Does modern Paizo have thick enough skin to handle a playtest?


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Steve was saying that it is more important to not offend someone than it is to be heard. I think that is ethically wrong and I was responding to that.

No. I said it was important to make an effort.

There’s no moral imperative to state your opinion. There is to be nice.


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Well I think that is also going to depend on what you mean by being heard too. Of course that is a lot harder to quantify. Some people however will use that as an excuse to be as offensive as possible (which is rude!)

I think the issue here is the terms you guys are using are very vague. Very few things in life are black and white their is probably a grey area where this is things that are OK and people should be ok to say this only offending someone who is to sensitive yada yadda yadda. I myself am Having a hard time thinking of examples in all areas.

Surely their is an obvious point somewhere when a persons opinion should be kept to themselves and a point where people are being to sensitive.

Edit: ok I got some examples

positive post: I think this is great but could be improved here and here

Middle ground well this isn't great they should do this!

Negative post: This is all Garbage I'm so angry and this person should be fired and this person should be keelhauled etc.

People are going to respond to some ways better then others.

Silver Crusade

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We are talking about feedback on a game here. Not human rights violations. It is not hard to be kind to the developers, designers and fellow posters.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
We are talking about feedback on a game here. Not human rights violations. It is not hard to be kind to the developers, designers and fellow posters.

Haven't you gotten enough likes for one thread DM!

(edit I think this alias is more appropriate!)


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Vidmaster7 wrote:

Well I think that is also going to depend on what you mean by being heard too. Of course that is a lot harder to quantify. Some people however will use that as an excuse to be as offensive as possible (which is rude!)

I think the issue here is the terms you guys are using are very vague. Very few things in life are black and white their is probably a grey area where this is things that are OK and people should be ok to say this only offending someone who is to sensitive yada yadda yadda. I myself am Having a hard time thinking of examples in all areas.

Surely their is an obvious point somewhere when a persons opinion should be kept to themselves and a point where people are being to sensitive.

Disagreements are inevitable. As is miscommunication.

“Never offend anyone” is an unreasonable standard to set “try not to offend anyone” is easy (and doesn’t restrict your right to give your opinion in any meaningful way).


Steve Geddes wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Steve was saying that it is more important to not offend someone than it is to be heard. I think that is ethically wrong and I was responding to that.

No. I said it was important to make an effort.

There’s no moral imperative to state your opinion. There is to be nice.

Well, the argument you made appealed to “harm done”, which essentially draws on certain utilitarian doctrines of ethics. I don’t care for that line of moral reasoning. I am also not sure that everyone would agree with you when you say people have no moral imperative to state your opinion. A Christian person might call that a lie of omission. The Greeks might consider it a dereliction of tenacity or dignity. Ayn Rand might say you have failed yourself. Kant might say you have failed in your duty to correct others and lead them to truth.

Frankly, I am personally of the opinion that kindness is more of a virtue than a moral responsibility and frankness is as well.

None of that is to say that we have an obligation to to deal with people who are rude to us.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Steve was saying that it is more important to not offend someone than it is to be heard. I think that is ethically wrong and I was responding to that.

No. I said it was important to make an effort.

There’s no moral imperative to state your opinion. There is to be nice.

Well, the argument you made appealed to “harm done”, which essentially draws on certain utilitarian doctrines of ethics. I don’t care for that line of moral reasoning. I am also not sure that everyone would agree with you when you say people have no moral imperative to state your opinion. A Christian person might call that a lie of omission. The Greeks might consider it a dereliction of tenacity or dignity. Ayn Rand might say you have failed yourself. Kant might say you have failed in your duty to correct others and lead them to truth.

Frankly, I am personally of the opinion that kindness is more of a virtue than a moral responsibility and frankness is as well.

None of that is to say that we have an obligation to to deal with people who are rude to us.

I didn't make an argument. I said I regard it as a truism that we should try not to harm others. I was giving my reason for not offering an argument in reply to Angel Hunter D.

We can't help doing harm from time to time, but we should try not to.

As for the others you list, I'm confident they wouldn't hold those views about an RPG playtest. However, it doesn't change my view even if they (or you) do. I don't think there is any moral reason compelling us to post our opinions on an RPG.


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Guys - It is easy to give non-offensive feedback.

Just stick to the facts.

I do not like X.

In my experience X is a problem because of Y. I will explain the circumstances surrounding Y as clearly as I possibly can. I will back up this by showing all relevant equations.

