Staff Change Update from Paizo President Jeff Alvarez


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Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

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I was one of the voices asking us to make a statement prior to Gen Con, even if it was too brief or inadequate in some eyes, because I thought it was important to try to defuse the situation and protect our staff Twitch panelists. I hope it was a better call than silence. I know some of you disagree.

My guidance to Paizo leadership as Marketing and Media Manager has not been to been to address the details of the past–something they are reticent to do even without my guidance. Discussing personnel issues in public is unprofessional and fraught with legal improprieties. This has been true in every company I’ve ever worked for, in multiple industries.

But, fairly or not, truthfully or not, trust has been lost. The important thing is for our community–staff, freelancers, players, and content creators–to have confidence that Paizo’s culture and employee-management relationships are sound going forward. That is why I agreed with Jeff’s future-facing statement. Reaffirming our values might sound like a pithy corporate statement, but it’s also an important thing to do. It’s the beginning of the conversation, not the end.

So, in order to regain customer trust, Paizo will have to be proactive and show that it is accountable over the long haul. I don’t think there is an instant fix. Lost trust has to be re-earned. I think this will require that we be transparent in new, perhaps uncomfortable, ways. Fortunately, there are steps in place to move us in that direction already, exciting things, that we simply haven’t had time to announce yet because it is Gen Con Week. And there are even more ideas we are discussing internally to be considered and budgeted for–formal, systematic, administrative, intentional changes. The staff has given management an earful, not for the first time, and it’s going to take time to process it.

I encourage everyone to see this as an ongoing conversation and to “lean in” as we build a better company. Every company I’ve ever worked for is on the same journey. It’s good that you hold us accountable. We shouldn’t have any problem with that, because I believe that I work with ethical, professional people. If I’m wrong, then let the light of day shine.

I understand the tactic of withholding with your dollars and your subscriptions, and you should do what you feel you need to do, but it’s the people who help us keep the lights on that every organization listens to the most. If you like playing Pathfinder and Starfinder, games with diversity and inclusion baked in, I invite you to consider being one of those people.


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I for one just want to voice my continued support for Paizo.

What I see are some serious allegations that are only loosely corroborated with very disputed facts. I also know that Paizo would be limited in sharing their side of the story because it could open them up to lawsuits for sharing personal information or defamation. Conclusions in this thread are being reached based on one side of the story only.

But the idea that some sort of misogynistic, racist, homophobic, anti-trans upper management decided to move forward with a product like the Mwangi Expanse, or somehow got duped into it by their subordinates, is simply beyond me. So while I agree the allegations are serious, and I make no judgments about the character of the person or persons making them, I just can’t find them credible.

I would encourage everyone to put away the pitchforks and not rush to judgment.

Silver Crusade

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The same management that moved forward with Agents of Edgewatch, mind.


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At least AoE was acknowledged by Erik as being a poor idea in retrospect... And at least there was the first month's profit donation thing? But god, what a mess AoE has been.

Aaron, I am hopeful that Paizo can rekindle my trust. I do believe that you folks can fix things, but I hope that it's fixed in a way that stops the problems from happening again. I also feel you probably should have told Jeff not to post twice...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Aaron, I appreciate you taking the time to offer insight into your recommendations regarding a comment and the ongoing process this is going to be.

A lot of us have spent today saying that this is going to be a bit of a long haul, and some of it can’t ever be transparent. Your stated willingness to do what you can for transparency to rebuild trust is heartening for sure.

I do, however think your final statement is a tad off.

Aaron Shanks wrote:
I understand the tactic of withholding with your dollars and your subscriptions, and you should do what you feel you need to do, but it’s the people who help us keep the lights on that every organization listens to the most. If you like playing Pathfinder and Starfinder, games with diversity and inclusion baked in, I invite you to consider being one of those people.

This makes it sound like you’re saying you will only continue to listen to those who continue to pay. The purpose of those who have cancelled or are considering cancelling is to send a message about what we find acceptable from a company we do business with. The impression that we can only have our views considered by maintaining the status quo of giving you money - could lead some to feel you’re already being dismissive of what cancellations were meant to convey.


