Tag: Pathfinder

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    Pathfinder with Extra Pulp

    Sword and sorcery is the name of the game in Pathfinder Worldscape. All of the swords. All of the sorcery. Blending Paizo’s classic roleplaying game setting from Pathfinder with Dynamite Entertainment’s huge stable of pulp-fantasy characters that helped inspire games like Dungeons and Dragons in the first place.

    Issue 1 drops us right into the action with a stable of the “iconic characters” from the Pathfinder world of Golarion. Fans of Pathfinder will recognize Valeros the Fighter, Seoni the Sorcerer, Merisiel the Rogue and Kyra the Cleric as those characters depicted on their respective character class pages in the Core Rulebook.

    While doing battle with a psychic shapeshifter in the sewers beneath the City of Secrets (sentences like those are the reason I play RPGs) our heroes are violently pulled into a chaotic realm known only as the Worldscape. It feels like Battleworld from Secret Wars crossover, if it was populated by pulp-adventure and RPG characters.

    Most of the first issue follows Valeros as he tries to figure just what in the Nine Hells is going on. The sardonic Fighter acting as Fighters do when confronting unknown dangers. They fight it. Soon he is being accosted by dimensionally displaced bandits, a White Ape of Barsoom and finally made into a gladiator-slave by the serpent-witch Xanesha (I thought I’d seen the last of her when I played Rise of the Runelords!).

    There is so much fun to be had in this first foray into the Worldscape and before the first issue ends Valeros is crossing paths with the likes of Queen Pha from Frank Frazetta’s Thun’da series and the She-Devil with a Sword herself, Red Sonja. There are also bits and pieces from the John Carter of Mars books, as well as plenty of references for those familiar with the Pathfinder world of Golarion.

    As an added bonus (and like many of the Pathfinder comics to come before this one) each issue of Pathfinder Worldscape comes with the in-game statistics for featured characters and maps to bring the adventures off the page and onto your tabletop! It feels as though this series was hand-crafted for a particular brand of fanboy, with its unique blend of pulp-fantasy and tabletop RPG goodness.

    If you like Pathfinder, you’ll also love Dungeons & Dragons.

    Pathfinder Worldscape #1, Dynamite Entertainment, Released October 19, 2016, Written by Erik Mona, Art by Jonathan Lau, Cover byReilly Brown, $4.99.

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    Pathfinder Worldscape: A Who’s Who of Fantasy Characters

    Exclusive Intervie With Pathfinder Worldscape Writer Erik Mona

    Pathfinder fans, you’re in for a real treat in Dynamite’s upcoming six-issue Pathfinder Worldscape miniseries written by Erik Mona (Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain) and art by Jonathan Lau (Red Sonja and Cub, Miss Fury).

    We had the chance to chat with series writer Erik Mona about his favorite part of writing this series and where he hopes to the story. Read on for insights into the series and see how you can win a copy of Pathfinder Worldscape #1 signed by Mona and series artist Jonathan Lau!

    TFAW: You have plenty of awesome Pathfinder comics under your belt–dozens of adventures. Each one leads us on a new journey. What is different about this one?

    Erik Mona: Pathfinder comics to date have taken us into dark and deadly dungeons, into the winding streets of treacherous cities, and even into the unknown corners of our heroes’ pasts, but things really jump to the next level with Pathfinder Worldscape, which transports our heroes to an entirely different dimension — the Worldscape. The Worldscape is an ancient trap created by a long-dead wizard to gather the greatest warriors from three worlds — Pathfinder’s Golarion, John Carter’s Barsoom, and Earth, including its remote history during Red Sonja’s Hyborian Age.

    In the course of the 6-issue series, the Pathfinder heroes cross swords with the likes of Red Sonja, John Carter of Mars, Tars Tarkas, Tarzan, and the jungle heroes Thun’da and Fantomah, among many others. The character interactions are a huge highlight for me.

    Crossing over Pathfinder characters with heroes created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, and Frank Frazetta — artists who inspired the fantasy roleplaying hobby that ultimately inspired Pathfinder itself — definitely counts as new and different!

    “I’ve been tinkering with the Pathfinder Worldscape idea for years…”

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 1TFAW: With this huge cast of characters, did you find this story more difficult to manage or does it just come at ease at this point?

