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Pathfinder co-creator and Starfinder director exits Paizo after more than a decade


One of the key figures behind fantasy RPG Pathfinder and its sequel Starfinder has left Paizo after 13 years at the roleplaying publisher.

James L. Sutter joined the company in 2004 as an editorial intern before working on official Dungeons & Dragons magazine Dungeon as assistant editor.

He later helped to co-create Pathfinder – based on D&D 3.5’s ruleset – as an editor and developer, working to establish the game’s planet setting of Golarion and the rest of its expansive universe.

The galaxy, albeit set thousands of years in the future, would later become the setting of Starfinder, this year’s sci-fi follow-up to Pathfinder, which Sutter led development of as creative director.

As well as the core games, Sutter authored two of the Pathfinder Tales spin-off novels and edited the rest of the series, as well as writing further fiction and comics set in the wider universe.

Writing in a farewell post on the Paizo blog, Sutter said that he would be moving into writing freelance full-time.

“As much as there's still plenty more I'd love to explore with Starfinder, I can't escape the fact that I've been making RPGs at Paizo for my entire adult life, and it's time now to devote more than a few scattered hours each week to my other artistic loves – particularly fiction and comics,” he explained.

He added that the move wouldn’t mean the end of his contributions to Pathfinder and Starfinder, with plans to write for both RPGs in a freelance capacity.

Taking over Sutter’s position as creative director of Starfinder will be Robert G. McCreary, who previously served as creative lead for the game.

Paizo recently announced that Starfinder had become the fastest-selling game of its entire 15-year history within weeks of its launch, overtaking Pathfinder – which had previously outpaced Dungeons & Dragons to be the quickest-selling RPG in the world.

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