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Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:


But the idea that some sort of misogynistic, racist, homophobic, anti-trans upper management decided to move forward with a product like the Mwangi Expanse, or somehow got duped into it by their subordinates, is simply beyond me. So while I agree the allegations are serious, and I make no judgments about the character of the person or persons making them, I just can’t find them credible.

I would encourage everyone to put away the pitchforks and not rush to judgment.

You see what you see because the underpaid staff work their tails off to make it so. Do not credit that to upper management members who don’t even touch the books during the creative process.


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Grankless wrote:

At least AoE was acknowledged by Erik as being a poor idea in retrospect... And at least there was the first month's profit donation thing? But god, what a mess AoE has been.

Aaron, I am hopeful that Paizo can rekindle my trust. I do believe that you folks can fix things, but I hope that it's fixed in a way that stops the problems from happening again. I also feel you probably should have told Jeff not to post twice...

Way more than the first month, till the end of 2021.

I know it feels like pandemictime is a mess, but 2021 is still ongoing.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:

...trust has been lost. The important thing is for our community–staff, freelancers, players, and content creators–to have confidence that Paizo’s culture and employee-management relationships are sound going forward.

So, in order to regain customer trust, Paizo will have to be proactive and show that it is accountable over the long haul.

On this, how do we move toward rebuilding trust if the focus is to be the future and the pivotal incidents aren't discussed or addressed in a manner in which is visible?

Barring incidents that haven't been corroborated or have been denied, we still have accusations of safe spaces being abused (woman's network/screenshots), trans staff being effectively excluded from events and having unique contractual limitations placed, full time jobs that don't pay living wages, and an apparent management position being created exactly in alignment with when the currently discussed employee-management relationships went sour.

Dark Archive

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Thank you for taking the time to offer your views on all this Aaron and give us some perspective from where you're at, it's good to hear how seriously you're taking everything. That said, there is one thing which it's hard to agree with.

Aaron Shanks wrote:


I understand the tactic of withholding with your dollars and your subscriptions, and you should do what you feel you need to do, but it’s the people who help us keep the lights on that every organization listens to the most. If you like playing Pathfinder and Starfinder, games with diversity and inclusion baked in, I invite you to consider being one of those people.

Facing facts, the only thing that really forces a company to reassess and take a close look at how they do things, if that way has been absolutely fine in their opinion until public opinion disagrees, is the bottom line. Any CEO who hears "we can't take our $ elsewhere because the people doing the actual work will suffer!" just smiles and carries on without a care.

I strongly encourage people to vote with their $ in all aspects of life, if you want to support the Paizo developers, editors, CS, etc and not the company itself then I urge you to seek out their patreons, twitch streams, ko-fi, etc. You can direct all those saved dollars straight to them and maybe even get some awesome content in return without feeling you have to support anyone else.


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How To Solve This Mess in 5 Not So Easy Steps:

1. Fire the manager who was dumb enough to get you here. This appears to be that whole Tonya person.

2. Offer Sara and Diego to return to their jobs coupled with some cherries on the top.

3. Issue a statement that's a slightly modified copy-paste of what that smart chap with actual skills in crisis comms drafted earlier.

4. Announce an investigation into any allegations and that you're bringing some external consultancy on this. You've just fired one manager, so there's your money for that.

5. If any accusations are established, beyond pale, to be untrue, sue.


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Thank you for posting, Aaron.


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Joan H. wrote:
Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:


But the idea that some sort of misogynistic, racist, homophobic, anti-trans upper management decided to move forward with a product like the Mwangi Expanse, or somehow got duped into it by their subordinates, is simply beyond me. So while I agree the allegations are serious, and I make no judgments about the character of the person or persons making them, I just can’t find them credible.

I would encourage everyone to put away the pitchforks and not rush to judgment.