    Mona: The enormous cast of Pathfinder Worldscape presents some challenges, to be sure. You want to give everybody a chance to shine and do their thing while still having pages left over to tell an actual story. When you’re mashing together multiple properties in a dimension informed by the cultures of three different worlds (and at any time during the history of those worlds), there’s a strong temptation to over-indulge in world-building and wheel spinning about how this or that minor detail works into the overall character of the Worldscape dimension itself.

    My background in writing for tabletop RPGs has me thinking about all kinds of details that will never really play into the story. I’ve spent a significant amount of time thinking about the role of bullets in the Worldscape, as an example. While most of the Worldscape’s inhabitants come from eras or lands that fit well with traditional sword & sorcery themes, it’s perfectly likely someone trapped in the Worldscape will encounter a World War II soldier, a pistol-toting hero of America’s high plains, or a musket-wielding, fanatical street-fighter of Revolutionary France. Assuming they appear in the Worldscape with only the ammunition they bring with them, that makes their bullets a very rare and valuable commodity.

    I imagined a whole barter economy based around warriors seeking out the appropriate bullets for their chosen weapons, but after spending a considerable amount of time thinking about this, I snapped back to reality and realized that details like this — while perhaps quite interesting, useful, and even necessary to support a Pathfinder RPG campaign set in the Worldscape, probably weren’t going to enter into the comic book story too much.

    Happily, I’m fairly certain all that world-building will come into play in Worldscape-oriented Pathfinder RPG products down the line, but right now I’m putting my full effort into the comic book.

    TFAW: What exciting lands/places might we see on this adventure?

    Mona: The Worldscape itself is as exciting as you can get, with elements literally ripped out of the worlds in conjunction with it.

    Frank Frazetta’s jungle hero Thun’da, for example, lives in a place called the “Dawn Land,” a sort of time-lost valley filled with cave men, dinosaurs, amazons, and weird monsters. I always thought it strange that the subtitle of Thun’da’s comic was “King of the Congo,” when so many of his adventures took place in a much more interesting (and, from today’s standards, a much less politically fraught) location.

    I’m far more interested in struggles against pterosaurs and shaggy cave men than I am in fights against stereotypically primitive African witch doctors, and during a thorough review of fantasy-oriented stories and characters from the jungle comics of the ’40s and ’50s, Thun’da’s stories stood out as exceptional because of the weird monsters and lost cities.

    Naturally, when I started constructing the Worldscape plan, I drew in not just Thun’da and his savage girlfriend Pha, but also the entirety of his Dawn Land refuge, ruined cities and all. The central location of the Worldscape series, the brutal city of Shareen, is in fact drawn from Thun’da’s early adventures.

    Beyond that we’ve got misty valleys stuffed with Barsoomian white apes and a cadre of trained killers, another ruined city inhabited by the simian scum of three worlds, and the jungle itself, nominally ruled by the Council of Jungle Kings and their enigmatic and elusive First King, Tarzan of the Apes. Whether traveling by foot, by thoat, or by airship, the lands of the Worldscape promise death and danger at nearly every turn.

    “The character I’m enjoying the most and the one who has become weirdly central to the plot of the whole thing is Fantomah.”

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 2TFAW: Was this an idea that you had brewing for a while? How did this all come together?

    Mona: I’ve been tinkering with the Pathfinder Worldscape idea for years, since shortly after signing on to Dynamite and becoming more familiar with their roster of amazing licensed characters.

    So many of their heroes are based on the same fiction and characters that inspired tabletop gaming back in the early ’70s, and in particular Pathfinder has always been a gaming brand firmly in touch with its “pulp” roots.

    Working with characters created by Burroughs, Howard, and Frazetta…it’s just too tempting to try to put it all together and do something cool. Add to that that each issue of Pathfinder Worldscape contains a Pathfinder RPG rules appendix that provides official RPG statistics for these legendary heroes — in some cases heroes people have wanted game adaptations of literally for decades — and I had to try to put something together.

    At the time Dynamite had already teamed up many of their modern-day pulp heroes in their Masks comic, and Bill Willingham had just mashed a bunch of them together in a steampunk-inspired series called Legenderry. It seemed obvious to me that crossing over their awesome fantasy characters was the next logical step. In the meantime, Dynamite also launched the Swords of Sorrow series, which teamed up nearly all of their female characters, and Worldscape is the next logical progression.

