Tyranny Stories

•June 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Obsidian Entertainment recently announced their upcoming RPG, Tyranny, which is a project I’ve been proudly attached to for almost a year now. I couldn’t be more proud of the work that our talented team has put into this game, and I can’t wait for more people to play it.

Through Obsidian and Paradox Interactive, I’ve been publishing short stories that take place in the world of Tyranny and serve to introduce the setting and many of its themes in advance of the game’s release.

I’ve compiled relevant links on the “Tyranny Stories” tab to the right hand side of my blog (and that hyperlink, obviously!) and I will update that page as additional stories or media become available.

Enjoy, future tyrants!


It’s Story Time!

•November 3, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Small Harvest

A year ago, I was working on the World Almanac for Pillars of Eternity. This was a fun assignment where I got to take what I knew of the Pillars campaign setting and extrapolate on some of the world details – painting with a finer brush than the broad strokes of the Guidebook.

Smash cut to a few weeks ago, when one of my colleagues approached me and asked: “Hey, when you wrote the Almanac, did you include any Halloween-type holidays?”

Of course I had written like three of them, because writing Halloween is what Kirsches do.

The Pillars site is currently featuring a page dedicated to The Small Harvest. If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll find…


A short story by yours truly, as well as stories by my colleagues at Obsidian🙂

Here’s a quicker link to the stories: http://eternity.obsidian.net/media/stories


Paul’s Crazy New Job

•July 23, 2015 • 4 Comments


Back in the dark ages of the 90’s, I fell in love with Baldur’s Gate-style PC games. Fallout, Icewind Dale, Planescape: Torment — they all sit on thrones of honor as far as my creative development is concerned. It amuses me to no end to announce that I’ll have a hand in creating those types of games for a change.

Starting this Monday, I’ll be a full-time writer at Obsidian Entertainment.

I couldn’t definitively say what the next chapter of my career will look like, but I have some notions. I’m extremely excited to get going, and eager to get savvy in the new role. I’ve been clicking around the Neverwinter Nights 2 toolset with the hopes that my new technical universe won’t take me completely by surprise.

This post is dedicated to the memory of my four-year search for a creatively-engaging position. Here are a couple of beloved highlights from the journey. Thanks to the friends and family who saw me through it. I couldn’t have endured without you.

How I Almost Ended up Editor in Chief of an Imaginary Company

My Interview at the Sex Institute

And lastly, this one’s for you Mom and Dad:

hopeful parents

Read “The Remedy”

•April 8, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Asher Ellis - The RemedyI met Asher Ellis at the Stonecoast MFA for Creative Writing — Asher studying horror, and me pursuing steampunk. I don’t think we ever actually shared a workshop together, but every time Asher told me about one of his stories, I grew increasingly convinced that he was the living reincarnation of Rod Serling.

Asher’s story ideas are like shower thoughts — brilliant and out of the box — but he also has the talent to execute them with a measured, intentional approach. He’s the kind of writer friend who makes me feel like I should do better.

He’s also the only guy I know who’s unlocked every Xbox achievement for Alan Wake. I’ll give everyone a moment to let that sink in.

I’m proud to say that Asher’s first book is now available on E-readers everywhere, and I can’t wait to pick it up. Click on one of the links below to find it.

kindle1                 nook

To learn more about Asher and his work, click on this handsome devil.


Let’s Talk About That Book

•March 16, 2015 • Leave a Comment


Yes, I *do* technically have a book coming out in eight days!

The Pillars of Eternity Guidebook, Vol. 1 is the brainchild of Obsidian Entertainment, and I was honored to be the medium through which our collaborative ideas were distilled into words.

In 2012, Pillars of Eternity enjoyed a successful Kickstarter campaign, which was supported by almost 74,000 backers. The years since have been nerd-foreplay of the highest order, so time has built up a ton of anticipation for the game and, to a lesser extent, this book.

I completed writing it almost a year ago. Since I handed it off to my colleagues at Obsidian, I’ve had two legitimate nightmares that the entire draft was deleted and re-written, and I wouldn’t know about it until I had a copy in my hands. When I opened the cover and saw my words staring back at me, my relief could not be exaggerated.

As excited as I am to see the book on shelves, I’m really hyped for the game. It’s like Ms. Frizzle swooped me away in her magical school bus. “Remember those elves you wrote about? Now they’re trying to kill you. Wheee!”

On more personal news, my book is coming along. I recently tinkered on a big-picture issue with pacing, and it put me in a position to rethink how I present the world, the story, and everything. So it’s not finished — certainly not on shelves — but the more I work on it, the more confident I am that it will be.

R.I.P. Terry Pratchett

•March 12, 2015 • Leave a Comment


I started reading Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books in high school. I’ve only read a handful, but Terry’s writing has always been an inspiration. Like Mervyn Peake, it seemed that every sentence he wrote was pure poetry, even when he was discussing a topic of the highest absurdity. That’s a skill of the English to which I can only aspire.

Before I learned of Terry’s passing, I had an interesting shower thought: When I read only great books, sitting down to write can feel like an act of futility. How can I possibly walk the same path as these masters, and what publisher will ever take me when such brilliance is already in the world?

The fact of the matter is, there’s a lot of atrocious writing getting published and celebrated every day, and writers like Terry are the exception who screw up the averages.

Of course I can make it in this world. But I’m sad to know that there’s one less unicorn left in it.


Onward and Upward

•January 8, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Fallen London

Many of my closest colleagues already know that I did not get the job discussed in my previous post. I learned a lot about myself and the industry during this lengthy application, and I built a couple of games in the process. All of this is a huge checkmark in the plus column.

The game sample I created in StoryNexus is quite short, but I’m largely pleased with the writing and the look of it. You can find it HERE. You need to register for a login to play, but that will open the way to Fallen London and myriad other games.