Pathfinder's Journal (series)

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Pathfinder's Journal was a series of serialized fiction appearing in Pathfinder Adventure Path books. Paizo Assistant Editor James L. Sutter described this feature as "a space for us to shade in more of our world beyond just the current adventure's location. A narrative that would help get people invested and allow us to explore and expand, reconcepting established monsters for our setting and breathing that much more life into the world as a whole."[1].

History

Beginning with the eighteen-part The Compass Stone: The Compiled Journals of Eando Kline, written by such authors as Jason Bulmahn, Amber Scott, James L. Sutter, and James Jacobs, this series followed Pathfinder Eando Kline across Varisia, the Hold of Belkzen and the Darklands. In many ways, this entry into the series was a year-and-a-half-long period of trial and error during which the editors at Paizo tried to find the formula and process which would work the best. Even the first entry, "Opening Moves" by Publisher Erik Mona broke the mold by giving an overview of the Pathfinder Society itself rather than an in-character account of a Pathfinder's journeys.

James Sutter, who oversaw the execution of the monthly feature during Eando's run, described the process of using multiple authors as being less than ideal, with both authors and editors not knowing what was coming down the line for Kline month to month. After three adventure path's worth of wrangling Eando's journal, the series took a different and exciting direction.

Starting with the Legacy of Fire Adventure Path, each new path would include a six-part story arc written by a single author. This new format was put to the test with New York Times best-selling author Elaine Cunningham's Dark Tapestry which followed Channa Ti through the deserts of Katapesh and Osirion.

Met with resounding praise, two additional series were commissioned in the same style by fan-favorite authors Dave Gross and Jeff Grubb. Grubb had to pull out of the commitment, however, and his series, Prodigal Sons, was instead written by six different authors in the same style as Eando Kline's journey, but with a full outline to guide them. The single-author approach resumed in the following adventure path, with a series by Robin D. Laws and, after that, a series by Paizo's Managing Editor, F. Wesley Schneider.

In 2014, with Amber E. Scott's Shadow of the Sands, the series shifted back to its origins as a travelogue, formatted as a series of diary entries. The format continued to fluctuate between travelogues, traditional narratives, and thematically-linked anthology novellas by various authors for the ensuing years.

Conclusion of the Pathfinder's Journal

In August 2016, days after the solicitation of Trail of the Hunted was released, making no mention of any included fiction, Paizo Managing Editor James L. Sutter confirmed that the Pathfinder's Journal feature was being retired from the pages of Pathfinder Adventure Path as of the start of the Ironfang Adventure Adventure Path in February 2017. He noted that the change was originally meant to go into effect with the Strange Aeons Adventure Path, but that the opportunity for six authors to write Lovecraftian horror stories was simply too tempting to pass up. The associated six short stories, beginning with The Dollmaker, marked the final entries into the Pathfinder's Journal.[2] Adam Daigle, the author of the last Pathfinder's Journal story, Close Conversation, celebrated the series and discussed the decision to end it in his Foreword to Black Stars Beckon.[3]

Pathfinder's Journal novellas

Title Author Chapters Volumes
Compass Stone, TheThe Compass Stone Sutter, James L.James L. Sutter et al. 18 01PF1 - PF18
Dark TapestryDark Tapestry Cunningham, ElaineElaine Cunningham 6 19PF19 - PF24
Hell's PawnsHell's Pawns Gross, DaveDave Gross 6 25PF25 - PF30
Prodigal SonsProdigal Sons VariousVarious 6 31PF31 - PF36
Plague of LightPlague of Light Laws, Robin D.Robin Laws 6 37PF37 - PF42
Guilty BloodGuilty Blood Schneider, F. WesleyF. Wesley Schneider 6 43PF43 - PF48
HusksHusks Gross, DaveDave Gross 6 49PF49 - PF54
Treasure of Far Thallai, TheThe Treasure of Far Thallai Laws, Robin D.Robin D. Laws 6 55PF55 - PF60
Light of a Distant StarLight of a Distant Star Ward, BillBill Ward 6 61PF61 - PF66
Bonedust Dolls, TheThe Bonedust Dolls Murphy, Kevin AndrewKevin Andrew Murphy 6 67PF67 - PF72
Sweet IchorSweet Ichor Laws, Robin D.Robin D. Laws 6 73PF73 - PF78
Shadow of the SandsShadow of the Sands Scott, Amber E.Amber E. Scott 6 79PF79 - PF84
Whispers in the WastelandsWhispers in the Wastelands Scott, Amber E.Amber E. Scott 6 85PF85 - PF90
Tall TalesTall Tales VariousVarious 6 91PF91 - PF96
Monsters Among UsMonsters Among Us Lorée, StephanieStephanie Lorée 6 97PF97 - PF102
Cowards and CrowsCowards and Crows Vogt, JoshJosh Vogt 6 103PF103 - PF108
DollmakerThe Dollmaker Keeley, JasonJason Keeley 1 109PF109
Cattle and Their AlliesCattle and Their Allies Rowe, ChristopherChristopher Rowe 1 110PF110
Tower in DarknessThe Tower in Darkness Wagner, Wendy N.Wendy N. Wagner 1 111PF111
Symphony of MadnessSymphony of Madness Aiken, Jason ScottJason Scott Aiken 1 112PF112
Tomb of the Winds, TheThe Tomb of the Winds Dembo, ArinnArinn Dembo 1 113PF113
Close ConversationClose Conversation Daigle, AdamAdam Daigle 1 114PF114

References