Will unionization fix quality issues?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I recently fell into... and out of... love with 2nd edition. I was super excited to be able to convince some of my friends to put a pause on D&D 5e and hop over to try 2nd edition. I sold them on stories about the amazing APs and lore from first edition.

So we started playing Age of Ashes, and we were all really disappointed. It seemed like a great idea, but did not deliver on it's execution. Poorly constructed storyline, every room packed with bizarre creatures that were more distracting than engaging, even art that didn't match what was written; we were all pretty disappointed overall, despite really enjoying some of the aspects of 2e (such as character customization and the 3 action economy).

I was even more disappointed to see online that it there was an attempt to somehow justify it because Paizo was racing to meet publishing deadlines. While I can understand that, it's Paizo's responsibility to put out high quality products... not the consumer's responsibility to just accept a lesser product because they didn't manage themselves properly. Poor project management and leadership was the problem, not deadlines.

So I purchased nearly every 2e product, including all the APs, and figured I'd find a new AP for us. Instead, I was disappointed to find a bunch of really bizarre APs that seemed more focused on doing something "unique" or "exotic" rather than "engaging" or "interesting". It felt like 2e was doing little more than trying to fill in what few gaps were left from 1e, catering almost exclusively to the 1e players and making little effort to attract new players.

When I started looking for player reviews on favorite APs, it seems like almost all of the favorites are from 1st edition, and almost all center around classic fantasy tropes. So I decided to switch to converting a couple 1e APs instead.

As I was Googling as much as I could (no need to reinvent the wheel), I came across numerous stories and articles about employees (past and present) airing the Paizo dirty laundry: poor work environment, a frenzied rush to push books out, and of course all the awful behaviours of the leaders. Suddenly, it all made sense: I was disappointed in 2e because shoddy products were being pushed out to make more money, and it was being confirmed by the employees themselves.

So, I just cancelled all my subscriptions and genuinely regret putting nearly $2,000 CDN into building a Pathfinder 2e library, only to find it's mostly all useless and uninteresting. I should have just converted some of the APs to 5e, it would have been a lot cheaper.

And, perhaps it's just nostalgia, but I'm hoping the unionization of the employees will force Paizo into putting out better products.


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The first three APs were all at least partially written while the system was still in development, which explains a lot of the wonkiness in Age of Ashes. I've heard all those issues are mostly gone from Strength of Thousands and Abomination Vaults (not many people talk about Ruby Pheonix for some reason).

That said, if you feel this strongly about PF2 in general, I don't think Paizo unionizing will affect much. You might see a slight bump in quality due to happier workers, but overall I doubt things will change much one way or the other. Which if you enjoy PF2 like myself it's fine, but if you already don't, you're probably best off looking elsewhere. Converting the more recent APs to other systems might be up your alley though.


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Whether unionization improves the lives of customers should not be a concern. It's about whether it improves the lives of employees.

It's absolutely impossible to determine if that will trickle down to higher product quality because the standards to measure that are arbitrary, and even if the product improves, there could be many other factors that come into play, and singling out unionization as the main contributor for an improvement or a decrease in quality is not likely scientifically sound.

So I'd decouple both topics from your mind entirely.


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No. As a manager who works with union employees and having been in several unions, unions have no real effect on a business other than possibly increasing costs and providing employees bargaining power to negotiate wages, benefits, and protections from termination.

Unions rarely if ever negotiate any situation where they seek quality of business product or service improvements. At best they accept work standards from the company in the bargaining agreement that are usually in line with the jobs.

Unions are employee organizations aimed at improving work conditions, wages, and all associated factors for employees. They have nothing to do with company work standards, product quality, or what not.

The company will still set all of that and the union members can push back if they consider the work environment too restrictive or problematic, which might slow down production levels and slow output.

I don't know how a union will work in this type of industry. It may work. I expect Paizo to outsource more and look for other ways to cut costs within the framework of the bargaining agreement like most companies do. You want less workers when you have a union because of the cost increase of using a union worker.