    At a certain point I’d put so much work and thought into how to make it all happen that Dynamite offered me the chance to write the series myself, which is a huge, humbling opportunity!

    “Jonathan [Lau] has a fantastic attention to detail and an inventive spirit…”

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 4TFAW: How did the artist, Jonathan Lau, become involved with this epic adventure?

    Mona: Jonathan was my favorite of several artists Dynamite suggested for the project. I was familiar with his work on former Pathfinder writer Jim Zub’s Red Sonja and Cub from a few years back, so I was already familiar with his visual sensibility and his strong action compositions.

    What I didn’t know at the time was that Jonathan has a fantastic attention to detail and an inventive spirit that fills every nook and cranny of the book with interesting things to look at.

    His Tars Tarkas is probably my favorite version of the character I’ve seen in comics to date, and it’s fascinating to see him adapt characters like Thun’da, Fantomah, and the immortal empress Camilla, who haven’t really been in active production since the ’40s or ’50s (barring a limited series or guest appearance here and there).

    I’m thrilled to be working with him on the series, and each page I get from him on the earlier issues inspires me to put even crazier characters and scenes into the later issues I’m writing now.

    TFAW: With such a large roster of characters, have you found that you favor one more than others?

    Mona: I’m honored to work on all of them, especially Red Sonja and John Carter, two titans of fantasy publishing.

    Oddly, the character I’m enjoying the most and the one who has become weirdly central to the plot of the whole thing is Fantomah, the beautiful, nigh-omnipotent skull-faced woman introduced by literal madman Fletcher Hanks way back in ’40’s Jungle Comics #2. I’ve been mystified by this character (and by Fletcher Hanks) ever since reading about her in the incomparable “I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets” collection/biography by Paul Karasik from a few years back.

    When Dynamite challenged me to add some public domain fantasy heroes to their already impressive roster, I immediately leapt to Fantomah, and I’ve never really looked back. Hanks portrayed Fantomah as this unstoppable force of nature capable of just about anything. Unlike staid jungle heroes of the era, it was never really clear whether Fantomah was a hero or a villain, just that you never wanted to cross her, lest she rip the skin from your flesh, turn you into some crazy plant creature, or dispatch you in whatever weird way Fletcher Hanks could concoct between bottles of whiskey. In Pathfinder RPG terms, she’s basically a god, which opened up another interesting element of philosophy for the series.

    Each of the three worlds involved — Earth, Barsoom, and Golarion — have very different relationships with religion, and what it means to be a god. For most of the people of Earth — certainly the more or less modern ones like Thun’da and John Carter, “God” is something to be inferred as a matter of faith.

    Pathfinder Worldscape Preview Page 3On Barsoom, religion is a fraud designed to deliver the dying to a valley where they are drained of blood by bizarre plant creatures so that their bloodless corpses can be eaten by a cannibal priesthood of Holy Therns (also, by the way, in Worldscape). Burroughs’ “The Gods of Mars,” the second of his John Carter books, is largely about that religion.

    Then you’ve got the Pathfinder world of Golarion, where gods are literally, indisputably present and real and divine. It’s not so much a matter of belief as it is acknowledgement of existing supernatural forces, and that gives me a lot to play with in terms of how my characters interact with the world and their predicament as captives of the Worldscape.

    John Carter and the cleric Kyra get a nice juicy conversation about this, but Fantomah plays an important role in this aspect of the story as well, and I’m thrilled to be able to use her!

    “I’m still hard at work crafting cool Pathfinder RPG rules appendices for each issue…”

    TFAW: Do you have any other projects coming up that we should know about?

    Mona: In addition to running Paizo’s day-to-day publishing operations, managing the creative staff, and making diabolical plans for the future of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, most of my focus these days is soundly on Pathfinder Worldscape.

    Most of the scripting is out of the way at this point, but I’m still hard at work crafting cool Pathfinder RPG rules appendices for each issue. I just finished official game statistics for Red Sonja, for example, and now I’m noodling around with Tars Tarkas, who will appear in the second issue. After that we’ve got Tarzan, Thun’da, and a whole host of others. How much damage does a radium pistol do? What’s the Strength bonus for a green Martian? I dunno, but I will know soon, and it’s really exciting to map the game designer part of my brain over the story I’ve been composing using my comics writing circuits.

