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Taergan Flinn

knightnday's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 1,789 posts. 40 reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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137ben wrote:
knightnday wrote:


From the looks of it, trust seems to be the main issue; not just trust with the moderators, but trust with your fellow poster not to try to twist things against you.

How do you fix an issue of trust?

Honesty.

Say you have a post deleted, and you e-mail Paizo asking why. If you are told
"We are sorry, to protect your confidentiality, we cannot tell you any details as to why your post may or may not have been deleted, nor can we even confirm or deny that we did delete one of your posts,"

....then either
a)Whoever wrote that e-mail (and possibly whoever wrote Paizo's moderation policies) is ignorant of what confidentiality actually is, or
b)Whoever wrote that e-mail is lying.

If no one at Paizo honestly knows what confidentiality is...there are a lot of ways they could find out. I don't really think we need to delve into this possibility. It certainly won't instill much trust of the mods in users.

If you find out that Paizo has sent the same nonsensical response to many users over a long period of time, it sends the impression that Paizo has a policy of lying in responses when asked about moderation decisions. And that, too, is not a good way for Paizo to build a reputation of trustworthiness.

If, on top of all that, e-mailed responses you get from Paizo are laced with personal insults, it becomes really hard to believe that whichever moderator is e-mailing you can enforce the Community Guidelines.

Everything I just said only applies to trust in moderators. As you pointed out, trust in other users is an issue as well, but it's an issue I have absolutely no idea how to address.

Or it could be (c) they intended to say they were protecting the other poster's confidentiality and simply misspoke/mistyped.

I cannot speak for the moderators here, but when I administrated several games and had to discipline someone, for whatever reason, we customarily didn't disclose what had happened to other people that we had to talk to, in order to cut down on the "why did X get that punishment and Y didn't?"

It's hard to consistently do a job like that and not have a level of distrust from users who are upset that their friend got punished or that the response they got wasn't as clear as they'd like. But it breeds what we're seeing here, with calls of lying, of favoritism, of corruption. None of those things are easy to disprove once the rumor mill starts up.

Regardless of how you feel about the mods or other posters, if your post(s) get deleted, it isn't the end of the world, or even that bad of a thing. You shrug and go back to that conversation or another and try not stray towards whatever got the thread removed, the posts taken down, and so on. We have to negotiate the same mine field in real life with other people. I'm not sure why it has to be so hard here.


Jiggy wrote:

Aren't we drifting a bit from the topic of forum moderation with this whole "who's offended and why" thing?

Yes, sometimes a person is legitimately offended and the speaker needs to adjust their behavior, so we can't just dump all the power in the hands of the speaker.

Yes, sometimes a person claims to be offended in an effort to silence the speaker's opinion, so we can't just dump all the power in the hands of the listener.

Yes, sometimes a person is offended and the speaker claims that the cry of offense is just an attempt to silence the speaker's opinion, but really it's the speaker trying to silence the opinion of the listener, so I clearly can't choose the wine in front of me.

Isn't that part of why we have moderators in the first place? Remember when this thread was about coming up with ways to improve the methods and/or tools of the moderation team on this particular forum?

From the looks of it, trust seems to be the main issue; not just trust with the moderators, but trust with your fellow poster not to try to twist things against you.

How do you fix an issue of trust?


Jessica Price wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:
I´m unsure how that´s stereotyping.

"Cowboy attitudes"? Beans and bacon?

You don't get why those are stereotypes? It's reducing an entire diverse, massive country to a single movie character archetype.

Quote:
At least from my european view people includes men and women as well as all who don´t want to be that or who are not?
Women who try to be "alpha" anything get severely punished here. As do women who are blunt--or even firm.

The cowboy bit is a very 80's view of America, as shown by Hans Gruber in Die Hard for example. Of course, I've seen Americans act like people from the Southwest or Texas are all cowboys as well, or all Californias are surfers, etc.

I don't get the bacon thing, however? Bacon has been a big thing in cooking circles for a few years now, with different crazes and trends, but I haven't seen that it is strictly an American thing .. unless the Food Network is lying to me again!

But yes, to Americans those sorts of things come across as insulting and stereotypical, much like applying a British stereotype to someone from France, or Germany, or Spain. I mean, all Europeans are the same, right?

A good example? I've had a number of Europeans use the term Yank or Yankee to describe Americans. I can tell you from vast experience that Americans from the South consider that an insult, one that can provoke a rather loud response.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Something I've always struggled with is the urge to post quickly. Y'know how we have that Bystander Mentality approach to our PbPs where we subconsciously procrastinate on posting until everyone else is waiting for us? In arguments, it's the opposite—we have this completely irrational sense, that if we don't get our post up right f&+@ing now, it will be too late, the thread will move on, and our opponents will get those extra ten minutes of Being Wrong that they need to shore up their defenses.

Never make a post while angry. It never helps matters. No matter how powerful an angry post can be, there is always a more effective way to communicate the same points in coldness. Write up the post, then hold off on posting for a while. Ten minutes, say. Arguments do not need to be rushed on a forum. That's the whole advantage of a forum debate!

There are times when a post pisses me off to the point that waiting ten minutes won't help—I'll be angry no matter what. That's the point where I would probably just want to involve the mods, if possible.

