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And now we get to see what happens when Customer Service has vacated the premises... Come on guys, keep it classy. These are threads for support of Sara Marie, Diego, Lu and the current team and we don't want to make their lives harder.


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Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.


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I do think it's a bit odd to be more willing to accept an anonymous insider denying the Twitter threads claims while claiming that there are serious alternate problems beyond just the firing and walk-out than to accept the public facing claims that are co-signed by other former employees.


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I'm going to take that post with the same dump truck of salt I'm taking the Twitter thread. Well, almost, I know Price is human garbage so I'm very slightly more inclined to believe an anonymous post...but not by much.

Excluding point 5. The customer service team going through hell right now after losing multiple team members is something I sympathize with as someone that works help desk and definitely expect to be happening right now.

Liberty's Edge

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.

That post might be more helpful if they clarified WHICH claim was untrue....

Shadow Lodge

Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.

I see what you did there. I approve!


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Jester David wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.
That post might be more helpful if they clarified WHICH claim was untrue....

Looking very askew at exactly this. You’re anonymous - why not be specific?


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RicoTheBold wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Mark Moreland (and technically Logan Bonner, by like proxy) said this in response

Man says "I never saw the problems", so they never happened.

Really?

That's not the same thing.

And in my experience, if you are an ethical and forthright person, a lot of the shady stuff and abuse will always be hearsay because people won't do it around you.

Even as hearsay, if you're in a leadership position a lot of people won't tell you because they'll assume you know and are complicit or they just don't know you well enough because they don't work with you directly.

It can be a tough spot.

Been on both sides of this before.


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Wow. Shocking and disappointing news if even a fraction of those incidents are true.

Liberty's Edge

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keftiu wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.
That post might be more helpful if they clarified WHICH claim was untrue....
Looking very askew at exactly this. You’re anonymous - why not be specific?

Exactly my thoughts.

If being more specific would out themselves, sure. That's understandable.
But it's not like clarifying "Mona didn't have that painting in his office" or some of the other claims would be particularly revealing as to their identity.


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keftiu wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.
That post might be more helpful if they clarified WHICH claim was untrue....
Looking very askew at exactly this. You’re anonymous - why not be specific?

Because, for example, if that's a situation that's well known to Paizo managers, Price and the whistleblower, revealing that could blow their cover right away.


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If it was a situation so unique that they could offer almost no information other than a denial of some of the Twitter claims - then going anonymous to weigh in at all seems to have been done solely to muddy the waters.


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dirtypool wrote:
If it was a situation so unique that they could offer almost no information other than a denial of some of the Twitter claims - then going anonymous to weigh in at all seems to have been done solely to muddy the waters.

Given the high emotions of the situation, they may not have thought that far ahead.


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Perhaps, or perhaps they're not actually a Paizo employee. Unless they provide more information all we have on either site is the case for their silence made by the bag.


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dirtypool wrote:
I do think it's a bit odd to be more willing to accept an anonymous insider denying the Twitter threads claims while claiming that there are serious alternate problems beyond just the firing and walk-out than to accept the public facing claims that are co-signed by other former employees.

I agree, with a heavy caveat. When you get really specific to which claims are explicitly being retweeted or responded to by both current and former staff, they don't cover some of the bigger things.

Since Twitter is a nightmare to follow, it's actually really hard to do that. I think a few folks here are creating a "this was corroborated" viewpoint for every claim simply through lack of specificity then others reading that and taking it at face value.

I think generally speaking, the main thing is that no one has a bad word to say about Sara Marie, Diego, or Lu. And there are varying degrees of bad things about executive management and the current structure above customer service, specifically, that have been corroborated but nothing super specific to Sara Marie.

Your central point is really correct, so it bears repeating. An anonymous redditor should be looked at with at least as much skepticism as any of the claims.

But, frankly, I doubt we'll ever get the full story just because that's not how things work. You can't distill years of experiences, good and bad, into a narration of the culminating event. An argument about returning to the office, if indeed that's what it was, isn't in isolation. It's in the context of existing work relationships and whatever level of trust previously existed in both directions. And in the context of trying to stay employed/employable in an industry where everyone knows each other (or at least of each other) because there just aren't many big players.

Dark Archive

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dirtypool wrote:
If it was a situation so unique that they could offer almost no information other than a denial of some of the Twitter claims - then going anonymous to weigh in at all seems to have been done solely to muddy the waters.

I said something like this on the Reddit thread, but I didn't put it so well.

