So...Folca


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Shadow Lodge

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CPEvilref wrote:
A) That's still mechanically incentivised child abuse. It's quite explicitly showing a child something horrific and then the implied threat that you'll be back to do it again. The idea that showing a child horrific things is not emotional abuse is utterly, totally wrong.

Not once did I say it wasn't. You on the other hnd are saying, quite often, that is is only sexual abuse and are, by the text of the obedience, incorrect.

CPEvilref wrote:
B) The comment about 'the children can be evil too' is, frankly, utterly ludicrous, insulting and dismissing. What next, 'she was wearing a short skirt?'

Of course not. However, as was posted above, Evil Children are a common occurrence for media.

CPEvilref wrote:
Also, the book doesn't create Folca as an antagonist to be attacked, instead just the powers his worshipers get for abusing children...

Of course it doesn't! That's far and beyond the scope of the book! You know what makes him an antagonist though? He's evil and horrible and people want to see him dead for what he's done and will do!

I will wait to see how you twist these words of mine now.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malefactor wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Malefactor wrote:
Strictly speaking, I don't see anything here as a moral wrong on Paizo's part.

Okay.

However, those that disagree believe that direct action, and responsibility should be taken by the company to fix this.

Okay, this is not a rhetorical question. This is not me be snarky or sarcastic or trying to make a point. This is me legitimately trying to understand your viewpoint: What do you think Paizo has done that is morally wrong, and why hasn't anything that has been in the game beforehand not been morally wrong if this is?

I genuinely want to know.

I appreciate your sincerity, but this has already been covered in previous posts and by Robert Brooke’s twitter thread.

It’s exhausting to have to re explain the same points over and over again.


Malefactor wrote:

Okay, this is not a rhetorical question. This is not me be snarky or sarcastic or trying to make a point. This is me legitimately trying to understand your viewpoint: What do you think Paizo has done that is morally wrong, and why hasn't anything that has been in the game beforehand not been morally wrong if this is?

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childmaltreatment/consequences.html

https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/effects-child-abuse-and-neglect-adult -survivors

https://www.frcmo.org/resources/resources-for-professionals/effects-of-chil d-abuse/

Paizo took a serious issue, which people deal with on a daily basis, and turned it into '+2 charisma bonus' and 'magic spells that make the abuser better at abuse' - quite literally the more you abuse kids, the better you get at it.

This isn't an issue of having Folca as a theme, it's giving magic powers for child abuse - rewarding abuse.

Pathfinder, in the main, is a game about heroes overcoming obstacles to be, well, big damn heroes. It's not 'Don't Rest Your Head' for the most part, it's not 'Whispering Vault' or a Shoah Wraith campaign. And absolutely there are groups that can explore and deal with mature themes on a mature level.

Pathfinder's hardbacks have, traditionally, been player-focused, or player/GM split. So this is a book for players, not exclusively for GMs.

And yes, while there's a nod at a content warning, at no point does it say 'by the way, we give child abusers magic powers' in this book.

On reading Folca's entry, and the magic powers it grants, i flashed right back to my abuse and what happened to me.

And then I got angry, because this was Paizo, a company I thought of as being better than this, a company I thought of as broadly trying to do the right thing, sure with some mishaps and mistakes along the way, but actually trying to do better, to be better.

And then they ignored it, and dodged the questions and the criticism.

And then the only responses came when it went viral, with two individuals commenting personally about it, but still no statement as a company, still no official stance.

So, that's what they've done wrong. They said that in their game, abusing children gives you magic powers and makes you better at abuse...


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Honestly, seeing how worked up people in this thread are getting about the possibility of player playing a neutral character who worships the daemonic harbinger of child abuse (if the DM isn't paying attention and the player's a dick) imagine their reaction when they find out you can be the Neutral Good worshipper of a goddess who requires (for lack of a better word) "Human" Sacrifice. I mean, at least Ragathiel requires them to be evildoers guilty of crime, what's her excuse for staying neutral?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragonborn3 wrote:
CPEvilref wrote:
A) That's still mechanically incentivised child abuse. It's quite explicitly showing a child something horrific and then the implied threat that you'll be back to do it again. The idea that showing a child horrific things is not emotional abuse is utterly, totally wrong.

Not once did I say it wasn't. You on the other hnd are saying, quite often, that is is only sexual abuse and are, by the text of the obedience, incorrect.

CPEvilref wrote:
B) The comment about 'the children can be evil too' is, frankly, utterly ludicrous, insulting and dismissing. What next, 'she was wearing a short skirt?'

Of course not. However, as was posted above, Evil Children are a common occurrence for media.

CPEvilref wrote:
Also, the book doesn't create Folca as an antagonist to be attacked, instead just the powers his worshipers get for abusing children...

Of course it doesn't! That's far and beyond the scope of the book! You know what makes him an antagonist though? He's evil and horrible and people want to see him dead for what he's done and will do!

I will wait to see how you twist these words of mine now.

I just want to calm this down before it gets any more heated.

A) The implication of sexual abuse is that Folca grants the Lust domain, and the spell unnatural lust for partaking in the obedience.

