Tabletop Gaming

James is a co-creator of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Starfinder Roleplaying Game. From 2004 to 2017, he worked for Paizo Inc., starting as an editor on Dungeon Magazine, serving as a key developer and editor on Pathfinder, and eventually working his way up to being the original Creative Director of Starfinder, as well as Executive Editor of the Pathfinder Tales novel line. Over the course of his time at Paizo, he worked directly on hundreds of RPG products that went on to win dozens of ENnies, Origins Awards, and more--listed below are only those supplements that James wrote for as a freelancer, rather than in his capacity as a staff member.

In September of 2017, after leading Starfinder through the most successful game launch in Paizo's history, James stepped down as Creative Director, resigning from Paizo to focus on writing full-time.

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Below are a few of the game books for which James is best known.

Starfinder Core Rulebook
The core rulebook for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, a science-fantasy evolution of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, for which James was the Creative Director and a primary author.
Distant Worlds
An overview of the many worlds of Golarion's solar system, plus the alien societies that live there.
City of Strangers
A guide to James's signature Pathfinder city, the anarchic refuge of Kaer Maga.
October 2012
The First World, Realm of the Fey
A guide to the First World, the rough draft of reality that gave birth to the fey, as well as the strange Eldest who rule it.

Other Gaming Supplements

Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus
An adventure and setting guide for Dungeons & Dragons, in which James did design work updating and expanding the iconic city of Baldur's Gate.
Lost Omens World Guide
An updated, second-edition guide to the heart of the Pathfinder campaign setting.
Starfinder Alien Archive 2
More strange new alien races and monstrous foes for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.
Starfinder Adventure Path #13: Fire Starters
Fire Starters
The first adventure in Starfinder's Dawn of Flame Adventure Path, in which PCs must stop the fascist occupation of a mysterious bubble city inside the sun.
Starfinder Adventure Path #12: Heart of Night.
Alien Archive
The final installment in Starfinder's horror AP.
Starfinder Adventure Path #11: The Penumbra Protocol
Alien Archive
The second installment in Starfinder's horror AP.
Starfinder Adventure Path #10: The Diaspora Strain
Alien Archive
The first installment in Starfinder's horror AP.
Starfinder Pact Worlds
An in-depth look at the various worlds of Starfinder's core setting.
Pathfinder Planar Adventures
Heaven and the First World
The definitive guide to Pathfinder's Outer Planes.
Starfinder Alien Archive
A variety of strange new alien races and monstrous foes for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.
Starfinder Adventure Path #2: Temple of the Twelve
A gazetteer of the jungle planet Castrovel, co-written with John Compton.
Starfinder Adventure Path #1: Incident at Absalom Station
Absalom Station
A special double-sized gazetteer of Absalom Station, the heart of the Pact Worlds and the Starfinder RPG's campaign setting.
The Faerie Ring: Along the Twisting Way
An overview of the Oleron, the eerie fey lord of cancer and unchecked growth, as well as his realm and servants. Co-written with Amanda Hamon-Kunz.
Bestiary 6
Bizarre fey from the First World.
Distant Shores
Ular Kel
Details on the great caravan city of Ular Kel, Jewel of the Steppe in central Casmaron.
Lost Treasures
Witchmarket Coin
The Witchmarket Coin allows both fools and heroes to bargain with the Witchmarket's legendary fey merchants.
People of the Stars
Distant Stars
A brief look at some of the celestial bodies not covered in Distant Worlds.
The Emerald Spire
Order and Chaos
One of the deepest levels in the Emerald Spire superdungeon, featuring inevitables, proteans, and the eternal conflict between the two. (Other authors on the Emerald Spire include such gaming luminaries as Ed Greenwood, Frank Mentzer, Chris Pramas, Keith Baker, and more!)
Inner Sea Gods
A thorough overview of the many deities and demigods of the Inner Sea Setting.
Blood on the Snow (Drama System RPG)
The Throne