Wise words. To piggyback off this and what Steven mentioned in a prior post, it is totally alright to state your point and then just leave it at that. The other person can be "wrong" or "right" and there isn't need to get the last word in.

I tend to think that is where we start getting into the problems, trying to get in the last word or prove somehow that we are right rather than just saying what we have to say and stepping back.

I try not to see my name more than a few times on a page if at all possible. I often think that if I am posting more than that, I'm either getting heated or getting into a pointless argument and losing not only my point but any hope of getting what I was trying to say across in the rush to say something else.


I believe that James mentioned on another thread that more than mentions are forthcoming; currently we're dealing with the Inner Sea and expanding outwards from there.


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Very nice. I'd love to see this in a poster form for sale.


Which leads to the question of how do you know if someone is offended, for themselves or others? People tend to want to defend their friends or an idea over something that they see as wrong.

I know I've wandered into a thread, read something and was mildly offended and just backed out of the thread rather than getting into it with the posters. Some people have a lower threshold for offense than I do, or are more likely to defend their friends or an idea than I am.

As far as the above question from Buri on identifying offense and so forth, that's what I suggest we leave to the mods. There are things that I've flagged that were apparently not offensive enough to get removed, and things that seemed OK at the time that apparently bothered people. They do a fairly good job IMO of getting it right and striking a healthy balance here.


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This hypothetical situation sounds vaguely familiar ..

In any case, I might suggest not engaging with the person and letting silence reign on the topic. Discuss something else and avoid that topic for the time being. It is hard to argue when no one wants to play along; talk about something else or just don't say anything on the thread for a bit. Perhaps their anger or disagreement will dissipate when there is no one to talk to.


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Just because one believes one is not giving offense does not mean that something isn't offensive. As remarked above, people believe all sorts of things about what they do, whether they are right, wrong, mean, rude, and so on. One person's "speaking bluntly" can come across as dismissive and rude to many others.


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Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
There are expectations that mods should leave their bad day or personal likes/dislikes at the door and comport themselves professionally, but when it is suggested that posters do the same you'd think that we're asking for the moon.
Nobody's suggesting that it's unreasonable to ask posters to behave themselves. I'm suggesting that (at least a good portion of the time) they think they already are. I don't understand how you got "asking posters to behave is being treated like asking for the moon" out of "posters don't realize they're not already behaving".

Probably from the general responses in the posts that followed mine, suggesting that it is hard for people to be polite/behave, as well as the idea that they aren't aware that they aren't already behaving.

It's a matter of disagreeing that many (not all) posters are somehow unaware that snark, sarcasm, and general aggressive posting styles, while popular on the internet, are nonetheless problematic. As I said above, people in general are experts at self-delusion. Some honestly believe that they are just "speaking bluntly", not realizing or not wanting to understand that without the inflections and body language and whatnot that we have in face to face contact that it comes across poorly in text.


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Buri Reborn wrote:
knightnday wrote:

You cannot expect people to comport themselves politely after years in the same place? Er... people do it all the time at jobs. Again, it's a matter of don't want to, not cannot.

It's a double standard. There are expectations that mods should leave their bad day or personal likes/dislikes at the door and comport themselves professionally, but when it is suggested that posters do the same you'd think that we're asking for the moon.

This speaks to Jiggy's point. They probably feel they're being perfectly polite or at least keeping themselves to a standard of respect that is acceptable.

And, yes, I agree it's a double standard. That's largely part of why I'm for more strict moderation provided the rules of that moderation are made clear. I feel wholly that the safe space Paizo has crafted for themselves in their offices should apply here as well. I also believe that if a Paizo employee shows their ass on the forums that should be grounds for dismissal or reprimand just the same as if they did it to a coworker. If a poster did the same to a Paizo employee, they get the boot. Equality all around!

Well yes, but then people believe that starting a sentence with "No offence but .." or "I'm not a racist but .." removes any responsibility to be civil as well.


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Buri Reborn wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Your second paragraph highlights the problem. I can only speak for the USA here, as I've only attended school there, but both myself and many (many) years later my children were both given the same sorts of lessons on being nice, not acting up, not "speaking your mind" and so on.

People manage this every day -- we go to work, the store, the theater and so on without being overly offensive. Just as you wouldn't speak to a bank teller the same way you'd speak to your brothers, I still hold that people are aware of how they are speaking here, they just choose to ignore social niceties because, well, it's the internet and they don't have to look the person in the eye or be held accountable.
<Insert crazy old man back in my day ramblings>
We're asking the mods to strive to a higher standard. It isn't too much to ask the same of the posters, is it?
If everyone were new posters, this would be a fine critique. However, with time comes familiarity, and that "just say it" style of expressing yourself simply feels natural. Which, you can't really expect someone hanging out around here for YEARS without that happening. Plus, it's a far cry from a fundamentally professional, transactional interaction.

You cannot expect people to comport themselves politely after years in the same place? Er... people do it all the time at jobs. Again, it's a matter of don't want to, not cannot.

It's a double standard. There are expectations that mods should leave their bad day or personal likes/dislikes at the door and comport themselves professionally, but when it is suggested that posters do the same you'd think that we're asking for the moon.