That is clear. I don't know if you missed those points previously, but that is where CPEvilref is coming from with that.

B) Evil children might be a trope, but you're never asked to slay children in a Paizo product, because as a company Paizo knows that it crosses a line of poor taste.


Malefactor wrote:
Honestly, seeing how worked up people in this thread are getting about the possibility of player playing a neutral character who worships the daemonic harbinger of child abuse (if the DM isn't paying attention and the player's a dick) imagine their reaction when they find out you can be the Neutral Good worshipper of a goddess who requires (for lack of a better word) "Human" Sacrifice. I mean, at least Ragathiel requires them to be evildoers guilty of crime, what's her excuse for staying neutral?

First you say you're genuinely trying to understand viewpoints, then you engage in whataboutism. I don't think you're actually interested in genuinely engaging on the subject at all.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Malefactor wrote:
Honestly, seeing how worked up people in this thread are getting about the possibility of player playing a neutral character who worships the daemonic harbinger of child abuse (if the DM isn't paying attention and the player's a dick) imagine their reaction when they find out you can be the Neutral Good worshipper of a goddess who requires (for lack of a better word) "Human" Sacrifice. I mean, at least Ragathiel requires them to be evildoers guilty of crime, what's her excuse for staying neutral?

Can we please stay on the topic of the specific issues of Folca, and Book of the Damned.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


However, those that disagree believe that direct action, and responsibility should be taken by the company to fix this.

Sure but, Paizo is at the end of the day, a company. There are those that think this isn't a problem, those that think its a problem but doesn't need a solution beyond an unofficial apology, those that think its a problem but needs an official apology and nothing further, and those that think that Paizo needs to officially apologize and eat the costs of all the books they have in the warehouse that they haven't sold and print a new version.

There's not a right answer here, just because you want Paizo to take a specific action to appease your opinion on the wrong doesn't mean you are right. So at the end of the day, Paizo has to decide if potentially alienating you by not taking the action you desire is worth alienating other customers or if they think that your action is right for them as a company.

Shadow Lodge

Also, arguing about it with people who have no control or ability to address your complaint accomplishes nothing.


No, they didn't say that. They gave similar powers to one guy just like they did with everyone else.

Does it trigger some people? Yes. Did they do it intentionally? No.

I do not think they have ignored it. Frankly, I believe they've had other issues going on, like the large portion of the events in the locked thread. Or recently with people unhappy with whatever book of the week they are unhappy with.

In the end, an apology for including the material might be the best outcome one can ask for, and I am not sure if it will help.


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CPEvilref wrote:
Malefactor wrote:

Okay, this is not a rhetorical question. This is not me be snarky or sarcastic or trying to make a point. This is me legitimately trying to understand your viewpoint: What do you think Paizo has done that is morally wrong, and why hasn't anything that has been in the game beforehand not been morally wrong if this is?

Quote:

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childmaltreatment/consequences.html

https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/effects-child-abuse-and-neglect-adult -survivors

https://www.frcmo.org/resources/resources-for-professionals/effects-of-chil d-abuse/

Paizo took a serious issue, which people deal with on a daily basis, and turned it into '+2 charisma bonus' and 'magic spells that make the abuser better at abuse' - quite literally the more you abuse kids, the better you get at it.

This isn't an issue of having Folca as a theme, it's giving magic powers for child abuse - rewarding abuse.

Pathfinder, in the main, is a game about heroes overcoming obstacles to be, well, big damn heroes. It's not 'Don't Res Your Head' for the most part, it's not 'Whispering Vault' or a Shoah Wraith campaign. And absolutely there are groups that can explore and deal with mature themes on a mature level.

Pathfinder's hardbacks have, traditionally, been player-focused, or player/GM split. So this is a book for players, not exclusively for GMs.

And yes, while there's a nod at a content warning, at no point does it say 'by the way, we give child abusers magic powers' in this book.

On reading Folca's entry, and the magic powers it grants, i flashed right back to my abuse and what happened to me.

And then I got angry, because this was Paizo, a company I thought of as being better than thisk, a company I thought of as broadly trying to do the right thing, sure with some mishaps and mistakes along the way, but actually trying to do better, to be better.

And then they ignored it, and dodged the questions and the criticism.

And then the only responses...

Yeah, I get that child horrible and all, but what I do get is why only child abuse? Why don't we see this same reaction for the obediences that require torture or murder or anything like that. Why is it only child abuse crosses that line, but none of the other awful things you can do to get power (such as graveknights sacrificing 13 good aligned creatures and then committing ritual suicide in order to become an undead monstrosity) do? Why is child abuse the pinnacle of evil in a way nothing else is?

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CPEvilref wrote:


First you say you're genuinely trying to understand viewpoints, then you engage in whataboutism. I don't think you're actually interested in genuinely engaging on the subject at all.

You're accusing Paizo of committing a wrong, I'm sorry you don't think you need to justify why you think they've committed a wrong, but to some people in this thread you seem to have to. I realize you likely didn't start this thread to engage other forum posters and instead started it to demand action from Paizo, but this being a public forum others are within their rights (as long as the mods say so) to question you about it. You can feel free to ignore it but that doesn't make it an invalid question.