I'm not saying they're lying about working for Paizo, but I've noticed that people who were attacking Jessica Price's claims (corroborated by others already) based on her integrity aren't attacking this person's claims for their anonymity. The latter seems more untrustworthy to me, all things being equal.


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.

I think calling them a whistleblower is really exaggerating. They say there's tension between staff and management/executives, and there has been for some time. They don't confirm anything specific, just the general morale hit this is adding to that tension.

That said, I think it's generally a well written post and rings true.


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I think the speculative death-spiral about what is true and what isn't true hasn't gotten us anywhere today and it never will. Jess Price doesn't need defenders, Paizo doesn't need defenders. Paizo staff caught in the crossfire don't need defenders and we don't need a blow by blow of what actually happened.

What former and current Paizo staff caught in the crossfire need is support. What Paizo and their staff - past and present - need is action to address any of the work culture issues that have led to this very public breaking of silence about whatever has gone on there. What we need as consumers is something that provides confidence that our money isn't funding a toxic environment that actively works against the people we would wish to support.

Many of us have said today that our dollars would go elsewhere without action - the ball is in Paizo management's court now.

I'm sure it's an awkward evening as the team prepares for their keynote tomorrow at Gen Con.

EDIT - Though if this has been brewing for three weeks, and execs were aware that the termination was coming - the reasons for pre-recording the keynote address begin to make a little more sense.

Liberty's Edge

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
Seems like there's a whistleblower from the inside of Paizo (if we take them on face value, I do) with an account of what's happening.
That post might be more helpful if they clarified WHICH claim was untrue....
Looking very askew at exactly this. You’re anonymous - why not be specific?
Because, for example, if that's a situation that's well known to Paizo managers, Price and the whistleblower, revealing that could blow their cover right away.

True. But... based on the complaints made, is there any where rebuttal would be that identifying?

(And if things aren't as bad as Price says, why would they need to be anonymous and fear reprisals?)

The post tells us exactly what we want to hear without actually saying anything. It's all incredibly manipulative and raises all kinds of red flags for me.

It says people at Paizo are sad Sara Marie and Diego are gone. But also doesn't confirm she was fired.

It mentions a lack of transparency and frustration between management and other employees. But also frames that as commonplace, minimizing the issue. It mentions things have been building for some time, but doesn't give any indication how long. A year? A decade?
It brings up the Twitter thread, but doesn't link or name names, so it can apply to any of the threads. It dismisses a couple claims as false, but leaves it mysterious as to which two so the reader is pushed towards reasonable doubt for all AND also even implies the other claims might be equally dubious. And it also doesn't confirm if any of the claims are true, not even ones that could have been exaggerated.
It then ends that point by saying they're just providing their perspective, encouraging people to make their own opinion. I.e. question other statements and follow their beliefs.

It goes on to calling out how much people who write the products care about inclusivity. Which was never called into doubt the Twitter thread. Then it tells people to voice concerns, but not do so financially. Y'know, the only response management would notice.

And it ends by drawing attention to the remaining customer service employees and portraying them as the victims here, which pushes people not to take action that would draw them in. (Such as cancelling subs.)

If you hired a PR firm to do a viral response to negative tweet, this is exactly what they would write. It's textbook.


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Jester David sums up my thoughts on the reddit poster pretty much perfectly.


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keftiu wrote:
Jester David sums up my thoughts on the reddit poster pretty much perfectly.

Agreed. Too neat to be a genuine whistleblower and says more or less nothing other than keep buying our stuff.

Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:
Many of us have said today that our dollars would go elsewhere without action - the ball is in Paizo management's court now.

The catch is, there's very little they can do except issue a blanket denial and a rote statement regarding their pro-inclusivity stance.

They don't want to draw attention to the tweet from people who haven't seen it, so they won't link it. And they're not going to address it note-by-note.
And they can't even comment on the firing as (IIRC) discussing the employment status and potential discipline of a private individual is against Washington privacy laws. They can't legally say Sara Marie was fired or why.

Expect a generic statement about how "they try to do good but don't always succeed and promise to try harder and win back your trust." The non-admittance of wrongdoing and vague commitment to improvement with no specifics or rubric.


So my question is, as a spectator that only knows things coming from Twitter and reading these forums, do we stop supporting Paizo because that's the right thing to do?

By extension aren't we punishing those who work for the company who don't contribute to this kind of environment?

