Questioning User Ban


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The "Ask Ashiel Anything" thread seems to be locked. Is this under review?


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Many of you that frequent the forumns, or have over the past eight years may have gotten to know a user by the name of Ashiel. You probably have seen her all over the place from discussing world/ecounter building, projects made for the community such as Ashiel's Adventuring Guidebook, various posts and threads discussing world building, GM help, player help, revised monsters, revised spells, new magic items, new systems, the psychic monk rewrite, and promoting practical optimization and how it can further roleplay rather than hinder it.

Well they and their helpful exuberance for the game that we all know and love has been snuffed out. No he wasn't kicked out, she was banned. For what you might ask. Well to put it bluntly... Disagreeing with 'the powers that be'. At least that is the best explanation that we can come up with. Over what. Well this is the last post, made on Ash's Ask Me Anything thread, that was well into the 70th page of content and questions when the ban hit and the messages were removed.

Arcane Knowledge wrote:


It is my supremely upsetting duty to inform you that Ashiel the person that you have come to ask to speak with or ask mechanical or other RPG related questions of has been banned from these forums. The why is rather confusing, at least from my perspective.

It all started in this very thread when there were some messages that were, seemingly randomly removed. When Klara Meison opened a feedback thread to ask for/find out why those messages had been removed. Not only removed, but removed without any sort of explanation given. A fact that was acknowledged by the moderator who had done the removing. After asking for an explanation as well as certain messages to be 'given back' so that their content could be gutted for important material she was sent this private message

"Hi Ashiel,

I am reaching out to you because I can see from the posts in Website Feedback and your own “Ask” thread that the actions taken by myself and our moderation team have caused you distress, and would like to provide more insight into the situation from our side. Out of the respect for the privacy of other accounts on our forums, I cannot divulge further information than what was provided in Website Feedback regarding the posts that caused us to remove the chain of conversation, or actions taken on their account. I would again like to extend an apology if any ill-will was perceived by these post removals, and have included the removed posts from your account below, with the exception of the attributed quotes.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please let us know."

That last line is very important to why I am confused about the ban. You see I have known Ashiel for... Well forever... And she came to me very confused and bit upset over this ban which seems to have been brought on by her 'questions and concern'... They were as follows, verbatim....

"Respect to what privacy? Do you have any idea how hostile your moderation practices come off as? I cried today because I my voice to talk about issues that concern me and people like me was taken away, for no reasons given. We cannot follow rules we do not know. What drama were we perpetuating? How does removing our posts respect someone else's "privacy"? I've received messages in my inbox today where friends are leaving the Paizo forums because of what looks like outright tyranny and unexplained censorship.

We are hurting, Chris. In desperation after being constantly, consistently, and conclusively shut down over and over and over, I've taken to contacting other members of the Paizo staff in effort to get help against what a lot of people are seeing as a gross misuse of power. This cannot continue to go on like this. We still don't understand why this has happened or why things like this have continued to happen. If it was because Rysky threw a tantrum over a misunderstanding (which everyone else in the thread confirmed was a misunderstanding) you are hurting many people in an effort to alleviate the tantrums of a few.

We need to know why we are being treated this way. It's not alright.
Repeatedly silencing our questions and concerns and then offering vague apologies in private are not enough. I do not feel safe and secure on the Paizo forums anymore and I've been here since the Pathfinder Alphas. Every day I worry that I'm going to be suddenly banned for reasons I'll never even be told."

Well my friend seems to be psychic because the answer to his 'questions and concerns were met with a ban and this, non-explanation.

"You have been provided with answers to these questions and have been provided with the text of your removed posts for reposting as you see fit. That you are dissatisfied with the answers provided is not indicative of any conspiracy or “censorship.” Our moderators use their best judgement for given situations, and yes, since they are human, it’s possible to not get it right all the time, or to make everyone happy with those decisions.

Over the course of the last 4 years, our team has corresponded with you about how to post appropriately to our website. I’m sorry that it seems that we cannot seem to reach an understanding where you will be satisfied. It seems that the community environment that you are seeking is not the environment that we facilitate, as evidenced by this current issue, past removed posts and notifications, as well as a previous temporary suspension. At this time we feel that it’s for the best for us to part ways, and will be suspending your “Ashiel” account.

