BYRON BREWER: Wes, you must enjoy the comic book aspect of the Pathfinder franchise because you are no stranger to Dynamite readers as an author. Tell us what it means for you to be able to tell the stories of these unique characters in this media.
F. WESLEY SCHNEIDER: Working on the Pathfinder RPG means creating tons of cool of adventures, but it also means always being the bad guy. In writing for tabletop roleplaying games the one thing you never get to control are the heroes—that’s the players’ role. But with the Pathfinder comic, we finally get to be heroes! It’s a blast charting the fates of some of Pathfinder’s most popular heroes, setting them up to succeed, to fail, and to have the sort of off-kilter hijinx that go down during the best roleplaying sessions.
BB: What would you say to a reader of Pathfinder: Runescars who isn’t necessarily a gamer, or to an avid fan of Pathfinder who is not usually a comics buyer, to get them enjoying this franchise to its fullest?
FWS: You haven’t missed anything. If you love adventure comics but are worried you won’t get some reference to the game or to Pathfinder setting lore: don’t sweat it. From the series’ inception we’ve wanted it to be accessible to everyone. There are tons of Pathfinder stories out there and if, after diving into the comic, you want more, we’ve got you covered with tons of stories and setting books. But all that’s bonus stuff, not an expectation.
On the other hand, if you’re a diehard Pathfinder fan, the comic gives you a completely unique perspective on the Pathfinder world, providing a vantage from inside the setting. Getting to see a city like Korvosa—the setting of Runescars—from the street level is completely different from the 1,000-foot view most game supplements provide. So, if you’re looking to spend your game time exploring the Pathfinder world, nothing’s going to bring it to life like spending a few issues adventuring there.
BB: In #3, out in July, we see our heroes come face to face with the leader of the Order of the Nail. What can you tell the uninitiated about Lictor Severs DiViri?
FWS: Lictor DiViri is a familiar name for most long-time Pathfinder readers, being one of the leaders of the notorious Hellknights. Despite having been in the game for years, though, this is the first time DiViri’s taking center stage as a character with a code and agenda that pits him against the Pathfinder heroes. The Hellknights are all about the law and its rigid interpretation, so when the PCs have to break into the grim lawbringers’ citadel, DiViri has to take time out of his busy schedule of subjugating the Varisian frontier and stomping out dissent. How he deals with the heroes trespassing is, in a word, merciless.
BB: What characters should readers especially be on the lookout for in this issue? Any new protagonists debuting in the book?
FWS: Aside from exploring a Hellknight citadel from the inside, Runescars #3 also introduces a pair of new Shoanti characters. Like the members of the Varisian human ethnicity, the Shoanti are human natives of Varisia who have not fared well since foreigners began encroaching on their lands. The Shoanti take inspiration from a hodgepodge of real world nomadic peoples, classic fantasy warrior tropes, and the God of War video game series. The end result is a proud, suspicious people willing to risk everything to defend their homeland and one another—and opportunities for both arise in this month’s issue.
BB: So what is Ediano Silva bringing to this table? And has the artist asked for a renegotiation of his contract due to too many characters?! (laughs)
FWS: This issue is the high water mark for characters on stage in the series, but Ediano’s been doing an incredible job, not just dealing with the number of characters but with all their distinctive looks and world-specific nuances. With so many distinct characters, cultures, and details in the story, there’s a ton to keep track of—it’s a major juggling act even for those of us who created the setting and who’ve been developing it for years. But Ediano’s work has been nailing it issue after issue. We couldn’t hope for a more deliberate, exciting glimpse into the Pathfinder world!
BB: Wes, Pathfinder comics always come with bonus content! What do we have for readers of issue #3 in July?
FWS: Paizo developer Jason Keeley has been doing a fantastic job tackling the Pathfinder world articles and mini-adventures in the back of every issue. This time around, Jason explores a bit of background on the Shoanti people and their foes, the Hellknights—both of which feature prominently in this month’s story. So, if you’re looking for more context on either of those groups, or you need something to take straight to your game table, Jason’s got you covered.