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Paizo Jessica Price (ex Paizo employee) spills the beans

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Nilbog

Snotling Herder
As someone who greatly enjoys paizo products, reading this troubles me greatly. I'd always come to regard them as a progressive company, who championed inclusivity. It would seem this is just an image they portray to grab the dollar.

However saying all that there are two sides to every story, and before I dive in with both daggers, I shall wait to see paizo's response. Until that time I've cancelled all my current orders for paizo products.
 

TheSword

Legend
I really wish that if people wanted to do an expose of inappropriate workplace culture they should do it with integrity. Presented in a readable format, corroboration, professionally presented, right of reply, we’d then have some idea of whether this was the words of a disgruntled ex-employee courting controversy or something we could justifiably use to form a fair opinion on Paizo as a business.

I was reading about some of the testimony from influencers made to the parliamentary Select Committee where they were asking for protections and recognition as part of the advertising sector or journalism profession. It reminded me that both those industries have self/regulated codes of ethics and standard to protect the public from mis-information.

Ms Price paints a damning picture of Paizo but aside from the detailed descriptions of her attempting to get a carpet clean organized (something I’ve not seen sensationalized to that level before) the rest of the allegations are one line or two/three word veiled accusations, drop ins or insinuations. There’s no evidence, no corroborating statements (at time of publication) no attempt to present even the slightest point of view from Paizo’s point of view. That makes me very suspicious.

The sad thing is, this all might be true and maybe people should be very wary of supporting Paizo. I’d want to see something resembling integrity first though. Describing yourself as a ‘howling maenad’ or a demagogue may be cool but it’s not a great way of packaging serious, company affecting accusations. The people she is talking about are real people too.

For instance in the UK it wouldn’t be bravery, it would be extreme unprofessionalism to disclose the fact that a colleague had been fired for performance issues. Polite language like leaving to persue other opportunities is a way for that person to save face and not disclose details of confidential HR processes. Two sides to every story.

My preference would be for everyone to sheath the daggers period and take a step back before forming judgement without the full picture… which we’re never gonna get from Paizo, because again that’s unprofessional. If corroboration does comes out, or a position from Paizo then maybe we’ll get a more solid foundation. Unfortunately burning bridges in so great a manner is rarely a good idea as I’ve learnt as I’ve grown older.
 




mikeawmids1

Explorer
This will be incredibly harmful for paizo, community support is pretty critical to them, it's not like they are WoTC that can by and large ride out most controversy.
Yep, just checked the CS sub forum on the Paizo site, long term subscribers are jumping ship like it's the Titanic.
 

TheSword

Legend
This at least is not the case. Crystal Frasier has offered support and corroboration, as has at least one other ex-paizo staffer in the replies to Jennifer Price’s Twitter thread.
I think we have a different view of corroboration. Crystal said the carpets were dusty and it took 7 months to sort. Her views on the many other accusations and different incidents aren’t known.

Libel laws were put in place to protect individuals from accusations in the public eye. Unfortunately libel laws don’t work so well in an age of social media and opinion.

A classic example is the post Diego, showing that he resigned, and wasn’t fired. Will this fact be corrected for Jessica’s 25,000 followers? Im sure he is very unhappy with Paizo, if he felt he had to resign. but when social media winds itself up and the whispers and opinions overtake the facts we should all be very wary.
 



I think we have a different view of corroboration. Crystal said the carpets were dusty and it took 7 months to sort. Her views on the many other accusations and different incidents aren’t known.


Given Crystal posted this in response to Jessica's initial post (which had nothing to do with carpets), and conspicuously did not post anything along the lines of 'hey, that's not how I remember it' or 'I don't think it was THAT bad because...' or 'who, hold your horses, don't go overboard here...' as the thread developed I think that's a pretty extreme stretch.


I don't know the truth here. I only found out about this because I follow Crystal on twitter in her capacity as a Mutants and Masterminds designer. However, because I do follow Crystal on twitter, I know she's alluded to Paizo not being a fun place to work before.

Regardless, Paizo absolutely has to respond. Jason Buhlman in particular has been accused very directly and unambiguously of some extremely unpleasant sexual behaviour.

Worth mentioning though, that both Jessica and Crystal are explicitly not calling for a boycott of Paizo in any way (as they believe there are a lot of good people working at Paizo on the creative side who would also be affected by a boycott) although they accept that some people may feel obligated to do so.
 




TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Its hard to wade through, as serious things are mixed in with less serious things. But there are some serious things, besides the carpet.

I guess we will get the lowlights at some point.
 

TheSword

Legend
Given Crystal posted this in response to Jessica's initial post (which had nothing to do with carpets), and conspicuously did not post anything along the lines of 'hey, that's not how I remember it' or 'I don't think it was THAT bad because...' or 'who, hold your horses, don't go overboard here...' as the thread developed I think that's a pretty extreme stretch.
Not outright contradicting someone is not the same as corroboration and being willing to offer corroboration isn’t corroboration. We have no idea which of the dozen or so accusations have weight, or which are just opinion.

Also on a personal note I don’t have strong opinions on Paizo’s management team… how can I, I haven’t worked with them. They may be Dark Lords of the Sith for all I know. In which case I hope they change their ways. I have a fond nostalgia for Paizo from the dark days of 4e, and I’ve always seen the writing as being fairly progressive. That said Im not a fan boy, haven’t really used the Paizon forums for 5 or 6 years and haven’t bought a product since 5e.

I just take issue with the largely unregulated, unaccountable dismantling of people and business via social media.

Good to see Jessica made a correction though. She didn’t apologize for giving incorrect information though, as many people may not see that correction… as I wouldn’t have, unless I was given the link. I get the impression that contrition or considering the other side is not high up on her priority list.

[Edit: In fairness, it appears some grudging backhanded recognition has appeared about early editorial decision in the first year. Otherwise it’s a pretty brutal character assassination of every exec at Paizo. It will be interesting to see how they respond to it.]
 
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Grendel_Khan

Adventurer
I just take issue with the largely unregulated, unaccountable dismantling of people and business via social media.

Just say what you mean. You're upset about the dreaded ... cancel culture! You know, that thing that doesn't actually exist, except in the fever swamps of right-wing rhetoric. In the real world there are very, very occasionally consequences for bad workplace behavior, but in general management types can survive just about any accusation, whether it's backed up or not.

But also, the person she was saying was fired didn't quit the company amicably. They left in protest because of a colleague's firing. That's still an extremely bad look for Paizo! You can go ahead and complain about the travesty of a non-journalist posting on Twitter without living up to some sort of journalistic standards of source-checking and corroboration, but, ultimately, you're flipping out about a relatively minor detail that has almost no bearing on the larger accusations being presented here. And yes, you'll die on this hill for a while, railing about how "Facts matter!" and such, but this story is exponentially bigger than your rage over a mistake (again, from someone who isn't a journalist, and has no relevant professional code of ethics that they're violating). This is simply how it goes in the real world. Social media is messy, people are messy, the way news travels is messy, that's just how things have always been, long before Twitter threads were a thing.
 


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