Talonhawke wrote:
knightnday wrote:


Your second paragraph highlights the problem. I can only speak for the USA here, as I've only attended school there, but both myself and many (many) years later my children were both given the same sorts of lessons on being nice, not acting up, not "speaking your mind" and so on.

People manage this every day -- we go to work, the store, the theater and so on without being overly offensive. Just as you wouldn't speak to a bank teller the same way you'd speak to your brothers, I still hold that people are aware of how they are speaking here, they just choose to ignore social niceties because, well, it's the internet and they don't have to look the person in the eye or be held accountable.

<Insert crazy old man back in my day ramblings>

We're asking the mods to strive to a higher standard. It isn't too much to ask the same of the posters, is it?

You would think that however years of retail work have shown me people do not have that filter you believe they posses. Most yes wouldn't come in and act anything short of cordial, but a far larger percentage than you might think will come in and before you even have spoken to them are already in a-hole mode from the start simply because their day has gone awry in some way.

Oh I know, I've been in retail as well. Still, it's a dream of mine and one that costs a heck of a lot less than revamping the software here. :)


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Jiggy wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Self-policing cuts down on their work, cuts down on misunderstandings and hurt feelings, and makes the place better overall.

It's generally not a matter of people failing to self-police, so much as it's a matter of people thinking that X is acceptable when it's not.

For example, there are folks who honestly believe that sarcastic hyperbolic metaphors are a normal, reasonable way to express your displeasure with something (i.e., "This book is a train wreck; who's getting fired over this?" instead of "There are some very serious issues in this book.") They then respond to people taking offense by assuming the listeners aren't open to "honest criticism" because (in their minds) that's all they gave them. This isn't even all that weird, really; plenty of families and tightly-knit friend groups communicate this way regularly, without getting hurt. But just because I know better than to bring out in public the same sass I give my brothers at a family reunion, doesn't mean everyone does. And if nobody tells them, how can they self-police?

Another example would be the all-too-pervasive "I'm just calling a spade a spade"/"If it quacks like a duck, etc" mindset (wherein the speaker honestly believes, for example, that if it's factually true that you started with both an 18 and a 7 on your sheet then you really are a powergaming munchkin and there's nothing wrong with calling you out on it). Speakers in such cases are already honestly self-policing, they're just wrong about what's actually acceptable. And if the only people telling them it's not okay are the ones they're calling a "spade"/"duck", then they think they're doing nothing wrong (and might even think they're doing some kind of public service).

"People need to self-police" doesn't help much when nearly every unacceptable post was written by someone who thought they were self-policing.

Your second paragraph highlights the problem. I can only speak for the USA here, as I've only attended school there, but both myself and many (many) years later my children were both given the same sorts of lessons on being nice, not acting up, not "speaking your mind" and so on.

People manage this every day -- we go to work, the store, the theater and so on without being overly offensive. Just as you wouldn't speak to a bank teller the same way you'd speak to your brothers, I still hold that people are aware of how they are speaking here, they just choose to ignore social niceties because, well, it's the internet and they don't have to look the person in the eye or be held accountable.

<Insert crazy old man back in my day ramblings>

We're asking the mods to strive to a higher standard. It isn't too much to ask the same of the posters, is it?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
knightnday wrote:
If this happened at a game table, would it be the GM's responsibility to keep someone from being annoying at the table and/or come up with a complicated way of addressing the problem, or would you hope that people could control themselves?
If this happened at the table, the GM would be able to clearly express what the problem is and how the player needed to behave.

Maybe. But you run into grey areas of "you are annoying the other players" or "You are being a jerk." The player asks how and the GM cannot express it as well as he'd like outside of "You are bothering me/the others."

We've seen this expressed in a number of threads. There are people that do not believe they are annoying, or that bathing would bother other people, or think that they are the height of hilarity and so on. People tend to delude themselves often that they don't do anything wrong and it is the other people's problem.


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Berik wrote:
At the end of the day, if I don't trust the moderators then it doesn't matter what the policies are. I wouldn't much want to post here if I didn't trust the staff anyway, and the hypothetical untrustworthy moderators could make posting life hard for me whatever the written regulations. On the other hand if I trust the moderators then I'll trust them to use their judgement whatever regulations are written down.

And this is what it boils down to, IMO: trust.

I've run across this situation before when administering a game. People spoke about not being able to trust the admins, but (usually) that sort of comment came after they or their friends were negatively affected by them. In the case of here, that would be having posts removed, someone banned, etc.

I cannot speak for the mods but I know I would much rather have a nice quiet day where I didn't have to mix it up with a poster if I were them. I do not believe there is any personal grudges being worked out here on their side. I think they are heading off problems as they see them or as they are reported to try to make this place work well.

Regardless of any system put in place, there are still going to be people working on it, not AI. They are going to have to use their best judgement to stop hate speech, arguments, derails and so on. If you don't trust them, you aren't going to magically trust them under a new system either.

There are good ideas on this thread, don't get me wrong. But at least some of the onus on moderation falls to the poster as well as the staff of the forums. Self-policing cuts down on their work, cuts down on misunderstandings and hurt feelings, and makes the place better overall.

If this happened at a game table, would it be the GM's responsibility to keep someone from being annoying at the table and/or come up with a complicated way of addressing the problem, or would you hope that people could control themselves?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
knightnday wrote:
What is the purpose of continuing this, given that we've seem posted that people wouldn't come back even if the ban was removed?
Determining if anything can be done to prevent such things from happening again.

