PaizoCon Recap

Last weekend was PaizoCon. While it’s a long flight for me, I do highly recommend anybody interested in Pathfinder try to attend this convention at least once. It’s fantastically fun, and it gives fans and publishers a chance to interact—with the Paizo crew, of course, but also with each other. I had a chance to talk to a lot of great people, about Pathfinder, gaming in general, and what it’s like to work for Frog God Games. (Answer to the last one: incredible, but extremely busy!) For anybody interested, here’s a quick recap of the highlights, at least from my perspective as Lead Developer here at FGG.

Into the Razor

Friday afternoon, I ran my first-ever con game—as crazy as that sounds. I’m generally a shy guy, and an introvert to boot. So I never really had the opportunity to run a game before. And by “opportunity” I mean your boss telling you to run a game. I’m a huge fan of Razor Coast. I put many hours into it even before Frog God Games purchased the property from Nick. And in Appendix Five: Book of Indulgences, there’s a little 1st level adventure called Mysteries of the Razor Coast. In true Nick Logue fashion, the adventure is designed as a way to kick off your campaign—as long as by “kick off” you mean, “slaughter helpless PCs left and right.” But at a convention, players aren’t really invested in the character and so you can go ahead and do some interesting things. I’ll avoid posting spoilers for the adventure today (though maybe I’ll make that a blog post for another day). But let’s just say that the game ran almost exactly for its allotted four hour slot and in the end all the PCs—and even their familiars and pets—died gloriously.

I was very lucky to get fantastic players, and so here’s a quick shout out to all of them. My best friend, Amber Scott, knew I was ridiculously nervous about having to run this game; so she entered the lottery and I was lucky enough that she got a ticket. She asked me what she could do to help, and I said, “Just keep the game on the rails, and if I pass out splash some cold water on my face.” The rest of the group consisted of Ryan, J, his son James, Chris, and his son Simon. And a quick plug for J: If you’re in the Burbank, CA area, you should stop by his gaming store, Emerald Knights. J and his son James were both incredibly nice people, and I’m sure they’d love to have you stop into their store.

Tales of the Frog God

Sunday morning, I had my first of two planned seminars. This one was all about FGG: talking about recent releases and dishing out some dirt on what’s coming up. We did a quick recap of the last year or so, talking very quickly about some great products like Dunes of Desolation, Razor Coast, and Tome of Horrors 4. Then we dove into some stuff for the near future. A few highlights:

  • We announced that the next book in the environment series will be Plains of Blood, written by Tom Knauss. That book is written and pending development. We also announced that Tom will be writing the next book after that one, covering mountainous regions. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Tom’s work in Dunes yet, I really recommend you give it a look. He did a fantastic job of covering the real-world geography and meteorology of deserts, then took all that into the realm of fantasy with great feats, equipment, spells, and archetypes. And, of course, adventures.
  • We also announced a soon-to-release series of PDF only products called Lost Lore. Each will be short and self-contained, but still part of the Lost Lands campaign setting. You’ll see new base classes, new monsters, new organizations with information for both GMs and players, and a bunch of other really cool stuff. We might get a little experimental here and there, and try out some crazy ideas. That’s the joy of working with shorter PDF products, is that we can toss out the occasional bizarro world piece while still mostly staying true to traditional “sword and spell” fantasy roleplaying games.
  • Related to Lost Lore, we announced that Clinton Boomer will be writing for Frog God Games, starting immediately. We’re excited to have him on board! He and I had lunch on Sunday to talk about ideas, and I’m really excited with what he has in mind.
  • And of course the big news was our announcement about our latest Kickstarter. A little more on that below.

Overall, it was great to have a room full of FGG fans. There were some great questions and some interesting comments.

The State of Third Party Publishing

My last seminar for the con had me moderating a panel with Wolfgang Baur of Kobold Press and Jason Nelson of Legendary Games. We talked a bit about where things were back in ’08 when the industry changed so much, and took a stroll through history from then until now. A lot of time was spent talking about how Kickstarter has changed the game. We also spent a fair bit of time talking about Legendary’s most recent project, where they brought together three other gaming companies to work with them on a fantastic “mythic” set of products. Overall, it was a fun stroll down memory lane, and “moderating” a Panel with Wolfgang and Jason is about the easiest task possible. Both are good story tellers with great information to share. I just had to toss out an occasional question to keep them both talking.

So, About that Kickstarter

As I said, PaizoCon was the place of our official announcement about our 5th Edition Kickstarter, complete with the resurrection of Necromancer Games. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should. The lineup of writers for this one is incredible, and I have no doubt Steve is going to get great stuff from those folks.

I’ve heard from a few people, both at the Con and since, that have asked what this means for FGG and Pathfinder. The answer is really simple. Nothing. We’re going to continue to produce Pathfinder content, and hopefully that content continues to inspire you as a GM or player for years to come. We are, in effect, going to support three product lines going forward (with Sword and Wizardry being the third, of course). I’m personally excited about the possibilities. I already get to talk to great people—and Skeeter—about gaming. Now I get to also talk to Steve Winter, and call him my colleague? Hundreds of monsters? Kick ass adventures? New spells? I keep expecting to wake up from a dream, to be honest.

I’m a Pathfinder guy. My group plays Pathfinder, and my work (of course) is Pathfinder. But there’s always room on my bookshelf for awesome products for other systems. And I simply can’t wait to add these to my collection!

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