In general a company will publicly agree to the union for PR reasons and sometimes because they have no choice, but in general the union and the business are in a competitive position against each other. The business is trying to maximize profits and the employees are trying to maximize benefits from those profits. That is an adversarial relationship.

I'm personally very interested to see if a business like an RPG company can survive unionization. A lot of types of businesses have survived unionization and created a model for an industry including actors, writers, medical, construction, and the like. But I've never heard of relatively small RPG production company going union. If it works, it might push unionization at other RPG companies and change the industry.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Your question has nothing to do with Unionizing, and is pretty transparently an excuse to moan about not liking APs and pretending it's somehow not your fault for buying blind.


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I would assume it would help, seeing as a lot of the problems in the output have pretty clearly been linked to extremely rushed timelines behind-the-scenes. Devs being in a healthier work environment is going to make things better. Plus, they might advocate for greater efforts towards diversity and inclusivity and help us avoid another Edgewall--that seemed to be what the freelancers were pushing for originally. It probably won't be "measurable" for a while, though.

That said, I agree with the others for the most part.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It may help in a small way, concerns made by staff have been dismissed before and with the union those concerns may carry more weight going forward but it maybe awhile to see that effect due to how product pipelines and scheduling works.

But at least in some cases this isn't necessarily poor material just not material for you and that is a huge difference.


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It just sounds like you don’t like PF2, OP. Unionization doesn’t have anything to do with it; it’s still gonna be the same folks making the books.


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One can like PF2e and not like the APs, as they are separate. I personally really like the system for its mechanics and character options, but I prefer my own world and homebrew campaigns over Golarion and APs.

But to the OP’s question, I’m not sure if unionization will help you like the APs more, but the more recent APs have gotten better reception from fans. In general, I would stick with Pathfinder 2E if you and your group enjoy the system, not because of the APs. 5e is a fine system, but if you want the crunch and options of Pathfinder, without the bloat and imbalance of Pathfinder 1E, stick with 2E.


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Wow, relax peeps. I never said I don't like PF2e.

In fact I still run it, and I enjoy it enough that I have resorted to playing 1e APs. Like fanatic66 said: one can like PF2e and not like the APs. Problem is, I bought the system to play the APs and that was a disappointing experience.

All the nonsense about me not liking PF2 is just that... nonsense. In fact, I quite specifically said there were things I liked.

Perhaps I should have articulated more clearly that I bought PF2e to play the APs because I loved some of the 1e APs and because I didn't want to put a ton of time or energy into doing the work. I just wanted to pick up the new edition and play. But, that didn't happen, because I didn't enjoy the Age of Ashes and I was disappointed with the rest of the APs. Granted, Abomination Vault seemed pretty cool, but I wasn't wanting a mega dungeon.

My complaint was against the quality of the APs and how bizarre they seem to have become, and my hope is that by improving worker conditions, we'll see improved quality in the APs. Employee engagement has impacts on performance. It's a real thing and that's why so many companies invest so much money into their employee engagement.

@ Firelion - My first purchase with this account was October 30 2008. So no need for your conspiracies, name calling, and accusations. Please refrain from engaging in conversation with me in the future, if I post again.


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I'm gonna agree with other posters that worker protections and unionization is something that focuses on the worker, not the product. If collective bargaining results in reasonable development schedules then maybe there's an impact on quality, but that's really not the focus of people getting together to create better working conditions for themselves, nor should it be. The benefit of the union is the well being of Paizo workers, not your end consumer experience. I think you're missing the forest for the trees. I'm a part of United Steelworkers to protect myself from a corporation that doesn't care about me or my well being beyond my ability to produce, not to give my employer or our customer a better product.


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YMMV, then. Some people adore Abomination Vaults. Strength of Thousands might be my favorite AP they’ve ever released. Most folks agree Age of Ashes and Extinction Curse were at least some degree of troubled, but pretty much everything since has some vocal fans. I think every AP coming in 2022 sounds cool.

As I said: you might just not like these writers.


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fyrekrest wrote:
My complaint was against the quality of the APs and how bizarre they seem to have become, and my hope is that by improving worker conditions, we'll see improved quality in the APs. Employee engagement has impacts on performance. It's a real thing and that's why so many companies invest so much money into their employee engagement.

