Tuesday, March 8, 2011


An open letter to Paizo: Thank you

After reading a recent appeal to Wizards of the Coast by a Third Party Publisher supporting 4th Edition, and thinking about a recent Q&A in our FREE e-zine Pathways, I realized I owe Paizo a thank you.

Talking About Us.

Thank you for talking about us and other third party companies, this includes in the store blog and in your newsletter. I have even seen threads by your employees asking about what the best third party content is, again thank you. You also stop in the dedicated forum you created for us, which I know takes time out of your busy day.

Supporting Us

Thanks for creating a link from the license to the sales page, this makes everyone feel like a partner and not a parasite or a serf. When I came and asked for an option to create a Virtual Table Top adventure, the idea violated the original License; Paizo to the extra time and worked with us to make this possible. They have updated their license time and time again and allowed many companies to make third party electronic products in support of the game, while still protecting their product identity and trademarks.

Rewarding Us

While maintaining the neutrality you need to as an open licensor, the front-page blog highlighting our best product along with reviews of our products on your website, telling people who has the best products means more than I can say. I especially love those posts that talk about not just us but a specific freelancer warm my heart.

Selling Us

This would not have become my day job without the sales I make at the Paizo store. This means more than I can ever put into words.

Distributing Us

Thanks for allowing us to do consignment at your store. I also wanted to thank you as a third party publisher for taking a risk on From Sea to Shore and putting the Open Design logo on the back of the cover, it’s not my book but it gives us hope.

Talking To Us

I have never felt that I could not shoot the folks at Paizo an email and that I would get a response, even if it was a negative response,. I always feel that Paizo is open to talking to us about our ideas short of compromising their stance as a neutral licensor.

Thank you

Paizo I cannot fully express how much I appreciate you, but I hope this showed the tip of the iceberg.


  1. Jon Brazer Enterprises would like to sign this as well and whole-heartedly agree.

    Dale C. McCoy, Jr.

  2. From Will at Krewe of Harpocrates: DITTO. Thanks for verbalizing it, Steve - great job of it, and it's all true. We are blessed beyond blessings to work with this company. They show true ethical balance, commitment to quality, consumer satisfaction, and harboring/maintaining the community their products draw from people. Humanity at its finest, perhaps. ;)

    Best wishes to you, all 3PP, to Paizo, to the community, and all our loves ones.
    -R. William Thompson
    Krewe of Harpocrates Publication, LLC

  3. Steve, you nailed it perfectly. I don't think there is a single one of us that doesn't feel this way. In the last 2 years, I've heard of no one complaining about the way Paizo works with 3PP, and yet you see it all the time with that other license and that other company.

  4. Amen. When 4th edition came around, I honestly thought about quitting buying RPG-products (apart form CoC!) altogether. Paizo opened a new avenue and without them, I would have never started reviewing. Neither would I have met the great people (Steve being one of them) in the industry who have been very encouraging during a rather difficult time in my life.
    So thank you Paizo, for opening to 3pps, for making it possible that far-out settings like Coliseum Morpheuon get made, for delivering, time and again, top quality products with a humane face and for making all of this possible. Thanks.

  5. I used to support 3rd party companies back in the days of 1st ed, however with 3rd ed and Pathfinder, there is so much "official" material that I dont find myself looking very often at 3P writing. However, the fact that Paizo has intertwined its 3PP throughtout its forums, sales site, and even splashed them on the blog pages, has drawn my attention to many products that I have truly enjoyed. I can say for sure I never would have given them a chance if it were not for this exposure. Cheers for Paizo taking this stance, and cheers to all you 3PP for providing such excellent material that it tempts me to open my wallet!

  6. As a buyer of third party pathfinder PDFs I also want to say thank you!

  7. Wow, well said.

    I too dropped off RPG purchases in 2008, but then returned to the fold based on Paizo's products and their newsletter.

  8. I wholeheartedly agree. I have only just made the first steps into the third party world with Clockwork Gnome Publishing but Paizo's unending willingness to help and support publishers has already made a difference in how my company has developed. Paizo is a great example of how an RPG company should be run.