I would think not getting into it with the mods would rank high on the list.


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Again, what's the point here? Is this a rally to save a fallen friend, or burn down the forums in anger over their banning, or to seek change or what. Because it's sort of all over the place.


Nicos wrote:
knightnday wrote:

Moreover .. and this is just me pondering aloud .. if you know that doing X (in this case engaging in being critical of LGBT characters) would provoke a post or ten to be removed, why would you continue on that track?

If you know that taking a certain action will cause a certain response, then doing it over and over again is either being provocative or trying to what, make a point about the evils of censorship? Or am I am just going crazier?

Exactly. Nobody knew that talking about the things they were talking was bad. In fact it's pretty much arguable that it was not.

Really?

tels wrote:
Having born witness to many people expressing concern that their posts have been removed for being critical of Pazio's published work, especially published work involving LGBT characters, these actions make me extremely wary.

I could scroll back to find the rest of the quotes, but that seems somewhat pointless.

In any case, regardless of whether or not it was "bad" to post about the things in the thread we're still back around to the reason Ashiel was removed from the forums was the aftermath.

The mods don't seem inclined to further communicate any information that is going to .. what, put minds at ease? People seen to have made their decision that the mods are being mean or evil or oppressing opinions. What is the purpose of continuing this, given that we've seem posted that people wouldn't come back even if the ban was removed?


Moreover .. and this is just me pondering aloud .. if you know that doing X (in this case engaging in being critical of LGBT characters) would provoke a post or ten to be removed, why would you continue on that track?

If you know that taking a certain action will cause a certain response, then doing it over and over again is either being provocative or trying to what, make a point about the evils of censorship? Or am I am just going crazier?


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No one is being oppressed. No one is losing their voice, if such a thing were even possible in this day and age with hundreds of sites to post on.


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NobodysHome wrote:

Disclaimer: While I read quite a few of Ashiel's posts, I doubt she would recognize me beyond, "That guy who writes too much."

But I just spent the last couple of hours poring over this thread, figuring I had nothing to contribute, but knightnday got me thinking:

knightnday wrote:

I'm assuming that people who argue for clarification are arguing in bad faith. That is correct. I'm assuming that people who can use the internet enough to argue rules on the forums are capable to self reflection. I do not believe that the mods have to spell out each infraction or delineate each instance that you've been a bad organism.

It has less to do with the authority in question and more with being a responsible and dare I use the term grown up individual.

I've had a few posts removed. For most of them a moment of thought was all it took to realize why they were removed. But on at least two occasions my posts were removed, and I could not for the life of me figure out why.

I had very little invested in it, so I didn't worry about it. The mods obviously read my posts in a way I hadn't, so I let it go.

But after reading this whole thread, I started thinking, "What about the posts I really care about?" I started thinking about my infamously-long journal entries and session write-ups. If some of those were deleted for reasons that I could not fathom, I'd be upset.

Would I be mature enough to write a polite note to the mods, asking them to please explain their reasoning to me, and provide me the text of my posts so that I could store them locally, or re-format them to their approval?

I certainly hope so, but on a particularly rotten day I might send something short and snarky to the mods.

So this is a long-winded way of responding that, "You know what you did wrong," isn't always true. As I said, I never bothered to follow up on why my posts had been removed, so to this day I really don't know, but I do know that on some of the most-civil threads on the board I've been seriously misinterpreted to the point of causing offense, only rescued because it was a civil area.

Sometimes, our expression in text is not as clear as we believe it to be, and people infer things we never intended to imply. The mods step in, and we're left wondering, "Oops! What did I say?"

And yes, the correct and mature action is to send a polite non-accusatory e-mail to the mods asking what just happened.

But we're all human, and none of us are polite every single moment of our lives.

This is mainly an observation; as I said, I read Ashiel's posts, but I didn't know her, she didn't know me, but this thread has been extremely interesting and I finally felt I had something worth mentioning.

Good points all around. Two points on it:

1. For the love of all that is good and holy, back up anything you ever work on! Term paper? Important work document? Really nifty post on the internet? Log it! You never know when a stray icicle from a passing plane toilet will drop and take down your internet in the middle of what you were doing. Save, save, save. Then save again. Then you don't have to ask for anything from the archives if they get deleted.

2. When in doubt, step away from the keys, especially if you are having a bad day, are drunk/high/whatever, just got in a fight with your significant other, got fired, woke up tired, and so on. If you think about posting something and are iffy about how it will be received, take a few minutes and go get a drink, go to the bathroom, walk the dog, watch a cat video, or otherwise change your location and mindset. Then come back and see if it still matters enough to post in that manner. Most often it won't.

You are right, we cannot always be polite or be sure that we're going to have a bad day. But sometimes we can have just enough self control to head off ourselves and keep the grar down.


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I'd love to know when everyone on the internet learned the word fallacy. It comes up so often you'd think someone is getting royalties off it.

There are no hypotheticals here. This forum is not the other forums. They have their way to do things. This forum has their way to do things. Sort of like house rules at one table are not guaranteed to be the same.