If you’d like to ever return and continue participating on our forums again, you will need to request that the suspension be lifted, and show to us that you have intentions of interacting in good faith and in a non-inciteful manner on our website.

Chris Lambertz"

I'm going to close this message saying that, I don't know why the ban was put in place. I don't know what instigated this action against my friend. What 'appears' to have happened is that a moderator, maybe attempting to head of what they thought was a problem, over zealously removed posts had nothing wrong with them. Then when cornered with an argument that she either didn't agree with or didn't believe decided that the only lasting solution to those who disagreed with her was to get rid of them.

P.S.- I will be making this a thread topic as well, for those not frequenting this thread but interested in the news of Ashiel's ban. I might be suspended or banned for this. I do not care. Peace out and Game on

So... This is troubling. For multiple reasons. But one is that it is the latest long line of issues with Paizo moderators making an effort to stifle opinions on their forums that either is against the company (in the form of it's practices or content) or against their social ideologies. Just my two cents.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2rxtz?-Ask-Ashiel-Anything = The Ask Me Anything thread.


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The latest in a long line?

"Over the course of the last 4 years, our team has corresponded with you about how to post appropriately to our website"

That's 4 years of repeated talks about how to use the forums.

While I hope the ban may one day be lifted this doesn't seem random or sudden

Grand Lodge

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Please do not make statements about a situation you know nothing about. This is going to be a trainwreck as it is before it gets purged in the morning.


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Damn. I'll miss Ashiel—hope the ban one day gets lifted. That said, I'm not inclined to judge anyone based on only half a story. Maybe the ban was justified, maybe it wasn't.

This is the third ban I've been aware of so far. Of the three, two were, I believe, justified. I haven't seen any of the "awful censorship" people are always talking about, and honestly, I have a gut reaction these days to people worrying about "free speech" and "censorship". My bias leans towards the mods, but my sympathies go out to Ashiel no matter what. Hope they're doing okay.


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Cavall wrote:

The latest in a long line?

"Over the course of the last 4 years, our team has corresponded with you about how to post appropriately to our website"

That's 4 years of repeated talks about how to use the forums.

While I hope the ban may one day be lifted this doesn't seem random or sudden

I noticed that too, which is why I can't really say anything negative about the situation, and I didn't get to see the actual posts. With me trying to be objective I can't really take sides.


Say what?!


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I moderate on another company's forum and our policy is to tell the user why any moderation decision is made about them, but never tell anyone else. It is a private conversation between the moderation team and that user.

I expect the policy is similar here.


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This should be in website feedback, if anywhere (although without context - ie the last four years of private emails, it's hard for any of us to know whether it's a reasonable decision or not).

I can't imagine how a thread like this is going to help anything, though. It would be much more productive sending an email to community@paizo.com.


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The melodrama in Ashiel's posts the OP quotes seems really, really unnecessary and gratuitous. That said, they always seemed cool, so it's a shame.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I haven't seen any of the "awful censorship" people are always talking about

To be fair, if something IS censored you won't see it by definition.


Yeah I deleted my above post because I wasn't being objective<---In before someone wonders where my post went.


Steve Geddes wrote:

This should be in website feedback, if anywhere (although without context - ie the last four years of private emails, it's hard for any of us to know whether it's a reasonable decision or not).

I can't imagine how a thread like this is going to help anything, though. It would be much more productive sending an email to community@paizo.com.

Would it be productive? I'm feeling really uncomfortable about this. Ashiel's email makes it sound like they're really genuinely upset. Maybe there's a history of altercations that justify it, but in this case, it seems like...ugh.

I'm going to stop posting here. This is none of my business. I'm just worried and upset.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

This should be in website feedback, if anywhere (although without context - ie the last four years of private emails, it's hard for any of us to know whether it's a reasonable decision or not).

I can't imagine how a thread like this is going to help anything, though. It would be much more productive sending an email to community@paizo.com.

Would it be productive? I'm feeling really uncomfortable about this. Ashiel's email makes it sound like they're really genuinely upset. Maybe there's a history of altercations that justify it, but in this case, it seems like...ugh.

I'm going to stop posting here. This is none of my business. I'm just worried and upset.

I'm not going to make any public comment about the situation either.

My point is that raising concerns privately will be more productive than doing so publically. What benefit is likely to come out of a thread like this?

