What is the best way to begin writing for Starfinder Society?


Advice


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I currently just finished writing an adventure for Starfinder and had a fantastic time telling a story set in the Pact Worlds. I would really like to write for Starfinder Society, unfortunately I have only written narrative fiction before and not RPG material. I am looking for advice about best places to break into this field. Paizo’s website suggests to either begin writing for a 3rd party publisher that publishes compatible products or to self-publish with their Compatibility License. Does anyone have advice on the best way to begin writing for Starfinder Society? Or experience with either of the options presented by Paizo?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I have yet to get assigned a Starfinder Society scenario, but I have fairly recently broken into writing for RPGs, including Paizo.

So, let's get started with this. Here are your first steps:

1) Join Freelance Forge.

Why? It's a great way to network with other writers, and learn about open calls. It's also a great place to get advice and learn that you aren't alone. You can meet some of the star freelancers like Mike Kimmel and Kate Baker, who are wonderful and helpful people.

2) Get Business Cards.

Your business card should be reflective of you, but not too cutesy. If you have a cool real world profession or skill that might be of interest to game writers, mention that. If you have sold narrative fiction, maybe mention that too.

My business card is pretty simple. It mentions that I'm a writer, a librarian, and a martial artist. The 'martial artist' is there because I like talking about aikido, and it's a great conversation starter. I don't mention that I'm a Venture Captain for Organized Play, but that's because most of Paizo is aware of that, since I'm a fairly visible venture officer on the Paizo boards. I do think that being an officer in Organized Play can be a selling point as well, since they know that you are passionate about games.

Have white space on the back where people can take notes.

3) Start writing for third party publishers.

My first sale was to Alex Augunas's Everyman Gaming. I wrote up this cute little race: Xaursi. Alex's line includes Startfinder material, and he's always looking for new writers. The pay isn't great starting out, but it was a good learning experience, and it gave me a chance to work with Owen KC Stephens, whose gaming company, Rogue Genius Games, distributes Alex's products.

After writing for Alex, I went to GenCon where I met a ton of Starfinder developers and passed out my card. When asked, "Can you write up a monster?" I pointed right at this publishing credit, and I got a chance to write something for Paizo. It's been a fun ride so far, and I've gotten to write several things now for a game that I love.

4) If you are in the US, start going to conventions.

For Starfinder Society, I recommend Paizo Con, Origins, GenCon and SkalCon as great places to start. Introduce yourself to Starfinder developers, and to John Compton and Thurston Hillman. Tell them that you want to write adventures. Don't beat around the bush, like I did at the beginning. I hinted about how much I would love to write an adventure, not wanting to be too pushy. My friend Nate just went up Thursty and asked, "When can I write for you?" He got the opportunity to write a quest shortly thereafter. From that I learned that it is okay to be bold and self-confident.

Be polite, friendly and forthright. If you're lucky, they might give you a quest to start, where you can show that you can write to a deadline and put together a great little story in a short little space.

5) When Wayfinder opens up again, write for them!

Yes, it's free. But it's widely read by the Paizo Developer team, and it can be a great place to have a writing sample to show off.

Good Luck.

Here's hoping that we both manage to write a Starfinder Society adventure soon.

Hmm


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That is awesome advice! Thank you very much!
Best of luck to you as well.


whens wayfinder open up?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Most likely in May.

Here's what the Call for Wayfinder 19 Submissions looked like. That issue of Wayfinder will come out at PaizoCon, so you'll be able to download it this May. I have 2 poems, and a couple of articles in there. My favorite was the one I wrote on Shirren Option Bars called, "Ollie's Option Bar".

I can't wait to show it off!

Hmm

Contributor

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So Hilary has excellent advice! I can only add a couple of minor comments.

To give you a sense of my own path to writing a Starfinder Society scenario, I wrote for third-party publishers for about a year and a half before getting my first Paizo gig. I completed two Pathfinder assignments (new poisons for Potions & Poisons and the Porthmos Club for Inner Sea Taverns) before Starfinder came out, and then after running Starfinder demos at GenCon 2017, I got an assignment for Starfinder Armory and the assignment for 1-08: Sanctuary of Drowned Delight.

Scenarios are pretty long (10,000-12,000 words), and I think it's pretty rare for a new writer to get a full scenario as their first assignment. The Quests are one way that people can break in, as Hilary said. Each writer gets one short (I think 2,000 word) adventure that can run in about an hour. That's a great avenue, but it's also limited to a few people each year. I would definitely recommend looking into work on other Starfinder product lines as well, since a lot of folks get their start with something like an alien for AP backmatter.

One last suggestion since you want to write for Society specifically: play and GM some Society scenarios. It's not necessary to have four Novas or anything, but it's good to demonstrate that you have a feel for how Society adventures flow and some of the norms of how they run. Even if you don't have a local scene, there are very active Virtual Tabletop and Play-by-Post Lodges where you can still get some games in.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Huzzah for Play-by-Post, the most accessible region ever!

Hmm


The starfinder nexus
Cosmic crit

discords both have very active groups

how to roll 20 the most common virtual table top there.


Hmm wrote:

Most likely in May.

Here's what the Call for Wayfinder 19 Submissions looked like. That issue of Wayfinder will come out at PaizoCon, so you'll be able to download it this May. I have 2 poems, and a couple of articles in there. My favorite was the one I wrote on Shirren Option Bars called, "Ollie's Option Bar".

I can't wait to show it off!

Hmm

The Wayfinder project seems like it would have been a lot of fun. I am already inspired by all of the different categories available for submission. I can't wait to check out the finished product in May. I hope they do another Starfinder edition in the near future.

Kate Baker wrote:
So Hilary has excellent advice! I can only add a couple of minor comments.

Thank you for your additional comments and sharing your experience. I will definitely look into everything that both you and Hilary have suggested.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I look forward to meeting you in Freelance Forge. Kate pointed me there, and I've found it very useful even if I only check in a couple times a week!

Hmm

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Wayfinder 20 is now taking submissions!

The theme is Diaspora!

Hmm

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