This is exactly how we initially put forth the argument that proved that the Solarian has a (very slight) deficiency in Starfinder. Removing all of the variables we outlined the issue. It isn't extreme, but it is there. It is there to the point that nobody can reasonably disagree that it exists. Now, some people argue that it is minor enough that it isn't an issue for concern, but nobody at this point reasonably disagrees that it is there.

That is how you prove a point.

Back up the math, with the situation, and analyze it with pure data and numbers.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
Steve was saying that it is more important to not offend someone than it is to be heard. I think that is ethically wrong and I was responding to that.

Being intentionally rude is well rude. But simply speaking your mind honestly is fine. But let’s be clear here being heard is fine and all but be reasonably respectful. That is to say if there is a way to say your piece and not offend do it, if not well sometimes offense can’t be avoided.

But I don’t believe anyone has the right to shut you down because they are offended. Heck if being offended was a reasonable argument I would win every time someone says Gish.....I am offended by that term and I am sure my reason would be offensive to some....

Sticks and stones my break my bones but names will never hurt me. If you allow words to hurt you, that’s a choice. My suggestion is make a better choice.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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If you want to be listened to and be taken seriously, that is most likely going to happen if someone communicates respectfully. Using nasty language may get you attention, but for all the wrong reasons. Putting someone else on the defensive all but guarantees they won't accept what you have to say, because the nastiness has triggered their self-protection instincts. This is hind-brain reflexiveness, not a choice; you can't just shut that off, no matter how much it might be nice. If you communicate in a way that's less likely to make the lizard part of our brains kick in and say "under attack!!!!" then you are more likely to truly be heard.

Say someone runs up to me at the train station (a public place full of stressed out strangers, just like the internet), and starts screaming at me, "You dirty wench, you b%%+*, you ugly b!#&+, you got toilet paper stuck to your shoe!" I may already be walking away and getting the security guard before I even hear the thing about my shoe. Or I might just let the toilet paper stay there awhile to spite the nasty assailant, because we humans can be weird about our pride like that.

If however someone politely says in a conversational tone of voice, "Hey, check your shoe," then I'll check my shoe, be rid of the of the offending tissue, and thank the person, and then we might have a nice friendly conversation about the horrors of train station bathrooms.

If understanding why being a respectful human being is important is hard for you, trust at least you will be listened to much more when your tone is down to earth, even handed, and mindful of other people's existence as fellow human beings.

If you just wanna shout and spit in the wind, tho, have fun. Just plan to be disappointed when no one takes you seriously.

(Note: the "yous" in this post are generic 2nd person, I am responding to the overall conversation not any one person.

ETA: I'd also add the reason most people are nasty is because they're angry and hurt. And they can no more help being hurt than the people they are trying to be hurtful to in kind feeling that hurt. But anger isn't a bad thing in and of itself. It's a legit feeling. But the nice thing about the internet is it gives you time to breathe and let the hindbrain cool down before posting. It's okay if you're angry, but anger doesn't have to control you.

Scarab Sages

I think if we keep our feedback focused and constructive, focused on mechanics and such, we shouldn't need to worry about being offensive or the harm caused. Cursing at someone about something stuck to their shoe is ineffective for convincing them, I think shifting the focus is all we need to do to make things more pleasant without telling people how to talk (Which I consider to be like telling a player how to make magic missile builds better, rather than just telling them it sucks).

*jeeze, gotta stop arguing with people in different time zones, miss all the fun stuff


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
DeathQuaker wrote:

If you want to be listened to and be taken seriously, that is most likely going to happen if someone communicates respectfully. Using nasty language may get you attention, but for all the wrong reasons. Putting someone else on the defensive all but guarantees they won't accept what you have to say, because the nastiness has triggered their self-protection instincts. This is hind-brain reflexiveness, not a choice; you can't just shut that off, no matter how much it might be nice. If you communicate in a way that's less likely to make the lizard part of our brains kick in and say "under attack!!!!" then you are more likely to truly be heard.

Say someone runs up to me at the train station (a public place full of stressed out strangers, just like the internet), and starts screaming at me, "You dirty wench, you b&&$@, you ugly b*%!#, you got toilet paper stuck to your shoe!" I may already be walking away and getting the security guard before I even hear the thing about my shoe. Or I might just let the toilet paper stay there awhile to spite the nasty assailant, because we humans can be weird about our pride like that.