You see what you see because the underpaid staff work their tails off to make it so. Do not credit that to upper management members who don’t even touch the books during the creative process.

I credit the entire company for making it so.


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Aaron Shanks wrote:
I understand the tactic of withholding with your dollars and your subscriptions, and you should do what you feel you need to do, but it’s the people who help us keep the lights on that every organization listens to the most. If you like playing Pathfinder and Starfinder, games with diversity and inclusion baked in, I invite you to consider being one of those people.

This is a disgusting statement on so many levels. Are you honestly trying to spin this as a Marketing campaign? Earning a few bucks over suffering.

These people are withdrawing their subs so you WILL listen. So you understand what Paizo has done is wrong. Your words are hollow, as is the company's promise of inclusivity if these problems are not addressed. Now not the time to split the community but become accountable to them. Paizo has betrayed us. Do better.

Scarab Sages

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Quote:
I understand the tactic of withholding with your dollars and your subscriptions, and you should do what you feel you need to do, but it’s the people who help us keep the lights on that every organization listens to the most. If you like playing Pathfinder and Starfinder, games with diversity and inclusion baked in, I invite you to consider being one of those people.

I encourage you to actively listen to the people that are canceling their subscriptions. They letting you know how important this is to them by using the most effective means they have available.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I just wanted to say that I am not going to cancel my subscriptions. I don't like that Sara was fired and Diego left and I hope we will know more about the situation soon and that maybe it can still be salvaged. At the same time I am not going to judge Paizo based on twitter accusations, because I find it mostly unreasonable. Especially as most of them come from such an horrible, overdramatic, untrustworthy, hateful and vengeful person as Jessica Price. I am aware Jessica is not the only person with accusations, but I am still going to wait and see how the situation develops before doing much of anything else regarding the situation.

Thank you for your statement Aaron. I agree with the community that Jeff's statement was disappointing and I am glad yours is much better.

Liberty's Edge

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:

How To Solve This Mess in 5 Not So Easy Steps:

1. Fire the manager who was dumb enough to get you here. This appears to be that whole Tonya person.

2. Offer Sara and Diego to return to their jobs coupled with some cherries on the top.

3. Issue a statement that's a slightly modified copy-paste of what that smart chap with actual skills in crisis comms drafted earlier.

4. Announce an investigation into any allegations and that you're bringing some external consultancy on this. You've just fired one manager, so there's your money for that.

5. If any accusations are established, beyond pale, to be untrue, sue.

Really not that hard- good steps. But that requires more than lip service so we’ll see how things are handled over the next coming days.

I appreciate Aaron speaking up but sorry- I don’t think people continuing to use their dollars to support while they wait for trust to be rebuilt is a good way to go- at least for me.
Everyone is at liberty to do what they want with their $$ but if the issue is with management- they’re often the people who only listen when their money is messed with. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be this issue of poor employee-management relationship in the first place.


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Aaron Shanks wrote:
I understand the tactic of withholding with your dollars and your subscriptions, and you should do what you feel you need to do, but it’s the people who help us keep the lights on that every organization listens to the most. If you like playing Pathfinder and Starfinder, games with diversity and inclusion baked in, I invite you to consider being one of those people.

No thanks. I have a pile of Paizo books sitting by my bed because they fit into a hobby I enjoy _and_ they are inclusive in a way that made me feel good about the company I was supporting.

Until there are clear responses to accusations like Crystal Frazier’s claim that trans employees were excluded from opportunities including going to events and employment options because of their gender identity, I will not continue to buy the books.

There are many companies and creators making great RPGs for me to read and play with my friends. I’m not going to pay for you to ‘help you keep the lights on’ while I’m not clear on what’s happening internally. Pathfinder is cool, but there are other games I’m excited about, and Patreons I think I’d be happy to support.

Once I’m confident that either the accusations of unequal treatment of trans employees is false, or has been addressed, and there is a clear company policy, I’ll consider revising my position.

And to be clear, knowing that employees are being paid fairly, and treated well (trans or not) also will factor into my decisions here. While I’ve focused on the trans issues, since they hit close to home, there are many unacknowledged accusations at this point.

