UNITED PAIZO WORKERS


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Paizo is a pretty small company. Not sure what a union would do at Paizo.

A real, and important, function of unions in a context like this is to create a formal means for employees to bring issues that are in need of redress to management before these issues flare up and become a real problem.

So while certainly something like "an individual employee approaches a manager about a problem" is a way problems *could* be headed off, there are anecdotal reports that "relying on the manager's good will and positive intent to fix the problem" is not working. If you have a collectively bargained contract, and language in that contract to point to, that has more weight than getting an "oh sure, I'll do that."

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I don't get why you're bringing up Paizo going out of business, that's literally not what anybody wants.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

A real, and important, function of unions in a context like this is to create a formal means for employees to bring issues that are in need of redress to management before these issues flare up and become a real problem.

So while certainly something like "an individual employee approaches a manager about a problem" is a way problems *could* be headed off, there are anecdotal reports that "relying on the manager's good will and positive intent to fix the problem" is not working. If you have a collectively bargained contract, and language in that contract to point to, that has more weight than getting an "oh sure, I'll do that."

And as a related issue, they are a means of allowing a benign middle manager to exert more pressure upward to get an issue fixed. If worker Alice comes to middle manager Bob with an issue, and Bob then brings it up with boss Claire, Claire can easily say "Well, that's just Alice's problem. She's gonna have to deal with it.", and then Bob has to inform Alice that her issue isn't getting fixed because he doesn't have the budget for it. But if the union tells Bob about an issue, that's a greater level of pressure Bob can bring to bear on Claire, which means a fix is more likely.


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Solidarity forever!.

Management, please recognise the union!

Hell this news is exciting enough that it summoned by back here.


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Dave2 wrote:

My guess is that me. Even if it is more than people who post here. Most have not canceled yet. Also the bulk of their sales probably goes through Amazon who if they have said anything (which I doubt) please post the link. So even if everyone saying they are going to cancel on Twitter does. They will still not go out of business. Also I do not know of any other distributors that have said anything about it. We are also assuming that those on Twitter are the majority of the subscribers. I am not sure they are. So yes I am comfortable in saying Paizo will not go out of business if they do not recognize the Union.

However, as a company Paizo should want happy and engaged staff. This is why they should recognize the Union. Some customers will be happy with them recognizing the Union some will not be. Ultimately the goal should be happy engaged staff who will be more productive and have better products. Which will lead to happier customers.

Also, currently the freelancer's work stoppage is a much bigger threat to Paizo than those who've cancelled here. That wouldn't have to go on very long to do serious harm to the company.

Everyone hopes that won't be the case.

Dark Archive

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Just because it's not the goal dosent mean that cant happen (For example Lisa the owner could decide since she's all but retired that this aint worth the effort anymore and shut it all down/sell it off/farm off the ap's they already made for more video game adaptions etc.)


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To be blunt: Paizo is not a nonprofit organization, so we're not going to treat it like a charity and tiptoe around its misbehavior. If Paizo leadership would rather destroy the entire company than recognize a simple union, I guess Paizo was basically on its way out anyways. Kind of sounds like they were just waiting for an excuse to pin the decision on someone else. Not really a company I'd feel very loyal to, personally.

This is, by the way, a pretty wacky hypothetical, and there's zero evidence supporting its likelihood.

Dark Archive

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

This is, by the way, a pretty wacky hypothetical, and there's zero evidence supporting its likelihood.

Goblinworks/ pathfinder online (You all remember that right? the thing that was doing great and amazing one week and was then oh yeah we laid off all but two of the staff and the main guy behind it has moved onto other things literally one week later.)


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Sorry, I don't understand your point. To break it down as best I can:

If that's supposed to be evidence that Lisa is poised to shut Paizo down on a whim, I... disagree? That's such a bizarre take. Goblinworks collapsing was evidence that Pathfinder Online was not very successful, but that doesn't mean Paizo itself is about to shut down. Actually, it sort of undermines your own "Paizo will pivot to video games" hypothetical--it's a Paizo video game that flopped rather badly, after all.

If that's supposed to be a sort of "well, it happened to Goblinworks, so you never really know", the writing was on the wall for GW basically from the beginning. Like, it was an MMO. MMOs don't tend to succeed. Goblinworks didn't have labor troubles or community relations troubles. That was not the issue.