If however someone politely says in a conversational tone of voice, "Hey, check your shoe," then I'll check my shoe, be rid of the of the offending tissue, and thank the person, and then we might have a nice friendly conversation about the horrors of train station bathrooms.

If understanding why being a respectful human being is important is hard for you, trust at least you will be listened to much more when your tone is down to earth, even handed, and mindful of other people's existence as fellow human beings.

If you just wanna shout and spit in the wind, tho, have fun. Just plan to be disappointed when no one takes you seriously.

(Note: the "yous" in this post are generic 2nd person, I am responding to the overall conversation not any one person.

ETA: I'd also add the reason most people are nasty is because they're angry and hurt. And they can no more help being hurt than the...

DeathQuaker, the simple fact that you have to break this down for a messageboard filled with adults says more about the community than anything else. Granted there are a few people who understand instinctively everything that you're saying but there are ALOT who dont. And that's a PROBLEM.

Grand Lodge

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In my experience, the people who self-describe as "brutally honest" are usually more interested in being "brutal" than being "honest."

-Skeld

Silver Crusade

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Harrowed Wizard wrote:

they are first and foremost a business not a charity looking to design and develop a game for us to enjoy.

Well...they ARE looking to design a game for us to enjoy. I mean, that's how you have a successful product. But I take your meaning :D

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
ShinHakkaider wrote:

DeathQuaker, the simple fact that you have to break this down for a messageboard filled with adults says more about the community than anything else. Granted there are a few people who understand instinctively everything that you're saying but there are ALOT who dont. And that's a PROBLEM.

I truly think the greatest problem is that people believe only the other side is guilty of this :-(


Angel Hunter D wrote:


As for sharing a thought without offending someone, sure it's possible but I don't think it should be a goal -.

Fine, but you are wrong.

See? That was possible to say, without attaching "because you are a **** and a ***** and your brain does not work well because your parents ****".

That's his point. No more, no less.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
Steve was saying that it is more important to not offend someone than it is to be heard. I think that is ethically wrong and I was responding to that.

No. I said it was important to make an effort.

There’s no moral imperative to state your opinion. There is to be nice.

Well, the argument you made appealed to “harm done”, which essentially draws on certain utilitarian doctrines of ethics. I don’t care for that line of moral reasoning. I am also not sure that everyone would agree with you when you say people have no moral imperative to state your opinion. A Christian person might call that a lie of omission. The Greeks might consider it a dereliction of tenacity or dignity. Ayn Rand might say you have failed yourself. Kant might say you have failed in your duty to correct others and lead them to truth.

Frankly, I am personally of the opinion that kindness is more of a virtue than a moral responsibility and frankness is as well.

None of that is to say that we have an obligation to to deal with people who are rude to us.

I didn't make an argument. I said I regard it as a truism that we should try not to harm others. I was giving my reason for not offering an argument in reply to Angel Hunter D.

We can't help doing harm from time to time, but we should try not to.

As for the others you list, I'm confident they wouldn't hold those views about an RPG playtest. However, it doesn't change my view even if they (or you) do. I don't think there is any moral reason compelling us to post our opinions on an RPG.

1. I don't know if there is any meaningful action that causes "no harm" defined in some way (I slaughter microfauna constantly; f#!# mircrofauna). I imagine you are constantly doing some kind of cost-benefit analysis at some level. I agree that we should try not to harm other moral agents as a rule (since I am of the opinion that ethics are something created to better the lives of moral agents), but I also think I should get to say what I want and I am betting you and others do as well.

2. I bet Kant would love tabletop RPG minutiae with an undying passion that you fail to appreciate.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
I bet Kant would love tabletop RPG minutiae with an undying passion that you fail to appreciate.

He wouldn’t claim I was morally obligated to participate in the PF2 playtest.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
I don't know if there is any meaningful action that causes "no harm" defined in some way

There isn’t. You are arguing against a position I don’t hold (and trying to make “how we frame our feedback on an RPG” as a grand ethical question). If you want further reason - it’s one of the rules set by Paizo. You agreed to it by posting here.

Whatever you want to say - try and be kind while you say it. It’s neither complicated, nor hard.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
I don't know if there is any meaningful action that causes "no harm" defined in some way

There isn’t. You are arguing against a position I don’t hold (and trying to make “how we frame our feedback on an RPG” as a grand ethical question). If you want further reason - it’s one of the rules set by Paizo. You agreed to it by posting here.