A campaign setting in which angels vie for control of a Heaven abandoned by God. Created as a reward for Robin D. Laws' massively successful Drama System Kickstarter.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Faiths & Philosophies
Wrongful Beliefs
An in-character diatribe by a worshiper of Iomedae, warning against the many "wrongful" faiths and philosophies of the Pathfinder campaign setting.
May 2013
Pathfinder #70: The Frozen Stars
Planet of Dragons
A gazetteer of Triaxus, a planet in Golarion's solar system whose eccentric orbit leads to centuries-long seasons, with a particular emphasis on the draconic empires of the Drakelands and the dragonriders of the Skyfire Mandate.
December 2012
Pathfinder #63: The Asylum Stone
The Asylum Stone," "Gangs of Kaer Maga," "Chrestomath," "Clockwork Familiar
The third adventure in the Shattered Star Adventure Path, featuring a series of dungeons set in the anarchic city of Kaer Maga, including a golemcrafter's hanging manse, the lost laboratories of a runelord, and the ageless cavern-forest of the Dark Rider.
Inner Sea Bestiary
A collection of monsters unique to the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, to which I contributed several beasties.
Varisia: Birthplace of Legends
Kaer Maga
A short article on one of Varisia's most notorious cities for the newly relaunched Pathfinder Player Companion line.
Bestiary 3
The third hardcover monster collection for the PFRPG. My contributions included monsters like the shae, caulborn, and ceratiodi (written with China Mieville)
The Inner Sea World Guide
The updated and vastly improved version of the original Pathfinder campaign setting hardcover, for which I both wrote new sections and provided the source material for regions like Kyonin, Belkzen, the Steaming Sea, Varisia, the solar system, and more.
Bestiary 2
The second hardcover monster collection for the PFRPG, to which James contributed numerous monsters.
Misfit Monsters Redeemed
Flail Snail
How could anyone have ever thought the flail snail was less than brilliant? This article delves deep into the mysterious gastropods' slimy allure.
Kobold Quarterly #14
Prince of Wolves
Game rules for new magic items, spells, and more from the first Pathfinder Tales novel, Prince of Wolves
The Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player's Guide
Tons of new rules, classes, and other options for players, for which James wrote primarily interstitial material.
Pathfinder #36: Sound of a Thousand Screams
The First World
In which we unveil the mysteries of the fey realm once and for all.
The Pathfinder RPG Gamemastery Guide
All the advice, tables, and secret tricks you need to make you into the best GM possible, written by some of the industry's foremost designers. James wrote large portions of the worldbuilding section.
Pathfinder #32: Rivers Run Red
A species of humanoid angler fish cowritten with China Miéville!
Pathfinder #31: Stolen Land
Death at the Swaddled Otter
The first chapter in a new Pathfinder's Journal, starring two scoundrels searching for glory in the River Kingdoms--without working too hard at it, of course.
NPC Guide
Kirin the Heretic
Premade NPCs for every situation--as well as characters from Paizo's own internal Shadow Under Sandpoint game.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary
The definitive monster book for the PFRPG, to which James contributed numerous creatures.
Seekers of Secrets
A comprehensive guide to the Pathfinder Society. James designed the Grand Lodge and the process through which Pathfinders are trained and commissioned.
Dungeon Denizens Revisited
Rust Monsters
A new spin on roleplaying's most classic monsters--including James's take on the rust monster.
Pathfinder Companion: Legacy of Fire Player's Guide
Exotic Arms
Strange weapons from the desert markets of Katapesh.
Pathfinder #18: Descent Into Midnight
End of the Road
The concluding chapter of the Eando Kline saga in the Pathfinder's Journal.
Pathfinder #17: A Memory of Darkness
A gazetteer of the elven nation of Kyonin.
Pathfinder #14: Children of the Void
Into the Black
A gazetteer of Golarion's solar system.
The Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting
The original guide to the Pathfinder campaign setting, for which James was one of the primary designers.
Classic Monsters Revisited
A new take on an old favorite, delving deep into lizardfolk physiology and society.