I'm assuming that people who argue for clarification are arguing in bad faith. That is correct. I'm assuming that people who can use the internet enough to argue rules on the forums are capable to self reflection. I do not believe that the mods have to spell out each infraction or delineate each instance that you've been a bad organism.

It has less to do with the authority in question and more with being a responsible and dare I use the term grown up individual.

To my mind, this is less about some sort of gaining clarity and more a need to back the mods into a position where they have to defend removing one or more people. To be utterly clear: they don't have to tell you squat. It would be nice if they did, but using "That other forum does it better!" is akin to telling me that Timmy's mom lets him go to the party and why do I have to listen to your dumb ol' rules!


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Alex Smith 908 wrote:
knightnday wrote:
The problem becomes that you lay a clear line of where banning, probation, removing a post and so on will occur and people will go out of their way to ride the absolute razor's edge of the line and play in the grey areas.

Did you read my post?

Alex Smith 908 wrote:


I like the idea of letting mods perform judgment calls because no simple list of rules can cover all of human interaction but you need to clearly let everyone know when and why moderation is applied, for anyone to reasonably get a feel for what is and is not probation worth and what is and is not banworthy.

I completely agree that a hard set in stone ruleset is bad. After all look at what happens to productive members of the gitp community. My problem is that if moderation is based on a more flexible contextual touch you cannot assume that everyone just "know" why a particular type of moderation was taken. After all if everyone knew ahead of time then moderation wouldn't be necessary in the first place. It is not a moral failing on my part of failing to be able to get into the mindset of a Paizo moderator. Don't take the tac of a conservative parent grounding their child without explanation besides "you know what you did".

Paizo does at the very least usually have the decency to tell users why they are punished. However this still does nothing for those who are a part of the conversation or even just lurking and observe it. My posting is not improved when posts are deleted without explanation or someone stops posting without any sort of community notification. Even GitP changes banned users user type to "banned". There is a reason trials and sentencings are held in public for real life issues. For every person who is actually punished dozens observe why they were punished and modify their behavior to avoid that punishment. Frankly refusing to in the name of user privacy is just black bagging them. No one improves aside from perhaps the punished person if they grovel enough to get back onto the forums.

I did read your post, yes. And then I went on to craft one of my own, making my own points on the matter.

As for your new post, I disagree strongly. I assume, perhaps mistakenly, that everyone here is moderately grown up and can take responsibility for their own actions. You don't have to think in the mindset of a Paizo moderator to know that posting in a hostile tone, being overly sarcastic, being aggressive, name calling and so on is going to get your post flagged and moderated.

A side note? Not just conservative parents tell their children "You know what you did." Did you break the object? Did I need to tell you specifically not to break this specific object?

As far s the trial setting bit .. Ashiel and the other people that got banned .. has that changed the posting here one whit? Are people being less aggressive, less name calling?

I mean, it's being debated across at least two forums for days now, with sides being taken and much rabble rousing and angst and hand wringing going on. It's pretty darn public. It's the Trial of the Century here. People have observed that they were punished, why they were punished, and have had reports from the Front Lines. And yet, people are still doing the Exact Same Thing. People are saying "Oh, I was almost banned. Maybe next time."

That isn't learning or taking responsibility. That's a need for drama and playing the blame game. People know what they are doing. No one is being punished by surprise.


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Alex Smith 908 wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Places without rules on what you can say aren't worth going to.

True, I'd even argue that Paizo needs harsher rules. I just think they need to be more transparent about the rules and when people are punished. The combination of rules that are done based on mod judgment instead of a rigid list of rules and just unpersoning people who are banned instead of clearly stating why they are banned is the worst of both world. I like the idea of letting mods perform judgment calls because no simple list of rules can cover all of human interaction but you need to clearly let everyone know when and why moderation is applied, for anyone to reasonably get a feel for what is and is not probation worth and what is and is not banworthy.

If you're going to cover up when and why someone was disciplined it just creates an atmosphere of mistrust and fear. Especially if the reason is "customer privacy" even after the customer has voiced their desire for more openness.

The problem becomes that you lay a clear line of where banning, probation, removing a post and so on will occur and people will go out of their way to ride the absolute razor's edge of the line and play in the grey areas.

You don't even have to be a gamer to do it. Children do it from a very young age. "Don't touch your brother" will turn into a game of how close you can put your finger to be annoying while saying "I'm not touching you!"

For my money, the original edict of "Don't be a jerk" was more than enough and could have been moderated stronger. I'm pretty sure that people here know what they are posting. You type that snipe, that snarky comment, that little quip that you'll repeat to your friends later about how you showed that guy, and all the while you know that you are contributing to a lock on the thread or provoking someone else to comment to see if THEY can get their posts removed before yours.

I'm a customer and I don't want to know why X was punished. A simple "Knock it the <expletive deleted> off!" and "10 posts removed because people think they are kindergarten and cannot play nice" is more than sufficient to me. Did you get suspended, edited or banned? Reflect on what you did prior to it happening. Really, really think about it. The blame doesn't fall on the mods to make people better. The responsibility starts when you decide to make the post.


Rysky wrote:
I like the cover. Not everything has to be grim.

