UNITED PAIZO WORKERS


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am very happy Union was recognized. It is great for the staff and Paizo.

As far as Crystals account. It is widely agreed that they were not allowed to share a room. Do we know the reasons behind not sharing a room? Was it due to a certain view of risk and advice they may have got. Or was it due to negative views they held. I do not know. Neither does anyone else. Also one or two bad managers does not make a company and it’s many new employees who may not been there at the time phobic. Even the managers who were there at the time are more than likely not all phobic.

Congratulations to Paizo and staff for the Union which can have a pitiless impact in dealing with these issues.


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To be clear, we do know. Crystal was actually pretty up-front about it.

Crystal wrote:

... Paizo explicitly laid out different freelancing rules for their only transgender employee at the time solely because a queer employee made that manager uncomfortable and she didn't want her having outside opportunities.

Or how they fired that employee remotely while she was out with a broken ankle, because that manager wanted to hire one of her (straight, cisgender) friends instead

Or how Paizo made employees double up in convention rooms, and refused to bring transgender employees to conventions (limiting career development and networking) because they wouldn't room a cis woman employee with a trans woman coworker even when they both said it was fine.

...

The only con I ever had a room for was PaizoCon & only b/c my wife also worked at Paizo and he could put us in together. He wouldn't let me come to any other convention because he claimed he couldn't afford to give me a room to myself. Even after Amanda volunteered to room w/ me

Yeah, even the year I was an Industry Insider, I had to crowdfund my trip to GenCon. The other years I've been there were b/c Green Ronin brought me out and put me up (and I roomed with a cis woman without incident)

If a company puts a transphobic person in a position of power, that company is complicit in everything the transphobe does while in power--particularly if the company refuses to hold the transphobe accountable when they begin to misbehave. At that point, it's not the transphobe's policy. It's company policy. This is why empowering bad people is, unsurprisingly, a bad thing to do.

We certainly never called every employee who has ever worked at Paizo transphobic. We never said anything remotely close to that, let alone anything that could be easily misconstrued to mean it. Can you explain why you're addressing those points anyways?


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Tonya Woldridge wrote:
not devolve into attacks against our trans brethren. Thank you.

Thank you for speaking up for trans people.

Please recognize that "brethren" is not a gender-neutral word.


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For what it's worth, I have only ever read "brethren" as a gender-neutral word (especially when a woman is the one saying saying "our brethren"). It's valid not to like it being applied to you personally, of course. I don't care for "buddy" for similar pretty personal reasons. Tonya's addressing a wider group, though.

Dark Archive

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I think "Comrades" is apropos in this situation, no?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

True if they know that employee is phobic.

A company is not responsible for career growth out side the company. Were they denied positions within the company based on that. Yes it would be discriminatory.

As far as husband and wife staying in same room would not be viewed as risk. Even though they are different genders since they are marred. It is possible that that manager got advice that was not forward thinking. This was also 4 to 5 years ago. The advice they may have gotten would be different now.

As far as the employee that was let go so the manager could higher her friend. I am not sure on that, but can say if they indicated that is why they were let go and there was no performance issues sited. Then that employee wins their unemployment case and has an EEOC case and likely settlement.

So it has not been said that certain employees at Paizo are phobic. It has been Paizo is phobic.

I think the Union can be a resource for both staff and Management to go to if they need guidance on possible future situations.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
For what it's worth, I have only ever read "brethren" as a gender-neutral word

It's an alternate plural of brother, how is that not gendered?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If different policies can be shown that that manager had for one group versus another. Yes that is an issue. Do we know if that manager is still there?

Also there are two managers mentioned. Is there 3 or just two and one with multiple instances.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Andy Brown wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
For what it's worth, I have only ever read "brethren" as a gender-neutral word
It's an alternate plural of brother, how is that not gendered?

Because most people don't know the original definition and common usage has shifted to a non-gendered definition.


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Paizo is lucky dads not around to share tips from the old CWA nynex days. He had trouble working a laptop but its amazing what you can do when you have direct access to the phone switches....


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
For what it's worth, I have only ever read "brethren" as a gender-neutral word
It's an alternate plural of brother, how is that not gendered?
Because most people don't know the original definition and common usage has shifted to a non-gendered definition.