Grand Lodge Contributor

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Aaron Shanks wrote:
I understand the tactic of withholding with your dollars and your subscriptions, and you should do what you feel you need to do, but it’s the people who help us keep the lights on that every organization listens to the most. If you like playing Pathfinder and Starfinder, games with diversity and inclusion baked in, I invite you to consider being one of those people.

WOW. Seriously? Right after saying "lost trust has to be re-earned" you tell us that you won't listen to people who aren't paying you? Boy, I sure am happy you extended that invitation for me to pay you money to listen to my concerns with how your business is run, Mr. Shanks. Thank you for the amazing opportunity.

You're aware our trust in you is what has to be re-earned here, right? Not the other way around? Saying "Don't take away our money! We won't listen to you if you do that!" in a discussion about treating workers poorly and underpaying them is in truly astonishingly poor taste. Holy cow.

Address the issues, fix the problems, and set up a good solution moving forward. Then, people might want to "help keep the lights on" again.


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I don’t have any subscriptions, but I’m a heavy PDF buyer - especially in the last month, which in light of current events, I am currently regretting. Acting entitled to our money or implying that we only keep getting diversity if the cash continues to flow? It’s an ugly look.


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It is definitely spooky to see a company try to use it's workers as a shield to defend upper management.

Here's the really cool light at the end of the tunnel. Talent finds a way. Whether it's under the name Paizo or any other, I'm not too concerned about the individuals working under the umbrella. They're brilliant, artistic, and innovative folks. While I do really hope that Paizo cleans up their act, I don't really have much hope for a sole ownership company. Poison comes from the very top and what becomes acceptable trickles down from leadership.

Dark Archive

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Rysky wrote:
The same management that moved forward with Agents of Edgewatch, mind.

What you mean the ap that had come out at literally any other time before that specific point would have barely caused a raised eyebrow? (See for example the latest x-com game which has you playing police but lo and behold no one complained.)

Dark Archive

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Scavion wrote:
Here's the really cool light at the end of the tunnel. Talent finds a way. Whether it's under the name Paizo or any other, I'm not too concerned about the individuals working under the umbrella. They're brilliant, artistic, and innovative folks. While I do really hope that Paizo cleans up their act, I don't really have much hope for a sole ownership company. Poison comes from the very top and what becomes acceptable trickles down from leadership.

Depressing thing is if what you are attached to is the product/the world. Like the product likely dies with the company.

Like I don't begrudge Aaron for his statement because of his role as marketing/media manager(I'm pretty sure any hostile managers would fire someone in that role who is like "Welp do not spend money on us") I don't think he can really say anything else, plus on pragmatic side what he says is true: Companies listen to who pay them rather than them who don't pay them. There is no guaranteed that lost customers will change their mind.

Either way, I don't think its statement that helps here and it just makes me more depressed. I don't really feel like I want to make further purchases right now, but this is actually affecting my mental state because I love the product.

Well we'll see if paizo can fix its current trajectory, but I hope all good people make it out fine at least.

Grand Lodge

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GGSigmar wrote:
I am not going to judge Paizo based on twitter accusations

People need to stop focusing so much on Jessica Price and open their eyes to the entire working track record of Paizo. These are not new claims, they have been made for years if you bother to pay attention. And a lot of them are big names who have left primarily because of the toxic environment. Many/most of them couldn't go on a social media spree of information because so many companies look at that as whining from a difficult employee and it blocks their ability to find work. There are a lot of companies that would just rather not actively deal with these issues and slide by along the moderate middle. Don't rock the boat so to say. Only now, after more than a decade of incident after incident after incident is there enough support for the unfairly treated do they feel more comfortable talking about it.

I dislike Jessica for a number of reasons, but she is certainly tenacious and an unrepentant supporter of "wronged" Industry people. If you look at all these things individually, most of them are petty. The picture in Mona's office, tone-deaf publications, editorial changes (especially stealthy ones), dirty carpets, orientation/gender bias, etc. However, when you take it all in and mix it together, how can we come to any other conclusion than the environment at Paizo is at best dysfunction and at worst criminally disgusting?

