lorraine williams (includes opinions from Gygax et al) - Page 2




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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spell
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    if she really was the horrible person and short sighted manager that everyone likes to spit on, how comes that LOADS of gamers were thrilled and excited about the games produced by her company?
    Not enough people were thrilled about them to keep TSR out of bankruptcy. Lorraine Williams bankrupted TSR. That speaks to the quality of her management.
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  • #12
    Quote Originally Posted by WizarDru
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    I would argue that Palladium has NEVER been nearly as popular as D&D and that since Kevin Siembieda is the original creator of the RIFTS game and company and certainly a gamer, the situation is markedly different. RIFTS, the most popular title that Palladium has ever released, has sold 250,000 copies or so in it's lifetime. That sounds like a lot, until you consider that's the size of a single print-run of a single version of the PHB from a single-edition. Had Lorraine Williams purchased Palladium instead of TSR, I sincerely doubt you'd see the same reaction.
    Just as an aside and point of fact, Siembeda has stated he 'doesn't have time to play games' and hasn't for several years. I think that pretty much qualifies him as an ex-gamer, and he has done things that show he's out of touch with the larger hobby market as a whole.

    So comparing him to Williams isn't so off - he's out of touch with the market, occasionally goes off on wild marketing schemes, and is, by some accounts, well on his way to driving Palladium out of business.
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  • #13
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    The nature of Lorraine Williams character and her place as a reviled figure in gaming has nothing to do with the financial success of TSR or otherwise.

    It arises from two main "legal actions" attributed to Lorraine Williams, both of which were perceived by the game's fans as being "evil".

    The first stems from her legal maneuverings with Gygax in forcing him out of the company and later with the lawsuit against Gygax and GDW.

    To be fair to the fans and popular opinion, it is entirely legitimate to loathe Ms. Williams over her assumed stance and involvement in these legal issues.

    To this legendary perceived mistreatment of Gygax , the online D&D fan base had its own mistreatment at the hands of Williams to gripe about. TSR struggled with its own fans in the early and mid-90s as the Internet emerged as a real factor in gaming. We had "online marks" for fan websites to use and far too many cease and desist letters sent out from TSR aimed at fans and fan websites. There was no OGL back then - and TSR was quite aggressive in trying to stamp out free fan material.

    That earned scorn and enmity for Lorraine Williams in the online world - a treatment which has never, ever, ONCE stopped since that time.

    Anybody who has joined the online world since the early to mid-90s has had that view of Lorraine Williams presented to them as the existing "canon" reaction of all gamers. That view has never changed. It existed before TSR's financial troubles were known - and it has persisted long since they were relevant.

    Put those two factors together - you have the Wicked Witch of the Mid- West.

    TSR's financial difficulties had nothing to do with it then - and I don't think it has anything to do with it now, either. That's simply objective icing on the cake, as it were.
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    So, what is she doing today? Where is she?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel_Wind
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    The nature of Lorraine Williams character and her place as a reviled figure in gaming has nothing to do with the financial success of TSR or otherwise.
    Sure it does. That's why I dislike her, for example. Her poor business accumen bankrupted a company that I rather liked. I hold that against her. As a person, she may be a great human being. I can't say, as I've never had any personal interaction with her. As a businesswoman, I know that she is not to be admired. I also know that I'm not alone in this line of thinking.

    [Edit: Incidentally, since I'm not Mr. Gygax's keeper, I could care less about Williams' suits against him or GDW.]
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdrakeh
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    As a person, she may be a great human being.
    Becuase of the way she handled the business end of our hobby, a lot of people seem to assume she eats puppies for fun when really she is apparently just a poor manager.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Grumpy Celt
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    Becuase of the way she handled the business end of our hobby, a lot of people seem to assume she eats puppies for fun when really he is apparently just a poor manager.
    I get that impression, as well. A lot of that seems to be exactly as you call it -- the collective projected hate fantasies of disgruntled fans. Just like the Arneson apologists think that Gygax eats puppies, and the Greenwood apologists think that WoTC suits eat puppies, etc, etc, etc. This hobby has no shortage of purposefully directed venom (save or die, mother******!).
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    Quote Originally Posted by WizarDru
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    1. Many of us left when AD&D 2e came out. So we don't bear the nostalgia for that time.
    do you mean "many of the people of this boards"? or "many people on the internet"?
    i would think that at least half of the fanbase moved to the 2nd edition, if not more. and many more people started playing the game with that edition.

    anyway, the nostalgia value has very little to do with what i meant in my original post.

    Quote Originally Posted by WizarDru
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    That doesn't translate into someone being excused from scorn for their unpleasant and vindictive behavior.
    this is exactly what i meant. "unpleasant and vindictive behaviour"?!? the only recounts i have read of that are made by gary gygax, and by fans (rightly) hangered by the stupid internet policy of TSR.
    now, obviously she has something to do with the internet, and certainly she and gygax didn't exactly love each other, EVER.

    but i don't see why, i, joe gamer, should take whatever gygax says as THE truth. yes, sure, he created the game. but then, so what? so did dave arneson, and i've read that he and gygax had a few disagreements, too, and that arneson claims (or has claimed) that gygax didn't give him credit where due.

    your quote from monte cook's interview shows that williams was angry when ward left. meh! she (allergedly, and from what i can see from the internet thing and the lawsuits) had a nasty business attitude... no surprise that she was angry when it was clear that TSR had turned into titanic!

    as for connors (thanks for digging out the quote! ) he is simply saying that the idea that mrs. williams is a monster is so ingrained in the gaming community that when he gives his story, people believe that it's not true.


