We were well on our way to having a regular issue. Not “regular” in a bad way, just nothing groundbreaking. Content with the great quality you’ve come to expect from our magazine. Gorgeous art. Editorial snark. Tongue-in-cheek reviews of upcoming TTRPG releases. We have also welcomed Brent Bowser as co-editor.
And then the employees of Paizo, Inc., raised their voices as one in a show of solidarity and union – like, a literal union. Of course we had to show our support for their incredible work, and so we set out to learn all we could about the unionization efforts, what went down behind the scenes, and what the next steps will be. (Read our statement of support of the unionization efforts at JoD4HAP.com.)
As Jason Tondro told us during our conversation, there has been talk of unionizing in roleplaying games in general for many, many years.
“But it’s been very hard to do,” he said. “Unionization is quite a bureaucratic challenge.”
It’s a challenge – but the workers and freelancers at Paizo have taken their stance and started down that path. We are here to uplift them and amplify their words.
In this issue you’ll find art, editorials, reviews, and interviews. But you’ll also find the beginning of a story that’s still ongoing, one that started, as these stories do, with whispers that grew into a cacophony. Thanks for sticking with us and thanks for supporting these fine folks.
And, as always, stay fashionable.
Elizabeth Parsons Alex G. Friedman Brent Bowser Editors
Today, Paizo employees announced their intent to form the organization Unionized Paizo Workers. The editorial team of JoD4HAP would like to express support and solidarity with our friends and colleagues at Paizo.
Efforts to keep Paizo leadership accountable for their actions are ongoing, but successful unionization is a step forward. In their statement today, the Unionized Paizo Workers noted that speaking with one voice will imbue their words with the power necessary to bring leadership to the bargaining table.
We see you, friends. We stand with you and with your cause.
We, the editors of The Journal of Dungeoneering for Hip and Attractive Professionals, have decided to jointly express our support for the creative people, community organizers, and laborers at Paizo whose work has created immeasurable value for the TTRPG community.
Our beloved community and our games are much bigger, much realer, and much more resilient than any given corporation, golem, frog god, or beach magician. Remember, the TTRPG community and our games have weathered more than a few instances where people have abused the privilege of working alongside us for power, money, and antisocial motivations. Yes, our shared imaginative spaces, our tables, and our stories aim to be inclusive. Yet, inclusivity in itself is a social contract. Inclusivity requires us to abide by what we owe one another as people, professional colleagues, and friends. We encourage Paizo’s leadership to act accordingly.
When we first envisioned what this journal would look like, we dreamed that it would be a place where literature, analysis of tabletop roleplaying games, and fashion could intersect in effective, engaging ways.
Well, we got that in this issue, for sure.
We also gathered an amazing community of people who believe in this project and who want to share their successes, their failures, and their journeys in tabletop roleplaying game culture. Our first issue dropped in March 2021, after two years of hard work — and the reception was mind boggling.
This second issue touches on some deeper challenges. Throughout the 2020-2021 pandemic, folks had to adapt their play styles to accommodate virtual play, since we could no longer safely be in the same room. We learned how to use virtual tabletops like Roll20 and Foundry, and along the way, we learned a little bit more than the practical, too.
Throughout this volume, a theme emerges: Roleplaying games have always offered ways for players to express themselves creatively, but that sense has magnified a hundredfold as we navigated ways of interacting with each other in the virtual world. And some of us have spent the better part of the last year focused on throwing our energy into social justice initiatives and bringing that part of ourselves to the fore.
In short, we’ve all grown a lot.
Thank you for reading, and thank you for letting us borrow some of your brain space at least for a little while.