Whatever you want to say - try and be kind while you say it. It’s neither complicated, nor hard.

You did say, "We can't help doing harm from time to time, but we should try not to."

That was the bit I was trying to get at.

Also, there is nothing uncomplicated about telling people what they should and should not do.

For the practical purposes of our conversation, I think we are largely in agreement: It is absolutely nonconstructive for person to intentionally make someone feel attacked when you are making an argument for both the person making the argument and for the person being attacked. It is not really in anyone's interest to be a jerk (aside from them getting some kind of momentary emotional catharsis of course).

Also, I agree that we are entirely ethically culpable to follow the rules of this forum because the owners of that medium have a right to how it is managed regardless of whether or not I agree with the reasons they decide to run it that way.

However, you are making value judgements that I think are wrong in various places within your arguments. For instance, you earlier said that "it is important to make an effort [to be kind]." I don't think I agree with that in the way you mean it and I do not think some of the people you are trying to convince will agree with that. For many, I think the importance of being kind can legitimately be placed as being merely important because it is expedient.

Also: that Kant thing was a bit of a joke. I am sorry if that was unclear. It would have been better if I had chosen someone who was a bit keener on ethical calculus.


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I have a degree in philosophy. It’s boring, not over my head.

The error you made is in thinking I was framing some kind of argument. I’m not. I’m stating a position (I don’t like to ignore someone’s post and wasn’t planning on engaging any further with Angel Hunter D, so figured I’d explain why).

Attacking an axiom on the grounds it’s a poorly structured argument is fruitless.


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Excaliburproxy wrote:

I think it is more important to get your internet opinion out there because there is no action or information that causes no “harm” to someone who reads it.

<snip>
And frankly: I don’t think I should have to care about the “harm” my speech does so long as I mean what I say honestly.

The rules on the Paizo boards are different from what you think.

Scarab Sages

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:


As for sharing a thought without offending someone, sure it's possible but I don't think it should be a goal -.

Fine, but you are wrong.

See? That was possible to say, without attaching "because you are a **** and a ***** and your brain does not work well because your parents ****".

That's his point. No more, no less.

Eh, but you haven't qualified your opinion really. My point is that if we focus on effective we won't need to worry about offense, and when it happens we can be adults with a decent thickness on our skins and not make it everyone else's problem when it only affects ourself


Steve Geddes wrote:

I have a degree in philosophy. It’s boring, not over my head.

The error you made is in thinking I was framing some kind of argument. I’m not. I’m stating a position (I don’t like to ignore someone’s post and wasn’t planning on engaging any further with Angel Hunter D, so figured I’d explain why).

Attacking an axiom on the grounds it’s a poorly structured argument is fruitless.

I guess I agree with you there. I just think you have chosen bad axioms that were un-established which made it seem as though you thought you were making claims based on some kind of earned moral authority.

CrystalSeas wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:

I think it is more important to get your internet opinion out there because there is no action or information that causes no “harm” to someone who reads it.

<snip>
And frankly: I don’t think I should have to care about the “harm” my speech does so long as I mean what I say honestly.

The rules on the Paizo boards are different from what you think.

Excaliburproxy wrote:
Also, I agree that we are entirely ethically culpable to follow the rules of this forum because the owners of that medium have a right to how it is managed regardless of whether or not I agree with the reasons they decide to run it that way.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:


As for sharing a thought without offending someone, sure it's possible but I don't think it should be a goal -.

Fine, but you are wrong.

See? That was possible to say, without attaching "because you are a **** and a ***** and your brain does not work well because your parents ****".

That's his point. No more, no less.

Eh, but you haven't qualified your opinion really. My point is that if we focus on effective we won't need to worry about offense, and when it happens we can be adults with a decent thickness on our skins and not make it everyone else's problem when it only affects ourself

I see your point. However, if you had said "gustavo, you are an a%$#&%~", I would not see your point, I would be angry, and offended, and I would be here writing an insult back to you, and your point would be lost.

Which is, in fact, my point.

Senior Designer

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I'm just going to leave this here...

I have a straightforward rule for online interactions. Don't say anything you wouldn't say to that person's face. It's served me well.