Also, this kind of thing belongs in website feedback.


I agree on that, but the thread will probably be locked regardless. Maybe if the OP had settled on a less confrontational note, or the thread had been rendered in a more "Goodbye to Ash!" tone, things would be different. But it's understandable that they chose to write it up this way.


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I have seen many examples of the... I dunno if censorship is the right word but... censorship of posts in the past. Usually over controversial issues, politics, religion, and especially, anything related to LGBT topics.

Now, I'm not saying Paizo is trying to avoid discussion on it, not that at all, but I have witnessed examples of posts removed because a moderator seemingly "took offense" to someone else's viewpoint and removed the post or posts.

This has been a growing trend I've seen, and something I've seen more and more people complain about. Especially since the moderator team has a seemingly unwritten list of rules that they can delete post or ban people over. For example, you can be given a 3-day ban for being "Sarcastic". I know this one, as I was banned for it.

The posts in question that triggered Ashiel's banning got a little heated, but, honestly, were the result of a misunderstanding. A post was made about the relative percentage of transgender's in the modern population compared to that of schizophrenic people and psychopaths. I believe it was that .3% of the people today are transgender, while 1% of the population are diagnosed with schizophrenia and 1% as psychopaths. The post went further on to discuss the level of inclusion; that there are far more members of the LGBT community as NPCs, major and minor, in adventures, than there are NPCs who are outright stated to be a psychopath, or schizophrenic.

Another poster took great offense to this, and took the misunderstood belief that the previous statistical comparison was equating LGBT, schizophrenia, and psycopaths to be the same thing.

This entire discussion was started after Ashiel criticized Anevia (the transgender NPC from Wrath of the Righteous, for those unaware) because, in his opinion, he believed Anevia was poorly characterized and comes off as a "token" character for inclusions sake. He argued why he thinks this, and stated others may think differently, but that was his opinion.

So that's a very, very brief summary of the discussion that went on. Some tempers got heated over the statistical comparison to the population and the lack of equivalent portrayals, but I can't honestly believe someone should have been banned over it.

It goes back to the "unwritten rules" of the forums that only the moderators seem to know, and which may very from day, to day, as their mood changes. Sometimes it's okay for someone to discuss LGBT, especially if the discussion agrees with the moderator over-seeing the discussion, other times, it's not okay, and the posts are removed. Again, especially if the moderator disagrees with the opinions within, even if the opinions are not harmful.

Honestly, I'm personally pretty fed up with the moderation here myself. On the surface, the moderation here is great, but there is a definite underlining of something wrong in the way it is done, and it grate's on my nerves. I've got a lot of people I consider friends here, but I'm personally ready to find some place else to talk. I don't know about others, but it would be really nice if the Moderators were held to higher standards and had actual rules they had to follow. Especially since so many posts have been deleted, or posters punished because the moderator has a personal opinion that makes them ignore any "rules" they may follow.


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>have included the removed posts from your account below

Funny how I recevided the exact same message, except it only contained one post out of 4-ish that got removed. Granted, it was the biggest one, but still.

Also, fight the power.

Uh, sorry, wrong link. I meant to say you can't kill an idea, they have a nasty tendency to resurrect.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

This should be in website feedback, if anywhere (although without context - ie the last four years of private emails, it's hard for any of us to know whether it's a reasonable decision or not).

I can't imagine how a thread like this is going to help anything, though. It would be much more productive sending an email to community@paizo.com.

The problem with this, is the people that oversee your posts at website feedback, and, as such, the people you would raise an issue with over the moderation team, are, in fact, the moderation team themselves.

Grossly exaggerated example, it would be like asking the dirty cop to investigate complaints about the dirty cop himself.


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Tels wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

This should be in website feedback, if anywhere (although without context - ie the last four years of private emails, it's hard for any of us to know whether it's a reasonable decision or not).

I can't imagine how a thread like this is going to help anything, though. It would be much more productive sending an email to community@paizo.com.

The problem with this, is the people that oversee your posts at website feedback, and, as such, the people you would raise an issue with over the moderation team, are, in fact, the moderation team themselves.

Grossly exaggerated example, it would be like asking the dirty cop to investigate complaints about the dirty cop himself.