People really need to wake up. When one person cries wolf, maybe no one looks. When a couple of people cry wolf, a few might peek. When dozens of people cry wolf, it usually because the wolf is chewing on someone's leg.

Silver Crusade

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Kevin Mack wrote:
Rysky wrote:
The same management that moved forward with Agents of Edgewatch, mind.
What you mean the ap that had come out at literally any other time before that specific point would have barely caused a raised eyebrow? (See for example the latest x-com game which has you playing police but lo and behold no one complained.)

An assumption you made up, being a "cop" adventure wasn't what angered me, it's how it was handled. Releasing it "any other time" would not have removed those elements from the adventure itself. Holding those with power over you accountable is not a fad.

I have no knowledge of X-com (it's scifi and has aliens?) games.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Jeff Alvarez wrote:

The recent departure of two long-time Paizo employees has generated a great deal of public discussion, including a series of accusations critical of the company’s management that range back several years. While Paizo cannot discuss personnel issues in public, we wish to strongly reaffirm the company’s commitment to the ideals of inclusiveness and diversity in gaming, both within our company and in the products we create.

From the day the company opened back in 2002 all the way to the present, POC and LGBTQIA+ contributors and staff have been a critical part of our creative and business operations, and our company has been at the forefront of these issues in the work we publish and the values we espouse.

We are committed to these values and work to do better every day, backed up by a tremendous staff at all levels of the company, all of whom share the values of inclusivity, diversity, and improvement. We are also working actively to listen to those employees and take additional steps to ensure that they feel their voices are being heard. By doing so, we believe we have become better now than we were 5 years ago, and that we will be better 5 years from now than we are today.

--Jeff

Bad PR move dude.

We want accountability and what you guys will do to address the myriad of concerns leveled against paizo from current and former employees.

Dark Archive

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I think Jessica Price's twitter is definitely distracting people too much from other sources.

Like issue with her twitter thread is that its not much different from any other "Let me tell you worst dirt I can think of over ten years of working at company" and lot of it sounds like exaggeration(and leaving important details unclear) which makes its hard to believe. So instead of looking at big picture of "There is something wrong at company" people focus on individual details and argue about whether thread as whole is truthful because individual points sound sketchy when that doesn't truly matter, what matters is that management is doing something very wrong.

What we know for sure is that paizo management unfairly fired Sara Marie and I trust Crystal Frasier on management being transphobic. Some of Jessica's points support those statements so it doesn't really matter whether all of her points are fair or not, even if Jessice Price is being proved wrong on some of the points, that doesn't erase what Crystal Frasier said or what happened to Sara Marie. What matters is holding company accountable and that company actually tries to fix things instead of sweeping things under rug.


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Having read most if not all of what's come out and being a Semi-Fresh face in the pathfinder and paizo community. I really don't know how to feel.

From what I've read through a lot of it is disgusting. The whole place sounding like it's a dust filled nightmare that isn't clean is just. Well I clean so it's disgusting and I couldn't imagine letting a place sit like that for 7 years.

I don't know many of the people mentioned well enough but if what they have done is true its quite frankly disgusting. The information about discrimination or another appropriate word I can't think of at the time towards trans folk upsets me. Recently (Like 6 months) I've come out as trans and I kind of wished to one-day hopefully freelance for paizo but now I just dislike that thought entirely out of trying to avoid situations I don't wanna be in.

This response to everything is cookie cutter but Aaron came in with a better statement than the CEO. Minus that last paragraph which from my view was worded wrong, or just incredibly tone deaf to the rest of the message.

I'm glad they're fixing things moving forward but it has to be sustainable. Move forward but acknowledge the past. If things are being put into place that's good, I think upper management probably need to look in the mirror and realise that a company doesn't just rise and fall by its fans but by its staff as well.