Must be a regional thing


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Yeah, it's kind of like how "buddy" technically also originates from "brother".

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, it's kind of like how "buddy" technically also originates from "brother".

Or for all my California-born folks out there, the word "dude." Which has mostly been scrubbed from my vocabulary after living in the Seattle area for a quarter century (along with the word "hella").

That all said, there's a lot of baked-in gender issues in language, and personally, I enjoy the challenge of adjusting my writing while learning the etymology of words so that my writing becomes more welcoming to all genders; also has the side effect of making my writing more precise when I do need to use a gendered word for a specific reason, of course.

If language doesn't change and we don't change along with it, then we might as well get rid of time altogether and all collectively turn into a photograph.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, it's kind of like how "buddy" technically also originates from "brother".

Maybe. There are a couple of theories and like a lot of old slang terms it'll probably never be known for sure.

At some point usage is more important than origins. Brethren is much more clearly derived from "brothers" and only really shifted to non-gendered usage in the same way that otherwise male terms used to be used to include everyone. A usage we've shifted away from over the last few decades.


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I think "dude" is a lot more gendered than "brethren" or "bud", honestly, but I'm fortunately* not Californian.

*Sorry. Oregon law states I have to say it.

I don't want to derail this thread. I have never seen or heard "brethren" to be male-coded--to me, it's actually one of the few useful gender-neutral terms, though sadly a bit too clunky and unwieldy to be used in casual conversation. If I'm genuinely in the minority on that view, I agree it shouldn't be used as a gender-neutral expression.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tonya Woldridge wrote:
Removed some posts that were personally harassing, as well as replies and quotes. I left the discussion on the allegations of transphobia, as it is part of the UPW manifesto, but I ask everyone to keep the conversation on track and not devolve into attacks against our trans brethren. Thank you.

Not sure how suggesting there is more than one way to hold someone accountable is offensive to anyone. Personally, I always favor solutions that make for a better future, than ones that punish for the past. Paizo's management voluntarily recognized the UPW, the optimist in me says this is a sign of their willingness to change, if they don't then the employees now have the UPW to help protect them. Maybe our comments here and emails helped the UPW get recognized. Unless the UPW asks for our support again I'm leaving it all in their hands, back to playing Starfinder for me.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Me too. I will go back to playing Pathfinder 2 and Starfinder. The Union has been recognized and this is something staff and freelancers wanted. Hopefully it will lead to happier and more engaged staff.


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James Jacobs wrote:


If language doesn't change and we don't change along with it, then we might as well get rid of time altogether and all collectively turn into a photograph.

We can do that? I was never told that was an option!

practices high fiving for the perfect eternal 80s picture


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I think "dude" is a lot more gendered than "brethren" or "bud", honestly, but I'm fortunately* not Californian.

*Sorry. Oregon law states I have to say it.

I don't want to derail this thread. I have never seen or heard "brethren" to be male-coded--to me, it's actually one of the few useful gender-neutral terms, though sadly a bit too clunky and unwieldy to be used in casual conversation. If I'm genuinely in the minority on that view, I agree it shouldn't be used as a gender-neutral expression.

This is why I use shadowspeak, chummer.

Grand Lodge

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Leg o' Lamb wrote:
I think "Comrades" is apropos in this situation, no?

Ii would object to comrade based on its historic use and political connotation


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TwilightKnight wrote:
Leg o' Lamb wrote:
I think "Comrades" is apropos in this situation, no?
Ii would object to comrade based on its historic use and political connotation

Unions have been plenty fond of the term and are broadly a leftist concept, historically and politically.


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

I think "dude" is a lot more gendered than "brethren" or "bud", honestly, but I'm fortunately* not Californian.

*Sorry. Oregon law states I have to say it.

I don't want to derail this thread. I have never seen or heard "brethren" to be male-coded--to me, it's actually one of the few useful gender-neutral terms, though sadly a bit too clunky and unwieldy to be used in casual conversation. If I'm genuinely in the minority on that view, I agree it shouldn't be used as a gender-neutral expression.

I've been in religious communities where 'brethren' specifically denoted that women were excluded or subordinate. It's not that uncommon.

