Paizo Community Update and a Look Ahead

Paizo's president, Jim Butler, gave a behind the scenes look at what's happened over the last year as well as a look ahead.


In a press release today, Jim Butler talks about what's been happening since he took over as president a little over a year ago as well as a look to the future.

United Paizo Workers​

Before he became president, Jim lead negotiations to create the tabletop industry's first-ever collective bargaining agreement. Working together with UPW, they have created an agreement that works for both the company and the employees.

Rise of ORC​

This biggest story of the year has been the OGL and publishers leaving it to create ORC. This was a decision Paizo did not take lightly, but they could no longer operated under a license that another corporation could change whenever they wanted to. This caused them to push back the publishing of scheduled books in order to bring forward ORC Remastered rulebooks in November. The shift will also necessitate a change in the Paizo Compatibility License and Community Use Policy. Those will be available for public comment soon.


Paizo has been working to streamline operations throughout the company, merging teams to better share and work toward common goals to support customers, distributors, and local game stores. The merging of the creative team also added the ability to create games outside the RPG fold, the first of which will be Elemental Stones this fall.

With most of the staff working remotely, they will be closing down their Redmond offices and moving their warehouse over the coming months. There will be some downtime for and the forums as they move their servers to a new data center. They will let the public know about it when they get closer to the move.

New Store and Forums​

As soon as they update their finance platform, Paizo will be replacing their store with a new one. The new store will allow for an easier checkout process with more payment options, a more robust reward program, more subscription options including the ability to skip certain books, and provide better organization.

In addition to investing in a better store experience, they are investigating new platforms to provide a better forum experience. They will provide more updates as they finalize their decision.

Pathfinder Fiction and Licensing​

They will be trying out some new strategies to bring Pathfinder and Starfinder to a wider audience. This is why they've partnered with Owlcat, BKOM, Demiplane, and Hero Lab Online. These games and tools bring more people to the table and make it easier to make characters.

More people means more stories. That includes the ability to use the Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite programs to allow creators to produce their own work using Paizo's material and make money for their efforts.

Paizo has also greenlit a standalone Pathfinder novel for 2024. This will allow them to tell stories in ways game products can't and reach fantasy readers.

What's your take on the changes that have happened and are coming down the pipeline?
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Dawn Dalton

Dawn Dalton


The interesting thing to me is the full post linked above specifies several states that workers can work remotely from. The states are Colorado, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington. I wonder why those states?

Edit: As others have said, glad they're upgrading their website. It needs it!
each state has rules on state taxes and how they are collected and insurance benefits available to an employees location. Those are things that are considered when hiring out of state workers when your org is not registered within the state of the worker.

Some states make it easy, some don't. :D

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Chiming in with the general sentiment about novels. I was just thinking the other day that I actually prefer novels (and video games) as an entry point to a roleplaying setting. I still like a good summary in a setting book later, but as a first point of contact, regular books work much better for me.

Regarding the creativity and remote thing: it's a discussion I have more regularly now, and based on the experience of the last three years, I would say, that it depends on a number of factors how well creative work flows in a full remote setting. Introverted people seem to handle it much better than extraverted people, and it definitely requires a dedicated working space without too many interruptions. Also, if your work requires extensive group collaboration (like design workshops with customers), that really doesn't work well. However, small group (2-3 people) collaboration is fine with the right people. Personally, I'm not very keen on returning to the office (at least not more than once or twice a month) and I hope my direct manager is more reasonable about it than our upper management.

That being said: I mostly hope that it works well for Paizo, because I want to see them thrive. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Pathfinder (or the combat focus of their adventure paths), I think they are a net positive for the RPG market and community. Also, once in a while, they create something that I find interesting, like Savage Pathfinder. I hope they do Savage Starfinder, too :)

Thomas Shey

I wonder if they will be moving to a Discourse based forum. If so that would be a HUGE upgrade from the current phpp implementation, which feels very 2008. Of course, if they really wanted to move into the 2020's, they'd have a Discord

Depends on whether they plan to be a lot of discussion on single topics. Discords are good for general discussion within a topic, but when it comes to several hundred back-and-forths on things, they're almost unusable. The new threading capability helps a little, but it only goes so far.


Depends on whether they plan to be a lot of discussion on single topics. Discords are good for general discussion within a topic, but when it comes to several hundred back-and-forths on things, they're almost unusable. The new threading capability helps a little, but it only goes so far.
Discord is a persistent chat, not a forum. The two serve very different purposes.

Yet a lot of people are trying to use them as a substitute for a forum. It can be fine when there's a limited amount of traffic, but something like PF2e? Let's just say having stuck my head in there that I'm extremely dubious.
Discord is terrible for any discussion you want to find more than a day after the discussion has been had. The more active a particular discord channel is, the worse it is for anything like that.

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