Oh you mean like the bizarre APs like...War for the Crown. Or maybe Hell's Rebels. Or maybe Mummy's Mask. Or Iron Gods.

You know, APs written while the people in question worked at Paizo, that also happen to be 1e APs?

No?


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Quote:
It felt like 2e was doing little more than trying to fill in what few gaps were left from 1e, catering almost exclusively to the 1e players and making little effort to attract new players.

I actually missed this the first time through, and feel compelled to say: I'm a new fan who came in with 2e after never being compelled by the settings of most 1e stuff, and the new edition catering to areas of the setting we haven't seen before (and aren't out of the familiar European fantasy mold) are why I'm here.

Dataphiles

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Salamileg wrote:

The first three APs were all at least partially written while the system was still in development, which explains a lot of the wonkiness in Age of Ashes. I've heard all those issues are mostly gone from Strength of Thousands and Abomination Vaults (not many people talk about Ruby Pheonix for some reason).

That said, if you feel this strongly about PF2 in general, I don't think Paizo unionizing will affect much. You might see a slight bump in quality due to happier workers, but overall I doubt things will change much one way or the other. Which if you enjoy PF2 like myself it's fine, but if you already don't, you're probably best off looking elsewhere. Converting the more recent APs to other systems might be up your alley though.

Ruby Phoenix starting at level 11 means that a lot of people don’t want to run it (there is still a pervasive idea of starting a low level and building up). I’m running it twice because, personally, as a GM I hate the low level grind - very little ways I can challenge my players because there’s very few ways they can fight back. High levels have some issues as well, many of them in fact, but I’d rather run 15-20 than 1-6.

As for the AP itself - it’s an anime fighting tournament. If you and the players go in with that mindset, constantly chew the scenery and ham everything up, you’ll have a fun time. Book 1 is mostly a meat blender though, there is a lot of encounters you have to go through in a short timespan.

Book 2 is mostly 1 enc/day, and book 3 is another meat blender.


Deriven Firelion wrote:

No. As a manager who works with union employees and having been in several unions, unions have no real effect on a business other than possibly increasing costs and providing employees bargaining power to negotiate wages, benefits, and protections from termination.

Unions rarely if ever negotiate any situation where they seek quality of business product or service improvements. At best they accept work standards from the company in the bargaining agreement that are usually in line with the jobs.

Unions are employee organizations aimed at improving work conditions, wages, and all associated factors for employees. They have nothing to do with company work standards, product quality, or what not.

The company will still set all of that and the union members can push back if they consider the work environment too restrictive or problematic, which might slow down production levels and slow output.

I don't know how a union will work in this type of industry. It may work. I expect Paizo to outsource more and look for other ways to cut costs within the framework of the bargaining agreement like most companies do. You want less workers when you have a union because of the cost increase of using a union worker.

In general a company will publicly agree to the union for PR reasons and sometimes because they have no choice, but in general the union and the business are in a competitive position against each other. The business is trying to maximize profits and the employees are trying to maximize benefits from those profits. That is an adversarial relationship.

I'm personally very interested to see if a business like an RPG company can survive unionization. A lot of types of businesses have survived unionization and created a model for an industry including actors, writers, medical, construction, and the like. But I've never heard of relatively small RPG production company going union. If it works, it might push unionization at other RPG companies and change the industry.

I consider myself to be pretty left leaning, but I agree with this wholeheartedly. I'm not generally a union supporter because of these reasons, though I do want people to have the kinds of protections that unions offer, I just don't want unions to do it. I want the government to do it on behalf of all people, where we have robust minimum wage laws or universal basic income that pays people a livable wage. I want universal health care funded by the gov't. I want gov't resources that workers feel are effective at investigating, intervening, and correcting dangerous work conditions and behaviors.

That aside, the below is what's really going on here.

WatersLethe wrote:
Your question has nothing to do with Unionizing, and is pretty transparently an excuse to moan about not liking APs and pretending it's somehow not your fault for buying blind.