It isn't a matter of being grim -- at least for me -- but rather being more in line with the expectations that you set with the other covers in the line. It is certainly possible to be not grim while at the same time not being quite as .. garish, I suppose? As a one off, it's fine. If all the covers start to move in the same way I'd question the direction of the art a little more strenuously.


Rysky wrote:
Shaun wrote:
Please recant on this cover art! I must say, whenever a GM says "I only allow core races in my campaign.", this cover is basically the image running through his head. This is not going to do a good job selling people on the coolness of these PC options.
Adventurers are allowed to be whimsical.

Whimsical is a good word for this. It doesn't fit in with the other book covers as well; to me, it looks more along the lines of "The Happy TV Fun Hour Source Book!" than a Pathfinder supplement.

That said, I'm still buying it. I want the material .. maybe I can make a book jacket for it.


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Buri Reborn wrote:
knightnday wrote:
People are using it to resurrect the daily/monthly/whateverly issue that Paizo is a meaniehead because they don't let us say whatever we want, or how come that guy over there didn't get in trouble when I did? It's annoying to watch with 1st graders, and no better to watch on the internet.
Then wake up and review the situation. If you don't want to be called out for mistreating someone, don't mistreat them. Don't purport to have this inclusive environment only to remove one of the very people you're trying to include. Don't let the "community we facilitate" be one where folks can have a perfectly fine conversation only to be shelled out of nowhere only for the person doing the shelling to go on their merry way.

People were not shelled out of nowhere. People had apparently been talked to before and got hot after the fact. Others have attested a certain lack of restraint on the subject's behalf. Again, as I've said before, we're all big people here. You know when you've gone off the rails, been rude, or given offense. Acting otherwise after the fact is disingenuous.

Mashallah wrote:
Disclaimer that you forgot to add: that is purely your personal subjective opinion, nothing more, nothing less.

It goes without saying. Anything anyone is saying on the internet is their personal subjective opinion. That said, I'd take Paizo forums over something like 4chan any day of the week.


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Buri Reborn wrote:
knightnday wrote:

It looks bad on Paizo? Not from where I'm sitting.

Getting upset doesn't give you any special dispensation when dealing with people. As you quoted above, apparently this has been an issue for a while.

Furthermore, having people leaving rallying cries after your absence to rile people to take up torches and pitchforks while another thread is created elsewhere to popcorn the thread here and continue to soak in anger and drama is not the sort of community that I'd be interested in.

Your interpretation that they "took it personally" is just that, an interpretation of what the mods did. It's the equivalent of me saying that Ashiel took it too personally and got upset and escalated the situation. It's armchair quarterbacking the situation that doesn't do much good.

Everyone should let it go and relax, and probably should have done so beforehand. It's words on a screen. You got some deleted, you can create more in mere minutes. Relax.

It looks bad to me. It's a terrible way to treat people, and I'm not going away.

knightnday wrote:
Furthermore, having people leaving rallying cries after your absence to rile people to take up torches and pitchforks while another thread is created elsewhere to popcorn the thread here and continue to soak in anger and drama is not the sort of community that I'd be interested in.
The tinfoil is rather comfy isn't it? I like the deluxe model, personally. It comes with an AM/FM antenna.

No tinfoil, no paranoia. Just watching the other tab and rereading the letter that was left in the wake of Ashiel's banning.

People are using it to resurrect the daily/monthly/whateverly issue that Paizo is a meaniehead because they don't let us say whatever we want, or how come that guy over there didn't get in trouble when I did? It's annoying to watch with 1st graders, and no better to watch on the internet.

People tend to run off at the mouth on the internet (like I am doing now?) and get in trouble. It happens, you accept it as the price of admission for where you are. Places without rules on what you can say aren't worth going to.


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It looks bad on Paizo? Not from where I'm sitting.

Getting upset doesn't give you any special dispensation when dealing with people. As you quoted above, apparently this has been an issue for a while.

Furthermore, having people leaving rallying cries after your absence to rile people to take up torches and pitchforks while another thread is created elsewhere to popcorn the thread here and continue to soak in anger and drama is not the sort of community that I'd be interested in.

Your interpretation that they "took it personally" is just that, an interpretation of what the mods did. It's the equivalent of me saying that Ashiel took it too personally and got upset and escalated the situation. It's armchair quarterbacking the situation that doesn't do much good.

Everyone should let it go and relax, and probably should have done so beforehand. It's words on a screen. You got some deleted, you can create more in mere minutes. Relax.


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Buri Reborn wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Yeah. Apparently it was the response to the deletion.

Especially since it was Ashiel that was banned and Ashiel only had a couple of fairly mild posts in that sequence.
That's when Chris emailed Ashiel with some posts (whether this happened proactively or as a response from Ashiel isn't clear), Ashiel was clearly frustrated and emotional, and Chris basically said (summarized) "you're banned, this isn't worth it." Which really comes to the crux of the issue. That reason for the banning is so much salt in a clearly open wound. It was pretty ruthless.

That's not how I would have summarized the information. It was more "OK, this isn't getting us anywhere, let's just be agree to be friends and go our separate ways."

It is an unhappy truth that not every site is going to work for everyone. Some people will balk at rules that others have no problem with. It isn't a slam against the site or the individual. We're all different and often need to go a different path.


