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Managing Editor

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ulgulanoth wrote:
James, as a writer how do you go about getting inspiration for a novel?

Pacing. I stand up a lot when I write.

...

No, seriously, that's it. The thing about inspiration is that it's not this magical thing. At least not for me. We like to romanticize it as a bolt out of the blue--and I'll even do that in interviews sometimes, in order to skim past the boring parts--but the truth is that I find some tiny little seed that seems promising, and then build from there in a very logical manner. The seed can be anything: a detail in a sourcebook, a philosophical concept, an idea for a neat cinematic scene. And then I ask "who" and "why" and "how" and "so what?" until I've got a solid idea. I may take several of those nascent idea dough-balls and smash them together, then frantically spin out BS to explain the result. ("I want to write about angels and devils. I also want to write about the Caulborn. How can I do both in the same book and have it still make sense?")

In a very real sense, my novels are half me trying to talk through a philosophical argument I find interesting, and half me trying to find a plot that justifies all the neat creatures and places I want to write about. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
James, as a writer how do you go about getting inspiration for a novel?

Pacing. I stand up a lot when I write.

...

No, seriously, that's it. The thing about inspiration is that it's not this magical thing. At least not for me. We like to romanticize it as a bolt out of the blue--and I'll even do that in interviews sometimes, in order to skim past the boring parts--but the truth is that I find some tiny little seed that seems promising, and then build from there in a very logical manner. The seed can be anything: a detail in a sourcebook, a philosophical concept, an idea for a neat cinematic scene. And then I ask "who" and "why" and "how" and "so what?" until I've got a solid idea. I may take several of those nascent idea dough-balls and smash them together, then frantically spin out BS to explain the result. ("I want to write about angels and devils. I also want to write about the Caulborn. How can I do both in the same book and have it still make sense?")

In a very real sense, my novels are half me trying to talk through a philosophical argument I find interesting, and half me trying to find a plot that justifies all the neat creatures and places I want to write about. :)

I think Caitlin R. Kiernan in the back of Alabaster: Pale Horse (a very good series, highly recommended) says it best, "I don't find ideas. They find me."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

1) are there Androids on Aballon or Verces?
2) what about the robots from inner sea bestiary?

Managing Editor

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captain yesterday wrote:

1) are there Androids on Aballon or Verces?

2) what about the robots from inner sea bestiary?

1) Currently unknown!

2) Yes and no. There are definitely creatures with the robot subtype on those worlds, but probably not the specific robots from Inner Sea Bestiary (as those are tied closely to the specific ship that crashed in Numeria). That said, those specific robots are likely really useful in simulating the wide variety of robots out there!


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Hi James,

I have a question about the name of Kaer Maga, the "Asylum Stone". Is the asylum in this phrase meant more like political asylum/sanctuary, or more like an insane asylum?

Managing Editor

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Zaister wrote:

Hi James,

I have a question about the name of Kaer Maga, the "Asylum Stone". Is the asylum in this phrase meant more like political asylum/sanctuary, or more like an insane asylum?

The former! It's a refuge for all those folks who (for reasons bad or good) don't fit into the societies they came from. Which, to me, is its biggest charm, even if the place isn't warm and welcoming in the conventional sense. :)


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Zaister wrote:

Hi James,

I have a question about the name of Kaer Maga, the "Asylum Stone". Is the asylum in this phrase meant more like political asylum/sanctuary, or more like an insane asylum?

The former! It's a refuge for all those folks who (for reasons bad or good) don't fit into the societies they came from. Which, to me, is its biggest charm, even if the place isn't warm and welcoming in the conventional sense. :)

Thanks! I thought that's what it was, but I wanted do make sure. :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Need more Eldest.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Does a character who's a member of a particular organization NEED to have levels in the Prestige Class associated with it, or can they get away with it through roleplay, like, say, a cleric of Iomedae who wants to be a Knight of Ozem but doesn't take levels in the actual Knight of Ozem prestige class because they don't want to lose spellcasting progression, or a Pathfinder that doesn't take levels in the Pathfinder Chronicler, Delver, Field Agent or Savant prestige classes because they're interested in a different prestige class like Arcane Archer or something?