The OP is simply upset at wasting money.

Dark Archive

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To be fair to the Op we do know that at least one of the current 2e adventure paths (Agents of edgewatch) was something decided by the higher ups against the concerns of the mainline staff so is possible it is true of other Ap's as well (and I say this as someone who thought edgewatch was alright)

So to answer the question best I can say is maybe?

(Also in regards to calling out the op's credentials or such at this point he does have a pathfinder supersubscriber tag so this would be one heck of a deep cover for a setup to a troll post ie I think he is being genuine.)


I don't think suggesting someone is a troll just because they have a strange take is fair.

Personally I don't feel like there has been a quality shift from pf1e to pf2e outside of the lost omens books tending towards better quality and consistency than the pf1e splat books.

Sure there are duds (the first age of ashes book needs a LOT of work to fix imo, the second and third are better but still need filling out and the fourth, fifth and sixth books are pretty good for Paizo standards)

Extinction Curse is decent for the most part but suffers from not following its stated circus theme and

Spoiler:
the stupid murder mystery start where the murderer can't possibly be guessed at or deduced... what a slap in the face to any party that gets invested in the solve

Agents of edgewatch could have done with being 5 books long, not have the naff nonlethal rules (just get PCs to build around it if they are adults) and horrible loot rules (APB and a case solve bonus system is what I went with). I wouldn't say it is a very out there adventure.

Abomination vaults is great, nothing quirky here. Best megadungeon with a narrative I have seen, the quality picks up from book 2 where more roleplay is built in to break the delving up. The way the villain is handled is inspired.

Fists of the Ruby Phoenix, bought it, not read or ran it yet. Like the kaiju hazard idea. But level 11 is a lot of PC for a player to build all at once, i would want my players to be very experienced and know how to avoid the hyper specialist trap. Looking forward to running it though.

Strength of Thousands, unique AP concept. But it is decently implemented, my only gripe (reading) with it so far is I hate the childish portrayal of the other students in the first book. It is a university and I would have liked a broader representation/support of tone out of the book. But overall writing quality has this up there with the best of PF1e APs imo.

As for art, Paizo has always been all over the place imo. But I hate Wayne Reynold's art when he isn't doing line work. So that is somewhat subjective.

Then again, there is the Mogura and Burning Dragon art from the Monsters of Myth book... ooof. Mogura's solo art piece has it looking like it is floating, has a birth defect and the scales on its chest look like brickwork... the burning dragon, doesn't represent its description at all and they just drew a cartoony frill necked lizard with two scorpion tails, and it has a GREAT description.

But then, there are all these awesome full page or double page spreads... that are almost always high quality and well worth comissioning (although mainly in the lost omen books, the AP art is still hit or just acceptable for me)

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
keftiu wrote:

YMMV, then. Some people adore Abomination Vaults. Strength of Thousands might be my favorite AP they’ve ever released. Most folks agree Age of Ashes and Extinction Curse were at least some degree of troubled, but pretty much everything since has some vocal fans. I think every AP coming in 2022 sounds cool.

As I said: you might just not like these writers.

Currently in book 4 of an EC game and it's ok. The group I am with helps it along, but it could use some tuning. Age of Ashes I thought got off a bit rough but book 3-6 (esp 5 and 6) are some of the best stuff Paizo has put out. Shame it came along so far on the AP if a group didn't power through it to get there they didn't see it.


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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think Age of Ashes is a great AP. I and my players are loving it. We're in late Book 4 now.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Extinction Curse #1 Spoiler:

the stupid murder mystery start where the murderer can't possibly be guessed at or deduced... what a slap in the face to any party that gets invested in the solve.

Spoiler-filled response to above spoiler:

I've run that module for no less than three groups and all three guessed "crazy druid."

There are swarms of rat prints around the body. Nets chewed through by rats. Snake bites from wild snakes on the body. Crazed animals and elemental misfits aplenty.

It seemed layered on so thick that some of the players said things to the effect of "I can't imagine anyone not arriving at the conclusion of 'crazy druid.'