Bennybeck Wabbittracks wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Bennybeck Wabbittracks wrote:
In the end I am not sure that the facts matter. Some are considered sacrosanct while others are pariahs.
That's the sort of Us Against Them attitude that can make the boards toxic.
But to deny that it happens denies the experience that some have had.

There is a difference between accepting that it happens at times -- or seems to from the outside (perception is everything!) -- and continuing to feed the notion that THEY are out to get us and THEY sit behind their screens twirling their mustache and laughing maniacally about whatever.

Some people have bad experiences. Some have had good. The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle.


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Confusion, perhaps. Anger? That seems a bit of a stretch. After reviewing the information on those posts, it looks like the same old same old arguments that we have here nearly daily. Nothing I saw (not a mod or lawyer, not binding) would indicate anyone needed to be banned on either side, but rather should probably take that conversation elseforum.

Whatever got people banned looks like it happened after that engagement.


thejeff wrote:
knightnday wrote:
Alzrius wrote:

Not only was this not moderated, a Paizo member favorited the initial post in question.

I will say that someone might favorite a post for a single thought or sentence rather than the entire post. There isn't any way to know their intent short of asking. Or at least I often favorite over part of a post or a certain idea I agree with.

Or they could have actually agreed and thought that talking about "straights" isn't the same as talking about "gays".

Or "whites" and "blacks". It's a heretical concept in some circles, but a pretty common one in others. And this was in a thread intended as an LGBTQ safe space.

I was the one with the follow up comment about "power dynamics". (Which was also favorited by a different Paizo member, if we're keeping track.)

The poster I replied to responded "Interesting and fair point. Maybe it doesn't translate well."

So maybe it's not quite as simple as it seems at first glance?

Hence my comment that it is hard to know their intent without asking.


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Bennybeck Wabbittracks wrote:
In the end I am not sure that the facts matter. Some are considered sacrosanct while others are pariahs.

That's the sort of Us Against Them attitude that can make the boards toxic.


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Alzrius wrote:

Not only was this not moderated, a Paizo member favorited the initial post in question.

I will say that someone might favorite a post for a single thought or sentence rather than the entire post. There isn't any way to know their intent short of asking. Or at least I often favorite over part of a post or a certain idea I agree with.


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Nicos wrote:

e - Quite frankly, I see here a lot of jerkish behaviour being allowed, as long as the jerk at hand defend certain positions that seems to be OK for the moderators. I know that you guys doesn't like the "paizo defense team" title, forum members like Gorbacz would have been perma banned long time ago if he were not so fan of paizo. Not that I'm the nicest poster ever mind you, but I've seen the behaviour being allowed against nicer posters than me.

f - There seems to be a correlation of the banhammer with the lgtb topics. Paizo choose to include controversial topics in their published materials but it seems that it can't handle discussions about it (And I'm not talking about the occasional jerk that rant about how a trans character in WoTR will send everyone to hell or something), specially if the poster opinion doesn't align with the moderator at hand. You are free of course to not want some topic to be discussed, but if that is the case make it a rule and make it clear for everyone.

Mostly want to address f in Nicos post. While I didn't have the dubious privilege to see this last argument before The Great Banning, I will say that I have seen a great bit of "grar" in any thread where LGBTQIA comes up. Whether it is political, social, religious or whatever in the disagreement, people start getting hot under the collar when it is brought up.

It does seem that, from posting habits, that many mods if not all are very pro-LGBTQIA and that is great. However, that means that they tend to clash when they run into some of the posters here, especially when it isn't clear if they are speaking as themselves or as MOD PERSON.

I'd hate to see the conversations stifled on the topic, but at the same time we need to come to a happy medium on this. There are insults being seen, I believe, that are not there. It's a hot button issue for many people, and one that -- like many hot button topics -- that people get passionate about, even mods.

I think, and just in my opinion without any facts, that might be the cause of a great many of the disagreements and hard feelings in some of these fights. What can we do about it? That is the real question.


I don't tend to use the term myself (or at least for myself), mostly for the reasons Jiggy and thejeff mention above. But I certainly recognize that people use it to mark a period of time and/or style of gaming. It's all good, as long as people can be reasonably decent to each other. And yes, anything can be a slur, sadly.


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I've been lucky enough to have played with a number of those people when I first started gaming; that said, my main rise to playing came when the AD&D books were shiny and new. As I came into the group they were transitioning and it was an interesting time.


When I started in the late 70s there were two and sometimes three women in the group (one only played infrequently). They were the ones that kept the main stories going while some of the gentlemen went off the tracks sometimes.

In virtually all my games over the years there has been at least one women, and often they have encompassed the entire party.

In all cases everyone was treated well. I don't recall any instances of anyone being talked down to over their gender.


Another vote for only if everyone is having a good time. I know I've played in and ran games both in the past where we've spent hours making purchases, arranging for an item to be just so, working out kinks with hirelings and otherwise dealing with things that aren't strictly "action". We were having a good time and it was what people wanted to do that day, so we rolled with it.


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The forums represent a small number of customers.

Given that anytime something like this happens people swear up and down that they will never ever ever shop at a place again (see also facebook rants, twitter, youtube rants, etc) it doesn't come as a surprise. Some manage to stay away for a day, some never come back.

