Black Lives Matter

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Paizo stands in solidarity with our Black colleagues, contributors, and fellow gamers in the fight for racial justice in the United States and across the world. We mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black Americans killed by law enforcement. We at Paizo support everyone's right to protest injustice and demand accountability without harassment of any sort.

Paizo is committed to working to eliminate prejudice in the world—as well as in our own games and stories. We know that our community has grown richer as our staff, pool of contributors, and audience have grown more racially diverse. But it’s still not enough. Increasing inclusion and representation is an ongoing process, and an absolutely critical one—not just for our game company, but for our industry and all of us who value human lives and decency.

If we stand together, we can make a lasting change to the ingrained racism that has permeated our society for generations.

In the coming weeks, Paizo will spearhead a new charity fundraising initiative to directly support Black communities. We have a voice and an audience, and we intend to use both to provide aid where it is needed most. We hope you’ll join us in doing what must be done.

#blacklivesmatter
#justiceforgeorgefloyd

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Dark Archive

48 people marked this as a favorite.

Always awesome to see you all fighting the good fight and supporting those who need our help. We can all do better. <3

Liberty's Edge

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Richard Lowe wrote:
Always awesome to see you all fighting the good fight and supporting those who need our help. We can all do better. <3

What he said


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Major thumbs up and full agreement.

Keep it going.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
IronHelixx wrote:
Richard Lowe wrote:
Always awesome to see you all fighting the good fight and supporting those who need our help. We can all do better. <3
What he said

What they said :)


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is a start but it definitely comes across weak when your next AP has cop characters front and centre.
I'm holding full judgement until the AP is released, who knows, maybe it will be a clever indictment of the police force, but please know many of us are worried about it and what it means for cops to constantly dominate our media and be portrayed as ~the good guys~ who can beat up ~the bad guys~ with impunity.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

59 people marked this as a favorite.

We will be addressing Agents of Edgewatch directly in an upcoming blog. There are many sensitivities related to it that we want to do what we can to address. This statement wasn't the appropriate place to go into further detail, but further detail will be forthcoming.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

We will be addressing Agents of Edgewatch directly in an upcoming blog. There are many sensitivities related to it that we want to do what we can to address. This statement wasn't the appropriate place to go into further detail, but further detail will be forthcoming.

I appreciate that and will look out for the blog!

Paizo Employee Developer

61 people marked this as a favorite.

While we are still working on the charity initiative mentioned in the statement, it doesn't mean you can't help right now.

One of the easiest and most important things you can do is be an ally by listening to Black voices. If you are willing to listen, the Black community will tell you how you can help at any given moment. Listening is absolutely important so make sure you always take the time listen. If you end up doing something wrong in your genuine attempts to help, listen to responses and try to understand what you did wrong and how you can improve.

The other important thing you can do is inform yourself. Seek out resources to educate yourself on matters like systemic racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and how to be an ally. If the Black community or a member is willing to help inform or educate you, they will let you know (and you will become aware of this by listening). Otherwise, you will need to seek out resources yourself.

Thankfully, a lot of great people have already done the work of collecting various ways you can help the Black community, inform yourself, and spread the message. Please visit the Ways You Can Help page linked here for a list of petitions, places to donate, resources to educate yourself and more.

Also, don't forget that helping doesn't end once the protests stop and the hastags stop trending. Helping the Black community, as well as other marginalized groups is a constant process. Keep listening on ways you can help and learn to help those in need.

Finally, this can all be tough to handle. If at any time you become overwhelmed, it's okay to take a step back and take a break. Self-care is very important and people will still accept your help when you come back.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Erik Mona wrote:

We will be addressing Agents of Edgewatch directly in an upcoming blog. There are many sensitivities related to it that we want to do what we can to address. This statement wasn't the appropriate place to go into further detail, but further detail will be forthcoming.

Very curious to see this, as the existence of that AP feels directly opposed to this statement. Pathfinder is, often, a game where you kill people, and spending the next six months releasing content for sale where you play as heroic cops doing exactly that reads as... well, either careless or two-faced.