The community team generally do the replying, however their boss (jeff.alvarez@paizo.com, I believe if you wished to email him) and the ultimate bosses (the owners of paizo) also read that forum.

Also, that objection applies no matter where you post, doesn't it? Avoiding website feedback and putting it in the RPG general discussion sub forum won't change the fact that forum posts are moderated by the people the OP is querying. That's another reason I think email discussion is superior, in fact.


It will change the fact that people will see it, though.

Yeah, talking directly to people through community@paizo.com is probably a good way to go about most things.
But if you want to talk to someone at Paizo about the moderation process itself, you don't want to talk to the moderators. Of course they won't think anything is wrong with how they're doing thins (and I'm not saying there is, mind you).

I'm not sure if this forum is the best place to put this, but it will certainly gather much more attention than a thread in Website Feedback.
And (without knowing the full situation, only what I've read here) I can certainly see why he'd want to get this thread into a place where people will see it.

Dark Archive

*Shrugs* Not going to get in on this.


Honestly. The only real point of this is to let people who would not otherwise know that Ash is from his AMA, that he is gone. I know the other issue, and there has only been one other time that Ash was suspended, a 24 hour suspension. There has been no other major actions taken against Ashiel while they were on this forum.

I spoke from my own view point as far the last sentence of the OP goes. I provided exact quotes written by both Ashiel and the mod, for as much of the issue as I could. I cannot provide the material removed personally. I can leave a link for another thread on a different board that was created by Klara Mieson about this issue[Edit: I'm sorry The link is actually for a continuation thread of Ash's AMA. I was wrong. This is a retraction.] . They were one of the active participants in the thread before the unfortunate removals occurred, and watched much of the events unfold personally. Even going so far, as I mentioned in the original post, as being the first one to open a thread in the feedback forums about the issue.

I did this so that you guys could decide what you thought. I'm not telling you what to think. I am telling you what I think.

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?500653-d20legends-Development -aka-Off-Topic-discussions-Ask-Ashiel-Anything-The-Askening

This is the place I was talking about.

As for why this doesn't appear in website feedback. I think that it would serve no purpose there. Again this is mainly to bring the info to people that might not hear otherwise.


It's not really about this issue, it's a straight-up continuation of the old thread.


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Okay, so the basic gist of what happened, from my retrospective perspective: An argument about a very emotional and contentious subject (transgender representation) was getting really unpleasant, as a lot of points were getting misread or misunderstood. The mods stepped in to put a stop to things, deleting a large number of posts involved in thee issue.

A thread was started to protest the deletions, fairly pointing out an error the mods had made (the mods had not made a clarifying post stating the reasons for the deletion yet). The mods apologized for the error and offered a clarification that, to my eyes, was sufficient—the argument was clearly going downhill in a hurry. Again, I'm not interested in playing the blame game on why it was going downhill, but it looked a lot less civil than other threads that have been outright locked. And I know locked threads. The mods asked for the issue to be taken to private emails, but people continued to post complaints on the Website Feedback thread.

Ashiel was sent the retrieved posts, as promised, as well as a personal note of apology. I feel like Ashiel's response was somewhat disproportionate—not their personal emotional response, as I am never inclined to invalidate anyone's pain (I think calling it "melodramatic" is totally out of line), but their written response. It treated the Paizo mods like censoring tyrants for closing an unfriendly conversation. In fact, it called them censoring tyrants for it.

What Paizo did is nothing new, nor is it any grand display of censorship. When an argument turns vitriolic, they step in. My sympathies go to Ashiel, but I am not inclined to resent the moderators' actions over this. I would have liked it if either party had tried harder to make things work and really work with the other to understand each other's problems, but neither party was obliged to do so.

Ashiel, I wish you the best, and I hope that this ban only lasts a week before people sort things out. I feel like this was in a lot of ways a communications failure. But I always feel like that. Regardless, we'll miss you!

I feel like I shouldn't post this, but I feel like as long as we're going to have this thread, it's a perspective that should be voiced. I'm sorry if it upsets anyone or makes more work for the mods.


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Tels wrote:

Grossly exaggerated example, it would be like asking the dirty cop to investigate complaints about the dirty cop himself.

I used to help manage a restaurant and we had this problem actually, if you wanted to appeal a health inspection it had to be reviewed by the same inspector who wrote the original report. Consequently nearly every inspector in the city had spotless records.