I (and many of the folks at Paizo) have thick skin. I'm pretty well known for having a higher than average tolerance for jerky behavior and being a free speech advocate. That said, when you punctuate a point with what can be considered a mean-spirited punchline to garner a virtual chuckle or perceived applause from your messageboards peers, you hazard alienating a person to the point where no matter what you say, they are disposed not to listen.

I've seen this again and again, and have even engaged in the behavior more than I would like to admit. Just something to keep in mind and maybe also share if you're so inclined.

Grand Lodge

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We're cycling around again.

One thing that I've noticed here is the false dichotomy that honesty and kindness are incompatible virtues. This is not true; one can be both honest, and kind.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:

I'm just going to leave this here...

I have a straightforward rule for online interactions. Don't say anything you wouldn't say to that person's face. It's served me well.

This is a great suggestion! Here are some other ideas that might be helpful to everyone in this discussion:

1) Assume the best of people's intent.

If someone's been brusque, assume that they aren't doing this to be mean or rude. Perhaps they're posting while time-crunched, or tired. If they make a mistake, don't assume that they're lying. Understand that we all make mistakes. It's part of being human. Don't assume that they're trolls, or cheaters or idiots. Treat them as your friends, even if what they're suggesting is weird.

2) Use I-Statements.

Speak to your own experience rather than making broad generalizations. I have found that when I state something as a fact (instead of as my own subjective viewpoint) I can alienate those who have different views on a topic.

3) Be interested in what others have to say, even when they counter their views. Be polite. Acknowledge good points or interesting examples.

There's plenty of common ground among us. We all want the Playtest folks to get good feedback, so they can make us a better game. We all want to be heard. The main difference of opinion is the question of whether polite feedback can be good feedback. I think that there might be also a concern that if we're too nice we cannot disagree with others.

I understand these worries, but I believe that the clearest opposition writing is that which lays its case in a polite and detailed way, clearly laying out where problems may lie. Paizo may not be welcoming abuse, but they surely want your well-thought out critiques.

Hmm

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Notice how this thread which purported to alert to the risk of critics being buried under yaysayers' heavy-handed rebuttal not-so-slowly turned into criticism of naysayers

Perfect example of a bias that has been there for a long long time

Criticism of Paizo products should not automatically trigger bouts of fanrage and these should be put under control with as heavy a hand as Paizobashing

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Hmm wrote:

2) Use I-Statements.

Speak to your own experience rather than making broad generalizations. I have found that when I state something as a fact (instead of as my own subjective viewpoint) I can alienate those who have different views on a topic.

This is something I struggle with because it runs counter to every thing I learned about argumentative writing in high school and college. I've noticed it tends to be expected in forums but I was trained to write arguments firmly and with certainty, backed up by evidence. The fact that my writing is my opinion is implied because I'm the one writing it. Explicitly stating such is redundant and weakens the argument.

Granted, all of my school writing happened in an era before there was an internet. I try to remember your principle when writing in forums but old habits die very hard.

Liberty's Edge

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Facts are facts but context is necessary doubly so with the imperfect falsely synchronous medium of internet


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ryric wrote:
Hmm wrote:

2) Use I-Statements.

Speak to your own experience rather than making broad generalizations. I have found that when I state something as a fact (instead of as my own subjective viewpoint) I can alienate those who have different views on a topic.

This is something I struggle with because it runs counter to every thing I learned about argumentative writing in high school and college. I've noticed it tends to be expected in forums but I was trained to write arguments firmly and with certainty, backed up by evidence. The fact that my writing is my opinion is implied because I'm the one writing it. Explicitly stating such is redundant and weakens the argument.

Granted, all of my school writing happened in an era before there was an internet. I try to remember your principle when writing in forums but old habits die very hard.

Generally, this is a product of the difference between an argument and a discussion, and people's tendency not to clearly signal, and perhaps not even be consciously aware, which they are attempting to engage in.

Overall, the purpose of an argument is to present claims, support and / or challenge them with evidence and reason, and move towards a decision as to which claim or claims have been found valid through the argument.

I could make an argument that regular gym sessions are good for one's physical health. To do so I would cite evidence and provide reasoning, with the goal of establishing my claim as an accepted/agreed with fact.

A discussion is a sharing of thoughts, opinions, and generally freeform exploration of those between different people. It is not held to a goal beyond general enjoyment. The journey, not the destination, if you will.