Worst case, Paizo suffers major blow back from this and they closed down - obviously that won't happen - but doesn't that eliminate the livelihoods of those who weren't transgressing or acting in bad faith (i.e. creative types who aren't abusing power?).

In the ttrpg sphere, that would also eliminate a lot of (what I"ll call) pro-inclusiveness and equitable representations of fantasy?

Wouldn't it alienate, what the public perceives to be an ally of those same inclusive spheres?

As a teacher, and a former business manager, I'm all too well accustomed to abusive power dynamics. But, if this toxicity is coming from the top - is simply not buying products the solution?

My tone is genuine and sincere, because, as many have said I enjoy Pathfinder for its representations. In the future, if they continue to publish content (of course they will) knowing that there was 2-4 toxic a$~@&%~ bosses doesn't deter me from support the freelancers, editors, and designers who aren't abusers, toxic, or so on. I feel like any company does/has these issues?

I'm looking for sincere opinions? Or is "burn it" and boycotting the solution?


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Jester David wrote:


The catch is, there's very little they can do except issue a blanket denial and a rote statement regarding their pro-inclusivity stance.

They can lay out a response that doesn't go line by line with the tweet but does speak to the obvious HR issues brought up - like working conditions and internal policies regarding discrimination and harassment that gives transparent measurable goals.

Will they? That's another story

Dark Archive

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Jester David wrote:
If you hired a PR firm to do a viral response to negative tweet, this is exactly what they would write. It's textbook.

Found on Enworld Forums:

"I am an anonymous poster. I am not management. At all. I swear. Pinky Promise. Nope. Not me."


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Jeff has posted a reply in the general forum. It is what you expect.


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feelsbradman wrote:
I'm looking for sincere opinions? Or is "burn it" and boycotting the solution?

Despite what I've seen some people commenting on the reaction to the situation - very few people on Twitter or in these threads here seem to be advocating "burning [Paizo] down."

Most of us are not taking any action now except expressing our displeasure. I know after I see their response I will heavily consider whether my money continues to go to Paizo

Liberty's Edge

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Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jeff has posted a reply in the general forum. It is what you expect.

Here: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs43h04?Staff-Change-Update-from-Paizo-President -Jeff

Wow.
Yup, that was exactly what I called....

Dark Archive

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Jester David wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jeff has posted a reply in the general forum. It is what you expect.

Here: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs43h04?Staff-Change-Update-from-Paizo-President -Jeff

Wow.
Yup, that was exactly what I called....

It's okay, he's pledged to learn from all of this 5 years from now.

Grand Lodge

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Jester David wrote:

Here: Link.

Liberty's Edge

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Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/


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Jester David wrote:
Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/

At least Eric's addressed the actual accusations.

Liberty's Edge

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Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/
At least Eric's addressed the actual accusations.

I'm happy with that one, even if it's what I expected.

Those claims were a stretch and seemed the least malicious.


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All of this was pretty disheartening to see. I've never been on the best of terms with Paizo staff in general, but being honest most of that was my fault.

They've always seemed like good people, on the whole, even the ones I vehemently disliked at one point in time (SKR and Jessica Price in particular).

I wouldn't have expected an office culture like what's been displayed here, though in hindsight maybe it's not surprising. A lot of Paizo's "problem employees" have certainly had sudden about faces in terms of attitude after leaving, almost as if a weight was lifted from their shoulders.

I can't really give anything actionable here. I stopped buying Paizo products years ago for various reasons, most of them entirely related to just their business and content. But I've always maintained that I want them to succeed, even if what they're succeeding with is a game I don't necessarily like.

I...don't know if that's true, anymore.


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Mona has pulled out of the Glass Cannon Podcast show now, see that is an actionable respnse from a leader.

Acquisitives

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Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Mona has pulled out of the Glass Cannon Podcast show now, see that is an actionable respnse from a leader.

I've been following this for most of the day as it is developing and curious what exactly do you want? It seems as if you want everyone to fall on some sword for some reason when there has only been one side of this brought to light.

Curious.


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Paulyhedron wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Mona has pulled out of the Glass Cannon Podcast show now, see that is an actionable respnse from a leader.

I've been following this for most of the day as it is developing and curious what exactly do you want? It seems as if you want everyone to fall on some sword for some reason when there has only been one side of this brought to light.

Curious.

Cancel culture is going to cancel I guess.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
H2Osw wrote:
Paulyhedron wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Mona has pulled out of the Glass Cannon Podcast show now, see that is an actionable respnse from a leader.

