Edition Change Anxiety and Other Stuff?


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

Personally, I'd love to have someone with your level of immersion in my campaigns as I can't even get my wife and kids to look at the player's guide, but for most people GMing it's a big turnoff.

But, I'm guessing you don't live close to me and I can't do PbP for reasons I'd rather not say and you don't want to hear.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

When I GM, I want some level of backstory and commitment to the campaign set-up. (i.e. "please read the Players Guide and make a character that's appropriate.")

But if I get a five-page backstory detailing a lifetime's worth of interaction with various bits-and-pieces of established canon from published Campaign Setting materials (some of which I probably haven't read), that tells me that the player expects me to provide a similar level of deep canon storytelling. And I'm not willing or able to hew that closely to canon.

So... yes: A long and involved PC backstory that's essentially a piece of Golarion fanfiction by someone who's taken a literary eye to everything Paizo has previously published would likely cause me to reject the character submission in an open PbP recruitment.

Now, that's just me. Your miles may vary with other GMs.

And I'm not going to be running any PbPs here in the foreseeable future.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Haladir wrote:
When I GM, I want some level of backstory and commitment to the campaign set-up. (i.e. "please read the Players Guide and make a character that's appropriate.")

But, how much is good? How much is too much?


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

Start with a sentence or two and build from there, it's incredibly liberating.

Said the guy that used to write elaborate backstories complete with family trees.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Haladir wrote:
So... yes: A long and involved PC backstory that's essentially a piece of Golarion fanfiction by someone who's taken a literary eye to everything Paizo has previously published would likely cause me to reject the character submission in an open PbP recruitment.

Same here. I want my players to give me hooks such that I can fill in the gaps. If their entire backstory is already filled in there is no room for me to insert things pertinent to the adventure.

Tell me that your younger sibling went missing when you were young, not that their name was Keith and they went missing on the 12th of Abadar 12 years ago between midnight and 1 am and the last person to see them was the one-legged town drunk when the moon was full.

Silver Crusade

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

And now I'm in that two-trains-of-thought mode again.

Rationally, what you're saying makes sense and is correct, and you are genuinely trying to help.

Irrationally, my brain is going "what they're saying is that you're a pretentious snob who takes the game way too seriously and treats it more like a chance to show off your English Major prowess to others."

It's getting to the point where I can't decide what to play in the Pathfinder: Kingmaker COMPUTER GAME because I can't figure out what ancestry/class combo would integrate most smoothly into Owlcat's game to create the most perfect narrative experience! WTF?!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Rationally, what you're saying makes sense and is correct, and you are genuinely trying to help.

Irrationally, my brain is going "what they're saying is that you're a pretentious snob who takes the game way too seriously and treats it more like a chance to show off your English Major prowess to others."

Do you realize that those are not actually exclusive? :D


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

I'm absolutely positive that's NOT what they're saying (and certainly not what I'm saying).

As Liz Courts said some years ago "I ALWAYS read every post in the most positive way until someone shows me differently" or something like that.

The point is, we're all gamers here and most people aren't here to attack you so you shouldn't read it like that.

Silver Crusade

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

Indeed, and it's not me READING it that causes that. I know and appreciate your actual intentions. My own various insecurities is where that other stuff comes from. "The calls are coming from inside the house" and all that. Again, RATIONALLY I know no one is holding me to these unreasonable standards but myself, but I feel like abandoning those standards means I have no genuine understanding of what's "good" or what I actually enjoy.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Indeed, and it's not me READING it that causes that. I know and appreciate your actual intentions. My own various insecurities is where that other stuff comes from. "The calls are coming from inside the house" and all that. Again, RATIONALLY I know no one is holding me to these unreasonable standards but myself, but I feel like abandoning those standards means I have no genuine understanding of what's "good" or what I actually enjoy.

Actually, does Paizo have any actual guidelines/requirements for Fan-Fiction?

You should consider writing some :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Indeed, and it's not me READING it that causes that. I know and appreciate your actual intentions. My own various insecurities is where that other stuff comes from. "The calls are coming from inside the house" and all that. Again, RATIONALLY I know no one is holding me to these unreasonable standards but myself, but I feel like abandoning those standards means I have no genuine understanding of what's "good" or what I actually enjoy.

I just want to tell you that I LOVE how thoroughly invested you are in the campaign world. Your deep appreciation of the setting clearly comes from a place of joy, where you can fit all the disparate pieces together like a puzzle.

Keep in mind that, in general, strengths become weaknesses when pushed too far.

And I really do think your approach would work better for writing in-world fiction than for RPG characters. Honestly, I'd love to read what you would come up with!