Goblinworks's situation is/was so far removed from Paizo's that I actually find it very hard to even explain why this take makes no sense. Am I missing something here?

EDIT: Okay, so my best guess here is that your point is, "Well, we wouldn't know if Lisa was poised to shut down Paizo until it happened". Which... sure, I guess. I wouldn't know if a freak lightning storm was about to strike and set fire to my apartment building, either, or if I was about to have a very early-age heart attack, or if the real-life Blues Brothers were about to crash their car through my living room. There are a lot of things that could happen, and sure, Lisa shutting down a whole company--a company that requires very little action from her these days, by all accounts--basically on a whim is certainly within the realm of possibility. To which I say... so what?


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Yeah, it's, like, the ghost of a shadow of an allip of an implication at most. Like, sure, if the owners go completely over the bend and fire everyone who so much as breathes the word "union", it's probably going to hurt the bottom line, but nobody actually wants that. Except a few really nihilistic robber barons, I guess.

Dark Archive

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:


If that's supposed to be evidence that Lisa is poised to shut Paizo down on a whim, I... disagree? That's such a bizarre take. Goblinworks collapsing was evidence that Pathfinder Online was not very successful, but that doesn't mean Paizo itself is about to shut down. Actually, it sort of undermines your own "Paizo will pivot to video games" hypothetical--it's a Paizo video game that flopped rather badly, after all.

Yeah there in house attempt failed but the last two games have supposedly done really well

Also my point being that it dosent have to be spite that they would go for the close down option they could decide it's more profitable to go the farm off ip route, They could look at there finance books and realise theres no way to finacially make this work without shutting down or laying off significant amounts of the workforce (Tabeltop profit margins are apparently razor thin after all)

Yes it's all very unlikely (At least I hope it is.) but a question was asked why people are bringing up the company going out of buisness when thats not the intent and thats why I gave an answer (The above scenario's would also be the free market at work)


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Oh, sure, that's a fair assertion. It kind of brings us back to what I said before: Paizo isn't a charity. If it wants to be treated like a charity, that's fair--they can switch to a nonprofit model or whatever.

Anyways, there's no reason to expect them to be forced to shut the company down over this. The union is not asking for pay increases at this time. All the freelancers are asking for is that the union be recognized.


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Kevin Mack wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:

This is, by the way, a pretty wacky hypothetical, and there's zero evidence supporting its likelihood.

Goblinworks/ pathfinder online (You all remember that right? the thing that was doing great and amazing one week and was then oh yeah we laid off all but two of the staff and the main guy behind it has moved onto other things literally one week later.)

No one believed it was doing great. No one believed it was a great idea. Everyone kind of questioned its existence.


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I loved the core idea of PFO, and even I could tell it was kind of wanting for a miracle.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

And no clerics anywhere near high enough level to cast it.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Kevin Mack wrote:


Yeah there in house attempt failed but the last two games have supposedly done really well

Also my point being that it dosent have to be spite that they would go for the close down option they could decide it's more profitable to go the farm off ip route, They could look at there finance books and realise theres no way to finacially make this work without shutting down or laying off significant amounts of the workforce (Tabeltop profit margins are apparently razor thin after all)

Knowing how the last two games impact Paizo is something you'd have to see the books in order to figure out. It's great that the second game brought in more via Kickstarter than the first, but given the complexity of the video game industry, there's no way of knowing how much of that is actual profit, let alone how much Paizo sees from the license.

As for farming off the IP, color me skeptical that the Pathfinder/Starfinder lines would bring much interest in that regard. I know we value them a lot, but they're medium-big fish in a teeny-tiny pond in terms of the big picture.

It's always possible that this stuff just doesn't work out. However, I really feel there's got to be middle ground that allows the production of a great product without treating employees terribly. And if there isn't, the model needs to be ripped apart and rebuilt.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, the EEOC and Labor Board and the fair labor and standards act allows the Union to have laws to back them. The union does not have allot to do with investigating Managers.

I believe thejeff was the one who indicated Paizo would go out business if the management would not recognize the Union. I do not think that will happen. That is how I took one of the post. Maybe I misread it.

In regards to the freelancers. Unfortunately they can find other freelancers. If the freelancers stop work they could look for other freelancers and or redistribute work to staff. I surely hope that does not happen.

Why not show how a Union could benefit the Management by employees be engaged and happy at work. This generally leads to more productive staff.