Shaudius wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


However, those that disagree believe that direct action, and responsibility should be taken by the company to fix this.

Sure but, Paizo is at the end of the day, a company. There are those that think this isn't a problem, those that think its a problem but doesn't need a solution beyond an unofficial apology, those that think its a problem but needs an official apology and nothing further, and those that think that Paizo needs to officially apologize and eat the costs of all the books they have in the warehouse that they haven't sold and print a new version.

There's not a right answer here, just because you want Paizo to take a specific action to appease your opinion on the wrong doesn't mean you are right. So at the end of the day, Paizo has to decide if potentially alienating you by not taking the action you desire is worth alienating other customers or if they think that your action is right for them as a company.

You're absolutely right, hence my original post was aimed at the company, specifically, deliberately.

Right now they're getting criticised in assorted places, and it's their decision on how they want to handle it, whether they want to own up to their mistakes or not. Whether they want to take the risk of it making it to mainstream media or not, whether they want to take the risk of more people getting disillusioned with them, or not.

The handful of people here dismissing it, are substantially less than the people condemning their decisions elsewhere. These forums are, afterall, tiny in comparison to rpg.net and enworld, both of which had extensive condemnation for the decision, let alone other social media sites.

So, as per a previous point, does Paizo want to be known as the child abuse gives you magic powers company, or not?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Shaudius wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


However, those that disagree believe that direct action, and responsibility should be taken by the company to fix this.

Sure but, Paizo is at the end of the day, a company. There are those that think this isn't a problem, those that think its a problem but doesn't need a solution beyond an unofficial apology, those that think its a problem but needs an official apology and nothing further, and those that think that Paizo needs to officially apologize and eat the costs of all the books they have in the warehouse that they haven't sold and print a new version.

There's not a right answer here, just because you want Paizo to take a specific action to appease your opinion on the wrong doesn't mean you are right. So at the end of the day, Paizo has to decide if potentially alienating you by not taking the action you desire is worth alienating other customers or if they think that your action is right for them as a company.

That doesn't take into account the customers who they alienate that aren't die hard fans of Paizo, or Pathfinder.

Yes, I am being loud, persistent and vocal about this.

However, that is because I care about Paizo as a company, and the good people who work there. Like I said, right now it's just a small leak in the bucket as those less invested in Paizo quietly stop buying, or stop subscribing. Might not affect their bottom line much at all.

But it does affect the community. It affects who feels welcome at the table. It affects who feels welcome in their online forum.

The executives at Paizo say that they are committed to inclusion, but if that commitment only lasts so long as it doesn't affect the bottom-line then they're empty words. Less and less people will be willing to accept personal apologies. Because those apologies don't mean anything.


Shaudius wrote:


You're accusing Paizo of committing a wrong, I'm sorry you don't think you need to justify why you think they've committed a wrong, but to some people in this thread you seem to have to. I realize you likely didn't start this thread to engage other forum posters and instead started it to demand action from Paizo, but this being a public forum others are within their rights (as long as the mods say so) to question you about it. You can feel free to ignore it but that doesn't make it an invalid question.

Except that wasn't what my response was. My response was, quite literally, taking the previous post asking for a detailed explanation on a difficult, emotive subject, and then before any chance for that happened, then engaging in a classic 'whataboutism'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

Or, in otherwords, I wasn't going to engage with that line of rhetoric and was making it clear. Moreover, this was previously stated by one of the mods on this issue:

Diego Valdez wrote:
Lets back off with the suggestions that because someone has brought attention to something they have an issue with, they think other things they haven't mentioned are acceptable.


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This .. I ..

I just don't know what to say about this anymore. I wish you luck in your pursuit.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
CPEvilref wrote:


Or, in otherwords, I wasn't going to engage with that line of rhetoric and was making it clear. Moreover, this was previously stated by one of the mods on this issue:

I'm not sure that I can can continue to respond to someone who accuses me of whataboutism while at the same time equating creating an evil thing with mechanic benefit for evil people with being the "child abuse company" and does so with a straight face. This thread needs to be nuked from orbit.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Shaudius wrote:
CPEvilref wrote:


Or, in otherwords, I wasn't going to engage with that line of rhetoric and was making it clear. Moreover, this was previously stated by one of the mods on this issue:

I'm not sure that I can respond to someone who accuses me of whataboutism while at the same time equating creating an evil think with mechanic benefit for evil people with being "child abuse gives you magic powers company" and does so with a straight face.

CPEvilref was talking about Malefactor in regards to whataboutism.

The "child abuse gives you magic powers company" thing, is talking about what this issue looks like outside the bubble of paizo.com messageboards.


Shaudius wrote:


I'm not sure that I can can continue to respond to someone who accuses me of whataboutism while at the same time equating creating an evil thing with mechanic benefit for evil people with being the "child abuse company" and does so with a straight face. This thread needs to be nuked from orbit.