Grand Archive

35 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

TBH, I wanna play that AP a lot. And I'll do my part by continuing to mostly use only Non Lethal attacks vs NPCs and "monsters" that are not deadly out of control, undead, or construct.
It's not the "concept" of cops that is the problem, is the fact that they are not punished when going overboard, not enough psychological and background checks, and a very misplaced "solidarity" in the force.(and other stuff)

Using that as an opportunity to do better than what we see IRL I think is not a bad thing. Paizo's APs are usually VERY good at giving non violent options and possible redemption arcs to NPCs. I don't see it going away there.
I don't think one second that the intent of the AP is to have "Agents" that abuse their power... They are much more likely to have at least one arc that focus in removing some police corruption or something.

Sovereign Court

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Very well put Luis.

#blacklivesmatter


12 people marked this as a favorite.

We can all do better, and this hobby we share is in no way exempt. Black lives matter. Black gamers matter. Black authors matter. Black designers matter. Black artists matter.

Dark Archive

31 people marked this as a favorite.

Please understand, this is not the time or place for "...not all cops!". Celebrate Paizos support of the BLM movement and save the debate about bad/good cops for another day, please.


28 people marked this as a favorite.

Incredibly sad and telling that this thread couldn't make it a few hours without people trying to make it about something else besides black lives.


18 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

To be clear, the praise heaped on the cops here is exactly the kind of thing I desperately want agents of edgewatch to not promote. The police began as slave catchers and strike breakers and exact to protect capital, the harm they inflict is built into the system, this is not a matter of a few guys ruining it for everyone. The amount of positive coverage and portrayal the police get obscures this.


20 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hats off to you again, Paizo, for staking your entire brand on standing up for what’s right. This is awesome, and I’m looking forward to participating in whatever charity you set up.

Jarek, what you said resonates, and, for what it’s worth, I’m sorry about your brother. He sounds like he was an honorable and good man. The world’s a lesser place without him.

I disagree about where you want the focus of this conversation to be. By law, police are entrusted with power a common citizen is not. Their actions, therefore, are more important to talk about by default. There has been a narrative circulating in some corners of politics that racism and racially motivated police brutality doesn’t really exist, and is instead deflected into arguments like “but look at what black people are doing to each other” — villainizing people MLK Jr would likely describe as “the unheard,” and making brutality look not all that bad as a convenient side effect: “they probably had it coming.” I’ve seen this too much. As a kid, when I told my Mom about how a customer swindled me at a register at my job, her first question was “was he black?”

It’s wrong. It’s evil.

The police force is vital and honorable. From what I’ve seen, the majority of cops are good people who risk their lives to protect and serve. They are heroes of the kind we try to imitate in our many adventures here. But there is corruption among them, like any institution, that can be prevented. If that change is going to come about, this problem needs to be recognised at its source: a corrupted system that enabled Mr. Floyd’s murder in the first place — not the many people rightfully afraid and angry that this perversion of justice exists in the first place.

It is the duty of a police officer to create a just and ordered environment. Four officers, and many more aside from them, have demonstrated that people entrusted with preserving justice and order are corrupting it, murdering citizenry they are given power over, and are creating chaos and violence. The rioters have followed these officers into a world they created first — a world black people much, much more than most anyone else have had to suffer and live through, for centuries.

This blog is about attacking the shepherds of chaos — not the sheep. It is about shouting out the message loud and clear: Black Lives Matter, and our society has done them wrong, big time, pretty much since its very beginning. That needs to change. NOW.


22 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Businesses being looted by civilians, many of whom do not actually care about the cause being protested is not in any way comparable to someone being murdered by police, whose job is supposed to be to protect.
Also, this is not a problem of individual police. The sheer number of times this has occurred should prove that. The problem is the system of policing itself, which has been used as a tool to oppress black people through fear, violence, and arrests for centuries, and has never been reformed in any meaningful way.
I, also, have a family member who is a police officer. This does not change the reality of the situation.

Liberty's Edge

24 people marked this as a favorite.
silversarcasm wrote:
To be clear, the praise heaped on the cops here is exactly the kind of thing I desperately want agents of edgewatch to not promote. The police began as slave catchers and strike breakers and exact to protect capital, the harm they inflict is built into the system, this is not a matter of a few guys ruining it for everyone. The amount of positive coverage and portrayal the police get obscures this.

For the record, I'd disagree with this whole post in several major ways, but that's almost immaterial.

