READ BEFORE YOU POST: How to make sure your voice is heard by Paizo


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Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Hopefully, most of you who are participating in the Playtest forums are doing so because you want to help us make the next edition of the game something you want to play.

Here are some tips to help ensure that your voice is heard.

• Show respect for others. That includes other posters, Paizo employees, and other game companies. If your posts are disrespectful to ANYONE, we (and many other people reading) will tune you out (and depending on the severity, it may get your post deleted).

• Avoid edition wars. Talking negatively about other game systems gets you tuned out (and depending on the severity, may get your post deleted).

• Watch your language. I’m not talking just about foul language, but about language that will turn your readers off. If you tell us that something we did is “a horrific mistake,” we are less likely to listen to anything you have to say.

• Avoid hyperbole. If your posts contain obvious exaggeration, it renders everything you have to say suspect.

• Don’t speak for others. You can give us feedback for your gaming group, but talking like you're speaking for gamers in general is obviously not so, and renders everything you have to say suspect.

• Discuss individual topics in the right place. When we go to look for feedback on something, we're going to look in the appropriate subforum. If your input is somewhere else, it might as well not be anywhere at all.

• Corollary to the above: While it’s tempting to make a big general posting about all your thoughts on the playtest rules as a whole, that ensures that your input regarding, say, armor, isn’t going to be found where we’re looking for feedback on armor. It’s also hard for other posters to discuss many topics in one thread, so some of your feedback will be lost in the noise.

• Look for appropriate threads to add your feedback to. Seeing someone start the fifth thread on the same topic is mentally exhausting, and even the most diligent reader is likely to start skimming. Posting to an existing thread, even if it’s already long, is so much better.

• Be concise. Walls of text are hard to digest. If you need to make a post that has as many words as, say, this post, use paragraphs, bullet points, and summary statements (like the opening sentence of each point here) where you can.

• Be precise. Use the game terms that are used in the rulebook so we all know for sure what you're talking about. Don't use game terms from other systems unless you are deliberately making comparisons with that system. Avoid slang, including abbreviations—you and your friends might understand them, but others may not have any idea what you're saying.

• Tell us about your actual game play. Theory is all well and good, but everybody’s got theories, and we’ve probably heard most of them already. Tell us how things are actually working in play, not how you think things will work.

• Participate in the surveys. Your messageboard posts may or not be seen by the people who need to see them, but your survey responses will definitely be counted.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You might want to sticky it ;)


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Vic Wertz wrote:


• Avoid edition wars. Talking negatively about other game systems gets you tuned out (and depending on the severity, may get your post deleted).

• Watch your language. I’m not talking just about foul language, but about language that will turn your readers off. If you tell us that something we did is “a horrific mistake,” we are less likely to listen to anything you have to say.

• Don’t speak for others. You can give us feedback for your gaming group, but talking like you're speaking for gamers in general is obviously not so, and renders everything you have to say suspect.

As much as it seems common sense and self explanatory, you may need to expand a little on these. There's a lot of posts I've seen so far that contain elements of just these three points where others are taking way out of context. For instance, there's some mechanics that make us think of other systems we give comparison, but there's responses that make it seem like comparing it means it's the exact same thing, which leads to those "horrific mistake" posts you're referring to. It seriously shouldn't have to be said, but expanding a little on how you guys will take input when it comes to system/edition comparisons may help that.

As for the speaking of others, there have been a few of us that have had to go what we've experienced personally (some people like me who've lived in several different areas in shorter time spans than others). Is there some possibility of designer response as to how some of the proposed mechanics have been based on different areas of research, if that makes any sense at all?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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One more bit of advice: Make your point and move on. If you view every thread that touches on a particular topic as an opportunity to restate your opinion, people will notice, and will stop reading what you say, even on other topics.


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I don't envy your job, what with current vitriol as it is.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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KyleS wrote:
There's a lot of posts I've seen so far that contain elements of just these three points where others are taking way out of context. For instance, there's some mechanics that make us think of other systems we give comparison, but there's responses that make it seem like comparing it means it's the exact same thing, which leads to those "horrific mistake" posts you're referring to.

That goes to being precise. Feedback like "You made skills works just like RPG X, I hate that" is of zero value. However, saying "this mechanic reminds me of this particular RPG X mechanic in this particular way, and I liked/disliked these specific things about that," that can be useful. And that might actually encourage useful discussion on the topic from other RPG X players who observed—or didn't observe—that.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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KyleS wrote:
Is there some possibility of designer response as to how some of the proposed mechanics have been based on different areas of research, if that makes any sense at all?

I'[m not really sure what you're asking. But i can tell you the designers plan to be much more involved in the forums once they return from (and recover from) Gen Con.

Dark Archive

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I definitely feel like I should stop reading and responding to playtest threds until I have my own playtest sessions complete :/ I feel like my spirit goes down from reading the threads and I wonder if it means I won't have energy to post more through feedback later on when I actually have it(or if devs don't read it because by then they are used to me just commenting on cynicality of people)


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Vic Wertz wrote:
KyleS wrote:
Is there some possibility of designer response as to how some of the proposed mechanics have been based on different areas of research, if that makes any sense at all?
I'[m not really sure what you're asking. But i can tell you the designers plan to be much more involved in the forums once they return from (and recover from) Gen Con.

