Wes Schneider

Do you think Paizo's willingness to keep Pathfinder accessible online, through the d20pftsrd and your own site's PDF releases, has contributed to Pathfinder's success in the Tabletop world? Especially over more older and prolific fantasy tabletop games.

Information's going to be online and it's going to be free one way or another. You can embrace that or shout at the sea. I don't know about other companies, but I'm glad Paizo spends its time coming up with cool stories and products rather than pour resources into creating dams that are bound to fail.
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Latest answers from Wes Schneider

I loved your articles on annis, green, and night hags for Dragon Magazine's monster ecologies. I thought you did a marvelous job fleshing out that family of monsters. Was there ever an article on sea hags planned that didn't make it to print?

Will Staples
Thanks a ton! I'm still surprised how often folks bring those up!
As for sea hags: only in my head, nothing that was ever slated for publication. Hags still have a special, messed-up place in my heart, though. (My first Dragon mag article was about evil nature/hag items, "By the Hands of Hags," after all.) I got changelings into print in the first Carrion Crown adventure and they've kind of taken off from there. Hollow's Last Hope, the first Pathfinder Adventure—which Jason Bulmahn and I wrote together—also features as hag. So they're definitely out there in the PF world. And who knows, if we ever do an Adventure Path where it makes sense, maybe we'll see that Ecology of the Sea Hag.

Now that male dryads are canon in Pathfinder, would the same apply to other comely fey, such as nymphs? (pleasepleaseplease!)

Totally. In most cases, I think hardwired genders for creatures that don't biologically reproduce is sort of silly. If a dryad wants to identify as male, or a satyr as female, they should go for it. Beyond that, there's a whole trope in mythology of the sexy "monster" folks really want to fool around with. If we're going to have that for those who like ladies, shouldn't we have that for those who like guys too? So, if you want that in your game, go for it!
That said, for some creatures, like changelings for example (which are universally female daughters of hags), it's a big part of their story that they're biologically female. So, sometimes that comes up and if biology is a part of their schtick, perhaps that has value. If members of such races identify otherwise or want to change their gender, though, more power to them!

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Considering the majority of campaign settings don't have a "god of humans," what was the reasoning behind the creation of Aroden as such an archetype from a design standpoint?

QuasarKnightE’s Profile PhotoRay Chapel
That was mainly it, why should humanity be special? It's also been a useful story device, linking human cultures in some ways, pulling in some real-word theosophical ideas, and setting up the potential decline of humanity in the world. There's been lots of neat story potential, so I'm really pleased we did it!

What are the Royal Accusers of Ustalav (mentioned in Occult Mysteries)? Are they related to the Bureau of Special Investigations (mentioned in Ashes at Dawn)? Will either group appear in your Pathfinder novel Bloodbound?

Multiple questions!!! First, they're a new, special thing.Second, they are only related in that they probably both have reason to work from the Whiteshaw building. Third, yes... and not just there. Stay tuned. :D

Thank you for being an advocate for diversity! How do you feel being gay has influenced your writing and/or gaming? Could you talk a little about your coming out process?

Thank you! Everyone should feel welcome at the game table and, in my opinion, seeing characters like yourself in the stories you find there is the easiest way of conveying "You're wanted here."
As for how being gay has influenced my writing, for a long time, I'd say it didn't. When I was first starting to find my voice, I really tried to blend in and write like all the other people I was reading and working with—I didn't want to be "just that gay writer." Now that I feel like I'm more established and have an inkling of what I'm doing, I'm much more comfortable mixing things up. While I still love my dark fantasy and gothic tropes, I see the value of using multiple tools much more these days. Among those, is just the desire to mix things up and write things I haven't seen before. Another is finding places for queerness in my work. So far this year alone I've written stories featuring queer vampires, a bisexual prostitute-detective, and two with male dryads. It's not not just about getting more LGBTQ characters out there, it's about looking at my knee-jerk decisions and thinking, "maybe my first choice isn't the best one." Five years ago, I might have avoided some of this. Now, screw it. Everyone doesn't have to like my stuff, but if one person finds something that resounds meaningfully with them, then that could really matter.
It was HUGE for me when I was reading Green Ronin's Freedom City and found Steven Kenson's openly gay character Johnny Rocket in there. That's the first time I saw a character in an RPG that was gay, accepted, heroic, and absolutely not some swishy sterotype. It meant a lot. If I can throw in a few characters here and there with the potential to affect even a small number of readers in the same way, that's fantastic. And if I can share that inclination with my co-workers and other writers—both established and just starting out—all the better!
Also, I feel like over time it's made me more open to criticism. I screw up constantly. I say dumb things. I misrepresent myself. I misspell and screw up my grammar. I stammer, trail off, and misspeak. I've also accepted that, despite my best efforts, I will screw up. If I say something that unintentionally offends, I'm happy to apologize and try to do better in the future. It's easy to take criticism as an attack—and even now I often need to step away from the reaction my vulnerable inner artiste' wants to have, but that's how you grow as a creative. The best criticism can be "writer medicine." It can be hard to swallow, and sometimes you need to take lots of it, but stick with it, get stronger, and eventually you won't need it anymore (at least, for that particular ailment).
I'm sure my experience influences me in a billion other ways—like, it certainly makes me very conscious of the type of person I don't want to be—but, I'll leave it at that for now.
I'm running out of room here, but I'll continue this on my Tumblr if anyone's interested in more.
Thanks for the great question

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So I saw you in the credits of my copy of Pt 1 of Shattered Star. So I'm hoping that, despite the AP 2-3yrs old, you can answer my question. When a PC picks up one of the Shards, he gains the boon and the curse. Does using an Ioun Stone only negate the curse, or also the boon? RAW is a bit ambiguos

I would ask this on the Shattered Star message boards on Paizo.com. That way, the AP's developer will see it (and likely answer you), you can get other readers' interpretations, and other folks with the same question can see it. That forum lives right here: http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/adventurePath/shatteredStar

Given how Hell likes to steal innocent souls, how can mere Mythos monsters seem horrific in comparison? No matter how big Cthulhu’s special effects budget is, at least his innocent victims get a pleasant afterlife after their civilization is destroyed.

Do they?

How do kytons feel about devils emphasizing psychological torture over body horror? How do the devils feel about the kytons?

There's plenty of evil in the multiverse for everyone. No one has a lock on it and it's far from a finite resource. At the same time, these races are made up of diverse beings with countless, fathomless agendas. So, ultimately, I'd say it varies.
In other words: it works however you want it to. Don't feel shackled to one answer on maters of a complexity and scale beyond any one of our understandings. If you've got a cool story involving these creatures, go tell it!

Why would anybody with a working knowledge of Hell willingly serve it?

I think asking this question speaks VERY well of you.

What advice would you have for someone who wanted to stat up empyreal lords? Specifically, what powers should be standard? What should they have different from demon lords (besides the alignment-based stuff)?

I would look at the existing stats and abilities and use those as departure points. From there, do whatever feels right for your interpretation, players, and the story you want to tell.

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