Have you thought of submitting Golarion fiction to Paizo Fans United, for possible publication in Wayfinder or Pathfinder Chronicler?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Have you thought about writing for the setting? The Lost Omens World Guide series edited by Luis and Eleanor is taking freelance writers. Sometimes, they even take on new writers for small pieces to try them out.

If you've ever thought about writing for Paizo or other RPGs, consider joining Freelance Forge. It's a networking site with a small community of RPG freelancers, and we're good about answering the questions of newcomers.

I started my freelance journey May of 2018. My first sale to a third party publisher was for ten bucks. But then I started writing to Paizo editors asking them if they had work. I got on one project, and then more. If you have this much knowledge and commitment to the setting, you would probably be a great asset as a freelancer.

Think about it.

Hmm

PS Also submit to Wayfinder! The current theme for Wayfinder 20 is the Diaspora from Starfinder, but maybe you could write about an asteroid that retained an outpost of culture from old Golarian? Perhaps a colony or something?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Haladir wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Indeed, and it's not me READING it that causes that. I know and appreciate your actual intentions. My own various insecurities is where that other stuff comes from. "The calls are coming from inside the house" and all that. Again, RATIONALLY I know no one is holding me to these unreasonable standards but myself, but I feel like abandoning those standards means I have no genuine understanding of what's "good" or what I actually enjoy.

I just want to tell you that I LOVE how thoroughly invested you are in the campaign world. Your deep appreciation of the setting clearly comes from a place of joy, where you can fit all the disparate pieces together like a puzzle.

Keep in mind that, in general, strengths become weaknesses when pushed too far.

And I really do think your approach would work better for writing in-world fiction than for RPG characters. Honestly, I'd love to read what you would come up with!

Have you thought of submitting Golarion fiction to Paizo Fans United, for possible publication in Wayfinder or Pathfinder Chronicler?

Thank you for the kind words. I've thought about fanfiction in the past, even tried my hand at it back in 4e D&D and...I have mixed feelings. While I do see its benefits as a transformative art and how people outside the norm can take things and create awesome representation where there was none before, to say nothing of the fact that, as you, Lord Fyre and Hmm have suggested, it's a great way to introduce yourself to try and step into the big leagues...there's also the likes of Erika Leonard (better known as E.L. James) and Judith Lewis (better known as Cassandra Clare), whose terrible fanfics became terrible books and then terrible movies, to say nothing of the CREEPAZOIDS out there who use fanfic as an outlet for fantasies that are...problematic...to put it lightly. Plus, does Golarion REALLY need another white dude telling stories in it?

That's why I've been reticent regarding your well-thought-out and reasonable suggestion to pursue it as a solution.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Thank you for the kind words. I've thought about fanfiction in the past, even tried my hand at it back in 4e D&D and...I have mixed feelings. While I do see its benefits as a transformative art and how people outside the norm can take things and create awesome representation where there was none before, to say nothing of the fact that, as you, Lord Fyre and Hmm have suggested, it's a great way to introduce yourself to try and step into the big leagues...there's also the likes of Erika Leonard (better known as E.L. James) and Judith Lewis (better known as Cassandra Clare), whose terrible fanfics became terrible books and then terrible movies,

But, they got paid for them. :)

Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Plus, does Golarion REALLY need another white dude telling stories in it?

Yes.

Just because we are white dudes, doesn't mean we need to be silent. That would be reverse racism. What does race or gender have to do with it?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Haladir wrote:
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Indeed, and it's not me READING it that causes that. I know and appreciate your actual intentions. My own various insecurities is where that other stuff comes from. "The calls are coming from inside the house" and all that. Again, RATIONALLY I know no one is holding me to these unreasonable standards but myself, but I feel like abandoning those standards means I have no genuine understanding of what's "good" or what I actually enjoy.

I just want to tell you that I LOVE how thoroughly invested you are in the campaign world. Your deep appreciation of the setting clearly comes from a place of joy, where you can fit all the disparate pieces together like a puzzle.

Keep in mind that, in general, strengths become weaknesses when pushed too far.

And I really do think your approach would work better for writing in-world fiction than for RPG characters. Honestly, I'd love to read what you would come up with!

Have you thought of submitting Golarion fiction to Paizo Fans United, for possible publication in Wayfinder or Pathfinder Chronicler?

Thank you for the kind words. I've thought about fanfiction in the past, even tried my hand at it back in 4e D&D and...I have mixed feelings. While I do see its benefits as a transformative art and how people outside the norm can take things and create awesome representation where there was none before, to say nothing of the fact that, as you, Lord Fyre and Hmm have suggested, it's a great way to introduce yourself to try and step into the big leagues...there's also the likes of Erika Leonard (better known as E.L. James) and Judith Lewis (better known as Cassandra Clare), whose terrible fanfics became terrible books and then terrible movies, to say nothing of the CREEPAZOIDS out there who use fanfic as an outlet for fantasies that are...problematic...to put it lightly. Plus, does Golarion REALLY need another white dude telling stories in it?