That past is long behind me now. Good riddance. :I

Grand Lodge

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keftiu wrote:
Unions have been plenty fond of the term and are broadly a leftist concept, historically and politically.

That may be, but if people can object to brethren than I can object to comrade. Most of my brothers and sisters object to it as well. In fact, our region sent a strongly worded letter to the international in order to have the word (and a few others) stricken from official publications within our region.


Comrade is just Russian for friend, right?


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Elegos wrote:
Comrade is just Russian for friend, right?

Sure, but it also has a specific geopolitical context outside of its literal definition. Given the labor politics discussions, it makes sense to lean on the geopolitical understanding over the literal one.

Personally: I think it is a good word with good meaning. However, I know even left-leaning individuals who are opposed to being referring to as such. Notably, I know a guy from Ukraine who bristles at language that hearkens back to Soviet-era propaganda.

Language is messy. Better to focus on a broader goal of "make sure that everyone everywhere is free from exploitation and has the right to self-determination". Even that might be meh to some. Leftist circles are weird.

EDIT: Thanks to Rysky for correcting my understanding of the origins of "comrade".

Silver Crusade

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Spanish and Portuguese, it made its way into French lexicon during the Revolution and then into Russian as tovarisch, Russian/Sovietss/Communists saying “comrade” is a media invention.

It means colleague or ally.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

what about kamarado that's the Esperanto translation for comrade


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Comrades of all nations!

Grand Lodge

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"Workers of the World, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!"

I am thrilled that Paizo has chosen to voluntarily recognize the United Paizo Workers union. That is a very important first step. More work remains to be done and I fully support the union in their upcoming negotiations with Paizo management.

This is an important moment for the game industry. If Paizo and the union negotiate a mutually satisfactory contract and Paizo makes some internal changes as they metamorphosis into a larger company, they will continue to be a top flight company in the industry. We have to keep in mind that their ability to produce top quality RPG games and content are what led to their success in the first place. Maintaining that ability has to be the first priority for both groups.

If they can do that, and they should be able to do that, then the game industry is going to have to change. No longer will a company's management be able to use the fear factor of higher prices or lack of quality against their employees. In fact, those fear factors are an outright lie in the first place because we've seen plenty of higher prices and lousy quality in this industry already.

It's time for a change and I am thrilled to see Paizo, its employees via this union, and we the players/supporters of Paizon and the employees take the lead in this matter.

Remember, we have nothing to lose but our chains!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

When I was in the US Army stationed in (then) West Germany, the local folks who worked on the base used "comrade" all the time with us. I took it basically to mean "work friend".

Sovereign Court Director of Community

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Apologies for my use of a gendered term when I referred to the trans community. I was not aware of its origins. Thank you for the information!


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Radu the Wanderer wrote:
I hereby pledge that when Paizo recognizes the union, I will restart my patronage of Paizo games.

And done!

My hardcover of Pathfinder 2.0 was purchased tonight as soon as I read the news.


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Particular Jones wrote:

Good news and glad they recognized the union.

That aside I kind of agree with Poly in that no matter what Paizo does some here will never be satisfied.

The personal very demanding list starts with two points. Recognize the union and address the Transphobia. Once both are addressed then a third point and a fourth and a fifth until no matter what Paizo does again it will not be enough . A company can only do so much in a certain amount of time.

We will see if the fans truly put their money where their mouth is and Paizo sees an increase in sales. It’s easy to say they will buy more, rather than actually buying more we will see.

I will say that I've seen some go on what are clearly meaningful gradations. Like, I've seen the same person say both "This is great, but it's not enough. I'm not going to be happy until we get real answers and action on the trans issues." and "I bought three books." I'll agree that if you never give them credit for the things they actually do, because you're always demanding the next thing, then that kind of "never be satisfied" basically means that you're pretending that listening to you means something when it actually doesn't. That's not ideal. On the other hand, being able to recognize and acknowledge (and occasionally reward) improvement while also always wanting things to improve further... well, it's a kind of "never be satisfied", but, I think, not necessarily a bad kind.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Particular Jones wrote:

Good news and glad they recognized the union.

That aside I kind of agree with Poly in that no matter what Paizo does some here will never be satisfied.