    You can keep up with my projects and get some insight into the Pathfinder RPG adaptation process behind Worldscape by checking out my blog at erikmona.com or following me on Twitter @erikmona.

    TFAW: What comics are you enjoying right now?

    Mona: Oh, man, there are so many! I went in way deep on DC’s New 52 a few years back and am working my way through a longbox of backissues of Snyder’s Batman, which has been fantastic, of course. I’m always keen to follow former Pathfinder comics writer Jim Zub on whatever he’s doing, and I really like what he’s been rolling out with Wayward, as well as his new title Glitterbomb, from Image. I’m highly intrigued by DC’s Young Animal imprint. The first issue of the new Doom Patrol was fantastic, and I can’t wait to break out a copy of Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye. As far as comic titles go, that’s probably the best I’ve heard in a long time!

    We want to thank Erik for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us! Make sure to order your copies of Pathfinder Worldscape.


    Are you looking forward to Pathfinder Worldscape? Tell us which character you’re looking forward to seeing in the Worldscape in the comments below and you’ll be in the running to get a copy of Pathfinder Worldscape #1 signed by Erik Mona and Jonathan Lau!

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    Andrew Huerta Takes Us on an Adventure With Pathfinder Comics

    Pathfinder ComicsPaizo Publishing’s Pathfinder game is one of the most popular and successful fantasy roleplaying games in the world. Designed to be backward-compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, it’s won millions of fans and created a whole new world for them to explore.

    Dynamite Entertainment’s Pathfinder comics are set to be just as addictive as the original game, created with the full participation of Paizo. Written by Jim Zub (see our interview with him and Paizo’s Erik Mona) with the dynamic artwork of Andrew Huerta, issue #1 got a lot of buzz.

    We had the chance to interview Andrew Huerta this month and picked his brain about the most difficult part of bringing Pathfinder to life in comics and what he’d like to do next! Plus, enjoy the five-page preview of Pathfinder #2, give to us by our friends at Dynamite!

    TFAW.com: How did you become involved with the Pathfinder comics?

    Andrew Huerta: [Pathfinder writer] Jim Zubkavich found me on Deviantart and was a fan of my artwork. When Dynamite hired Jim to be the writer for Pathfinder and they didn’t have an artist for the book yet, he recommended me along with some other artists. I sent Dynamite some samples with some character designs, and the rest is history.

    TFAW.com: Had you played the game previously?

    AH: I have not. One day I hope to remedy that, though.

    TFAW.com: How closely involved was Paizo when it came time to design the characters, etc.

    AH: There hasn’t been much designing on my part. Everything I’ve drawn has already been designed by Paizo and their various artists. I mostly just look at the game books and Internet for reference to make sure everything stays consistent with the comic and game.

    Pathfinder #2 Preview Page #1Pathfinder #2 Preview Page #2Pathfinder #2 Preview Page #3

    TFAW.com: What were the most challenging aspects of creating this world?

    AH: The toughest part for me is trying to make Pathfinder feel and look epic. Another thing is making Pathfinder look familiar and unique at the same time, but also try to make it feel like this world could really exist.

    TFAW.com: What’s your favorite type of scene to draw?

    AH: I like the quiet scenes that don’t have any dialogue. It puts all of the storytelling weight on the art alone, so I have to make sure everything from the expressions, pacing, and body language is on point.

    TFAW.com: How did you get started drawing comics?

    AH: I started as a freelance artist drawing a lot of indy books and various commission work. One job lead to another, and now I’m finally here.

    Pathfinder #2 Preview Page #4Pathfinder #2 Preview Page #5Pathfinder Comics

    TFAW.com: Who are some of your favorite artists?

    AH: There are too many. I love any of the Japanese artists on properties like Final Fantasy, Xenogears, Legend of Zelda, and Breath of Fire. Guys like Frank Frazetta, Joe Madureira, Akira Toriyama, Yoshitaka Amano, Moebius, Bengus, and Kentaro Miura. I try to figure out why their work has so much appeal and apply that essence and energy into my work. I’m also figuring out how to maintain the quality in my art while still being fast.