That's why I've been reticent regarding...

This is an easy fix, just ask yourself when you're writing "Would E.L. James write this?" If they would don't write it.

I certainly don't see myself as "Another white dude" why would you?.

You seriously need to stop talking yourself out of doing everything and just give it a try.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
That's why I've been reticent regarding your well-thought-out and reasonable suggestion to pursue it as a solution.

I wonder if it'd be useful to just do something way outside your norm (like make a PC totally unconnected to an AP, write some fan fiction, game in a setting other than Golarion...) just to see what happens.

If you go in not looking for "a solution" but just to try something new, you may find that you discover another way or that you rediscover what you like about the current state of affairs or whatever.

Maybe in trying to think it out you're trapping yourself with a refusal to accept anything less than some elusive "perfect solution". (I mean don't do anything you don't want to do, but there's nothing wrong with trying something even if you're skeptical of how it's going to turn out).

Speaking personally, some of my fondest gaming moments came from playing "games I don't like" or genres I was expecting to leave me cold. Perhaps a break from the usual will help.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:


Thank you for the kind words. I've thought about fanfiction in the past, even tried my hand at it back in 4e D&D and...I have mixed feelings. While I do see its benefits as a transformative art and how people outside the norm can take things and create awesome representation where there was none before, to say nothing of the fact that, as you, Lord Fyre and Hmm have suggested, it's a great way to introduce yourself to try and step into the big leagues...there's also the likes of Erika Leonard (better known as E.L. James) and Judith Lewis (better known as Cassandra Clare), whose terrible fanfics became terrible books and then terrible movies, to say nothing of the CREEPAZOIDS out there who use fanfic as an outlet for fantasies that are...problematic...to put it lightly. Plus, does Golarion REALLY need another white dude telling stories in it?

That's why I've been reticent regarding your well-thought-out and reasonable suggestion to pursue it as a solution.

Don't hesitate to create something just because others have made problematic things in the same creative space.

I mean... if people stopped making movies because Ed Wood/Roger Corman/Uwe Boll made terrible films, all we'd have to watch would be Bride of the Monster / The Man With The X-Ray Eyes / Bloodrayne.

Many, many contemporary novelists cut their chops writing fanfiction. It's a good way to hone your craft!

And, speaking as an old white dude, while it's unfair, being a white dude is an asset in most creative spaces: Far more people will cut you far more slack than if you were non-white or a non-dude.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
This is an easy fix, just ask yourself when you're writing "Would E.L. James write this?" If they would don't write it.

Sounds simple enough. I know to at least LISTEN to people when they suggest changes to a work. I DID watch Folding Ideas' over-three-hour dissection of the movie trilogy and it does a pretty clear job of showing where things were made at least tolerable (mostly by changing from the source material, which E.L. James HATED).

Quote:
I certainly don't see myself as "Another white dude" why would you?.

Basically for the reason Haladir elaborated on here:

Quote:
And, speaking as an old white dude, while it's unfair, being a white dude is an asset in most creative spaces: Far more people will cut you far more slack than if you were non-white or a non-dude.

The perspective I come from thoroughly saturates the environment. It doesn't provide anything NEW like what folks like N. K. Jemisin, or Jessica Price, or Crystal Frasier, or Isabelle Lee are doing. It doesn't need another Jim Butcher, or J.R.R. Tolkien, or Terry Pratchett, or Robert Jordan, and ESPECIALLY not another H.P. Lovecraft or J.K. Rowling. The moral thing to do is step aside and give more marginalized voices a chance to speak, at least if I don't want to be a hypocrite.

Quote:
You seriously need to stop talking yourself out of doing everything and just give it a try.

You're right again. There's a LOT of things I should be trying that I keep talking myself out of, mostly by telling myself OTHER things should be taking priority. Whether it's trying to get a consistent sleep schedule, eat smaller portions, stay calm in tense work situations, actually play some of the over 60 games in my Steam Library or binge-watch that show my brother told me I should watch, or just keep up with the play-by-posts I'm still in here. That's probably what keeps me from trying stuff in the first place most often: me getting worried about the time-investment to see it through to completion and hesitating to even get started.

Steve Geddes wrote:

I wonder if it'd be useful to just do something way outside your norm (like make a PC totally unconnected to an AP, write some fan fiction, game in a setting other than Golarion...) just to see what happens.

If you go in not looking for "a solution" but just to try something new, you may find that you discover another way or that you rediscover what you like about the current state of affairs or whatever.