I've been following this for most of the day as it is developing and curious what exactly do you want? It seems as if you want everyone to fall on some sword for some reason when there has only been one side of this brought to light.

Curious.

Cancel culture is going to cancel I guess.

I hear the nutjobs complain about it, but not really ever seen it till now. It's kind of ugly, you'd think stockholders would be involved but no. Not that at all.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jester David wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/
At least Eric's addressed the actual accusations.

I'm happy with that one, even if it's what I expected.

Those claims were a stretch and seemed the least malicious.

Someone low key calling someone else a nazi, because of their personal interest in esoteric stuff on a historical perspective and a buffoon for getting passed over isn't malicious?


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Paulyhedron wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Mona has pulled out of the Glass Cannon Podcast show now, see that is an actionable respnse from a leader.

I've been following this for most of the day as it is developing and curious what exactly do you want? It seems as if you want everyone to fall on some sword for some reason when there has only been one side of this brought to light.

Curious.

I want actionable steps from leadership. I have worked in the corporate sector for almost my entire career. When allegations arise they need to be addressed. I once watched a ceo step down after buying his secretary dinner on a corporate card, as it was precieved in a certain way, so as not to mire the company in any sort of scandal.

I have nothing but respect for Erik Mona in how he has handled everything. He addressed the accusations against him, and knew the problems his appearance could cause the GCP, so he removed himself for the good of the show. That is action.

Jeff on the other had has done nothing to show those who are upset about these serious allegations that it is being taken seriously. No announcement of steps they will be looking to take, or even just statement that in the coming days they will look at everything that was said and start to make some sort of plan of how to address everything. Instead he pulled the worst statement anyone could have pulled as a defense. It is for that lack of leadership, that i do wsnt him to step aside if even just for a while. It's not that I want everyone or anyone to fall on a sword, but to take responsibility and action for supposed violations that took place on their watch. That's it.

Liberty's Edge

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Cade Herrig wrote:
Sounds like the team needs a union and fast.

110%.

Liberty's Edge

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Paulyhedron wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/
At least Eric's addressed the actual accusations.

I'm happy with that one, even if it's what I expected.

Those claims were a stretch and seemed the least malicious.
Someone low key calling someone else a nazi, because of their personal interest in esoteric stuff on a historical perspective and a buffoon for getting passed over isn't malicious?

No. I'm saying an interest in esoteric stuff on a historical perspective isn't malicious.


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Paulyhedron wrote:
H2Osw wrote:
Paulyhedron wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Mona has pulled out of the Glass Cannon Podcast show now, see that is an actionable respnse from a leader.

I've been following this for most of the day as it is developing and curious what exactly do you want? It seems as if you want everyone to fall on some sword for some reason when there has only been one side of this brought to light.

Curious.

Cancel culture is going to cancel I guess.
I hear the nutjobs complain about it, but not really ever seen it till now. It's kind of ugly, you'd think stockholders would be involved but no. Not that at all.

I think there might be a bit of a disconnect between people who've been around a while and relative newcomers. This isn't really like...a new thing, it's just kind of a depressing capper on a downward spiral the company has been in terms of how it treats its employees.

It's not one accusation, it's the latest in a long string of them that has kind of pushed general support and goodwill over the edge.

Paizo has always had a bit of a problem with its leadership, but it's becoming apparent that the issues run deeper than anyone initially thought (or wanted to think).

Jester David wrote:
Paulyhedron wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/
At least Eric's addressed the actual accusations.

I'm happy with that one, even if it's what I expected.

Those claims were a stretch and seemed the least malicious.
Someone low key calling someone else a nazi, because of their personal interest in esoteric stuff on a historical perspective and a buffoon for getting passed over isn't malicious?
No. I'm saying an interest in esoteric stuff on a historical perspective isn't malicious.

This, though. It seems fairly clear that Mona hasn't done anything wrong in terms of his personal life, he's just potentially guilty of being super ineffective in his management duties on some occasions.


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Jester David wrote:
Paulyhedron wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Jester David wrote:
Eric Mona has a statement as well: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/pp0wxf/erik_monas_statement_ on_the_occult_saint_germain/
At least Eric's addressed the actual accusations.

I'm happy with that one, even if it's what I expected.

Those claims were a stretch and seemed the least malicious.
Someone low key calling someone else a nazi, because of their personal interest in esoteric stuff on a historical perspective and a buffoon for getting passed over isn't malicious?
No. I'm saying an interest in esoteric stuff on a historical perspective isn't malicious.