    Quote Originally Posted by WizarDru
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    But the damage she did to the most successful RPG company in history (and by extension, to the entire hobby) is a hard thing to forget or ignore. In the mid-90s, there was serious talk that D&D was going to out of print and disappear forever....and what was sadder was that many of us had stopped playing the game by that point and might not have even noticed.
    but i have seen talks of D&D going out of print in these very forums. i remember them when 3.5 came out, and i've seen it in posts of people talking about 4e. and i think they are rather more serious than the talks (that i do remember well) in 1996: if hasbro had to decide that D&D is not valutable, they would stop publishing it without a second thought... and while when TSR went out of business the rights for D&D would have cost a penny or two, god luck with negotiating with hasbro. they would sit on the property and make computer games, or films, or miniatures with it. and very few publishers today would have the money to buy the D&D publishing rights.

    horror!!!, however unlikely this scenario is (and, for the record, i don't think it's going to happen any soon). and yet, if you mention hasbro even to D&D haters, they don't react too badly, if at all.

    to sum up: i pretty much agree with henry about lorraine williams.
    what puzzles me, and what made me start the thread is understanding why people seem to hate her that much.

    the good thing is that there is a lot less aggro than i expected.

    the bad thing is that, for all i can see, the only faults of this woman were: 1. being bossy; 2. being a crappy CEO.

    if that's enough to make people have strong feelings against someone that they don't even know, the world is a much more harsher place than i though!
    (unless otherwise specified, the above post does not reflect my personal opinion, but a universal law of the universe. if you happen to disagree, you are welcomed to move to the next dimension. faithfully, spell)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel_Wind
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    The earned scorn and enmity for Lorraine Williams in the online world - a treatment which has never, ever, ONCE stopped since that time.

    Anybody who has joined the online world since the early to mid-90s has had that view of Lorraine Williams presented as the existing "canon" reaction of all gamers. It has never changed. It existed before TSR's financial troubles were known - and it has persisted long since they were relevant.

    Put those two factors together - you have the Wicked Witch of the Mid- West.

    TSR's financial difficulties had nothing to do with it then - and I don't think it has anything to do with it now, either. That's simply objective icing on the cake, as it were.
    that's actually a very good factual explanation. i dig it much better, than: "oh, but she sued gary!" or "she nearly killed the hobby". (*)



    (*) if the RPG scene couldn't do without D&D, even if it suddently cease to exist for whatever reason (and its game designers were free to find new publishing outlets), there would be no scene at all. i agree that D&D has a name outside hobbists, too, and that a lot of gamers have at least a passing knowledge of its rules... but that's just because D&D is THE roleplaying game. if it disappeared, something(s) else would probably fill that niche.
    (unless otherwise specified, the above post does not reflect my personal opinion, but a universal law of the universe. if you happen to disagree, you are welcomed to move to the next dimension. faithfully, spell)

  • #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jdrakeh
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    I get that impression, as well. A lot of that seems to be exactly as you call it -- the collective projected hate fantasies of disgruntled fans. Just like the Arneson apologists think that Gygax eats puppies, and the Greenwood apologists think that WoTC suits eat puppies, etc, etc, etc. This hobby has no shortage of purposefully directed venom (save or die, mother******!).
    There is significantly more to it than that.

    First, think of your favorite RPG. You have purchased the core rules, and a few expansions, and you are looking forward to two major setting releases (the city of Ascalon and the City of Ys). Additionally, you just paid for a subscription to the new supplemental 'zine, and you are waiting for your first issue. You are working on a campaign, and your players have designed characters.

    Then you find out your game is dead because the T$R has clubbed the creators into submission with relentless lawsuits and legal fees they can't hope to pay.

    Even though the grounds for the suit (that it is a derivative of D&D) is pure garbage, and that fact is obvious to anyone with a brain.

    And the sole purpose of the lawsuit was to crush Mythus. The game didn't fail against the competition. It didn't fail because it was managed badly. It was crushed by the biggest and oldest player in the industry, purely to destroy it and end its existence.

    And that cash you shelled out for that subscription: kiss it goodbye and eat the loss, fool. That was Sean "Veggie boy" Reynolds answer, if couched in gentler diction.

    When T$R became bankrupt only a few years later, it was very difficult to avoid feeling unadulterated and unrepentant schadenfreude.

    As for the internet policy, there is something to it a lot of people may have missed. T$R was claimed they owned YOUR work. Period. You had no rights whatsoever to it (they claimed). They also employed their armies of lawyers to shut down fansites as part of their effort to exert total domination of thier IP.

    So lets be clear. This board (ENworld) would not exist under TBL's T$R. You would be posting to only the WotC boards, and subject to the decrees of their moderators, and even the idea of the OGL or d20 license would have been unthinkable.

    T$R under Lorraine Williams really was the Evil Empire of the RPG world, and she was the Emperor.

    Hate fantasies...?
    Only someone who didn't experience the effects of T$R's actions could believe that.
    I wish thats all it was.
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