The important question is, do you want all police officers to believe that they're authoritarian thugs only there to protect rich people?

Because the police as an organization aren't going away. They're just not. Our entire current social system assumes government actors being around to enforce the laws and trying to get rid of that at this point is not productive. We can change a lot of things, but this one is pretty obviously staying.

But if all media featuring police has them as tyrants and bullies, guess who's going to apply for jobs in the police. So, given that police, as a concept, aren't going away we need to convince people going into the police that accountability and justice are more important than strong arm tactics, and to empower police who already believe those things. We need to make the police better. And one step in doing that is having fiction modeling the behavior that we actually want to see in our police officers.

Now, many current pieces of police fiction do this badly, or at least imperfectly, but that just means we need better police related fiction, not that we need to never have a cop as a protagonist again.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Luis Loza wrote:


Thankfully, a lot of great people have already done the work of collecting various ways you can help the Black community, inform yourself, and spread the message. Please visit the Ways You Can Help page linked here for a list of petitions, places to donate, resources to educate yourself and more.

Thanks for the link! (I've just donated to a local cause from their list.)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
silversarcasm wrote:
To be clear, the praise heaped on the cops here is exactly the kind of thing I desperately want agents of edgewatch to not promote. The police began as slave catchers and strike breakers and exact to protect capital, the harm they inflict is built into the system, this is not a matter of a few guys ruining it for everyone. The amount of positive coverage and portrayal the police get obscures this.

For the record, I'd disagree with this whole post in several major ways, but that's almost immaterial.

The important question is, do you want all police officers to believe that they're authoritarian thugs only there to protect rich people?

Because the police as an organization aren't going away. They're just not. Our entire current social system assumes government actors being around to enforce the laws and trying to get rid of that at this point is not productive. We can change a lot of things, but this one is pretty obviously staying.

But if all media featuring police has them as tyrants and bullies, guess who's going to apply for jobs in the police. So, given that police, as a concept, aren't going away we need to convince people going into the police that accountability and justice are more important than strong arm tactics, and to empower police who already believe those things. We need to make the police better. And one step in doing that is having fiction modeling the behavior that we actually want to see in our police officers.

Now, many current pieces of police fiction do this badly, or at least imperfectly, but that just means we need better police related fiction, not that we need to never have a cop as a protagonist again.

One quick counterpoint... Yes, the police departments can be terminated. Presently, the Minneapolis City Council is exploring the method to dissolve the police department and replace it with a series of community groups capable of handling the process of law enforcement while also meeting the needs of those communities it serves.

Dark Archive

5 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm from country where the police doesn't have years worth of reputation of brutally beating down and killing minorities so I'm in agreement that when someone from country where police DOES have that reputation creates rpg story focusing on the police, they should definitely take it in account and not just be like "Eh, its rpg, so we can handwave away the guards being brutal because otherwise we punish pcs and spellcasters for not using saps" :p

(like I was super hyped up for Agent of the Edgewatch and completely prepared to go for diplomacy or non lethal take downs as well, but paizo aps do have had the tendency of not ever requiring characters to use non lethal force even when it would make complete sense. Like in starfinder(especially SFS) you can start so many shoot outs in places with legal enforcement without getting in trouble...)

Grand Lodge

10 people marked this as a favorite.

It's amazing how easily you can build a party to take prisoners. In 2E, I don't believe you even need to do anything but say "I strike for nonlethal."

Also, to the blog, HUZZAH!

Liberty's Edge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Greg.Everham wrote:
One quick counterpoint... Yes, the police departments can be terminated. Presently, the Minneapolis City Council is exploring the method to dissolve the police department and replace it with a series of community groups capable of handling the process of law enforcement while also meeting the needs of those communities it serves.

Police departments can certainly be fired, but I'm very doubtful that we're going to effectively replace them with anything that is not still, recognizably, some form of police. The concept is too ingrained in our current society to just go away like that.

I mean, will these groups be able to arrest people and sometimes carry guns? Because, if so, they're police. They may, at least hopefully, be much different and much better police, but they'd still indisputably be police.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, that is second reason why I find it confusing: In starfinder and 2e, non lethal damage source is easy to obtain. So its kinda confusing whenever there is case for "PCs should probably take these bad guys out non lethally" and adventure is like "But NPCs totally understand if PCs don't"

Sovereign Court

56 people marked this as a favorite.