Pathfinder #12: Crown of Fangs
Pink Like Me
The twelfth installment in the Pathfinder's Journal, in which Eando gets a look at the other side of prejudice and completely loses his temper.
Pathfinder #11: Skeletons of Scarwall
A Friend in Need
The eleventh installment in the Pathfinder's Journal, in which Eando encounters some insects of unusual size and learns that trust is a pleasant liability.
Pathfinder #11: Skeletons of Scarwall
The Hold of Belkzen
A detailed gazetteer of the savage Hold of Belkzen, ancestral home of Golarion's orcs and bastion of ancient secrets from before the Age of Darkness.
Pathfinder #6: Spires of Xin-Shalast
Of Endings and Beginnings
The sixth installment in the Pathfinder's Journal, in which Eando Kline learns not to trust wizards, and what it truly means to sacrifice in the name of friendship.
Pathfinder #5: Sins of the Saviors
Belly of the Beast
The fifth installment in the Pathfinder's Journal, in which Eando Kline recruits an old friend to help him sneak back into the Red Mantis safe house. Written with Mike McArtor.
Pathfinder #3: The Hook Mountain Massacre
Hand of the Handless
The third installment in the Pathfinder's Journal, in which Eando Kline ventures into the anarchic squatter city of Kaer Maga.
Pathfinder #3: The Hook Mountain Massacre
Varisia: Cradle of Legends
An in-depth backdrop detailing ruins, cities, and other locations of note in Varisia.
Pathfinder #3: The Hook Mountain Massacre
Keeping the Keep
So you've finally managed to secure yourself a castle. Now how do you rule it successfully? Co-written with Mike McArtor.
Dungeon Magazine #150
Bar Fight!
Campaign Workbook for the final print issue. Everything you need to come up with a good old-fashioned roadhouse dust-up.
Dragon Magazine #359
Body Modifications
Class Act for the final print issue. The racy picture of Lidda the iconic halfling that accompanied it was priceless.
D2: Seven Swords of Sin
One of Paizo's first 32-page adventure modules, D2: Seven Swords of Sin began as a contest between Paizo staff members as to who could build the deadliest rooms for the Gen Con Delve, with those rooms later being incorporated into a much larger dungeon adventure written by James. Explore an abandoned research facility beneath the anarchic squatter city of Kaer Maga, and stop a sorceress from combining the blades of the ancient Runelords!
Dungeon Magazine #148
The Automatic Hound
Deep in the forest, two hunters stumble across the site of a strange and ancient ritual, and one pays the ultimate price. Now a murderous beast stalks the streets of a quiet farm town. Can the PCs unravel the secret of Dramsburg’s dark past and defeat a monster that cannot be killed?
Dungeon Magazine #146
Let the Kid Talk
An editorial about the death of hack-'n-slash and the nerding of mainstream American culture.
Dungeon Magazine #144
The Lightless Depths
The sixth installment in the Savage Tide Adventure Path. Deep beneath the Isle of Dread, an insane living city harbors the key to the Crimson Fleet's shadow pearls. Yet in order to destroy them, the PCs may need to unleash an alien evil just as horrifying. Written with Wes Schneider.
Dragon Magazine #350
Wizard's Workshop
Bazaar of the Bizarre article featuring new magical items designed to make the arcane spellcaster's life that much easier.
Dragon Magazine #349
Savage Tidings: Beyond Sasserine
The second installment of Savage Tidings, Dragon's supplementary series for players in the Savage Tide Adventure Path. Written with Wes Schneider.
Dungeon Magazine #139
Healing for Hire
What do you do when nobody wants to be the cleric? This article presents three new NPCs willing to supply your party with healing--for a price.
Dungeon Magazine #129
Malek: Evil Entombed
A Critical Threat article tied in with the second Dungeons & Dragons movie, written with Wes Schneider and Mike McArtor. An evil wizard fatally teleports himself into a wall, only to find that death isn't quite the end...
Dungeons and Dragons II: Wrath of the Dragon God
Servant of Decay
DVD bonus feature adventure, written with Wes Schneider and Mike McArtor. A brief foray into a subterranean temple of Juiblex, lord of slimes and oozes, helps guide beginners into the world of D&D.
Dungeon Magazine #128
James's first published D&D adventure, written with Wes Schneider. Jack the Ripper meets Jane Austen.