I didn't accuse you, you'd questioned my reply to Malefactor, I was explaining.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


The "child abuse gives you magic powers company" thing, is talking about what this issue looks like outside the bubble of paizo.com messageboards.

This is a pretty big aside but bear with me.

I thought a lot about this idea on the train ride home today. Specifically with regard to D&D and the moral panic of the 80s. How this issue would be sound-bited in the media and misconstrued until it was D&D(the general public wouldn't know the difference between Pathfinder and D&D) causes you to worship devils and molest children.

The reason I thought about it a lot on the ride home was because that's exactly what the OP reminded me of, it was over the top full of hyberbole suggesting Paizo is promoting child abuse, Paizo is going to be known as the child abuse company, etc., etc. (and his posts continue to be so, yours less so, but I'm still getting a lot of moral panic vibes.)

But that's I think a lot of the response you're getting here, a gut reaction to being attacked (even though we're not Paizo) a la the moral panic of the 80s.


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Perhaps whether or not it is okay to include truly terrible acts of evil at a table should depend on the table. Perhaps it is acceptable to include setting material to support the darkest paths.

It's not okay to include a deific obedience style ability for this. We don't need deific obediences for NPCs. It's not a helpful GM tool. It's a format that invites players to look at and consider it. For such pure evil a line about his followers' actions would've been more appropriate.

It's not okay to include as little warning as this book does. Warning are not about existing or not. They should be appropriate to the content within. The warnings in similar books of DnD's history were far better at exploring the ideas of clear consent to use such materials this book pays lip service to.

It's not okay to do so while the issues of sexual abuse are being laid front and stage for American without some respect to the context into which the material is being released.

It's not okay to be slow to act after realizing how bad this is.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Shaudius wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


The "child abuse gives you magic powers company" thing, is talking about what this issue looks like outside the bubble of paizo.com messageboards.

This is a pretty big aside but bear with me.

I thought a lot about this idea on the train ride home today. Specifically with regard to D&D and the moral panic of the 80s. How this issue would be sound-bited in the media and misconstrued until it was D&D(the general public wouldn't know the difference between Pathfinder and D&D) causes you to worship devils and molest children.

The reason I thought about it a lot on the ride home was because that's exactly what the OP reminded me of, it was over the top full of hyberbole (and his posts continue to be so, yours less so, but I'm still getting a lot of moral panic vibes.) But that's I think a lot of the response you're getting here, a gut reaction to being attacked (even though we're not Paizo) a la the moral panic of the 90s.

I understand that there is a lot of identity tied into RPG companies for nerds. We've all been through the edition wars. A few years ago I might have been on the other side of this argument.

But ultimately what CPEvilref and I want, is for Paizo to live up to the values they say they stand for. Because we care about this company too.

Caring about something doesn't make it immune to criticism. And if some of these posts seem hyperbolic, it's because there are emotional ties to this company. I probably spend roughly 30 hours a month playing Pathfinder, and about another 20 a week planning pathfinder or reading the messageboards. Many people who frequent the boards are in the same boat.

I understand the gut reaction to defend the company. Or to ignore something that doesn't affect you directly.

But recently, we've been seeing a massive backlash against controversy being swept aside. Brand loyalty isn't as important as principled living. CPEvilref is angry and hurt, and Paizo has known about this problem for 7 weeks without any official response.

This isn't the first controversy Paizo has had to deal with this year. Paizo's practices need to change as a company when it comes to these issues. Or they're going to continue lose good staff, good freelancers and good customers.

People speak passionately because they care.


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Ah, yes whataboutism, the tactic commonly used by the USSR to deflect criticism towards them by pointing out failings of the western world. While that doesn't change the fact that USSR may have done those things, it also doesn't mean that the things they pointed out weren't true, at least, not by default. If the pot calls the kettle black, is being a hypocrite, it is true, but that doesn't change the fact that the kettle is still black. As for my comment about Fandarra, it was not meant to be linked with my previous post, it was just that I felt it was odd that people were complaining that evil (quasi)deity did evil things,so I went looking for the worst thing a non-evil god wants their followers to do, which could misconstrued as Paizo believing that the action wasn't an evil act (whereas with Folca, I can't see anyone looking at the portfolio a neutral evil daemon and going "Gee, What a swell guy!") and found Fandarra, who, being a true neutral goddess could theoretically lead someone to believe that human sacrifice isn't an evil act and posted my findings as what I thought an example of something that could legitimately lead to someone arguing that killing a sentient being for no other reason than "my god wanted blood" to be non-evil. I apologize if I seemed to be doing something else, and try to make my intentions clearer in future posts.


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Shaudius wrote:

I thought a lot about this idea on the train ride home today. Specifically with regard to D&D and the moral panic of the 80s. How this issue would be sound-bited in the media and misconstrued until it was D&D(the general public wouldn't know the difference between Pathfinder and D&D) causes you to worship devils and molest children.

The reason I thought about it a lot on the ride home was because that's exactly what the OP reminded me of, it was over the top full of hyberbole suggesting Paizo is promoting child abuse, Paizo is going to be known as the child abuse company, etc., etc. (and his posts continue to be so, yours less so, but I'm still getting a lot of moral panic vibes.)