Please, don't die from Gen Con, that would be very very bad. Like, 3 times bad lol. So a long while ago, back in the days where Wizards were continuously trying new things for digital integration, I had the chance to speak with one of the design team personnel (I don't remember his name honestly, this was back in 2011 at a small shop between Capitol Hill and Downtown in Seattle, back when I lived there). Anyways, the one question I remember asking him was about their digital character builder and why it when from downloadable to online only. When I was deployed overseas, having it as a standalone was great because our internet access was seriously worse than dial up, and three times the price as DSL back then. But having it as online only seemed to be a really big hindrance in that ability. He agreed that there was some unfortunate alienation in the move, but it allowed for them to gather more information on what players were consistently looking for without having to go to conventions or shops and watch people play.

Now obviously you guys haven't gone this route as an official digital character builder, nor am I asking about that. That would be very ineffective during a play test. What I'm referring to is when some one tries to ask about a mechanic because it's confusing or seems to not work, how much response can we anticipate in what you guys have been able to see so far in being able to watch the play test. We've obviously seen posts saying that the new actions mechanic is "a horrid mistake that nobody will love." Yet you've been able to respond that a majority have reacted very well with it. So can we anticipate responses to the confusions that can be based on what you had seen players do at the previous testings, or will they mostly be in regards to the intent of design?


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I hope the game surveys are considered more than forum feedback, tbh.


Thaboe wrote:

I appreciate all these handy guidelines and once i have finished the book and run the games i will use them.

I would like to know one thing though when it comes to giving feedback.

In regards to the playtest, are the new player and GM guidelines part of the things that we are expected too, and can give feedback on?

Last thread I made in this got blocked and many post(i didn't think were offending) were deleted. A thread by another user descended into a flame war and was deleted.

And if those guidelines are part of the playtest, how do you suggest we give feedback without running the risk that mods lock down threads or label any feedback political?

The reason I'm asking is because I play in and run groups that will display behavior that is prohibited by the new guidelines (edgy humor racist tropes, s~+@ talking, talking down IC) and i'm wondering if enforcing these new guidelines (Since they are much more explicit than the old ones) was expected to be part of the playtest.

Jobe I think you are reading too much into certain parts about it while missing other parts.

The important part is that everyone playing with you is having fun. If your group enjoys the way you play there's nothing stopping you guys from playing the way you already do and more importantly as long as everyone at the gaming table is having fun there's nothing wrong with it.


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Hi Vic - is there a spot for feedback on snares, alchemical items, runes, special materials and the like? They're not a part of the equipment chapter, nor are they GM material.

I've started putting my analyses in the equipment forum as that seems the most likely, but snares and runes aren't really equipment, nor are they all magic items. Some of them are treasures, but they're also things PC makes.

Where would feedback go for stuff like that?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Some people believe that hyperbolic borderline ad hominem criticism is the best way to make themselves heard and to ensure that their feedback gets priority over, you know, "less invested" folks.


Vic Wertz wrote:
I'[m not really sure what you're asking. But i can tell you the designers plan to be much more involved in the forums once they return from (and recover from) Gen Con.

I think this does show a bit of a problem with doing a big rollout like this, particular for a playtest, at GenCon. Most of the relevant people are busy with the con and won't be able to manage the forums.

Of course there is a very good reason to release at GenCon, because it's the biggest gaming event of the year and gets all the attention.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed some posts and their responses.

Please keep this thread on topic concerning questions about how to give feedback. This is not an appropriate place to discuss any other topic. Please follow the advice laid out in this very thread if you want your concerns or feedback heard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sam Phelan wrote:
Please keep this thread on topic concerning questions about how to give feedback. This is not an appropriate place to discuss any other topic. Please follow the advice laid out in this very thread if you want your concerns or feedback heard.

Question, what is the best way to flag a post that is sidetracking the original topic? I would like to assist the mods in helping keep the information clean for the playtest, but I also don't want you to have to divine what I mean by "Breaks other guideline" unless that really is the best one to use.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Sam Phelan wrote:

Removed some posts and their responses.

Please keep this thread on topic concerning questions about how to give feedback. This is not an appropriate place to discuss any other topic. Please follow the advice laid out in this very thread if you want your concerns or feedback heard.

I'm sorry, but:

Awwwwwwwwwww :)

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Some people believe that hyperbolic borderline ad hominem criticism is the best way to make themselves heard and to ensure that their feedback gets priority over, you know, "less invested" folks.

I do not know how others feel about it, but my model for good posts are those of DeadManWalking.

They are so well-crafted that even after I reached a point to just skim the preview blog threads for devs' posts (thanks for those BTW and lot of positive energy to all Paizonians), I would always read DMW's posts in their entirety.