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I think calling it "melodramatic" is totally out of line

It probably was, my mistake. Though I do think it's fair to say that certain phrases tend to have very strong emotional attachments that I think end up detracting from one's actual message because it comes off as disproportional at best or, at worst, self aggrandizing. I could have said that better though.


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Is "retrospective perspective" partially redundant? It feels like it should be. Is "partial redundancy" even a thing?


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Okay, so the basic gist of what happened, from my retrospective perspective: An argument about a very emotional and contentious subject (transgender representation) was getting really unpleasant, as a lot of points were getting misread or misunderstood. The mods stepped in to put a stop to things, deleting a large number of posts involved in thee issue.

A thread was started to protest the deletions, fairly pointing out an error the mods had made (the mods had not made a clarifying post stating the reasons for the deletion yet). The mods apologized for the error and offered a clarification that, to my eyes, was sufficient—the argument was clearly going downhill in a hurry. Again, I'm not interested in playing the blame game on why it was going downhill, but it looked a lot less civil than other threads that have been outright locked. And I know locked threads. The mods asked for the issue to be taken to private emails, but people continued to post complaints on the Website Feedback thread.

Ashiel was sent the retrieved posts, as promised, as well as a personal note of apology. I feel like Ashiel's response was somewhat disproportionate—not their personal emotional response, as I am never inclined to invalidate anyone's pain (I think calling it "melodramatic" is totally out of line), but their written response. It treated the Paizo mods like censoring tyrants for closing an unfriendly conversation. In fact, it called them censoring tyrants for it.

What Paizo did is nothing new, nor is it any grand display of censorship. When an argument turns vitriolic, they step in. My sympathies go to Ashiel, but I am not inclined to resent the moderators' actions over this. I would have liked it if either party had tried harder to make things work and really work with the other to understand each other's problems, but neither party was obliged to do so.

Ashiel, I wish you the best, and I hope that this ban only lasts a week before people sort things out. I feel like this was in a lot of ways a communications...

>The mods stepped in to put a stop to things, deleting a large number of posts involved in thee issue

Along with 16 other posts completely unrelated to the issue. When the issue of these posts being deleted was raised in the aforementioned website feedback thead, my post was deleted and thread got locked.


Did you email them about it? I'm not trying to be argumentative or patronizing, but you generally aren't supposed to handle those issues on the forums at all. I've always found the mods to be pretty responsive when emailed privately.


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Klara Meison wrote:
It's not really about this issue, it's a straight-up continuation of the old thread.

Linkified. Might be worth posting this in the "Ask Ashiel anything" thread, if it's intended to continue that discussion.


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people make mistakes. mods are people. Thus by the transitive property of people, mods make mistakes.

They seemed to apologize for it, but wasnt good enough for Ashiel. I agree with Kobold Cleaver, not inclined to have a problem with this.

Its their site, they can do what they want, including censorship. You do NOT have a right to free speech here. You signed that away when you registered for the forums, as you do with every forum on the internet.

in the end, my 2cp is, if you really have a problem with it, vote with your wallet, and tell them why privately. I for one, do not.


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Well that's a shame. I hope the ban is lifted and that Ashiel decides to come back.

The Paizo boards are lessened without Ashiel's presence.


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I've had some of my posts deleted, some due to quoting parts of posts that, on the whole, weren't of value or were flaming in part.

Even in the idea of focusing on the partial posts that weren't, they were deleted because the posts that they focused on were more than just what I focused on.

So yes I've had posts deleted even when they continued to keep a conversation on track. I had them deleted when they had tried hard to ignore the derailment. But I got why they were deleted.

So I get it. Deletions happen even when it isn't you. Even when you're the one trying to keep it focused.

It's not worth complaining to the point you get banned. Or thinking it's a conspiracy. It's a big forum, it's not an easy job. Mistakes happen and they do own up to them.


The punishment seems disproportionate to the crimes, but since this will all be gone in a few hours anyways I guess there's no need to belabor that point.

There's a link to (some of) the posts in the AAA thread; the mod's upheld a stance which they've had in the past in numerous threads to separate historical debates (which often discuss views contrary to Paizo's) and debates on gaming (which the mods try to keep in line with Paizo's views). I really can't fault them for this, since it comes perilously close to justifying hate, and can easily be misidentified as such even when it is not.