I guess it's all in how the GM presents the information and the players' thought process; not everybody thinks the same way. I guess I could see it if no one in the party took skills like Nature, Medicine, or Animal Lore to uncover the clues; or if the GM was being tight-lipped for some reason.

I spoilered it. You were warned. ;)


Ravingdork wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I spoilered it. You were warned. ;)

This is pretty close to how my group saw the events, too.

To The OP: The overall adventure quality has been fine for my group. I'm in Extinction Curse and Strength of Thousands. My wife has done Age of Ashes and also running Ruby Phoenix. (She runs all of these games. She's mine. Stay the smurf away.)

Could you maybe share what specific things you loved about 1e's APs that is absent in 2e's? Like. As mentioned above, 1e had no shortage of zany and high-concept APs. So, more info might allow us to help you find something that might better click.

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

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Age of Ashes was written while Pathfinder 2 we being written. A RPG company does not launch a new game as a regular occurrence. That page counts were a huge lift and it was important that the game come out strong. I think Paizo met that goal. And kept up an extraordinary pace. Paizo made its best effort to create quality products at the time. The Paizo creates and freelance community continues to grow and set higher standards. There are always things they would do differently in hindsight. I think that is true of every creative professional I know.

Paizo is trying to reduce product deadline crunch internally. It has increase the size of the project management, design, and editing teams—and that started before unionization. I sit in a lot management meetings and union chats, and the whole company is focusing on creating the highest quality RPG products in a sustainable and profitable way. How to best do that is a bit related to negotiation, but I think the company is united in those goals.

The creative team has told be they like to alternate AP themes between something traditional (like dragons, urban murder mystery, dungeon crawl, and magic school) and something as little wacky (like circus, international fight competition, and mammoth hunters).

Carry on. Constructive criticism is a valid topic. Cheers.


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WatersLethe wrote:

... is pretty transparently an excuse to moan about not liking APs and pretending it's somehow not your fault for buying blind.

Claxon wrote:

The OP is simply upset at wasting money.

That is not a secret, I literally stated that in my post. It was meant to be transparent. That's why I wrote it.

It wasn't a post intended to gather people's opinions on what the purpose of a union is. It wasn't a post to denigrate the entire 2e system. And I certainly made no secret that I was frustrated that I felt that I wasted my money. I was so frustrated, in fact, that I ceased all my subscriptions. And my hope is that improving the workers' environment will see a better product... but until then, I'm no longer spending money on Paizo products, or at least not supporting them so blindly. (And it's not an invite to argue "Unions are only for the people! Blah blah!")

Thanks Kobold Catgirl, pixierose, fanatic66, keftiu, Exocist, Kevin Mack, The Gleeful Grognard, Paulyhedron, Tarondor, Saedar and Aaron Shanks for the intelligent responses. But this thread has gone in so many different directions with very little meaningful conversation.

Let's move on now, people.


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Aaron Shanks wrote:

Paizo is trying to reduce product deadline crunch internally. It has increase the size of the project management, design, and editing teams—and that started before unionization. I sit in a lot management meetings and union chats, and the whole company is focusing on creating the highest quality RPG products in a sustainable and profitable way. How to best do that is a bit related to negotiation, but I think the company is united in those goals.

The creative team has told be they like to alternate AP themes between something traditional (like dragons, urban murder mystery, dungeon crawl, and magic school) and something as little wacky (like circus, international fight competition, and mammoth hunters).

Thank you for the insight.

Liberty's Edge

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No idea, but I can certainly hope that might be the case when it comes to the company providing PDFs and products with higher quality/resolution/layered maps at the very least.


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fyrekrest wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

... is pretty transparently an excuse to moan about not liking APs and pretending it's somehow not your fault for buying blind.

Claxon wrote:

The OP is simply upset at wasting money.

That is not a secret, I literally stated that in my post. It was meant to be transparent. That's why I wrote it.