    TFAW.com: What comics are you reading right now?

    AH: Invincible, Bloodshot and Pathfinder.

    TFAW.com: What type of project would you like to tackle next?

    AH: I love working on well-known properties and other people’s ideas, but I’ve been really getting the urge to work on my own stories. I have a few ideas and one day I hope I get the chance to bring those ideas to life.

    Our thanks to Andrew Huerta for a great interview. Still haven’t read the new Pathfinder comics? Issue #1 is still available on our site: order it, and issues #2 through #4 today!



    Which comic books are you looking forward to this week? Post your comments below!

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    Jim Zub and Erik Mona Take Us Inside Dynamite’s Pathfinder Comics

    Pathfinder ComicsMillions of players can’t be wrong: Pathfinder, the award-winning, best-selling fantasy RPG, is one of the most popular games in the world. Released in 2009 by Paizo Publishing, Pathfinder has gained a legion of fans who are passionate about its exciting adventure paths, dynamic characters, and multiple expansions.

    Speaking of “expansions,” the next step toward total world domination takes place this week, with the debut of Pathfinder comics from Dynamite Entertainment! We had the chance to interview writer Jim Zub and Paizo Publisher Erik Mona about this exciting new series and what it holds for fans.

    Make sure to check out our five-page preview of Pathfinder #1, out this Wednesday. Plus, make sure to “Like” TFAW on Facebook and take part in our contest, beginning at 9 a.m. PST August 15, to win an amazing prize package including a copy of the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path Anniversary Edition hardcover, signed by the entire Paizo staff, a copy of their newest release, the Pathfinder RPG: Ultimate Equipment hardcover, and two copies of Pathfinder #1 signed by the series’ creative team! Plus, three runners’ up will receive signed issues of Pathfinder #1. Make sure to visit us on Facebook August 15 to enter our contest.

    TFAW: How did you become involved with the Pathfinder comics?

    Jeff Zub: I’ve known Erik Mona, Publisher at Paizo, for years and did some work with him and the Paizo gang back when they were publishing the Dungeons & Dragons magazines. As their company grew and they started Pathfinder around five years ago we stayed in contact, would see each other at conventions and would talk about comics, gaming, and entertainment.

    Pathfinder #1 Page 1Last year at Gen Con in Indianapolis, Erik mentioned to me that a Pathfinder comic was a possibility and I told him to keep me in mind for writing. Good to his word, when Dynamite Entertainment licensed Pathfinder for comics, he put my name forward as a possible writer for the series. I put together a pitch package and it impressed both Paizo and Dynamite enough that they put me on board.

    TFAW: I read in a previous interview that you started playing Dungeons & Dragons when you were 8; did you also play Pathfinder when it debuted?

    JZ: I did play Pathfinder when it launched and, although I’m too busy to maintain a regular campaign right now, I do try to find time to play. Tabletop role-playing games are a wonderful source of creativity and I always enjoy collaborating with friends over a gaming session.

    TFAW: Can you talk about the process behind and challenges of taking an RPG and turning it into an ongoing comic book series?

    JZ: When you’re adapting between any two mediums I think it’s really important to understand what makes each one tick. You want to maintain the strengths of each medium in the adaptation process. Fantasy role-playing games focus on creating an in-depth and compelling setting players can use as the canvas for their story and character ideas. At first glance it might be tempting to show tons of world-setting material right off the bat, but the actual focus of game sessions is on interesting character stories, so that’s what we’re building from for the comic. We get to use the comic medium to its full advantage, telling a visual character-centric story, while slowly widening the view of Golarion with each adventure.

    TFAW: How involved was Paizo Publishing?

    Pathfinder #1 Page 2JZ: Paizo’s been heavily involved, but not in a bad way. They’re obviously the Pathfinder experts and it’s been wonderful bouncing ideas off of the staff there. They’ve been really good about allowing me to build the characters and overall plot for the comic, while making great suggestions about setting, rules elements that can be incorporated seamlessly, and tiny details fans of Pathfinder will be thrilled to see.

    TFAW: Can you introduce us to your debut storyline? What characters are featured?