I will try to up my game in posting to DMW's level :-)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Sam Phelan wrote:
Please keep this thread on topic concerning questions about how to give feedback. This is not an appropriate place to discuss any other topic. Please follow the advice laid out in this very thread if you want your concerns or feedback heard.
Question, what is the best way to flag a post that is sidetracking the original topic? I would like to assist the mods in helping keep the information clean for the playtest, but I also don't want you to have to divine what I mean by "Breaks other guideline" unless that really is the best one to use.

"Stay on topic" is advice for being listened to, not a hard-and-fast forum rule. Best thing to do is just don't let somebody going off topic take YOU off topic.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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bookrat wrote:

Hi Vic - is there a spot for feedback on snares, alchemical items, runes, special materials and the like? They're not a part of the equipment chapter, nor are they GM material.

I've started putting my analyses in the equipment forum as that seems the most likely, but snares and runes aren't really equipment, nor are they all magic items. Some of them are treasures, but they're also things PC makes.

Where would feedback go for stuff like that?

Equipment seems reasonable.

Grand Lodge

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Jeepers Vic. Did you and Sam draw the short straws to stay home from GenCon to baby sit us? Or are you vying for Sainthood? Or a Nobel Peace Prize?
But seriously, thanks!


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Hi Vic :)

Your last point was to remind us to answer the surveys. But there is currently a technical issue : the survey links redirect /pathfinderplaytest, and not to the survey (except for PFS surveys which seem fine).

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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I've raised this issue with the appropriate folks.

Sovereign Court

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Thank you Vic for being the voice of structure and reason in this current gold rush ridiculousness. You are much appreciated.


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I have no idea where to ask this question, so I'm posing it here:
When someone flames, or chimes into threads with snarky remarks for the sole purpose of derailing a thread or attempting to undermine a post with let's say substance (doesn't have to be good substance), is flagging it 'Spam' appropriate?

Not to be harsh, but there is a lot of sycophancy going on where it's considered atrocious to have an opinion about an experimental rule set that happens to be critical and not favorable and I need to know if it's wasting my time trying to get these types of comments out of the threads.


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I use "breaks other guidelines" or "Personal insult/abusive" depending on the severity.

Staff eventually check all the flags. It may take a day or two, but snarky posts will get a review if they are flagged 'breaks other guidelines'

I save "spam" for actual spam or for subtle spam links to other sites in a post.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
• Tell us about your actual game play. Theory is all well and good, but everybody’s got theories, and we’ve probably heard most of them already. Tell us how things are actually working in play, not how you think things will work.

^THIS is really important. I can recall back in 3.0/3.5, on the personal blog for Bruce Cordell (I think--maybe it was one of the other designers of 3rd ed and I'm just poorly remembering) he talked about when the Mystic Theurge was first released. He said people kept coming up to him at conventions and events saying, "That Mystic Theurge is SOOO broken!" He would respond calmly with the same line, "Oh, really? What happened when you guys played it?" And, every time, their response was the same: "Oh, well, we didn't play with it, but it's so obviously broken."

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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CrystalSeas wrote:
I use "breaks other guidelines" or "Personal insult/abusive" depending on the severity.... I save "spam" for actual spam or for subtle spam links to other sites in a post.

That's the correct answer.

Grand Lodge

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I have a feeling some of my gripes would be solved with an online SRD.

Basically creating a character takes a while, you have to jump around a lot to find what you're looking for, especially for a spell caster (Even with the mighty ctrl+f function). It doesn't feel as fast as Pathfinder 1s character creation.

I don't know if the problem is that things are too modular or that the races HP is only listed between flavour text on the race page above the art work.

I do like the skill system thus far. I feel like DCs are much easier to estimate as a GM and the 3 kinds of success make things more interesting.

Scarab Sages

James Krolak wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
• Tell us about your actual game play. Theory is all well and good, but everybody’s got theories, and we’ve probably heard most of them already. Tell us how things are actually working in play, not how you think things will work.
^THIS is really important. I can recall back in 3.0/3.5, on the personal blog for Bruce Cordell (I think--maybe it was one of the other designers of 3rd ed and I'm just poorly remembering) he talked about when the Mystic Theurge was first released. He said people kept coming up to him at conventions and events saying, "That Mystic Theurge is SOOO broken!" He would respond calmly with the same line, "Oh, really? What happened when you guys played it?" And, every time, their response was the same: "Oh, well, we didn't play with it, but it's so obviously broken."

I agree. I have several issues with the game. But I plan to play it true to what was presented and answer the surveys and post my feedback based on my game play. Some things that may theoretically look bad, might actually play well or vice versa. We shall see.


Greetings, Mr. Wertz. I was wondering where would be the best place to post an ongoing thread about my experiences running the homebrew campaign that I should be starting soon?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

General Discussion seems to be the most appropriate place for something like that.


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How should I fill out the GM survey if I run Doomsday Dawn for two separate groups?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Bit of an unusual situation: My partner and I will be playing Doomsday Dawn as a two-person game, trading off GM duties by the section. We'll each be making and playing two characters for the scenarios.

Should we fill out both the player and the GM surveys for the sections we GM, to give feedback on the classes we try out for those characters? Or would that screw up the data somehow?

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