Maybe in trying to think it out you're trapping yourself with a refusal to accept anything less than some elusive "perfect solution". (I mean don't do anything you don't want to do, but there's nothing wrong with trying something even if you're skeptical of how it's going to turn out).

Speaking personally, some of my fondest gaming moments came from playing "games I don't like" or genres I was expecting to leave me cold. Perhaps a break from the usual will help.

I've actually been trying that lately. On the Discord server my friend runs they aren't playing ANY d20-based stuff. The only two games currently running are a Legend of the Five Rings campaign and a Genesys game in the Android: Shadow of the Beanstalk cyberpunk setting, as well as a Pathfinder game on these forums that has NOTHING to do with an AP, a murder-mystery-conspiracy-thriller set in Alkenstar that's just starting to take off.

I'd LOVE to play something where I don't have to worry about trying to fit square character pegs into round narrative holes, I can just make a character that I actually WANT to play and play it. Part of the whole "I HAVE TO MAKE THIS CHARACTER FIT THE NARRATIVE PERFECTLY!" schtick is so I can have characters prepared in advance for recruitments that I can post as soon as they're up so I'm one of the first ones to get my foot in the door and can play what I actually WANT to play as instead of needing to play something I DON'T want to play to fill a party niche there haven't been as many applicants in to just have a chance of getting IN.

Haladir wrote:

Don't hesitate to create something just because others have made problematic things in the same creative space.

I mean... if people stopped making movies because Ed Wood/Roger Corman/Uwe Boll made terrible films, all we'd have to watch would be Bride of the Monster / The Man With The X-Ray Eyes / Bloodrayne.

I can't argue with that.

Quote:
Many, many contemporary novelists cut their chops writing fanfiction. It's a good way to hone your craft!

It is, yes. One thing that's always stuck with me was when I took a Creative Writing Fiction course in college. Our focus was on "realistic" short stories, and I basically made a deal with the professor that I'd at least be able to write ONE fantasy-related piece. He said it was clear from reading it that I was a lot more comfortable writing in that genre than I'd been in any of my previous short stories, which all felt stilted and artificial.

Paizo Employee Developer

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I think if you were really interested in writing about Golarion, you should give it a try! As HMM mentioned, Freelance Forge and Wayfinder are great places to start out. It's always great to see people who are passionate about Pathfinder or Golarion take interest in writing because it's this passion that tells us you have a good grasp of the game and setting. It's very easy to psyche yourself out about these things, so don't feel pressured, but I think both your credentials and the fact that you take such consideration about everything shows great promise.

If you do end up trying to do some freelance writing, feel free to reach out to me once you have something to show for it (an article in Wayfinder, a blog, 3PP work, etc.). I'm always happy to look at writing samples to see if you'd be a good fit for a project! :)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quote:
The perspective I come from thoroughly saturates the environment. It doesn't provide anything NEW like what folks like N. K. Jemisin, or Jessica Price, or Crystal Frasier, or Isabelle Lee are doing. It doesn't need another Jim Butcher, or J.R.R. Tolkien, or Terry Pratchett, or Robert Jordan, and ESPECIALLY not another H.P. Lovecraft or J.K. Rowling. The moral thing to do is step aside and give more marginalized voices a chance to speak, at least if I don't want to be a hypocrite.

Writing is not a zero-sum game.


Fumarole wrote:
Quote:
The perspective I come from thoroughly saturates the environment. It doesn't provide anything NEW like what folks like N. K. Jemisin, or Jessica Price, or Crystal Frasier, or Isabelle Lee are doing. It doesn't need another Jim Butcher, or J.R.R. Tolkien, or Terry Pratchett, or Robert Jordan, and ESPECIALLY not another H.P. Lovecraft or J.K. Rowling. The moral thing to do is step aside and give more marginalized voices a chance to speak, at least if I don't want to be a hypocrite.
Writing is not a zero-sum game.

To the extent there's a moral question here, I'd say it's on publishers and readers to give the other perspectives a chance, not on writers to step aside themselves.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Quote:
The perspective I come from thoroughly saturates the environment. It doesn't provide anything NEW like what folks like N. K. Jemisin, or Jessica Price, or Crystal Frasier, or Isabelle Lee are doing. It doesn't need another Jim Butcher, or J.R.R. Tolkien, or Terry Pratchett, or Robert Jordan, and ESPECIALLY not another H.P. Lovecraft or J.K. Rowling. The moral thing to do is step aside and give more marginalized voices a chance to speak, at least if I don't want to be a hypocrite.
Writing is not a zero-sum game.
To the extent there's a moral question here, I'd say it's on publishers and readers to give the other perspectives a chance, not on writers to step aside themselves.

That was more-or-less my point!

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