I could have a discussion with you about what I find enjoyable in going to the gym, and you share what you enjoy in e.g. playing table-top RPGs for your contribution. These ideas aren't competing for e.g. best hobby.

Much quarrel (a term I use to distinguish from argument) arises in many forms of interaction from people failing to understand, recognise and / or signal these states and movement between them during social contact.

You can discuss e.g. your views on P2E, and others may do likewise, and have different views, but they are not necessarily looking for argument.


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ryric wrote:
Hmm wrote:

2) Use I-Statements.

Speak to your own experience rather than making broad generalizations. I have found that when I state something as a fact (instead of as my own subjective viewpoint) I can alienate those who have different views on a topic.

This is something I struggle with because it runs counter to every thing I learned about argumentative writing in high school and college. I've noticed it tends to be expected in forums but I was trained to write arguments firmly and with certainty, backed up by evidence. The fact that my writing is my opinion is implied because I'm the one writing it. Explicitly stating such is redundant and weakens the argument.

I think it comes down to what we're actually after when we converse in a given context. My experience is that outside some formalized debate or a courtroom or similar, "winning an argument" is rarely achievable and is indeed not desirable because people are not convinced by a pointwise refutation of the planks of their argument.

What I do find efficacious, however, is trying to get the other person to understand your perspective. A way you can change hearts and minds is to convey that other people feel differently and that everybody's experience and perspective is valuable. Some people are simply mistaken in terms of the facts or the desirability of certain outcomes, naturally, but their thoughts and feelings are valid.

I mean, insofar as the playtest feedback is important what Paizo is looking for is our experiences and preferences, which are inherently subjective so there's no point in pretending they are not. I mean, I don't need to convince anybody else in the world to handle Paladins like I handle Paladins, so I don't really need anybody else trying to convince me.

Paizo Employee Designer

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ryric wrote:
Hmm wrote:

2) Use I-Statements.

Speak to your own experience rather than making broad generalizations. I have found that when I state something as a fact (instead of as my own subjective viewpoint) I can alienate those who have different views on a topic.

This is something I struggle with because it runs counter to every thing I learned about argumentative writing in high school and college. I've noticed it tends to be expected in forums but I was trained to write arguments firmly and with certainty, backed up by evidence. The fact that my writing is my opinion is implied because I'm the one writing it. Explicitly stating such is redundant and weakens the argument.

Granted, all of my school writing happened in an era before there was an internet. I try to remember your principle when writing in forums but old habits die very hard.

You are not wrong that schooling, especially in scientific fields, tends to lead towards that approach. I actually took and then TAed a mixed undergraduate and graduate course on both AI and communication in general, with an emphasis on the forms of communication necessary in a scientific field, where one of the lessons focused around this issue (the professor compared the usual technique to a piranha, looking for a sign of blood to latch on ruthlessly):

The students first read a paper where a researcher performed multiple studies on dyslexia that seemed pretty persuasive towards a hypothesis that dylexics have an optimal spot to resolve text that isn't straight ahead (it's actually neither absolute left nor right, but in the direction of reading) and gave a practice regimen that accounted for that and significantly improved dyslexics' reading for those who kept up with it.

So far so good. Then they read a second paper from some researchers who created a really great dataset of MRI brain scans studying dyslexia but then misread their own data and leapt to some problematic conclusions, publishing a paper that claimed there's nothing that you can do about dyslexia, among other things. The assignment prompt (which the professor cleverly tweaked to really bring out the piranhas) is that you have a dyslexic friend who read the second paper and decided to stop trying. The assignment is to write a letter to the researchers of paper #2 explaining the results of paper #1 and persuading them to change their minds.

Predictably, the piranhas come out, and sometimes the nicest, sweetest students in the class are the most vicious in their letters, literally calling the authors "so-called scientists" among other things. The class has a policy that you try the assignment first and then after seeing how you did on your own, we discuss the lesson behind it. After this assignment, the professor points out that the other researchers are going to ignore those piranha letters immediately, and you'll fail at your goal. They've spent years of their lives doing research that the confrontational letter is attempting to invalidate. The better tact is to send a letter with a message something like "I was reading your paper and was really impressed by the MRI dataset you presented" (which is true, it was a good dataset they misread). "I wanted to share with you this paper (paper #1), as I think combining your thorough data with some of the ideas from these longitudinal studies might lead to something great that's worth exploring."