But that's I think a lot of the response you're getting here, a gut reaction to being attacked (even though we're not Paizo) a la the moral panic of the 90s.

You do bring up a good point. Critique like this can remind us of the outside force of the 80ies that was trying to demonize a game we all love. I remember before TotalBiscuit talking about how sometimes people in his age range can be particularly kneejerk because of the implications.

Yet, every industry should have standards and some respect to the morals in which it is being released. People are expressing their negativity to this industry releasing the material the way they did so.

Most of us are not orators. We don't always react in a manner that makes it easy to respond to. When there is a crowd of uncouth auditory tools, perhaps even deaththreats, it is easy to dismiss as childish or immature. It's easy to justify a lack of being able to express one's outrage as being outraged for childish reasons.

However, let me share with you one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

"A riot is the voice of the unheard."

When in a mass such as that the internet gives us it is near impossible to make our voices matter to those around us. Perhaps sometimes these mass threats and negative attention are unjustified or justified for dark reasons. However, I would implore everyone to try to understand intent. Understanding is a gift of humanity, and a lack of it our greatest bane.


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The Mortonator wrote:

Perhaps whether or not it is okay to include truly terrible acts of evil at a table should depend on the table. Perhaps it is acceptable to include setting material to support the darkest paths.

It's not okay to include a deific obedience style ability for this. We don't need deific obediences for NPCs. It's not a helpful GM tool. It's a format that invites players to look at and consider it. For such pure evil a line about his followers' actions would've been more appropriate.

It's not okay to include as little warning as this book does. Warning are not about existing or not. They should be appropriate to the content within. The warnings in similar books of DnD's history were far better at exploring the ideas of clear consent to use such materials this book pays lip service to.

It's not okay to do so while the issues of sexual abuse are being laid front and stage for American without some respect to the context into which the material is being released.

It's not okay to be slow to act after realizing how bad this is.

Why not? NPC's need stat blocks too you know, and you have to have an obedience feat to qualify for several prestige classes. I am well aware that a DM is perfectly free to give an NPC whatever abilities he wants, but some DMs (like myself) prefer to (templates excluded) build our NPCs with the same rules the PC's themselves have to follow. It's not entirely fair to my players if I ignore the prerequisites of prestige class in order to free up feats and skillpoints for things that will make killing the players easier, and it can feel more satisfying to play by the rules and live by the roll of the dice, than to go "This NPC has an undispellable freedom of movement effect on him with duration of constant. It's DM fiat, I don't gotta explain crap!" There is nothing strictly wrong with playing that way, and I would be lying if I said I never gave an antagonist an ability that wouldn't typically be available to them, but on the whole, I like it when we are all on the same playing field, and that is why I like Obediences for deities that I would NEVER let a player near with 39 and half foot pole.


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I'll thank Mortonator and Dudemeister for not being as hyperbolic as the OP. Sure, I'm open to hearing an argument as to whether or not the subject matter is "too much" for the game. Less open to declaring Paizo the "child abuse company" or comparisons to FATAL.

I find it's just difficult for me to really take the "incentivizing child abuse" thing particularly seriously, because... well, Daemon Harbinger boons are kind of lame. I don't know about everyone else's game groups, but I've found that it's fairly uncommon that you'll even be doing a campaign that allows for evil characters such as fiend-worshippers, and even if you are looking to do a fiend-worshipper there are dozens of other options. I mean, a small bonus on checks and three spell-like abilities. Woo. Meanwhile Charon has you summoning his horse to age people, Shax gives you a wing of his house, and Areshkagal makes you into a bling warrior. If like only one in five or six or ten of your games will even allow those kinds of options... how many players are actually going to be incentivized? Hell, I'm still waiting on a chance to play a Red Mantis Assassin (I've got like three different character concepts there).

I'm honestly far more open to arguments about trivialization and exploitation for cheap horror value. But I can't help but be reminded of, yes, the 1980s panic with Patricia Pulling and BADD. Or with a think piece I saw about the Rocky Horror Picture Show complaining about Frank-n-Furter being a sexual assaulter...

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
The Mortonator wrote:


However, let me share with you one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

"A riot is the voice of the unheard."

When in a mass such as that the internet gives us it is near impossible to make our voices matter to those around us. Perhaps sometimes these mass threats and negative attention are unjustified or justified...

I see your quotation and raise you one of my own

"Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood" - Stephen Covey

The OP is upset, I understand that, they think the material is inappropriate and needs to be excised posthaste. When seeking to effectuate positive change, however, the OP is not phrased in such a way to get the response the OP wants. It reads extremely accusatory and unhelpful even the offer of help is off-putting, "If, as said, you intended to remove that text, it would have taken me a day to rework that page of the indesign document, splash in some filler text and recreate it. If needed i'll do it for you."

If I received such an e-mail at work I very well may ignore it(if it was within my power to do so, I actually can't ignore e-mails like the OPs at my job and I get far worse sometimes).

