My Last Day at Paizo

Today—Friday, February 13th, 2015—is my last day as an employee at Paizo. I’ve been an editor there for nearly two and a half years, first as an in-house contract editor and then on staff. I gave my notice a couple weeks ago to my bosses, James Sutter and Wes Schneider. I’ll be starting a new job soon, as a technical writer at a corp in Seattle (which makes me sound kinda Shadowrun).

I’m not going to dwell on the bummer note in this post, but share some awesome thoughts about what’s it’s been to “work for the golem,”[1] as some of my friends in other parts of gaming say. And because I don’t feel like overly organizing these thoughts and memories, I’m just going to throw around bullets like I’m Scarface.

  • I wrote about the editorial process at Paizo back in 2013.
  • I got to run Mythender for a bunch of people in the office, including Adam Daigle as Robert Johnson, James Jacobs as Nikola Tesla, Erik Mona as Suri Cruise, Patrick Renie as Godchild Jaden Smith, John Compton as Caligula, Rob McCreary as Alexander the Great, and three other characters whose names I shamefully can’t remember. Judy Bauer played the first “modern-day person in Mythic Norden,” which prompted a silent rule of “never explain why, and mortals will not dare question.”
  • That lead to John and I making up Mythender in Golarion, which he continues to run at conventions.
  • I totally ate a character sheet at PaizoCon 2014.
  • Turns out that art director Andrew Vallas and I share the same crappy hometown, and would gripe about it on occasion.
  • The PaizoCon Horror in RPGs panels from 2013 and 2014 were awesome. Some of the best panel crowds I’ve ever spoked to are at PaizoCon, hands down. (That isn’t blowing smoke up asses. That’s a gauntlet thrown to other cons that want a strong panel track.)
  • Though not technically a Paizo event, my wearing at cape at the ENnies was in part from a conversation with Jason Bulmahn about how ridiculous it would be.
  • Adam Daigle took the Backstory Cards dance video in the Paizo parking lot. (Fun bit: I’ve lost 30 lbs. since then.)
  • I took the video of Bulmahn’s Ice Bucket Challenge, with extra slo-mo at the end. Man alive, that was fun to make. We should do sequel, Jason. It’s the right weather for it.
  • I’m one of the Paizo smokers, so I ended up having very different random conversations with some developers, designers, and art humans while we were all smoking in the parking lot.
  • McCreary running that pulp game where I ended up seducing a velociraptor or an apeman or something. I could see myself doing that in real life.
  • Bulmahn and I spent a lot of time chatting about our Kickstarters, fulfillment, and related logistics.
  • My personal PaizoCon human game. I need to remember this for future cons.
  • That one Beginner Box game I ran at last PaizoCon, where nothing made any damn sense and I started making up rules because I had all seasoned Pathfinder veterans at my table, and playing the Beginner Box straight would have been dull. Things like shouting “save vs. ennui!” and “roll off to see who exists” was fun. (Extra-fun was when Compton came in, and the cleric swore to him as her new god. Compton is a dick god, y’all. So beautiful.)
  • I didn’t let being one of Mona’s underlings stop me from trying to out-dress him. In fact, in out last conversation, I said “Now when we out-dress one another, there won’t be a power dynamic, just a clothing dynamic.” And let’s be honest, you all win when Erik and I do that.
  • While I won’t miss the Gen Con crunch time, there is a camaraderie that happens among us production staff during those mandatory Saturdays.
  • Frost will miss Wildcard and the gang. Our weekly Shadowrun Crossfire games were fun!

Paizo’s been by and large supportive, especially when they had two editors getting married and taking honeymoons in Q4 last year.

I’ve said a lot of parting words in private, but here are a few worth being public:

  • Erik & Wes: That first interview at Gen Con, where you spent more time telling me why the job was demanding more than I spent selling you that I could do it. I still laugh about that. Also, you weren’t lying. :)
  • Wes & Sutter: Thank you for bringing me on! This has been a fascinating two and a half years. (Yeah, I don’t have to numeral that anymore.)
  • Chris Carey & Judy Bauer: I have learned so much from you. Professionally, I’m in your debt. Personally, I already miss being your cubemate.
  • John: “Atheist Sword.”
  • Andrew: I’m sad that Sweettown will never see the light of day.
  • Rob & Adam: I will miss you two being Statler and Ernie.
  • Owen: Beware the desk.
  • Kenway: How you livin’
  • Jessica: May you continue to have the strength to bring sanity to an insane world.
  • Mark: (fight over this one) Knowing you was… an experience. ;)
  • Jason: The next scotch is on you. The one after that, on me.
  • Will Chase: You’re a goddamn sexy bastard.[2]

With that, I wrap up a big chunk of my professional life. I’m now merging my old career of software development (which I was damn good at) and my career of publishing together into being a technical writer. Let’s see where that leads me—I’ve been pondering this career shift for a few months now, and I’m certainly excited about this new journey. There certainly will be things I don’t miss about working at Paizo, but I won’t dwell or shit-talk or whatever, as every job has its quirks and trials. On the whole, it’s been a better job than most, and so much of that is because of my downstairs peeps.

I’ll still be doing gaming stuff on the side for some time to come, just as I did before joining up with Paizo. And right now I still plan on rocking PaizoCon, just not with a blue polo. After all, doing the Horror in RPGs panel has become a tradition!

Take care, y’all. I’ll see you around!

– Ryan

Photo: Price and I at the very delve where I masticated the hell out of that character sheet.

[1] Here’s where my wife will look at me with dagger eyes.

[2] It’s the ‘hawk.


3 Responses to My Last Day at Paizo

  1. Clark says:

    Best of luck, my friend.

    • Pedro says:

      I hope you continue to share your thoughts and insight about games in general and Fate in particular.

      I wish you the best.

  2. John Powell says:

    Congrats on the new job. Hope the change works for you!