It wasn't a post intended to gather people's opinions on what the purpose of a union is. It wasn't a post to denigrate the entire 2e system. And I certainly made no secret that I was frustrated that I felt that I wasted my money. I was so frustrated, in fact, that I ceased all my subscriptions. And my hope is that improving the workers' environment will see a better product... but until then, I'm no longer spending money on Paizo products, or at least not supporting them so blindly. (And it's not an invite to argue "Unions are only for the people! Blah blah!")

Thanks Kobold Catgirl, pixierose, fanatic66, keftiu, Exocist, Kevin Mack, The Gleeful Grognard, Paulyhedron, Tarondor, Saedar and Aaron Shanks for the intelligent responses. But this thread has gone in so many different directions with very little meaningful conversation.

Let's move on now, people.

But the purpose of a union was relevant to the answer of your question. Unions don't concern themselves with products so any benefit to quality will be indirect and not a union contract stipulation. This makes the answer of your question range from maybe to no.


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Ravingdork wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

** spoiler omitted **

I spoilered it. You were warned. ;)

When I talk about guessing I more mean

Spoiler:
nobody has met her, nobody has seen her and there is no way to know her name... a guess of "crazy druid" is that, a logical conclusion based on nothing better being available

The whole

Spoiler:
it's unrelated, none of the interviews were relevant, the druid is unconnected to the circus... and the druid outs themselves anyway regardless of PC actions
is what is most likely to disappoint players imo. The feeling that nothing they did really mattered, this won't come up for all groups as different groups expect different things, but I wager it niggles at most invested players.

Sure a good GM fixes this before it happens, but fixing the opening chapter of an adventure, which happens to be the hook for the rest of the book isn't ideal imo.

Dom't get me wrong. On a whole I think the show must go on is a better intro book than hellknight hill was. But this was a point that bothered me about it.

I really regret running EC as it released, it meant I put way more work and emphasis into the circus than I should have. The players really enjoyed when it came up early on and seemed let down by the waning focus, but that is always a risk of starting an AP when only one volume has been released vs prepping when all six are out like I did with Age of Ashes.


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fyrekrest wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:

... is pretty transparently an excuse to moan about not liking APs and pretending it's somehow not your fault for buying blind.

Claxon wrote:

The OP is simply upset at wasting money.

That is not a secret, I literally stated that in my post. It was meant to be transparent. That's why I wrote it.

It wasn't a post intended to gather people's opinions on what the purpose of a union is. It wasn't a post to denigrate the entire 2e system. And I certainly made no secret that I was frustrated that I felt that I wasted my money. I was so frustrated, in fact, that I ceased all my subscriptions. And my hope is that improving the workers' environment will see a better product... but until then, I'm no longer spending money on Paizo products, or at least not supporting them so blindly. (And it's not an invite to argue "Unions are only for the people! Blah blah!")

Thanks Kobold Catgirl, pixierose, fanatic66, keftiu, Exocist, Kevin Mack, The Gleeful Grognard, Paulyhedron, Tarondor, Saedar and Aaron Shanks for the intelligent responses. But this thread has gone in so many different directions with very little meaningful conversation.

Let's move on now, people.

I think in the future you should reframe your thinking.

In this case, my opinion is that you should have avoided any conversation about Unions. There are lots of strong opinions, there's really no need to frame the conversation around it.

Instead you could have framed the conversation as "I'm disappointed with the APs I bought and here are the reasons why." Maybe after a summarizations of your points you could question whether the change to unionization would improve quality, but your thread title sets a bad tone and focus for the conversation.


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Ravingdork wrote:
fyrekrest wrote:
My first purchase with this account was October 30 2008.
Which is something that can't be verified on the forums. How convenient for you.

Dude, they're a Superscriber.

Silver Crusade

Superscriber just means you’re subscribed to all the relevant lines, not that you’re one of the earliest subscribers.


Rysky wrote:
Superscriber just means you’re subscribed to all the relevant lines, not that you’re one of the earliest subscribers.

Really?

I didn't know that.

Silver Crusade

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Freehold DM wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Superscriber just means you’re subscribed to all the relevant lines, not that you’re one of the earliest subscribers.

Really?

I didn't know that.

