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.

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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.

Reorganization​

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 Paizo.com 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


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Steel_Wind

Legend
Why should fans care if Paizo creatives work remotely or not? I'm more interested in how the workers feel about it . . . I'm guessing they're just fine with the arrangement.
For the same reason as to why the fans cared about United Paizo Workers -- they want better working conditions for the employees. The ability to work remotely is the single greatest improvement and real wage increase Paizo workers have ever had. This allows them to move out of the Seattle area if they want to -- to areas FAR cheaper to live in. Net income after rent can easily double (maybe triple) and a whole group of people in their 20s and 30s don't have to live like they are in college, with three other room-mates. Staffers can afford a mortgage if they live in cheaper areas of the USA to buy property.

This isn't just a boon to union members; Erik Mona, the Publisher of Paizo and one of its longest-tenured employees was never able to afford a home in the Seattle area either. He has just bought one in Minnesota and is process of moving there.

Yes. Many fans care about it. I was happier to hear of this than any other recent change to Paizo. The pandemic made this possible - as Paizo operated under remote working conditions for more than 2 and a half years. So they know it works and that they can manage staff effectively when working remotely.
 
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For the same reason as to why the fans cared about United Paizo Workers -- they want better working conditions for the employees. The ability to work remotely is the single greatest improvement and real wage increase Paizo workers have ever had. This allows them to move out of the Seattle area if they want to -- to areas FAR cheaper to live in. Net income after rent can easily double (maybe triple) and a whole group of people in their 20s and 30s don't have to live like they are in college, with three other room-mates. Staffers can afford a mortgage if they live in cheaper areas of the USA to buy property.

This isn't just a boon to union members; Erik Mona, the Publisher of Paizo and one of its longest-tenured employees was never able to afford a home in the Seattle area either. He has just bought one in Minnesota and is process of moving there.

Yes. Many fans care about it. I was happier to hear of this than any other recent change to Paizo. The pandemic made this possible - as Paizo operated under remote working conditions for more than 2 and a half years. So they know it works and that they can manage staff effectively when working remotely.
Good to see you posting again. đź‘Ť

I agree. I hope this changes things for Paizo where they can retain more of their talent, because they've lost some good creative people just due to being unable to pay what others have paid and people being unable to afford living in the Seattle area.
 


With low traffic ones, its probably fine. You'd have no trouble keeping up with the Supers! RED Discord for example, and generally the BASH UE is manageable. The Prowlers and Paragons one is a different beast, and really high traffic ones are just impossible.
Unfortunately the low traffic ones suffer from the very fact that they are low traffic. I don’t see little discussion making it easy to keep up with as a pro of a discord.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Hopefully they move to Discourse as their platform, as phpBB is quite old (ancient?) feeling; and I've found Discourse forums to be more user friendly compared to Xenforo forums... (I believe this forum is built on Xenforo...)
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Unfortunately the low traffic ones suffer from the very fact that they are low traffic. I don’t see little discussion making it easy to keep up with as a pro of a discord.

Eh, there are Discords I'm on that seems to be true. It often has more to do with the number of regular participants than anything else. Three people can have an exchange about a subject and keep it down to where a fourth can follow. Ten--not so much.
 

GreyLord

Legend
For the same reason as to why the fans cared about United Paizo Workers -- they want better working conditions for the employees. The ability to work remotely is the single greatest improvement and real wage increase Paizo workers have ever had. This allows them to move out of the Seattle area if they want to -- to areas FAR cheaper to live in. Net income after rent can easily double (maybe triple) and a whole group of people in their 20s and 30s don't have to live like they are in college, with three other room-mates. Staffers can afford a mortgage if they live in cheaper areas of the USA to buy property.

This isn't just a boon to union members; Erik Mona, the Publisher of Paizo and one of its longest-tenured employees was never able to afford a home in the Seattle area either. He has just bought one in Minnesota and is process of moving there.

Yes. Many fans care about it. I was happier to hear of this than any other recent change to Paizo. The pandemic made this possible - as Paizo operated under remote working conditions for more than 2 and a half years. So they know it works and that they can manage staff effectively when working remotely.

There is good AND bad with that.

You've stated some good things, but there's a darker side to all of this as well. I've seen it locally recently and many people are getting angry.

A bunch of communities outside of California, NYC, Vancouver, Toronto, and other North American locations are hurting very badly right now.

This is because of things similar to this where people are allowed to work from home out of state.

It could be easiest if I explain it by example (and it IS JUST AN EXAMPLE...not to be actually applied as there are a LOT of variables that change from place to place and location to location). In the Northern Florida Panhandle the median wage was around 35K (somewhat lower than other more populated areas of the state). A few years before the work from home thing became a fad, homes were able to be bought for perhaps 125K (yes, I know, cheap comparatively to many locations...but remember...the median wage there). More expensive homes perhaps ran 200K and above.

Suddenly all these people from out of state started moving to S the Northern Florida Panhandle.

Now the price of a home in the area is going for 300K. You may be able to get a really torn down wrecked house that is about to be condemned for 170K. People from California, NYC, Washington State, and elsewhere all moved in and the price of homes skyrocketed. They could pay cash and offered 100K over what the asking price was so that the locals couldn't even afford to buy. Now...the person working remote from Washington State has a GREAT state of living...but everyone else who is left with the old economy can't even afford a down payment...much less the rising cost of rent.

A LOT of resentment is going towards many of those who "raise" their cost of living. Sure, it's great for those who just moved...and HORRIBLE for everyone else.

I know it isn't popular, but some have suggested that pay for work go DOWN and people get paid less if they move to areas which have a cheaper cost of living. It used to be a highly unpopular idea, but in some areas it is growing in popularity EXACTLY because the locals have been priced out of their own homes and areas due to the new people moving in being paid California and NYC salaries, but living among those who don't make anything close to that.

It's great for those from Seattle, and San Francisco, and NYC...but it really stinks for those who they move among and live among.

As I said...people are getting angry. There is a lot of people blaming the corporations, but it's these people moving in who have a huge amount of money coming to where there isn't as much money and buying everything up that is also to blame for...

Children no longer able to buy or even rent a place to live...houses exceed the local salaries...even for nurses and those with educations...

The loss of housing inventory and the steep competition from the locals with out of staters...

The loss of local culture because out of staters with money want to change things (a good example is a community well we had around where I live. It had significance having been around since the town's founding. The out of staters saw it as a dilapadated things and sought to plug it up, cart away the stones, and destroy it. The fight between the locals who have been here and the out of staters was nasty and rough. It was NOT pleasant or friendly).

So, I admit there IS good from it, there can ALSO be bad that is happening because of such actions as well which the out of staters moving in do not think about (or even care about).

PS: I do admit I DO like the ideas of working from home and Remote work, but this is one problem that I've seen crop up that is NOT really being addressed by all of this. It's a sticky and tricky situation that I have NO IDEA how it will be resolved. As I travel quite a bit myself and have homes in several different locations I probably could also be seen as one of those who are part of the problem rather than part of the solution. This is not me blaming these people, as I would probably fit in to this group as well...it's my pointing out that I am part of a growing difficulty that is spreading across North America. It's four fingers pointing right back at me...and I know it. I'm just as guilty as anyone else in this matter, if not more so.
 
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GreyLord

Legend
Hopefully they move to Discourse as their platform, as phpBB is quite old (ancient?) feeling; and I've found Discourse forums to be more user friendly compared to Xenforo forums... (I believe this forum is built on Xenforo...)

As long as they don't do that endless scroll thing that's been popular in recent years. That eats up so much RAM and other stuff on the computer that it's annoying.
 

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