It just feels to me like the minute an organization gets an official Prestige Class for it, you can't be a REAL member of that organization in-game without taking levels in it, that without the Prestige Class to PROVE you're in the organization, all you have is your say-so, and that negates the idea that it takes effort to join these organizations.

Managing Editor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Justin Sluder wrote:
Need more Eldest.

On it.

Managing Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Does a character who's a member of a particular organization NEED to have levels in the Prestige Class associated with it, or can they get away with it through roleplay, like, say, a cleric of Iomedae who wants to be a Knight of Ozem but doesn't take levels in the actual Knight of Ozem prestige class because they don't want to lose spellcasting progression, or a Pathfinder that doesn't take levels in the Pathfinder Chronicler, Delver, Field Agent or Savant prestige classes because they're interested in a different prestige class like Arcane Archer or something?

It just feels to me like the minute an organization gets an official Prestige Class for it, you can't be a REAL member of that organization in-game without taking levels in it, that without the Prestige Class to PROVE you're in the organization, all you have is your say-so, and that negates the idea that it takes effort to join these organizations.

This is always my fear with presenting prestige classes for use with in-world organizations! So let me clarify once and for all by saying that you DO NOT, IN ANY WAY, NEED TO TAKE THE PRESTIGE CLASS OF THE SAME NAME TO BE PART OF AN ORGANIZATION. Many Knights of Ozem are just normal paladins, etc.

Good question!

Shadow Lodge

What do you recommend as a good novel to start with for someone new to the Pathfinder Tales books?


oh my goodness, just finished the redemention engine, great read, i think you surpassed your previous effort. Arathuziel, seriously needs his own novel, espically an origin story. great job, can't wait for the next one.

Managing Editor

ikarinokami wrote:
oh my goodness, just finished the redemention engine, great read, i think you surpassed your previous effort. Arathuziel, seriously needs his own novel, espically an origin story. great job, can't wait for the next one.

Thank you so much! And I'm glad you liked Arathuziel--his chapter was probably the fastest one in the whole book in terms of my writing time. As soon as he started talking, the whole story just poured out. Always a good sign. :)

Managing Editor

Orthos wrote:
What do you recommend as a good novel to start with for someone new to the Pathfinder Tales books?

It really depends what you like! If you're into planar stuff, I'd recommend Death's Heretic or The Redemption Engine (by me!). If you like smart-ass tieflings and aristocratic detectives, I'd recommend Prince of Wolves. Liar's Blade is a fun "crook and his talking sword" story. Nightglass is creepy Harry Potter, Pirate's Honor is pirates (duh!), and Plague of Shadows is your classic adventuring party--the list goes on and on, and all are great places to start!

(Which probably means someone else should make the recommendation. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Justin Sluder wrote:
Need more Eldest.
On it.

when?

Managing Editor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Justin Sluder wrote:
Need more Eldest.
On it.
when?

As soon as it's done. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

fair enough:) what is your favorite non core race to play as?

Managing Editor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
fair enough:) what is your favorite non core race to play as?

That's a tough one! I'm really fond of tengu--I'm currently playing one named Artemis Kraugh--but Associate Editor Judy Bauer's grippli Chitl the Amazing! \o/ (you have to punctuate it by throwing your arms in the air) cracks me up every time. :)

I really enjoy races and characters that lend themselves to the absurd!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Orthos wrote:
What do you recommend as a good novel to start with for someone new to the Pathfinder Tales books?