That may have been the original title (I know it had one but can’t 100% remember), but since the launch of P2 just having all the relevant subscriptions gives you the title (rather than your titles be overflowing).

Liberty's Edge

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I am pretty sure that there is a special subscriber tag for people who have maintained their sub since the very start, or rather, at the very least I'm pretty sure there used to be one.


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Rysky wrote:
Superscriber just means you’re subscribed to all the relevant lines, not that you’re one of the earliest subscribers.

Kinda suggests they're not a throwaway account, though. :P

Silver Crusade

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

Charter subscriber is the tag for people that got in on the ground floor.


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Regardless, baselessly implying someone is lying in order to, in turn, imply they're a sock puppet is a problem when they clearly aren't a sock puppet.


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Aaron Shanks wrote:
The creative team has told be they like to alternate AP themes between something traditional (like dragons, urban murder mystery, dungeon crawl, and magic school) and something as little wacky (like circus, international fight competition, and mammoth hunters).

I find this an interesting perspective because I'd expect the "urban murder mystery" and "magic school" to be thought of at least as non-traditional as "mammoth hunters". At least given the police focus of AoE.


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I think it's worth noting that if Agents of Edgewall was pushed on reluctant devs, yeah, I think unionization might have at least helped avert that.


Cori Marie wrote:
Charter subscriber is the tag for people that got in on the ground floor.

Ahhhhh


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
...nothing they did really mattered.

It never has.

Seriously, short of not showing up and killing the whole campaign, all pre-published adventures only have one real outcome. The players give up, or they make it to the end of the rail line.

Dark Archive

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Kevin Mack wrote:

To be fair to the Op we do know that at least one of the current 2e adventure paths (Agents of edgewatch) was something decided by the higher ups against the concerns of the mainline staff so is possible it is true of other Ap's as well (and I say this as someone who thought edgewatch was alright)

So to answer the question best I can say is maybe?

Seems that age of ashes being a golarion world tour was a mandated decision as well so upgrade the maybe to probably


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I think good APs mask that better, in fairness.


Ravingdork wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
...nothing they did really mattered.

It never has.

Seriously, short of not showing up and killing the whole campaign, all pre-published adventures only have one real outcome. The players give up, or they make it to the end of the rail line.

The illusion matters though.

It's like a good action movie will keep you in suspense, even though you know it's going to end with the bad guy losing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Also, pretty much ALL of the Adventure Paths are, in some way, mandated. So it's not like a mandate automatically means the resulting product will be bad.

I was mandated to create a "classic fantasy adventure that felt like D&D but wasn't" with Rise of the Runelords. I was mandated to create a "Cheliax-themed adventure path" for Hell's Rebels. I was mandated to design an entire dungeon for "Abomination Vaults" and to create a new "hometown" out of Otari for that Adventure Path and the Beginner Box. To pick just three examples that I feel turned out well and am proud of.

Best we can do is to look at how things turned out and learn from our mistakes... but for my fellow employees and freelancers who are reading these threads and growing despondent about the negativity... it's hitting me as hard as you, and I feel like it's important to know that we've done a LOT more that we can all be proud of over the past 20+ years, going back to the D&D magazine era. Let's stay observant and accept our past mistakes and do better and learn from them, but please don't forget that you're all doing so much more good for the hobby and the world than harm.

I wouldn't still be at Paizo if I felt otherwise. It was the feeling that you (speaking again to my fellow employees and freelancers) were making the world a better place, if only one adventure or rulebook at a time, that resulted in me sticking it out at Paizo long enough that it's coming up on something that I've spent half my life helping to foster and create (more like 3/4 of my life if you include the fact that homebrew elements I was working on back in 7th grade are now part of Golarion).

The process of Unionizing is important and positive and I think will help quality of life for game writers here and beyond Paizo... but in the short term, the additional work and stress and turmoil caused by this enormous cultural change to the way things work will not fix quality issues. It'll introduce more quality issues, unfortunately. I feel like that's worth it, but it'll be some time before we work through those issues. I hope we come out the other side better and stronger. Ask me again in a year or two or five, I guess.

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