There have also been accusations that other posts were removed, which is perhaps the cause of Ashiel's vexation. Without more information it's impossible to objectively comment. I do think that there is objectively fault on both sides; Paizo usually strives to keep the reasons for their censorship transparent, and failed to do so here.

It sounds like things would have gone better if everyone had taken a step back and calmed down before commenting. Ashiel is one of the last people I'd have expected to be banned, but what's done is done.

Anyhow, thanks for the heads up that Ash will no longer be with us on these forums, and send them our best.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Did you email them about it? I'm not trying to be argumentative or patronizing, but you generally aren't supposed to handle those issues on the forums at all. I've always found the mods to be pretty responsive when emailed privately.

I make my own private copies of every thread I post in to avoid this exact issue. This isn't about the posts, this is about moderators removing posts with no notification or regard for common sense or community guidelines.

Dark Archive

But didn't they email Ashiel?


Weables wrote:
Its their site, they can do what they want, including censorship. You do NOT have a right to free speech here. You signed that away when you registered for the forums, as you do with every forum on the internet.

I....really? Is this the type of attitude you think is a good one for a company such as Paizo to hold?

See the little bit of text right before the Community Guidelines link?

Little bit of text wrote:
Help us keep the forums a fun and friendly place.

I don't think the attitude you advocate is either fun or friendly.

Edit: edited to remove some choice words I shouldn't have used.


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NenkotaMoon wrote:
But didn't they email Ashiel?

1. Ashiel wasn't the only one whose posts have been removed.

2. They only even mentioned removal after I specifically asked them about it on the website feedback forum. There was no notification of their deletion before that. Emails came even later, when Ashiel specifically asked for her posts to be emailed to her.


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Can we all step back a bit and cool our jets a bit? I know Ashiel had many friends, and I don't wish her any ill will, but maybe can we not turn this into a "Totalitarian Mods" grar fest? Please?


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As a reminder, the mods actually apologized for not giving a notification right after the deletions. That was an admitted error, not anything deliberate.

Emails following a deletion are not customary at all. A notification on the thread is.


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Klara Meison wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Did you email them about it? I'm not trying to be argumentative or patronizing, but you generally aren't supposed to handle those issues on the forums at all. I've always found the mods to be pretty responsive when emailed privately.
I make my own private copies of every thread I post in to avoid this exact issue. This isn't about the posts, this is about moderators removing posts with no notification or regard for common sense or community guidelines.

The lack of notification was a technical issue - which they explained and apologised for.

As for "common sense or community guidelines" I think it's worth bearing in mind that those are subjective. It's likely the moderator did have regard for them - if they don't share your views on them that doesn't imply it was unthinking or incorrect.

Of course you don't have to be happy about it, but I think the subjective nature of these things is relevant.


NenkotaMoon wrote:
But didn't they email Ashiel?

Yep, Chris did.

From Chris Lambertz, to Ashiel:
Hi Ashiel,
I am reaching out to you because I can see from the posts in Website Feedback and your own “Ask” thread that the actions taken by myself and our moderation team have caused you distress, and would like to provide more insight into the situation from our side. Out of the respect for the privacy of other accounts on our forums, I cannot divulge further information than what was provided in Website Feedback regarding the posts that caused us to remove the chain of conversation, or actions taken on their account. I would again like to extend an apology if any ill-will was perceived by these post removals, and have included the removed posts from your account below, with the exception of the attributed quotes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Reply from Ashiel, to Chris:
Respect to what privacy? Do you have any idea how hostile your moderation practices come off as? I cried today because I my voice to talk about issues that concern me and people like me was taken away, for no reasons given. We cannot follow rules we do not know. What drama were we perpetuating? How does removing our posts respect someone else's "privacy"? I've received messages in my inbox today where friends are leaving the Paizo forums because of what looks like outright tyranny and unexplained censorship.

We are hurting, Chris. In desperation after being constantly, consistently, and conclusively shut down over and over and over, I've taken to contacting other members of the Paizo staff in effort to get help against what a lot of people are seeing as a gross misuse of power. This cannot continue to go on like this. We still don't understand why this has happened or why things like this have continued to happen. If it was because Rysky threw a tantrum over a misunderstanding (which everyone else in the thread confirmed was a misunderstanding) you are hurting many people in an effort to alleviate the tantrums of a few.