    JZ: The goblin clans of Varisia, Pathfinder fan-favorite antagonists, are being controlled by a strange evil force that’s motivating and organizing them. The adventurers are drawn in thinking they’re dealing with a regular goblin raiding band, but quickly realize something much larger is at stake. The mystic forces being called upon by the cult at the heart of this dark plan are creating something much more dangerous, a horrifying creature that will threaten the whole region if it’s not stopped.

    Valeros is a mercenary fighter who has disobeyed orders so many times he’s not quite sure how to be loyal to anything or anyone. His courage and temper make him a formidable and dangerous warrior.

    Seoni is a mysterious sorcerer whose tattooed body and mystical dreams make those who first meet her wary of her power. Strangers may call her a barbarian based on appearance, but her keen strategic mind gives her a distinctive edge in battle.

    Merisiel is an elven rogue whose glib banter and flashing smile lead people to assume that she’s unintelligent and shallow. Her fears and long-lived life drive her in ways few will ever understand.

    Pathfinder #1 Page 3Ezren is a middle-aged man who came to wizardry quite late in life. The march of time mixed with his desire for knowledge keeps him pushing himself to new limits.

    Harsk is a quiet and contemplative dwarven ranger with deeply-sown seeds of vengeance and anger buried under the surface.

    Kyra is a battle-hardened cleric of Sarenrae who will stop at nothing to destroy evil, constantly testing her faith and will against those around her.

    TFAW: Your creator-owned book, Skullkickers, also a fantasy book, contains quite a bit of sly humor that pokes fun at the genre. Is there any of that in Pathfinder?

    JZ: Pathfinder is far more character-focused, with a larger cast and more involved plot. There is some humor in Pathfinder, but it’s more character personality-driven rather than the overarching sarcastic and over-the-top tone of Skullkickers. I think even the most serious and dramatic stories need a bit of levity to help create highs and lows in the story.

    TFAW: What is it about fantasy that attracts you, as a writer?

    JZ: Good question! There’s something primal and wonderful about myth and fantasy stories. The genre seems very open to massive scale creation and expansion, wielding larger-than-life forces and creating situations that reflect on our common ideas about heroism, sacrifice and belief. The lack of modern conveniences infuses these stories with a greater sense of survival and self reliance, which I also find really intriguing as a writer.

    TFAW: Are you tempted to write for the games themselves?

    JZ: Hmmm . . . I’m not sure if my story building would lend itself to game adventures. I love gaming and have created adventures for friends over the years, but it would be tough coming up with an “official” game scenario that has to be able encompass just about any group plugged into it. The Paizo crew is really good at what they do, so I’d definitely need their guidance. If they asked me I’d definitely have to consider it.

    Pathfinder #1 Page 4TFAW: What’s next on your wishlist: what type of comics do you want to tackle next?

    JZ: I have a horror mini-series I’m slowly developing, as well as a supernatural thriller with a neat story hook I’m excited about exploring. I also have concepts for a dystopian super-soldier story and a fantasy graphic novel for kids. It’s hard to know which one will gain traction based on artist availability and publisher interest, so I try to keep each one slowly moving forward until one of them really heats up. My fingers are crossed that they all happen at some point down the road.

    TFAW: Erik, what is it about Pathfinder that’s made it so incredibly popular, in your opinion?

    Erik Mona: The Pathfinder RPG lets you create any kind of fantasy adventurer you can imagine, with robust rules for different character races and classes, and tons of special abilities that let you pull off in tabletop combat the sort of spells and combat moves that you imagine in your head. That’s a hugely compelling experience for gamers, and as Pathfinder games go on and on, players have lots of chances to develop their characters in any way they want. The game is very flexible and very fun, with diverse elements like tactical combat and even a touch of improvisational play-acting, so there’s a little something to keep everyone interested.

    TFAW: Why was now the right time to launch a Pathfinder comic?

    EM: We launched the Pathfinder brand about five years ago, and in that time it’s managed to overtake the previous industry flagship game to become the best-selling tabletop RPG on the market. More gamers are aware of Pathfinder now than at any time in the past, and even those who have never played it have certainly heard of it. Since many gamers are also comics fans, now seemed like the right time to launch a Pathfinder comic to show everyone what all the fuss is about.

    TFAW: Can you describe your vision for the comic?