Exactly! She said he was clueless about context and defensive when called on it.

Acquisitives

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Paulyhedron wrote:
Cap'n Nemo wrote:
Mona has pulled out of the Glass Cannon Podcast show now, see that is an actionable respnse from a leader.

I've been following this for most of the day as it is developing and curious what exactly do you want? It seems as if you want everyone to fall on some sword for some reason when there has only been one side of this brought to light.

Curious.

I want actionable steps from leadership. I have worked in the corporate sector for almost my entire career. When allegations arise they need to be addressed. I once watched a ceo step down after buying his secretary dinner on a corporate card, as it was precieved in a certain way, so as not to mire the company in any sort of scandal.

I have nothing but respect for Erik Mona in how he has handled everything. He addressed the accusations against him, and knew the problems his appearance could cause the GCP, so he removed himself for the good of the show. That is action.

Jeff on the other had has done nothing to show those who are upset about these serious allegations that it is being taken seriously. No announcement of steps they will be looking to take, or even just statement that in the coming days they will look at everything that was said and start to make some sort of plan of how to address everything. Instead he pulled the worst statement anyone could have pulled as a defense. It is for that lack of leadership, that i do wsnt him to step aside if even just for a while. It's not that I want everyone or anyone to fall on a sword, but to take responsibility and action for supposed violations that took place on their watch. That's it.

Fair enough, I disagree with that take but I will respect it. Just hoping in the future they keep the floors vacuumed and make everyone feel special. Because honestly, that's the post in a nutshell. The person getting fired and another resigning? No one but those parties involved know the details and I've seen it go both ways where that person should have been tossed out and other times they were mistreated, that should get dealt with and likely will if there's anything there. The living wage argument isn't going to fly. "You want to work here? Here is what we pay, do you accept?" so that whole argument ends there. The alleged dingus pic and/or sexual harassment should have been taken care of if legitimate. And I stress legitimate because this whole bombshell is right before their biggest show of the year.

Meanwhile if they keep putting stuff out that I like (finger's crossed) I will continue my small support and if not then I will find something else.

This calling for everyone to be fired though? Ain't my place.

Liberty's Edge

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Umbral Reaver wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
I am seeing a lot of names I have not seen in a long long time.
Add me to the list of old guard that have returned to witness this disappointing turn.

Me too. I am disappointed in all this, but I saw the writing on the wall when Sutter, Schneider, Crystal, Lissa, and Amanda left.

I stopped most of my subs when PF switched to 2nd Edition (no interest), but I love Starfinder.

Like everyone else. Going to watch. I'd like to see Erik and JJ run the company.

Liberty's Edge

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As I read this stuff and look at the situation, I get the overwhelming sensation of falling off a cliff.

Sara Marie has been a beloved member on these boards and with costumer service for a long while. It is sad to see her not be a part of the company anymore.

However, the call to unionize is... extreme. The only thing Unions do in this modern age is bargain for higher wages and benefits. The days of safety concerns and workplace coherence is long gone for union shops. If you want Paizo to be that much closer to shutting their doors, having them unionize would be the way to do it.

The situation is a serious matter, with a walk out of two other employees much like when Disney had Don Bluth take the whole animation studio out to make his own studio. (and made American Tail) It is this show of support that may have others in the company to take a second look at this situation, though any hope of bringing her back is likely gone with the tweets.

I have only maintained one sub (for the PF rulesbooks, continued into PF2) and will likely keep it for the time being. However, I have to take a good, long look after my participation in a local Convention to see if I want to continue at a Venture Lieutenant in the organized play programme.

I will have to see how this plays out...


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From a European perspective, the American demonization of anything that smells even vaguely of a union is really weird. Unions are and always have been a present and important force in the post-war German workplace environment. They have been instrumental in creating and maintaining the laws that protect employees in Germany. Something like American at-will-employment — which made it possible to fire Sara Marie at a moment's notice — is just unthinkable here.


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Zaister wrote:
From a European perspective, the American demonization of anything that smells even vaguely of a union is really weird. Unions are and always have been a present and important force in the post-war German workplace environment. They have been instrumental in creating and maintaining the laws that protect employees in Germany. Something like American at-will-employment — which made it possible to fire Sara Marie at a moment's notice — is just unthinkable here.

Americans have mixed attitudes towards unions. We remember them doing the same good things you cite, but we have also seen problems when they become too powerful in certain industries. Finding the right balance of power between unions and employers is tough.

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