All lives can't matter until Black lives matter.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
treidenb wrote:
organized wrote:
Incredibly sad and telling that this thread couldn't make it a few hours without people trying to make it about something else besides black lives.

It is more sad that the public doesn't discuss the stories of children like Sierra Guyton, Za'Layia Jenkins, Jamal Anderson Jr., and the countless other children who die each year from violence. People react more strongly to what they see than what they hear, so it is very easy for the media and the public to focus on a story related to videos of police. However, the three deaths above in one city alone should be no less tragic. Unfortunately, far fewer people will ever know their stories.

It is right to seek justice in this case, but I hope people can show patience in their broad critiques of law enforcement. There needs to be cooler heads in the whole situation. It is a very dangerous job that many of us would never want to do, yet they are willing to put their health and safety on the line to protect their communities. Only weeks ago, this nation together praised its doctors, nurses, and frontline medical workers in the fight against COVID-19. I hope we can return to that shared purpose and not allow animosity to divide us.

Treidenb, I can agree with some of the things you said, but I’m hoping to get some clarification so I clearly understand what you’re trying to say. What specifically is the correlation between Sierra Guyton, Za'Layia Jenkins, and Jamal Anderson Jr. that you are wanting to draw attention to here? Just that they’re all black children that died from violence? I don’t see any political narrative benefiting from suppressing those stories. What is the common “this is the cause of the problem” in these stories?


12 people marked this as a favorite.

Everything in this world is political.

It's unfortunate that Agents happened to release at this time, but, well, I was having trepidation on running it anyway. Perhaps making it a private eye adventure would have been better for everyone? Besides, if Agents ended up being a realistic cop game, the party would arrive 4 hours late to every fight, not do anything, then shoot someone's dog.

Also, gamers, remember: if you praise the police while they're assaulting and gassing innocent people... well, take a step back and think about why you support them.

Liberty's Edge

25 people marked this as a favorite.

If people want to focus on Covid-19 frontliners, may I suggest we focus on those who are currently part of the protest, several of whom have been assaulted by the police?

I mean, I've heard more than one report of off-duty nurses or EMTs being at the protests (either protesting, or providing medical care to protesters) and the police assaulting them, while I've heard none of protesters or rioters doing the same. So if we want to focus on respecting them, I'd suggest we do it by not pulling focus away from the bad things many police are doing right now.

Dark Archive

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, unless you live in country where police doesn't have reputation with being overly brutal, it doesn't make any sense for you to be ignorant of what they are doing in your country :/

I still remember when I first time visited New York and entered the surface out of metro and there was black man selling water on corner. Then two police came from behind him, slammed him into ground and started arresting him while he was yelling there. I have no clue why they arrested him, but it didn't feel like it was necessary to use that much force and I wonder if they had done the same if man was white... And that was completely in public on open street just like if it was ordinary day going on.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hadn't been here in a while due to life unending me, but this is a most welcome thread to come back to find.


36 people marked this as a favorite.
Lawrence Smith 2 wrote:

All lives matter. Not a slogan and not empty words of allegiance to any ideology.

Wouldn't it be so refreshing to keep the poison of politics out of our gaming experience.

(A rhetorical question and clearly a forlorn hope.)

If you are shot in the guts at point blank range, and the person next to you is pistol whipped, even if a tooth is dislodged you don't presume that both injuries are equal.

Same applies to your deliberate misconstrued understanding of why we say Black Lives Matter.

Dylan Roof was brought in alive after murder. George Floyd was publicly executed on the SUSPICION of passing a counterfeit $20.

I can spell it out 'til I'm blue in the face, but it speaks more of a willful failure to comprehend than a failure to expend the emotional labor go educate.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Lisa,

Can your Premier Event Coordinator say the words Black lives matter, or only champion the good cops, dismiss a few bad apples, hope for justice, and relate stories about shop owners who benefited from a go fund me.

Can your Venture-Lieutenant of Colorado say the words Black lives matter, or only deflect blame on the media, and wish for a return to unity via praising pandemic responders?

If you were Black gamer would you want to play Pathfinder Society, when it's high level leadership cannot get behind a simple call for solidarity against injustice, without making it about something else?

I look forward to your response.

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