It really depends what you like! If you're into planar stuff, I'd recommend Death's Heretic or The Redemption Engine (by me!). If you like smart-ass tieflings and aristocratic detectives, I'd recommend Prince of Wolves. Liar's Blade is a fun "crook and his talking sword" story. Nightglass is creepy Harry Potter, Pirate's Honor is pirates (duh!), and Plague of Shadows is your classic adventuring party--the list goes on and on, and all are great places to start!

(Which probably means someone else should make the recommendation. :)

I really enjoyed The Worldwound Gambit.

Which raises a question...

Spoilers for Worldwound Gambit and Wrath of the Righteous AP:

The demon/location Yath was the main plot-point of the novel. The events of that novel then got codified in the Campaign Setting The Worldwound as the location "The Yathscar." I believe that there was a reference to the Yathscar in the events of the AP (although I may be mistaken-- I read the AP and the Campaign Setting in rapid succession.)

Did the Yathscar come first, and then the idea for the novel? Or, was the novel just so awesome that its events had to be included in the Worldwound campaign setting? (I'll note that Yathscar did not appear in the ISWG Worldwound article.)

A follow-up question is how often events in the Pathfinder Tales line influnce/get written into the other product lines?


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Would you like to play as a dragon. I know I sure would

Managing Editor

Haladir wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Orthos wrote:
What do you recommend as a good novel to start with for someone new to the Pathfinder Tales books?

It really depends what you like! If you're into planar stuff, I'd recommend Death's Heretic or The Redemption Engine (by me!). If you like smart-ass tieflings and aristocratic detectives, I'd recommend Prince of Wolves. Liar's Blade is a fun "crook and his talking sword" story. Nightglass is creepy Harry Potter, Pirate's Honor is pirates (duh!), and Plague of Shadows is your classic adventuring party--the list goes on and on, and all are great places to start!

(Which probably means someone else should make the recommendation. :)

I really enjoyed The Worldwound Gambit.

Which raises a question...

** spoiler omitted **

A follow-up question is how often events in the Pathfinder Tales line influnce/get written into the other product lines?

In a non-spoilery answer to your spoiler question: yes, the events of the Worldwound Gambit were cool enough that we decided to incorporate them into the Worldwound source material. :)

For your more general question: The Pathfinder Tales books influence the other product lines quite a bit! In our minds, they're just as canon as a Campaign Setting book, simply with a different presentation (narrative vs. game material). That said, the reason you don't always see novel stuff immediately incorporated into the other lines is the same reason you don't always see the events of the Adventure Paths reflected: we try to stay flexible about the timing of things. Just as we like to assume that no AP has happened until *your* group has played through it, we also try to keep the novels fresh and current by not specifying exactly when they happen. (There are exceptions on both sides, of course, like Shattered Star or King of Chaos.) But yeah--the back-and-forth between the novels and the other product lines is constant, and a big part of my job!

Managing Editor

Catalina Shadows wrote:
Would you like to play as a dragon. I know I sure would

You know, I've never felt a strong urge to play as a dragon, but I can see why other people would want to. Maybe if I could play as a faerie dragon or pseudodragon! I'd usually rather be the weak, goofy sidekick than the tank... :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Catalina Shadows wrote:
Would you like to play as a dragon. I know I sure would
You know, I've never felt a strong urge to play as a dragon, but I can see why other people would want to. Maybe if I could play as a faerie dragon or pseudodragon! I'd usually rather be the weak, goofy sidekick than the tank... :)

If my group hadn't of had bad experiences with a faerie dragon in the past, I would invite you to join my every-other Sunday game in Bonney Lake. But....*shrug*


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Oh i got a good one!
i will spoiler it for it concerns Viveka from Frozen Stars

:
in the adventure she offers to make the PCs snacks, it says it could taste wonderful, horrible or bland? so do you have an example of each?
i have plenty of time so no hurry answering:) also i would've posted it in the GM threads but i thought i'd go to the Triaxian Expert:) also would you know if that kind of stuff will be in the upcoming People of the Stars?

finally thanks for answering my daughter's question (she is catalina shadows) it really meant a lot to her:)


James, what would you think about Shoanti having Scottish accents?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Not enought haar on the Storval Plateau.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Sutter wrote:
Orthos wrote:
What do you recommend as a good novel to start with for someone new to the Pathfinder Tales books?

