D&D Celebrity Satine Phoenix & Husband Jamison Stone Accused Of Abuse Towards Freelancers

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D&D influencer Satine Phoenix, and her husband Jamison Stone, who run tabletop gaming company Apotheosis Studios, have been accused of abusive behavior towards freelancers and contracted workers.

Satine Phoenix is a well-known D&D personality and creator, and was the D&D Community Manager for about a year back in 2018. Both she and Stone have appeared in many events and streaming shows, and have worked with WotC, Geek & Sundry, and other companies. Recently their Kickstarter campaign Sirens: Battle of the Bards raised over $300,000. At GaryCon, a US gaming convention, the couple held a public wedding.

sirens.jpg

Accusations were initially leveled last week against Stone by tattooist Chad Rowe, who tweeted about the abusive way in which Stone, as his client at the time, treated him. The artist was "insulted, berated, and talked down to as if I was a lesser person". Other reports started to roll in as people shared similar experiences, with people revealing how they had been bullied by them, and how the pair frequently portrayed themselves as 'better' than those they worked with. At the time of writing there have been many such reports including one from voice actress and designer Liisa Lee who was subjected to underhanded business practices by Phoenix and her then partner Ruty Rutenberg. Others indicated difficulties in getting paid for work done for Stone and Phoenix or their company.

Lysa Penrose reported on problematic interactions while Phoenix worked at WotC, who was the primary point of contact regarding a report of abuse. Penrose reports that Phoenix failed to pass on the reports of abuse, and continued to publicly associate with the abuser.

Jamison Stone has since resigned as CEO of Apotheosis Studios (though the pair do own the company) and issued a long apology which has been widely criticized. Phoenix released a statement about a week later. Screenshots leaked from a private channel indicate that they have adopted a strategy of shifting the blame onto Stone, so that Phoenix's public image remain intact, with Stone writing “I also am ensuring behind the scenes ... we shield Satine as much as physically possible from damage.”

D&D In A Castle, which is an event which hosts D&D games run by professional DMs in a weekend break in a castle, has dropped the pair from its lineup, as has Jasper's Game Day, an organization which works to prevent suicides. Origins Game Fair, at which the couple are celebrity guests, removed Stone from its guest list, but not Phoenix, stating that "staff assessed that there was no immediate risk of physical harm".

According to ComicBook.com. former collaborator of Phoenix, Ruty Rutenberg, is suing Phoenix, alleging misappropriation of $40,000 of stream network Maze Arcana's money.
 

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I agree that I see no evidence in this thread of sexism or racism (and the mods here don’t let that stand if it is happening).

However, it is in the thread. The insinuation that she is getting attention because of her gender and an insinuation that it is racism as well.

Couple that with the people being told that they are mistaken, they do not understand the way things work. No one would believe them. Etc.

Then for years except for whispers in the back it keeps happening.
 

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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
But this isn’t about debating the merits of the porn industry. This is about using a history of sex work (porn, stripping) as a black mark against a woman now working in the TTRP business. THAT is sex shaming.
Agreed. Folks, if you feel you need to do that, you can find somewhere else to do it. Shaming people for sex work, which is real legitimate work, is not acceptable. Stick to the topic at hand, please.
 

Staffan

Legend
Yeah, definitely. Like I’d be sad if Becca Scott and her husband were terrible, because I like her content and IIRC he is in an important role at dropout/college humor (I think?), and I’ll be honest also because they’re very cute lol, but Taleisen would be…heartbreaking. Him and Erika, more than anyone else in that circle.
I'd be really surprised if Erika Ishii turned out to be an abuser. I mean, sure, it could be an act but they appear to be far too much of a chaos gremlin for that. Satine by comparison always presented a very composed image of herself.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'd be really surprised if Erika Ishii turned out to be an abuser. I mean, sure, it could be an act but they appear to be far too much of a chaos gremlin for that. Satine by comparison always presented a very composed image of herself.
Yeah, I definitely don't think it's likely.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Pretty sure it has nothing to do with this. Especially since no one who came forward after keeping it to themselves cited this reason.

It has more to to with their current power, and nothing to do with their previous careers. There is zero reason to even bring up their previous careers because it has nothing to do with their current behavior.
Satine was also a comic book illustrator. That also has nothing to do with her current behavior.
 


MGibster

Legend
Is it better to be a happy pig or a dissatisfied person? I grew up knowing next to nothing about the likes of the Hickmans, Pondsmith, Gygax, and others. In fact, I learned Tracy Hickman was a man and Mike Pondsmith black several years after I had already played the games/modules they created. I'll have to admit that I was a happy little piglet wallowing in my ignorance back then. I enjoyed some of Satine Phoenix's videos from a few years back, and I'd be happy having never heard of this. But it's better to be a dissatisfied person that knows the truth so I can decide for myself whether or not I want to support people who engage in bad behavior.

Edit: Thanks to @Dire Bare for the correction to Mr. Hickman's gender.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
There is a difference between people not reading their contracts and having unrealistic views on how contractors get paid and the allegations that people were not paid at all.

One I have a small amount of sympathy with the business owner. The other is a huge issue. And the examples that people cited of how the contracted (expected by the business) payment terms and the outside talents feelings were handled was not the way I would run a business.

Not being paid at all is a regular part of owning a business, particularly when you are supplying a good or service to another retail business.

Not paying suppliers until you sell a product is common, regardless of what is written in the contract or agreement. The courts exist as a way to remedy this although that can be both costly and limited.

Treating individuals poorly is uncalled for and I am not defending the tone in the tweets, but there is fundamental difference between not paying someone (i.e. an employee) and not paying someone you contracted with and are filing a 1099 for. It is not the "person" that is not being paid, it is the business that person owns.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
This event has led to several other people coming forward about other industry folks a well. Not nearly as big named as Satine, but I’ve been seeing more posts about other people in the industry taking advantage of others. Not gonna name drop here, but I think tearing off the band aid is important. We really need to respect each other in this industry when creating business partnerships. It’s called a “ Professional” for a reason.
 

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