We need to know why we are being treated this way. It's not alright.
Repeatedly silencing our questions and concerns and then offering vague apologies in private are not enough. I do not feel safe and secure on the Paizo forums anymore and I've been here since the Pathfinder Alphas. Every day I worry that I'm going to be suddenly banned for reasons I'll never even be told.

Response from Chris Lambertz, to Ashiel:
* You have been provided with answers to these questions and have been provided with the text of your removed posts for reposting as you see fit. That you are dissatisfied with the answers provided is not indicative of any conspiracy or “censorship.” Our moderators use their best judgement for given situations, and yes, since they are human, it’s possible to not get it right all the time, or to make everyone happy with those decisions.

Over the course of the last 4 years, our team has corresponded with you about how to post appropriately to our website. I’m sorry that it seems that we cannot seem to reach an understanding where you will be satisfied. It seems that the community environment that you are seeking is not the environment that we facilitate, as evidenced by this current issue, past removed posts and notifications, as well as a previous temporary suspension. At this time we feel that it’s for the best for us to part ways, and will be suspending your “Ashiel” account.

If you’d like to ever return and continue participating on our forums again, you will need to request that the suspension be lifted, and show to us that you have intentions of interacting in good faith and in a non-inciteful manner on our website.

Chris Lambertz

Take them as you will.

Edit: edited to add bold sentence to first spoiler. Accidentally cut it out the first time.

Edit #2: I want to clarify that I'm not taking up arms or anything by posting these emails, just answering NenkotaMoon's question.


Also, text over the Internet is often a very imperfect medium for conveying tone and intent, even when used skillfully. I'd rather not read malice or censorship into actions that are instead almost certainly miscommunication on one or both sides.


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Its a company website and forums. What is said by us reflects on the company and the community as a whole. As Paizo are paying for the servers and the moderators to keep the forums safe, I think we have to give them a pretty wide leeway in deciding what they want to display to the world.

Having had a set of comments deleted in the past, I can only say that the moderators were open, fair and tried to offer advice for not getting burnt in the future. The moderators are here to ensure everyone enjoys the forums not just the most prolific 10 posters.

On a separate note I do think a new user seeing the 'Ask Ashiel Anything' thread could have easily mistaken Ashiel as one of the designers or a representative of Paizo. After all the thread was a direct parody of the threads set up by senior designers. I'm not sure I think that is good for the forums, the company or for new users.

Dark Archive

I think the mods did fine then.


I would hope that no Paizo moderator would ever deliberately make a deletion or lock without giving the standard clarification as to why. While it is Paizo's right to do what they think is best for their site, that service is important to me. Many websites do not provide it.

It may be that there is someone in particular who is not in the habit, or that those posts were mistaken for hostile (targeted) spam meant to harass moderators. The poster repeatedly re-posting their deleted thread would look like someone refusing to accept moderation to a moderator looking in, after all.

It's clear that someone failed in the above link, and I hope that Customer Service does what it can to get to the bottom of it. It's Paizo's right to do as they will, but Paizo has always endeavored to be clear and transparent with me, and it's important to me that they do the same with all who post in good faith.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Just feel like chiming in that i'm sad to see ashiel go.

Though, I think Kobold Cleaver said everything I thought on the subject pretty well.


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Well I would really hope that paizo moderators wouldn't ban people for getting a bit dramatic in a private email, but here we are.


Also, it's worth noting that the user was posting those threads at the same time as Ashiel's and Klara's argument with the mods. They were duplicate threads, essentially, which are generally deleted without comment. In this case, the mods might have been getting a bit tired of people not using the right channels, and gotten a bit thoughtless as a result.

"Oh, this thread is redundant with the other. I'll just delete it." (probably should have merged it)
"Really? It looks like they're just reposting it with a different title. Cut that out." (probably should have checked and realized how confused the poster actually was)
"Again? They're just spamming us now."

And so on. That wouldn't be a conspiracy, but an honest mistake.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Alex Smith 908 wrote:
Well I would really hope that paizo moderators wouldn't ban people for getting a bit dramatic in a private email, but here we are.

Can we not snipe at people who aren't here to defend themselves?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't recall sniping at Ashiel.

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