I think perhaps the OP's e-mail was in fact ignored but its hard to tell "You ignored emails about it, you ignored threads about it, only when it went viral across the net" Not sure if they're talking in the first person here about e-mails they wrote or not.

I think something like:

"Hey all,

A couple months back you all published some pretty distributing material in the Book of the Damned, one specific entry really sticks out though, and that's the entry for Floca. Some in the community, including myself, are incredibly upset about this particular entry. By giving Floca's followers a bonus when they abuse children, you have crossed over a line that I feel should not have been crossed. Erik Mona and James Jacobs have admitted that this was a mistake, but to date you haven't appeared to take an additional steps to correct this mistake.

I am wondering what additional steps Paizo plans to take to address this unsettling material in the Book of the Damned. Does Paizo plan to create an edited PDF. If so, what timeframe do you all expect to have a revised version without this entry available? I think it would be best to pull sales from your website until the revision is made."

Would have gone over much better and would be far less likely to devolve into squabbles about phrasing and intent.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There are other ways to make a "Boogyman" daemon lord, that don't cross the line to abuse of children.

First, remove lust as a subdomain option. It's gross, in poor taste and is the root of the problem.

Second, replace the obedience boons with something along the lines of beguiling gift, poison candy is a common Halloween trope, cause fear and scare.

And instead of involving children in the obedience at all, have the worshipper frighten the parents of a child.

Yeah, it's evil, but it doesn't involve any actual child abuse or insinuate at any kind of sexual connotation.

He's a scary boogyman, a parent's nightmare. Plays on the tropes of parental fears, rather than childs fears. Real scary and evil, but I think more within the bounds of good taste.

Shadow Lodge

Also, see the current customer service response time.

I sent an email on Oct 13th. I received the response on Nov 8th.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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We’ll try again tomorrow .

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

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Myself and Paizo executive team members, Lisa, Erik, Jeff and Vic, are actively working on a response to the inquiries and feedback we’ve received regarding Folca. In the meantime, if you wish to continue posting in this thread, we need you to engage respectfully with other posters. Paizo.com provides a place for our gaming community to gather and discuss topics that are important to them, engage with each other, support and hang out. Right now we have community members who are feeling hurt over a piece of content in one of our books. It is not appropriate to argue or debate the validity of their feelings. Do not dismiss the issue other community members have by asserting that there are other bad or more important topics (fallacy of relative privation) or that focusing on Folca means that someone doesn't care about other problematic issues.

The topic of child abuse is one that hits close and hard to many of us for a variety of reasons. Be respectful of each other and mindful of the language and words you are using.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

One reason for NOT following some of the recommendations in this thread like halting sales and editing out Folca....

As soon as that is done, the extant versions could become collector's editions. The ones with the suppressed content...

Personally, I think the issue is more likely to peter out if left alone than by pulping the currently printed but unsold books and reprinting.


The Beguiling Gift boon idea is an interesting one, but I'm a little less sure about the other details. In a way it looks like it kind of... waters down the menace? I mean, daemons are about death and evil in its purest form. Taking it and its cultists from "someone who is going to hurt you and kill you horribly" to "someone who's just going to scare you" feels less compelling to me.

But then again if I'm being honest, I suppose I wouldn't really care what the changes were. They could do something in an errata and I wouldn't even really notice. If a change were made I'd probably just go "huh. Okay." and then go on with my day. I dunno.

And honestly, 'collectors editions because suppressed content' feels a little silly to me. We're talking about a minor entry in a minor section. Like, did earlier copies of Ultimate Equipment become big items before the changes to Snapleaf? I dunno, I don't think that makes sense.

A better content disclaimer, though, I could definitely agree with that.


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PannicAtack wrote:

The Beguiling Gift boon idea is an interesting one, but I'm a little less sure about the other details. In a way it looks like it kind of... waters down the menace? I mean, daemons are about death and evil in its purest form. Taking it and its cultists from "someone who is going to hurt you and kill you horribly" to "someone who's just going to scare you" feels less compelling to me.

But then again if I'm being honest, I suppose I wouldn't really care what the changes were. They could do something in an errata and I wouldn't even really notice. If a change were made I'd probably just go "huh. Okay." and then go on with my day. I dunno.

I'd argue that reaction is why watering it down is better. While going full grimdark might be something you are okay with- And I'll admit, I like me some full grimdark- it's not okay for a lot of people. And ultimately this wasn't necessary. Full grimdark has been maturely and immaturely added to games by GMs forever. We don't need this type of support for it.

I'm not sure how to phrase this, but it feels much like the same violation of standards as if someone suddenly included grim dark without talking to the rest of the table. It's uncomfortable and even if I am okay with the grimdark topic in question the out of nowhereness of it would be grounds for me to stop a game and talk to the player about it.

PannicAtack wrote:
And honestly, 'collectors editions because suppressed content' feels a little silly to me. We're talking about a minor entry in a minor section. Like, did earlier copies of Ultimate Equipment become big items before the changes to Snapleaf? I dunno, I don't think that makes sense.

I agree, nothing here really feels cult status worthy.