Finally if for whatever reason the Management does not recognize the Union. It does not mean they have to be in unsafe or abusive work environment. They can reach out to the EEOC and Labor board. Also to take any kind of action against an abusive manager an investigation will need to be done. If staff is not comfortable with management doing the investigation then there is labor board and EEOC. They can also offer protection to staff who filed the compliant.


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Cori Marie wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
Don't know what I did to deserve a personal attack, since I was just wondering why suddenly someone was talking about the company going out of business like that was the goal of anyone here.
And to a certain extent, although that's not anyone's goal, that's the ultimate threat that we or the union can bring to bear.
Truly that's not a threat a good union would ever even imply. Their goal is to protect the workers, and they can't do that if there's no company for them to continue to work for.

Of course it is. That's what a strike, or even a strike threat is. Nobody wants it, but in the end, that's what it comes down to. "We can shut you down."


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Dave2 wrote:

So, the EEOC and Labor Board and the fair labor and standards act allows the Union to have laws to back them. The union does not have allot to do with investigating Managers.

I believe thejeff was the one who indicated Paizo would go out business if the management would not recognize the Union. I do not think that will happen. That is how I took one of the post. Maybe I misread it.

Pretty sure it wasn't me. At least not until after your post. Even then I think it's likely. If they don't voluntarily recognize the union, what's most likely is that an election will be held and the union established anyway, just with more hostility.

Dave2 wrote:
In regards to the freelancers. Unfortunately they can find other freelancers. If the freelancers stop work they could look for other freelancers and or redistribute work to staff. I surely hope that does not happen.

There aren't a lot of freelancers out there that they can just hand off an AP volume to. Given time, they could build up new trusted freelancers, but that doesn't help this fall's schedule.

Nor does Paizo have the staff in house to keep up their product schedule.

Dave2 wrote:

Why not show how a Union could benefit the Management by employees be engaged and happy at work. This generally leads to more productive staff.

Finally if for whatever reason the Management does not recognize the Union. It does not mean they have to be in unsafe or abusive work environment. They can reach out to the EEOC and Labor board. Also to take any kind of action against an abusive manager an investigation will need to be done. If staff is not comfortable with management doing the investigation then there is labor board and EEOC. They can also offer protection to staff who filed the compliant.

As I said before, this is basically fantasy. Likely only to be effective in the most egregious or widespread cases.

What will happen is a union election, unless Paizo executives really go for union busting tactics and manage to succeed. In which case, I do suspect they'll be in a lot of trouble in the long run.
If as seems very likely at the moment the union wins such an election, then the Union contract can still handle the unsafe/abusive conditions.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dave2 wrote:
In regards to the freelancers. Unfortunately they can find other freelancers. If the freelancers stop work they could look for other freelancers and or redistribute work to staff. I surely hope that does not happen.

It's not an "if" they stop work- they already have. A huge amount of content that was already mid-production (in at least one case virtually completely finished) is simply not available to Paizo right now, and if they want to get those products out without convincing the current freelancers to return, they'll have to start those from scratch.

As for finding other ones.... it's a much smaller pool of talent than you might think, especially when it comes to people that can be trusted to reliably put out an acceptable end result. (As for redistributing to staff- most of the internal staff don't even *do the same job* as the freelancers they hire. "Game developer" is not a single, fungible job where you can move any given worker to any given task.)


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

As a proud card carrying member of my union, the NALC, I wholeheartedly support the formation of any workers who would like to band together and assist one another to make a better workplace. That is what a union is and does. I know that a majority of the workers at Paizo support forming this union and the best thing that Paizo management can do is to recognize this union of their workers. I really do not want to see a repeat of what so many other companies out there have been doing in the last few decades, engaging in union busting. That is not the kind of company I wish to support. Do the right thing Paizo executive board. Recognize the union and then get to work building a better future for all of you.


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Four days since the union announcement. A day shy of a full month since our last communication from management - and that last communication was pretty lacking.

One wonders when we’ll hear from the top again. I hope they make the right choices for their company, their games, their workers, and their fans.


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Unless I am mistaken, In the Dungeon Master of None podcast either Jason Tondro or Andrew White said there were rumors they would *possibly* hear from management “early next week”. I’m hoping that the interview was held / posted on the weekend and they mean early this week.