I love pathfinder, I moved over from 5E (CR can suck space dust out of an asteroid) and the whole level system of 2E made my life a little easier. The books are phenomenal quality and I applaud all who wrote for them and made them amazing.

Paizo you're sitting on a goldmine of the most diverse system I've played. You gotta do better, both new and veteran players want you to do better. I feel like I rambled for half of that but still computing everything.


Jeff Alvarez wrote:
Accusations that I have used offensive slurs about members of the staff are categorically FALSE. Many LGBTQIA+ members of the Paizo staff are close friends of mine, and I would never talk that way about anyone on our staff or in our community.

lol, did you really just say "I'm not [that thing you say I am], some of my best friends are [that thing you say I hate]" ? :D

Classic.

Dark Archive

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I want to add that there is really good practical example what I'm frustrated of by effects of her thread:

Her comments on Erik Mona's occultism interest and his defensiveness/cluelessness about it making other people uncomfortable made people completely forget about her comment on Erik Mona being spineless towards other people in the management position and being afraid to stand up to other ones instead of using his position for good <_<

Now it doesn't matter whether Erik Mona is truly powerless or not, but its good example what I mean. People skip over the important details in the thread because of they get distracted by stuff by less relevant details to current problem


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:

...

So, in order to regain customer trust, Paizo will have to be proactive and show that it is accountable over the long haul. I don’t think there is an instant fix. Lost trust has to be re-earned. I think this will require that we be transparent in new, perhaps uncomfortable, ways. Fortunately, there are steps in place to move us in that direction already, exciting things, that we simply haven’t had time to announce yet because it is Gen Con Week. And there are even more ideas we are discussing internally to be considered and budgeted for–formal, systematic, administrative, intentional changes. The staff has given management an earful, not for the first time, and it’s going to take time to process it.
...
I understand the tactic of withholding with your dollars and your subscriptions, and you should do what you feel you need to do, but it’s the people who help us keep the lights on that every organization listens to the most. If you like playing Pathfinder and Starfinder, games with diversity and inclusion baked in, I invite you to consider being one of those people.

Aaron, thank you for your response.

It reads less hollow than the words of Jeff Alvarez, and I hope we will see Paizo being proactive and transparent.
Yet at the same time you admit that staff has made you aware of issues. We know that things don't change from one day to the other, that it's a process. But I'm left feeling like that process is headed in the wrong direction, if in a short amount of time 3 CS people are no longer with Paizo, one even saying they quit because another was fired.
I understand that you as a company still need our money, but don't devalue those canceling subscriptions.

I was a charter subscriber. (I was thinking about canceling because shipping to Europe was getting more expensive and I was focusing more on online play, but I did not intend to cancel my various subs until the end of the year, at the earliest, and maybe not even next year. I enjoy the setting very much, the AP's for the most part, and the ruleset for how smooth it is to play.)
Canceling my subscriptions right now is the (only) way I can make management feel my displeasure. Sure I can voice my opinion on these boards or others, but that's not as measurable in your sales charts.

I will use the money I used to set aside for Paizo to support the authors I came to appreciate.
I will buy Paizo material in the future, to vote with my wallet for stuff I want to see produced.
But until I see Paizo being proactive in making the offices and warehouses an accommodating environment, until I see Paizo being transparent, until I feel you earned my trust again, I won't be subscribing.


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Well, it's been a long time since I was a Paizo customer. I still log in every once and awhile to download my pdfs to a new computer or something.

I don't have all the information here, and honestly, I'm not going to. Long covid makes every action physically draining, even just social media interaction. And related, I've lost most of my memories over the past ten-fifteen years.

I do know that Jessica Price jumped down my throat for not agreeing with her about Susan of Narnia, and screamed at Sean K Reynolds that he was 'enabling' me, by not assuming my opinion was full of the personal malice she saw in it. Jessica and Sean presumably have an actual relationship and know each other in real life, whereas I only know both of them via the internet. I don't know what either of our opinions on Susan were, I only have this 'memory' from reading a conversation with one of my friends where I brought it up. I don't think I would trust Jessica Price on anything, even situations where she was a direct witness, based on that.