It really depends what you like! If you're into planar stuff, I'd recommend Death's Heretic or The Redemption Engine (by me!). If you like smart-ass tieflings and aristocratic detectives, I'd recommend Prince of Wolves. Liar's Blade is a fun "crook and his talking sword" story. Nightglass is creepy Harry Potter, Pirate's Honor is pirates (duh!), and Plague of Shadows is your classic adventuring party--the list goes on and on, and all are great places to start!

(Which probably means someone else should make the recommendation. :)

Well I just bought all of the Jeggare and Radovan books, Death's Heretic, Redemption Engine, and Crusader's Road (5 stars on 6 reviews slipped it in on me!). Here goes nothing!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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Orthos wrote:
Well I just bought all of the Jeggare and Radovan books, Death's Heretic, Redemption Engine, and Crusader's Road (5 stars on 6 reviews slipped it in on me!). Here goes nothing!

Money well spent. I've kept up with all the Pathfinder Tales fiction so far, and those particular books are among the very best they've done. You should also check out Pirate's Honor, Plague of Shadows, and Blood of the City.

Shadow Lodge

Maybe after next payday! That was $40 to Paizo on its own =)

Shadow Lodge

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Okay. "This orange has offended me!", the adorable arbiter, and Muffin Hat have put Death's Heretic up in the same "hilarious moments" bracket as things like the turkey drop in Dresden Files.


James, do you think we will have a novel with a ghoran character one day?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

What, in your mind, would the Sarkorian "deity" Sturovenen the Dragoneagle and his "dawn-feathered" children summoned by the Neverhome god-callers look like?

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Why did I not start reading Dave Gross's stuff sooner?

Managing Editor

captain yesterday wrote:

Oh i got a good one!

i will spoiler it for it concerns Viveka from Frozen Stars
** spoiler omitted ** i have plenty of time so no hurry answering:) also i would've posted it in the GM threads but i thought i'd go to the Triaxian Expert:) also would you know if that kind of stuff will be in the upcoming People of the Stars?

finally thanks for answering my daughter's question (she is catalina shadows) it really meant a lot to her:)

My pleasure! And while I may be the Triaxus expert, Rob McCreary is Grand High Poobah of that adventure path, so the question of snacks is all him. :)

Managing Editor

Orthos wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Orthos wrote:
What do you recommend as a good novel to start with for someone new to the Pathfinder Tales books?

It really depends what you like! If you're into planar stuff, I'd recommend Death's Heretic or The Redemption Engine (by me!). If you like smart-ass tieflings and aristocratic detectives, I'd recommend Prince of Wolves. Liar's Blade is a fun "crook and his talking sword" story. Nightglass is creepy Harry Potter, Pirate's Honor is pirates (duh!), and Plague of Shadows is your classic adventuring party--the list goes on and on, and all are great places to start!

(Which probably means someone else should make the recommendation. :)

Well I just bought all of the Jeggare and Radovan books, Death's Heretic, Redemption Engine, and Crusader's Road (5 stars on 6 reviews slipped it in on me!). Here goes nothing!

Thank you! I hope you like them! :)

Shadow Lodge

James Sutter wrote:
Orthos wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Orthos wrote:
What do you recommend as a good novel to start with for someone new to the Pathfinder Tales books?

It really depends what you like! If you're into planar stuff, I'd recommend Death's Heretic or The Redemption Engine (by me!). If you like smart-ass tieflings and aristocratic detectives, I'd recommend Prince of Wolves. Liar's Blade is a fun "crook and his talking sword" story. Nightglass is creepy Harry Potter, Pirate's Honor is pirates (duh!), and Plague of Shadows is your classic adventuring party--the list goes on and on, and all are great places to start!

