I’ll just spit it out. I’m leaving Paizo.

It would be more honest to say, I’m not going to be going to the Paizo offices daily. I’ll still do work for Paizo. I’m going to continue to design their Flip-Mats and Flip-Tiles products until they tell me to stop scribbling, and I’ll do design work whenever they come calling, and I have time in my schedule, but I’m striking out on my own.

When the Replacements released their album on a major label, the cover was a joke about them selling out. I feel like my path is reversed.

Come August, I’m a free agent. What does that mean? That means I get to work more on Delve RPG, at least as much as you all let me. Starting today, I’m launching a Patreon for Delve. It’s rough and light on details, but that’s only a start. There is only one backer plan at the $5 level–tailor-made for those of you who want to support it–but there will be more levels in the next couple of weeks. I’ll endeavor to make it fun and exciting, and I’m always open to suggestions as we move forward. But for right now, the more of you who support it, the more time in my work week I can devote to this game. It’s just that simple.

It also means I need to earn my keep through freelance projects. I’m a gun for hire. And if you want to inquire toward my doing work for you, you can contact me via I have a fair number of contracts right now, but I’m always on the lookout for something challenging and cool.

So why am I doing this? Because I want to. I game design–especially tabletop game design–and I don’t plan on quitting any time soon. I just want to do it on my own terms, in my own space, by my own rules. I’ve concluded that my creative growth as a game designer, writer, and a human being isn’t tied to one company. It’s a bold move, I know. And one not without dangers. But I do love danger and being bold is just in my blood. And it just feels so goddamned right.

So that’s it. It’s all I wanted to say to you today. For my U.S. friends, enjoy the barbeque and fireworks. As for the rest of you, enjoy your Thursday. We’ll talk more about the story and tactics of Delve next week.


Author: SRM

Stephen began working on RPGs in 2000, when he became the RPGA editorial assistant at Wizards of the Coast, working on both Polyhedron magazine and Living Greyhawk Journal. Over the years he's administered the Living Greyhawk campaign, aided in the development of the D&D 3.5 Edition rules, was a developer for D&D 4th Edition and Star Wars Saga Edition, taught numerous game design classes in the Seattle area, and contributed to the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide and Ultimate Magic as a freelance designer. He worked at Paizo for nearly nine years as a designer and then senior designer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. He's also the guy who designs the Pathfinder Flip-Mats, Flip-Tiles, and Map Packs. His current credits include Southlands for Kobold Press, as well as Hell’s Vengeance: For Queen & Empire, Horror Adventures,  Villain Codex, and Ultimate Intrigue, Ultimate Wilderness, Pathfinder Playtest, and Pathfinder Second Edition all for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. He was also on the initial design team for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game and wrote Dead Suns: The Thirteenth Gate adventure for that game. He served as the senior designer for the Pathfinder Playtest and the Pathfinder Second Edition Roleplaying Game. Currently, Stephen is a freelance game designer, content writer, and consultant working with various companies when he is not spending time with his family, wrangling kittens, and working on Delve. Delve is a culmination of Stephen's ideas about tabletop roleplaying games over the past 19 years. It's a new look at d20-resolution systems and traditional fantasy roleplaying game design and tropes through the lens of more modern modes of game design. And Stephen sincerely hopes you enjoy playing it because that's the point.

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