince of Wolves was my love letter to Hammer horror pictures, Master of Devils my mash note to Kung Fu movies, and Queen of Thorns my ode to high fantasy, Lord of Runes is my love letter to everybody who ever played, ran, or contributed to Rise of the Runelords, Curse of the Crimson Throne, or Shattered Star.
Never before have I managed to cram so many Golarion Easter Eggs, including some pretty substantial characters, into a single novel.
I can't look at that quote without getting both Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" and, inexplicably, Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz" mixed up with the song from Return of the King and then the whole thing stuck in my head.
Devastation Bob: This is the first of the books released in partnership with Tor, which among other things means it's a larger, trade paperback format with the higher cover price. (Paizo Subscribers get such a deep discount that it's almost the same price as previously.)
More info on the Tor partnership here.
I wanted to give Arni a side quest in Queen of Thorns, using the fae creatures of Kyonin as something equivalent to the kami of Tian Xia. Alas, TPTB did not share my enthusiasm for an Arni mini-adventure sequel. That's not to say it can never happen, but I don't think the chances are good.
I dealt with it by incorporating the qualities of pride and guilt into his character. I didn't have to alter anything because I had it in mind when conceiving of his personality.
I actually considered the question of why BCD didn't seek out a regeneration spell. In his case, it was a matter of pride (he couldn't do it himself) and guilt (because [spoiler] died when he lost the arm).
Especially since the bigger characters in MOD were inspired by the operatic world of wuxia fiction, that was more than enough reason for me.
The only ones I've actually run are the early chapters of Runelords and Jade Regent, and I love them both. As a GM or player, Varisia is my "comfort food" location in Golarion.
I've read or skimmed many of the other APs, or at least their summaries. Curse of the Crimson Throne is my favorite that I've read but not played.
Assuming we can actually finish Runelords this year, I'm keen to try Kingmaker, Reign of Winter, dShattered Star (probably after CotCT), and Legacy of Fire.
I played an oracle in a bit of Carrion Crown and loved the atmosphere. I've skimmed the AP for references to Prince of Wolves (thanks, Wes!), but I haven't read it closely. I'd like to run it or finish playing it some day.
Liane Merciel wrote:
This changes when you have children or students.