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But shouldn't GMs and their players be the ones who ultimately make the decision what is and isn't okay at their tables? Tabletop RPGs allow for a number of very disturbing things, and Pathfinder isn't an exception to that.

You contended earlier in this thread that you don't need rules for NPCs, but many GMs do rely on rules. Malefactor pointed to his own GM preferences wherein he prefers to hold NPCs to the same standards as PCs for the purposes of abilities. Plenty of GMs don't do that, sure... but plenty of other GMs do. Some GMs don't like coming up with their own rules options, which is why rules material like this gets published.

I think there is a bit of a difference between the material existing in a rulebook that may or may not be used in a given game, and a GM suddenly springing something on the players. How big a difference that is may be a matter of debate and perspective, but I think the distinction does exist.

If I were to put forward a change suggestion, I think it'd make sense to change Fiendish Obedience itself. Make it so that evil alignment is a prerequisite for the feat in the first place. That eliminates the hypothetical "neutral-aligned child abuser" situation.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I look forward to the executive team’s response to this issue. I am glad paizo is hearing their customers on this issue.

Participating in this thread has been exhausting, and I will not be posting in it any further. Both in order to prevent any aggravation to myself, or my fellow posters.

Thank you Sara for your considered moderation in this matter.


Just want to respectively express my humble opinion. And sorry for my English in advance.

After reading the topic and some objective personal thinking, I would say the problem mostly arisen from desire to bring some of deific worship in borders of mechanics, by adding obedience feat and boons (not a bad idea from my point of view). I understand that genie is out of the bottle, and the specific problem with Folca (and possibly other fiends) will be dealt with as Paizo sees fit. But for future I think (not advocating for it), the compromise is to present the method/guidelines for GMs how to craft unique boons and obedience for deities, that will not get them for one or another reason.
Again, this is just my personal opinion on the situation, and bigger picture around it.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Mortonator wrote:
PannicAtack wrote:

The Beguiling Gift boon idea is an interesting one, but I'm a little less sure about the other details. In a way it looks like it kind of... waters down the menace? I mean, daemons are about death and evil in its purest form. Taking it and its cultists from "someone who is going to hurt you and kill you horribly" to "someone who's just going to scare you" feels less compelling to me.

But then again if I'm being honest, I suppose I wouldn't really care what the changes were. They could do something in an errata and I wouldn't even really notice. If a change were made I'd probably just go "huh. Okay." and then go on with my day. I dunno.

I'd argue that reaction is why watering it down is better. While going full grimdark might be something you are okay with- And I'll admit, I like me some full grimdark- it's not okay for a lot of people. And ultimately this wasn't necessary. Full grimdark has been maturely and immaturely added to games by GMs forever. We don't need this type of support for it.

I'm not sure how to phrase this, but it feels much like the same violation of standards as if someone suddenly included grim dark without talking to the rest of the table. It's uncomfortable and even if I am okay with the grimdark topic in question the out of nowhereness of it would be grounds for me to stop a game and talk to the player about it.

This is very much where I stand on the issue. I enjoy grimdark elements in my home games, and while I am not personally bothered by Folca as a concept (or even as a rules element), it does feel out of place in a Paizo product. The example I might use is finding a graphic sex scene in a Nick Jr. cartoon. I think consumers have come to expect a roughly PG-13 rating form Paizo's products, and this seems like a violation of established norms.


I wonder, does Pathfinder need a daemon of pedophilia? Does Folca really add anything to a campaign? Has any GM ever said “You know what my campaign needs? A fiend that molests children!”

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It gives a target. With Folca and it’s followers and those who associate with them you have an unarguable, unequivocal “this is Evil, f$&&ing kill it” target to present. No questions, no uncertainty, no shades of grey. Just pure Evil to put into the g+%#+%n ground to rot. And as others have brought up, people who have suffered abuse, this horror let’s them get back at it.

Whether it’s fiends representing rape, abuse, bigotry, torture, or dysphoria, Pathfinder gives your players the chance to play the hero they want to be and slaughter these evils and bring some solace.

Ive been writing and deleting a much larger post on the failure in handling this monster in print all day, if the the thread is still unlocked when I wake up I’ll try to recollect.


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Ventnor wrote:
I wonder, does Pathfinder need a daemon of pedophilia? Does Folca really add anything to a campaign? Has any GM ever said “You know what my campaign needs? A fiend that molests children!”

At least two people seem too think it adds something to their games, and judging from the amount of favorites those post received, such opinions aren't what one what one would call uncommon or unpopular.

Does your game need to have Folca in it? Probably not, if the thought of having it in their makes you uncomfortable, but the nice thing about Pathfinder is if something isn't to your taste, you don't have to have it in your game. If your DM is looking to add Folca to your game (or if one of your players/ another player is) you can simply talk to them, politely explain that it makes you uncomfortable, and request for it not be put into play.Most people would accept the request and take the game in a direction in which all the players can enjoy themselves. If they refuse, then you can either request the help of the other members of the group in convincing them, to the extent of booting the person who is making you uncomfortable out of the group if necessary, but if you are unable to sway the other members of the group, or if doing what I proposed would make you feel uncomfortable, you can just leave that group, which is really what you should do if nobody in the group cares enough about you the care if what they're doing upsets you. No Pathfinder is better than Bad Pathfinder, after all.