Here's why it works: It values the legitimately valuable contributions they made, and it asks them to look into the other paper as a means of building off their work and continuing research, rather than as a rebuttal or means of discrediting them. Even if both seek to lead to them changing their minds on dyslexia, the one where you treat it as an evolution rather than a rebuttal is way more likely to get a good result.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Artificial 20 wrote:

Generally, this is a product of the difference between an argument and a discussion, and people's tendency not to clearly signal, and perhaps not even be consciously aware, which they are attempting to engage in.

Overall, the purpose of an argument is to present claims, support and / or challenge them with evidence and reason, and move towards a decision as to which claim or claims have been found valid through the argument.

I could make an argument that regular gym sessions are good for one's physical health. To do so I would cite evidence and provide reasoning, with the goal of establishing my claim as an accepted/agreed with fact.

A discussion is a sharing of thoughts, opinions, and generally freeform exploration of those between different people. It is not held to a goal beyond general enjoyment. The journey, not the destination, if you will.

I could have a discussion with you about what I find enjoyable in going to the gym, and you share what you enjoy in e.g. playing table-top RPGs for your contribution. These ideas aren't competing for e.g. best hobby.

Much quarrel (a term I use to distinguish from argument)...

The difference between an argument and a discussion

Overall, the purpose of an argument is to present claims, support and / or challenge them with evidence and reason, and move towards a decision as to which claim or claims have been found valid through the argument.

AND
A discussion is a sharing of thoughts, opinions, and generally freeform exploration of those between different people. It is not held to a goal beyond general enjoyment.

I think this is a key point in what forums are about.

Thanks for clarifying that distinction.


I'll take being misquoted as Mark. You're welcome :D.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Mark Seifter wrote:


You are not wrong that schooling, especially in scientific fields, tends to lead towards that approach.

My degrees are in physics so that lines up with your statement here. I do try not to be hostile or belittling in my writing, but I am trained to be firm and assertive, which some people can easily see as hostile especially in an internet setting.

I enjoyed your tale of the communications class.

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

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Hythlodeus wrote:
it's clear that the playtest are not intended to be taken seriously. They will throw us the bone of rejecting the 'extre rule versions', so that wewill feel like we achieved something and helped them, only to then implement the rules they always had in mind in the first place

I have run playtests for Paizo. This is massively, amazingly inaccurate.

The amount of time, effort, and trouble a playtest of this scale takes ONLY makes sense if you are going to use the feedback to make the best game you possibly can.

It is frequently the case when designing a game you see "Hey, there are 2-3 broad ways of doing this," and you need to playtest those no more than one at a time. But if feedback for Rule A suggests Rule B is no better, or if a huge issue is found with something that doesn't have a "Rule B," you absolutely take the time to use that feedback to make a better game.

Anything else and it's not worth the grief of running a playtest.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Artificial 20 wrote:
I'll take being misquoted as Mark. You're welcome :D.

Darn. I tried to fix that, but the correction got eaten by an internet glitch that wasn't fixed before the time ran out.

Sorry, Mark.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
I'll take being misquoted as Mark. You're welcome :D.

Darn. I tried to fix that, but the correction got eaten by an internet glitch that wasn't fixed before the time ran out.

Sorry, Mark.

No worries, besides it actually has seemed to fix itself since, somehow.

Anyway, Paizo!

The quality of your products vary!

Sometimes you release a Prone Shooter!!

I hope your skin withstands this!!!

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Allowing extreme naysayers to let out their feelings on these blog threads without entering the battle of "wits" will ensure that they vent their frustration now and not during the playtest thereby improving the latter's efficiency

Mounting frustration now only ensures greater acrimony in the future

That is only more reason for the sensible policy of flag and forget


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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

I have run playtests for Paizo. This is massively, amazingly inaccurate.

The amount of time, effort, and trouble a playtest of this scale takes ONLY makes sense if you are going to use the feedback to make the best game you possibly can.

It is frequently the case when designing a game you see "Hey, there are 2-3 broad ways of doing this," and you need to playtest those no more than one at a time. But if feedback for Rule A suggests Rule B is no better, or if a huge issue is found with something that doesn't have a "Rule B," you absolutely take the time to use that feedback to make a better game.

Anything else and it's not worth the grief of running a playtest.

Can you share information on how you normalize the data? Do you use spreadsheets, databases, metrics, and other formal tools, or is it mainly discussion/intuition based analysis?

Thanks in advance.

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