(Which probably means someone else should make the recommendation. :)

Well I just bought all of the Jeggare and Radovan books, Death's Heretic, Redemption Engine, and Crusader's Road (5 stars on 6 reviews slipped it in on me!). Here goes nothing!
Thank you! I hope you like them! :)

I did =) Reviews are up on both of yours, I'm only about a third of the way through Dave Gross's stuff.

Managing Editor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Orthos wrote:
Okay. "This orange has offended me!", the adorable arbiter, and Muffin Hat have put Death's Heretic up in the same "hilarious moments" bracket as things like the turkey drop in Dresden Files.

Yay, thank you! Also, Muffin Hat wasn't even in the book's outline--I was just writing away one morning, and suddenly he popped up and everything went off the rails for a few pages. Afterward, I was wondering if he was too silly, but he made me so happy I decided to leave him in. :)

Managing Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
ikarinokami wrote:
James, do you think we will have a novel with a ghoran character one day?

Those are Erik's babies, so I'd say it's highly likely... once he gets around to finishing his novel. :)

Managing Editor

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What, in your mind, would the Sarkorian "deity" Sturovenen the Dragoneagle and his "dawn-feathered" children summoned by the Neverhome god-callers look like?

Hmm... I'm thinking feathered dragon with red-orange plumage, but I'd have to go look at the source material!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

That's just it, the books that mention them (Lost Kingdoms, Inner Sea NPC Guide and Inner Sea Gods) don't offer descriptions. Just the name.


James Sutter wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
James, do you think we will have a novel with a ghoran character one day?
Those are Erik's babies, so I'd say it's highly likely... once he gets around to finishing his novel. :)

it seems that someone needs to pry Ghorans from Erik's cold dead hands, and we nominate you.

Managing Editor

Just found out that both THE REDEMPTION ENGINE and DEATH'S HERETIC are getting close to selling out. So if you like paper books, you should get your copies now!

Thanks to everybody who's picked them up!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:

Just found out that both THE REDEMPTION ENGINE and DEATH'S HERETIC are getting close to selling out. So if you like paper books, you should get your copies now!

Thanks to everybody who's picked them up!

Does this mean there's a chance for a collected, illustrated Salim hardcover?

Managing Editor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Just found out that both THE REDEMPTION ENGINE and DEATH'S HERETIC are getting close to selling out. So if you like paper books, you should get your copies now!

Thanks to everybody who's picked them up!

Does this mean there's a chance for a collected, illustrated Salim hardcover?

Ha! That would be lovely, but I think a proper omnibus would require THREE Salim novels... ;)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Rysky wrote:
James Sutter wrote:

Just found out that both THE REDEMPTION ENGINE and DEATH'S HERETIC are getting close to selling out. So if you like paper books, you should get your copies now!

Thanks to everybody who's picked them up!

Does this mean there's a chance for a collected, illustrated Salim hardcover?
Ha! That would be lovely, but I think a proper omnibus would require THREE Salim novels... ;)

Oh whoa is me, if only we had someone to write said "hypothetical" third novel. Preferably the same person who wrote the first two. Whatever shall we do?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What are the chances of a Tales novel with a bugbear as the main character?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is it safe to assume that the same requirements for Tales writing for newer authors also applies to the webfiction? I.E. the 'having been previously published' caveat?

Managing Editor

Justin Sluder wrote:
What are the chances of a Tales novel with a bugbear as the main character?

Fairly low in the near future, I'm afraid. There are a lot of other popular races to get through first!

Managing Editor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alayern wrote:
Is it safe to assume that the same requirements for Tales writing for newer authors also applies to the webfiction? I.E. the 'having been previously published' caveat?

At the moment, yes. But if you don't want to wait until you've published elsewhere, there's always Wayfinder and Pathfinder Chronicler, both of which are awesome fanfic communities!

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