Still, assuming everyone in the group is okay with it, and the DM wants to use him, why shouldn't people be able to use Folca in their home games, as long as nobody is being hurt by it?

*Edit: Ninja'd! As usual, Rysky managed to make the point in a more brief and eloquent way than I, but I'll let this post stand as I think it addressed one or two points they didn't cover.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I like darker games and darker concepts. I don't want to play Disney Pathfinder. What's in my game doesn't have to be in your games, and vice versa. I'm putting this book in my shopping cart while I still can!


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Honestly all this hubbub is just weird to me. I mean, we've got around 3 different (demi)gods of rape, god knows how many ones of torture, even more of murder, and at least one of basically every other vice/sin in the book, all of which any player can happily become a cleric of and get 9th level casting for endorsing their patron (talk about a better reward than any piddling deific/demonic obedience boon), and the child abuse one is a bridge too far?

I mean, whatever rubs you the wrong way rubs you the wrong way, but I honestly can't bring myself to get worked up over this. Paizo's got some pretty messed up evil gods in their portfolio, a bunch of whom have pretty messed up tenets/obediences too (count the number of demon ones that require you to apply a painful and lingering death to a victim for an hour). A daemonic harbinger of child abuse is just another drop in the bucket to me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is Folca isn't a drop of messed up stuff in a pantheon where all the others run around stealing 40 cakes (because that's terrible) as their evil acts. These buggers have been around more or less forever and getting this worked up over this just strikes me as weird. You or someone else at your table not comfortable with Folca and the stuff that goes with her? Don't include Folca. That's the common practice for squiffy stuff in anything and I don't see why it should be different this time around. The hyperbole about Paizo being a child abuse company because of this is truly eye-rolling.


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I do think a better content disclaimer might have been a good idea. Folca's one thing, but the other fiendish divinities brought up in Book of the Damned cover themes like genocide (Szuriel), suicide (Sifkesh), self-harm (Abraxas, Osolmyr), torture and mutilation (Andirifku), and rape (Socothbenoth, Zepar). I'm not bringing these up for a study in whataboutism. If Folca is triggering to people who have certain backgrounds, I can bet that some of these other ones might hit close to home with certain gamers a lot more than the usual human sacrifice baddies.


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CPEvilref wrote:


The handful of people here dismissing it, are substantially less than the people condemning their decisions elsewhere.

Do you intend to engage with the posts by abuse survivors earlier in this thread expressing finding this material a positive thing ?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I would like to also go on the record as saying that I am not offended by this material, and I support Paizo's prerogative to publish it. I am further refreshed that a game (and setting) which explicitly supports the concept of institutionalized, formal Evil as a tangible, detectable, explicit thing, actually represents it.

This is not Paizo endorsing, encouraging, glamorizing, praising, or otherwise propagating acts of evil.

When a company whose job it is to produce campaign material that describes evil prints something that effectively says "this distasteful act is evil", I find it very difficult to adopt a mindset that isn't simply "yup, that sure is".

Finally, I would also like to add that I am weary of poop-bombing. I won't bring up the specifics, but over the last few years there's an increasing trend for threads that use alarmist language to make incendiary arguments about various topics, leading to unpleasantness. I'd really love it if folks could just take a step back and recognize "this offends me" doesn't mean "this should offend everyone".

Paizo. Please don't stop experimenting. Please don't become afraid to publish anything that could be scandalous for fear of a poop-bomb. Chin up. Most of us love most of what you produce most of the time.


I fear that with the Nidal book upcoming that this isn't going to go away. Zon-Kuthon is a core God and Nidal is part of the Inner Sea. I am hoping, like Anguish, that this doesn't inhibit Paizo from putting out material.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, I'm sure that with enough calls for censorship and book burnings Paizo will starting replacing those spiked chains with, um, flower chains?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
CPEvilref wrote:


The handful of people here dismissing it, are substantially less than the people condemning their decisions elsewhere.
Do you intend to engage with the posts by abuse survivors earlier in this thread expressing finding this material a positive thing ?

I said I was out, but I do need to engage with this.

Childhood Abuse survivors are not a monolith. I am not going to police what other people find acceptable. It's not appropriate to pit such people against each other for the sake of small section of one book of a roleplaying game.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Also, those of you creating slippery slope arguments rather than engaging with the actual specific issue and request at hand. You are not engaging in respectful discussion, you are are arguing with a problem that does not exist. Nobody is asking for Paizo to stop engaging with mature content, we're asking for Paizo to take responsibility for the content they create. Which means accepting responsibility for mistakes, and also taking more care in future.

Nobody wants Folca removed from the book entirely, just that the specific rules that incentivize role-playing any kind of child abuse at the table be removed.

I didn't hide the thread in case the response from the executive team got cross-posted here.

I am frustrated, hurt and broken-hearted with so much of the paizo community right now.

I think it's better if I just hide this thread.

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