From all my time working in the Real World, you'd be shocked at how many people tell you to your face that they will NEVER shop here again!!!11one because of how you treated me/didn't take my return/asked me to pay for all the things my kid broke/etc. Next week you see them in line, buying whatever it was that they wanted that day.

People get upset during internet fights and swear they will never return. It is happening as we speak on the very thread that was linked to another forum. And yet, some of those people are still posting here. It's drama and that's all. Something shiny will distract everyone and we'll move on to talk about that.


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It is sad when people are banned; that said, it is sad when people argue on the forums as well.

There are some topics that do not lend themselves to forums as tone, intent, and so on are absent from the cold text. These topics tend to get closed down and/or have posts removed when things get heated. It happens, you move on and hopefully do so with less grar.

I don't think anyone is owed an explanation of why a post or posts were removed. It is certainly nice if the mods mention "We removed X posts because people need to settle down. Also, calling people BLAH isn't cool. Stop it."

But really, we're all big people here who should know after any number of days/months/years on the Internet and the forums in particular when a comment is going to cause an issue. It isn't just an issue with mods. Some -- or let's be serious, a lot -- of the blame can be placed directly at the feet of the posters. I know I've done it in the past, when I've gotten heated and posted in a flurry of righteous anger or desire to be RIGHT.


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Take care and best wishes!


Zaister wrote:
World's Okayest Fighter wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I just can't get my mind around that there are people who would want to play a frog.
What about a grippli monk?
Still a frog.

There are people who want to play a fox, or a bird, or a cat, or whatever. There are people that like all sorts of things that we, ourselves, may not like. If you can wrap your head around one, you can probably do the mental acrobatics for the others.


I believe the list of people I'd like to play with would encompass a great many of the more active posters. While there are a few that I might butt heats with, in general I'd be open to at least one game with most here.


Buri Reborn wrote:
knightnday wrote:

In any case and to bring this back to topic, errata or FAQ or the art in the books or whatnot can only kill your fun if you allow it. If you find yourself purchasing a book only for a singular feature, perhaps hold off for a bit until errata/FAQ come out to see if that singular feature survives.

Sure, you don't have the best and newest, but you also don't have the disappointment of losing something that clearly means that much to you.

Mind you, Paizo has shown us that can be multi-year wait time if that's the case.

Yup. But by then the forums will have gone through everything "wrong" with the book -- for a given value of wrong -- several times and you'll have an idea if your money is well spent.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
knightnday wrote:

In any case and to bring this back to topic, errata or FAQ or the art in the books or whatnot can only kill your fun if you allow it. If you find yourself purchasing a book only for a singular feature, perhaps hold off for a bit until errata/FAQ come out to see if that singular feature survives.

Sure, you don't have the best and newest, but you also don't have the disappointment of losing something that clearly means that much to you.

By that argument, you'd be losing something before you even had it. Which may perhaps be better for you, but you're also losing out on a potential amount of fun.

Crane Wing was a prime example of the former for me. I thought making and playing a character with that sort of unique and cool feature would be very fun to play. I never got the chance, and even by seeing the errata take place, did it absolutely upset me.

And I'm not a person who's played the pre-errata Crane Wing.

Perhaps so. But then you won't have invested any cash into it, which seems to be one of the sticking points for some.

Again, at least for me and perhaps others, fun is where you find it. A singular feature being removed or changed -- assuming that your table even recognizes the change -- does not kill any fun. I'll just move to the next idea, the next concept, the next avenue for a character.

I wonder how people react when they encounter house rules that remove options from the game? Do you books somehow become less valuable?


In any case and to bring this back to topic, errata or FAQ or the art in the books or whatnot can only kill your fun if you allow it. If you find yourself purchasing a book only for a singular feature, perhaps hold off for a bit until errata/FAQ come out to see if that singular feature survives.

Sure, you don't have the best and newest, but you also don't have the disappointment of losing something that clearly means that much to you.


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gnomersy wrote:
Cavall wrote:

I enjoy and appreciate the efforts of the Paizo team and the errata/faq.

I also feel really sad that people think a 40/60 dollar book is useless because a feat was changed. As if all the efforts that went into making a book are nothing, and there's no value in it.

That's kind of depressing.

Is this really that surprising to you?

I mean lets evaluate really quickly what being useful means. To be useful something must be of use or something must be used. In any given book how much of the content is useful by that definition? Is it the whole book? Is it a few things? Is it just one page? For every person that definition will be different.

Now let's assume someone only ever wanted to use a single option from a $40 book and the only reason they bought the book at all was so they would be allowed to use it in Society play if you remove that option and they have no interest in the remaining content there is no value in the product for them. I don't really think of that as depressing outside of the fact that paizo used Society play to encourage the sale of the product then banned it thus harming their customer.

And at the end of the day there are so many useless options in every pathfinder book and so much frippery like art and descriptive text and what have you that while there is a great deal of content in every book a much smaller section of that content is useful on average.

On average for whom?

Ass you say, that definition will differ between people. People who play PFS make up a small subsection of those that buy the books, I'm willing to wager. An even smaller subsection would be people who only buy the books for one singular feat/item/what have you and find utterly no use from the rest of the book.

What is "useless" tends to differ widely. Some people actually enjoy frippery like art and descriptive text, finding that it enhances their game far more than a cold list of mechanical enhancements for a character.

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