I also know that Sara Marie was a very reasonable and earnest person, whose interactions with me were always both professional and warm. Again, this is from rereading, not actual memories. If she was fired unjustly, that seems to be something that should be made right. One thing I was unable to glean from reading through this entire thread, all 279 posts, was why she was fired. Either actually, or suspected, or reasons given. I don't know why she would want to come back to a job she was fired from wrongfully though.

It also seems that speaking the truth is unpopular within the community. Of course a company has to listen to its paying customers over people who aren't. Anyone who has a subscription should be listened to more than me, for instance, given that I haven't been a real customer since the early days of PF2. That isn't some horrifically insulting thing to say, unless you are looking for a reason to be offended.

I will say this, I hope Sara Marie lands on her feet. Of all the people and names I've seen come up throughout this thread, she was the nicest. She deserves good things. (Also, given there has been some mention of transgender issues, I don't know if Sara Marie is trans, and I apologize if I've messed up her pronouns. Not intentional.)

It seems too bad. I don't remember why I stopped buying Pathfinder books, but I never wanted bad things for Paizo as a company. I hope all of these things get sorted out, if not ideally, then at least satisfactorily to the directly involved parties.


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Who would ever accuse Jeff Alvarez of being astute? The man is dismissive and rude in real interactions with customers.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I will maintain my subscriptions.

To me, at least at this point, Paizo has the benefit of the doubt. The allegations made against them are a little more than a day old and, while triggered by Sara Marie being fired, have been conveniently made during Gen Con week. Investigations and changes take time and effort.

Jeff’s response has not been the best, but, on the other hand, Erik’s and Jason’s seem genuine. They have denied the accusations and pleged to be better. That is sufficient, for myself, for now.

That said, it’s often best to wait to draw conclusions. I can recall some recent scandals in which the accuser’s version wasn’t the whole truth (i think Depp’s case and Projared’s case come to mind - please let’s not discuss this, the focus is on Paizo, I merely cite them as cases in which neither the accuser or the accused where 100% right in their claims). In my country, we have a saying that every story has three versions: two quarrelling ones and one that’s closer to the truth.

The Twitter threads raise concerns that need to be investigated and adressed. These are allegations, not proved facts. While they have been corroborated, to some extent, there have also been people ‘testifying’ on the accused’s integrity, which, again, only tells us that there are issues that need be investigated and adressed. And Paizo needs to be transparent, as Aaron pointed out.

For myself, I note that some creators, such as Owen and Chris Sims have pointed to the existance of some issues while also supporting the company. For the moment, I choose to go with this stance. One should note that, at least to my knowledge, Sara Marie has not made any accusations. Her tweets seem to reflect a fondness for the period in which she was a Paizo employee.

Also, people grow and times change. I can speak for myself when I tell you that, seven years ago, I wasn’t as aware on some conducts that, today, I know to be offensive. What is important is how one acknowledges that they were wrong, apologizes to whom they may have offended, and makes the effort to be better.

As some have pointed out, Paizo has always been inclusive in their works. At least until I see evidence - not contested allegations - the company that published the Mwangi Expanse has the benefit of the doubt


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally, after reading the statement at the beginning of the page, Jeff Alvarez and Tonya Wooldridge both need to go.

Any other response is insufficient at this point.


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richienvh wrote:
One should note that, at least to my knowledge, Sara Marie has not made any accusations.

In my opinion this just doubles up on what a great character she is and how undeserved this has been. Diego Valdez is the hero of this story, Sara Marie is the victim. Period. Twitter personalities are the chorus, amplifying but also distracting.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Any time Paizo wishes to terminate an employee do they need to seek permission from the community? I understand that Sara was a well liked employee. However unless you (as in everyone) know the reason for termination I don't think we should be passing judgement on Paizo for making a business decision they felt was appropriate.

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