Of course that is all union-recognition conversant, and does not directly reference management at all addressing the anti-trans allegations nor a frank discussion of Jeff Alvarez’ doxxing saga. And I could totally see a situation wherein management deny either of those points are an issue by saying Jeff’s blog post about room assignation going forward addresses the former (which it totally doesn’t, and in fact says a lot more about…what it doesn’t say happened at conventions for staff accommodation) and Jeff apologising on the thread where the doxxing happened “solves” the latter…


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keftiu wrote:

Four days since the union announcement. A day shy of a full month since our last communication from management - and that last communication was pretty lacking.

One wonders when we’ll hear from the top again. I hope they make the right choices for their company, their games, their workers, and their fans.

Four days is an awfully short time to respond to something with as huge an impact as the union announcement is likely to be. Especially with two of those days being the weekend and needing lawyers involved.

A statement this week, as the rumours suggest would be great. Not hearing anything that soon wouldn't be at all surprising.

And with the union announcement, everything else falls by the wayside. They may be addressed eventually, but this will take all their focus for now.


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Postal Apocalypse wrote:
As a proud card carrying member of my union, the NALC, I wholeheartedly support the formation of any workers who would like to band together and assist one another to make a better workplace. That is what a union is and does. I know that a majority of the workers at Paizo support forming this union and the best thing that Paizo management can do is to recognize this union of their workers. I really do not want to see a repeat of what so many other companies out there have been doing in the last few decades, engaging in union busting. That is not the kind of company I wish to support. Do the right thing Paizo executive board. Recognize the union and then get to work building a better future for all of you.

Hell yeah! Grew up in an NALC household. Some of the coolest and most varied people around. Represent.

Grand Lodge

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keftiu wrote:
One wonders when we’ll hear from the top again. I hope they make the right choices for their company, their games, their workers, and their fans.

I would guess we won't hear anything until/unless the company's lawyer says what they can say and when. Paizo is balancing on the sharp edge of legal action being taken against them and anything they say can and likely will be used against them should any lawsuits occur.


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I am officially resurrecting my old Paizo message handle to voice my complete and enthusiastic support for the union. I have played hundreds of hours of Pathfinder and many of my favorite experiences have happened during various adventure paths (Some great Rise of the Runelords moments, a Carrion Crown game that I was GM of, a Skull and Shackles game, a Reign of Winter game on a temporary hold... there are more)

I hereby pledge that when Paizo recognizes the union, I will restart my patronage of Paizo games. Currently, my limited game budget goes mostly to Hasbro/WotC, as I play dnd 5e online. When the union is recognized, I promise to give that money to Paizo instead and plan on migrating my RPG time and money to Pathfinder/Starfinder and Paizo products.

Don't Split the Party! Paizo, I know you can (and I fully believe you will) do the right thing by all your people. I have only so many free dollars to spend, and I will enthusiastically send them your way when you show me your hearts and minds are in the right place.

To all the Paizo staff involved in making these wonderful products, thank you. I've been a Paizo fan and customer for a long time now, and I think it's time we got to know each other again.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Paizo is a pretty small company. Not sure what a union would do at Paizo.

A real, and important, function of unions in a context like this is to create a formal means for employees to bring issues that are in need of redress to management before these issues flare up and become a real problem.

So while certainly something like "an individual employee approaches a manager about a problem" is a way problems *could* be headed off, there are anecdotal reports that "relying on the manager's good will and positive intent to fix the problem" is not working. If you have a collectively bargained contract, and language in that contract to point to, that has more weight than getting an "oh sure, I'll do that."

The employees of a company are just as valuable as the management. People often forget this.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

An EEOC case does not have to be the most wide spread or egregious case. There just has to be evidence that employee A was treated different than employee B due to being discriminated against (Protected Class). So if employee A was suspended for 9 months for an action and employee B did the same action and was suspended for 2 months. You could possibly have an EEOC case. Or for example you have different policies for contract work because someone is part of protected class. You could have case. The evidence can be multiple witnesses to the incident. Emails or the disciplinary action itself. The process starts off by filing the compliant (there is time limit). The EEOC reviews the case and decides if there is evidence support compliant or not. The next step is typically mediation between the employer and compliant. So you do not need a mountain of evidence. Nor is it fantasy for the EEOC to take a case. How do I know. I have been involved in State and Federal EEOC cases. It can help the case if the employer has had multiple compliants filed with the EEOC.

As far as the freelancers go. I agree it is limited pool. There are also limited employers for freelancers in the Rpg field. Two biggest Paizo and Wizards.

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