    Pathfinder #1 Page 5EM: Ever since the beginning, we’ve included a party of “iconic adventurers” in the illustrations of all of our Pathfinder products. Folks like Valeros the fighter and Seoni the sorcerer have been around since the first day of Pathfinder, but I’ve always been holding back on telling their back stories and establishing their personalities, as I felt from day one that a comic book would be the best medium for that type of story.

    In our game books, the iconic characters are stand-ins for the adventurers that the players will create to tell their own stories, so it’s not really appropriate to put too much detail into these guys there. But fans have been wanting to know more about them since they first came on the scene, and I’m thrilled that the comic finally gives us the opportunity to do it right.

    TFAW: What made Dynamite the right publisher?

    EM: Dynamite has a great track record with licensed properties, and their books always look absolutely great. Over the years I’ve gotten to know the core Dynamite team from conventions both of our companies attend, and I’m impressed by their knowledge and love of comics, their ability to create great-looking books based on existing properties, and their commitment to quality art and story. We spoke in general terms about working together for about a year before both companies decided (pretty much at the same time) that the time was right to move forward with a cooperative project.

    A better question than what made Dynamite the right publisher, though, is what makes Dynamite the right publisher. In the months since we signed on with them, they’ve gone above and beyond to assemble a fantastic creative team for the book, and the cool variant and incentive covers they’ve put together continue to blow us away. Working with their editors and production people has been a joy, and everyone at Dynamite has been great about incorporating our feedback and thoughts (and game content, of course!) into each issue. I knew Dynamite would be a great partner before we gave them the license, and now I am absolutely sure of it.

    Pathfinder #2TFAW: How involved were you in the creation of the comic, and selecting the creative team?

    EM: I have been pretty heavily involved in the decision-making regarding just about every creative element of the book. I have a long history with Jim Zub, as he was one of our most important contacts on the art side of Dragon and Dungeon magazines, which we used to publish. Jim coordinated all of the artists at Udon Studios and often did art for us himself, so I knew he had a lot of knowledge and passion for tabletop gaming that would serve him well on this project. Plus, his comic Skullkickers perfectly captures the zanier side of the sorts of things that happen in a Pathfinder game, so I knew he could handle the somewhat more serious subject matter we’d be covering in the comic in a way that still rang true for gamers.

    I decided which of our six iconic characters would star in the series, where the series would be set (in the town of Sandpoint in the frontier nation of Varisia, home base to many Pathfinder adventures), and what sort of game content will be included in each issue. I also decide what images to put on the flip-side of the poster map included in each issue, and once Jim was in place I helped him and series editor Rich Young decide on Andrew Huerta as our penciller. I also lead the team here at Paizo that reads, comments on, and approves all of Jim’s scripts, and I sign off on every page of art as it is finished. I’d say I’ve been relatively “hands on” with the project so far.

    Pathfinder #3TFAW: What specific aspects of Pathfinder did you want to feature in the comic?

    EM: I want to show how our iconic characters met, what their personalities are like, and how they relate to one another, things that are almost impossible to show in our RPG books, where they stand in as proxies for the player characters of the readers. I want to use the comics medium to show off the broad vistas and weird creatures that inhabit the Pathfinder world, and I want to produce an accessible story that reveals the excitement and awesomeness of the Pathfinder world to folks who haven’t yet given the game a try.

    TFAW: What’s the next big thing coming up from Paizo?

    EM: Next week we head to Gen Con, the biggest convention in the game business, where we’ll be formally debuting the comic with both Jim Zub and Andrew Huerta on hand to meet with Pathfinder fans, draw character sketches, and autograph comics. At the show we’ll also launch lots of brand-new products like Ultimate Equipment, a 400-page hardcover magic item catalog, a 65-figure set of Pathfinder Battles pre-painted miniatures designed to support our Rise of the Runelords campaign, and the first installment of our new Shattered Star Adventure Path. It’s going to be great!

    We want to thank Jim Zub and Erik Mona for taking the time to answer all of our questions. You still have time to pre-order Pathfinder #1-3 and save 20%. Plus, remember to enter our Pathfinder contest on our Facebook page August 15 starting at 9 a.m. PST to win sweet swag from Paizo and Dynamite!



    Are you a Pathfinder fan? Are you looking forward to the comics? Post your comments below!

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