The personal very demanding list starts with two points. Recognize the union and address the Transphobia. Once both are addressed then a third point and a fourth and a fifth until no matter what Paizo does again it will not be enough . A company can only do so much in a certain amount of time.

We will see if the fans truly put their money where their mouth is and Paizo sees an increase in sales. It’s easy to say they will buy more, rather than actually buying more we will see.

I will say that I've seen some go on what are clearly meaningful gradations. Like, I've seen the same person say both "This is great, but it's not enough. I'm not going to be happy until we get real answers and action on the trans issues." and "I bought three books." I'll agree that if you never give them credit for the things they actually do, because you're always demanding the next thing, then that kind of "never be satisfied" basically means that you're pretending that listening to you means something when it actually doesn't. That's not ideal. On the other hand, being able to recognize and acknowledge (and occasionally reward) improvement while also always wanting things to improve further... well, it's a kind of "never be satisfied", but, I think, not necessarily a bad kind.

It's also worth pointing out that a lot of people were focused on "address the transphobia" before the union announcement was made. It's not really moving the goal posts for them to stay focused on their original concern, while also supporting the union.


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For me, I placed a big order in acknowledgment of the positive step. I appreciate the executive doing the right thing and doing it quickly. I love the books they make and want the chance to support the company I remember.

I haven’t resubscribed - I am waiting to see what response Paizo will make to the charge that historically, it has had transphobic practises. (I don’t expect a blow-by-blow or any private details, but the general issue is a genuine matter of interest given the company has so heavily advertised itself as a champion of inclusion; that has to mean more than just putting queer characters in the world of golarion).


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Addressing the transphobia issue and a proper accounting for the doxxing incidents are not *new* demands from the public. They've been there from the start and for many, they need to be addressed before their trust in Paizo can return to an acceptable baseline.

The union is a very promising development and one that gives us lots of hope, but the abuse of protected data and blatant discrimination are issues on their own.

This has always been a collection of issues coming to a head, no single move can solve all of them at once. I'm certainly more willing to trust Paizo is dealing in good faith but I'm still not chomping at the bit to buy more of their products at the moment. I fully understand and sympathize with the point of view of my comrades who are making purchases to 'reward' Paizo for making the right call in recognizing the union and I fully understand and sympathize with the point of view of my comrades who are not willing to buy any more Paizo products until their concerns are fully addressed.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Particular Jones wrote:

Good news and glad they recognized the union.

That aside I kind of agree with Poly in that no matter what Paizo does some here will never be satisfied.

The personal very demanding list starts with two points. Recognize the union and address the Transphobia. Once both are addressed then a third point and a fourth and a fifth until no matter what Paizo does again it will not be enough . A company can only do so much in a certain amount of time.

We will see if the fans truly put their money where their mouth is and Paizo sees an increase in sales. It’s easy to say they will buy more, rather than actually buying more we will see.

I will say that I've seen some go on what are clearly meaningful gradations. Like, I've seen the same person say both "This is great, but it's not enough. I'm not going to be happy until we get real answers and action on the trans issues." and "I bought three books." I'll agree that if you never give them credit for the things they actually do, because you're always demanding the next thing, then that kind of "never be satisfied" basically means that you're pretending that listening to you means something when it actually doesn't. That's not ideal. On the other hand, being able to recognize and acknowledge (and occasionally reward) improvement while also always wanting things to improve further... well, it's a kind of "never be satisfied", but, I think, not necessarily a bad kind.

Since you’re vaguing about me here:

I maintain that the systemic transphobia is the biggest unresolved issue, and management’s avoidance of the topic is hard for me to read as anything but cowardice. Don’t fret; I will continue making noise about it.

But with the recognition of the union - a union who has affirmed their commitment to trans rights publicly - I felt comfortable springing for a few books written by a diverse and inclusive team, and specifically products that are depicting underrepresented cultures and groups in the fantasy genre. I was a Paizo fan /because/ of this stuff, and it felt wrong not to reward it.

Management has given me very little faith in themselves, but the best balance to them is a strong union, one that seems aligned with me on what matters. I’m happy to support them. I don’t want Paizo to fail, I want it to stop hurting people like me.


And that, my friends, should d be good enough for us all…

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