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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Yora

Legend
I can understand how children with exceptionally fast learning speeds might have trouble socializing with other children of their ages and could benefit from being around other kids they can better relate to. But that's probably really helpful for something like 1 child in a 100. Not one kid in 50.
"Sample size: Me" is of course not representative, but in my year in school there were three other kids way smarter than me and we all were doing fine socially. Smart kids can have social problems in school, but "being too smart" is not the cause of that problem.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
I can understand how children with exceptionally fast learning speeds might have trouble socializing with other children of their ages and could benefit from being around other kids they can better relate to. But that's probably really helpful for something like 1 child in a 100. Not one kid in 50.
"Sample size: Me" is of course not representative, but in my year in school there were three other kids way smarter than me and we all were doing fine socially. Smart kids can have social problems in school, but "being too smart" is not the cause of that problem.
Being too smart can be the problem if the school makes that into a problem. I was one of those kids who didn't see anything wrong with correcting adults when they were factually wrong. My 4th-grade teacher got really annoyed when I corrected her when she claimed that whales were fish, and she made sure everyone else in the class knew how much she didn't like me. Fortunately, my parents got me out of that class soon after (she was a terrible teacher in many ways, not just this one), but her actions definitely helped in making me into even more of a social pariah than I already was.

On the plus side, it taught me from an early to always have sources in order to back up claims.
 

vostygg

Explorer
Accusations fly and lives are destroyed. Cancel culture denies people anything resembling due process. We should at least use a ducking stool to ascertain their guilt or innocence like a good civilized mob.

"Moral courage is not a question of standing up to people on the other side. That's actually pretty easy to do. Real moral courage is standing up to your own side on behalf of people from the other side." --Arthur Brooks
 


Accusations fly and lives are destroyed. Cancel culture denies people anything resembling due process. We should at least use a ducking stool to ascertain their guilt or innocence like a good civilized mob.

"Moral courage is not a question of standing up to people on the other side. That's actually pretty easy to do. Real moral courage is standing up to your own side on behalf of people from the other side." --Arthur Brooks
Both Jamison and Satine admitted to some amount of harm, and then blamed their victims. Don't really need a court of law for me to figure that they hurt people I know.
 

vostygg

Explorer
I don't need a court of law to determine whether or not I'm going to continue to support a company/artists that I feel are dishonest or abusive.

Both Jamison and Satine admitted to some amount of harm, and then blamed their victims. Don't really need a court of law for me to figure that they hurt people I know.

Meh! I'll stick to the unpopular stance that everyone can be an a-hole on a bad day and that social media vastly exacerbates the problem by ensuring that we never have to face the people whose lives we so blithely destroy.

I do not know Jamison or Satine, but if they are like anyone else, there are likely any number of people who would testify to their good character if they did not fear being shouted down and canceled themselves.
 
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seebs

Adventurer
There is nothing you can do that will prevent people from testifying to your good character, though. Nothing. As long as you didn't do it to them, it won't matter. So the interesting question, to me, is always "did these things happen", and in particular, do I have reason to think that they appear to be recurring things? Because yeah, anyone can be bad on their worst day. But if I can find multiple different people who've encountered someone being bad in similar ways, that starts to look suspiciously like a pattern.

An abuser who only abuses a few people is still an abuser, and I'm going to prefer that they not be in positions of power over others, generally.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Cancel culture denies people anything resembling due process.

We can't imprison or fine anybody, or deprive them of life or liberty. A court of law is not required to determine social consequences. The very idea that a court of law should be needed before one decides how to legally and non-violently react to somebody's behaviour is waaaaaaay beyond anything I think anybody would reasonably suggest. So let's not throw around legal terms like 'due process' and the like unless you want a judge to intervene every time you disagree with somebody. We're not there yet in our society, fortunately.
 

vostygg

Explorer
There is nothing you can do that will prevent people from testifying to your good character, though. Nothing. As long as you didn't do it to them, it won't matter. So the interesting question, to me, is always "did these things happen", and in particular, do I have reason to think that they appear to be recurring things? Because yeah, anyone can be bad on their worst day. But if I can find multiple different people who've encountered someone being bad in similar ways, that starts to look suspiciously like a pattern.

An abuser who only abuses a few people is still an abuser, and I'm going to prefer that they not be in positions of power over others, generally.
Lacking all the context and facts of these peoples' lives, I choose to err on the side of compassion and forgiveness.
 
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Mort

Legend
Supporter
L
Meh! I'll stick to the unpopular stance that everyone can be an a-hole on their worst day and that social media vastly exacerbates the problem by ensuring that we never have to face the people whose lives we so blithely destroy.

I do not know Jamison or Satine, but if they are like anyone else, there are likely any number of people who would testify to their good character if they did not fear being shouted down and canceled themselves.

Of course there are people who could/would testify to their good character. But from all available evidence these would be people in positions to benefit this couple.

That's their true issue - they punch down. They abuse and exploit those that can't hit them back. Or at least those that they thought couldn't hit them back. Had they not done that and shown a modicum of respect to their employees/contractors etc. They wouldn't be in this mess.
 
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We can't imprison or fine anybody, or deprive them of life or liberty. A court of law is not required to determine social consequences. The very idea that a court of law should be needed before one decides how to legally and non-violently react to somebody's behaviour is waaaaaaay beyond anything I think anybody would reasonably suggest. So let's not throw around legal terms like 'due process' and the like unless you want a judge to intervene every time you disagree with somebody. We're not there yet in our society, fortunately.

I do think there is a big difference between people expressing opinions and the dogpiling that happens, the ostracism, the exclusion and the resulting loss of work and livelihood people do experience online storms. I definitely can see how it feels like an extrajudicial process is unfolding in many circumstances. People should be free to express their opinions. I think the issue is a lot of social media controversies make institutions, employers and platforms afraid to work with people for fear of guilt by association. Peoples lives do get ruined by this stuff. And I don't think any good comes in taking pleasure in someone losing the ability to put a roof over their head or food on the table. It spans the gamut of course. But I have been pretty uncomfortable with a lot of what I have seen in terms of how cruel people are to one another, even when they feel justified, or have justification for anger, on social media, especially in gaming circles in the past few years. In general I think there is a lot of anger, a lot of people not seeing one another as real human beings. Overall I think the hobby would benefit from more compassion
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
L


Of course there are people who could/would testify to their good character. But from all available evidence these people would be people in positions to benefit this couple.

That's the their true issue - they punch down. They abuse and exploit those that can't hit them back. Or at least those that they thought couldn't hit them back. Had they not done that and shown a modicum of respect to their employees/contractors etc. They wouldn't be in this mess.
That's the crazy making part: if they didn't abuse and harm and backbite...they wouldn't just still have careers, they would be further advanced than they got!
 



Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I do think there is a big difference between people expressing opinions and the dogpiling that happens, the ostracism, the exclusion and the resulting loss of work and livelihood people do experience online storms. I definitely can see how it feels like an extrajudicial process is unfolding in many circumstances. People should be free to express their opinions. I think the issue is a lot of social media controversies make institutions, employers and platforms afraid to work with people for fear of guilt by association. Peoples lives do get ruined by this stuff. And I don't think any good comes in taking pleasure in someone losing the ability to put a roof over their head or food on the table. It spans the gamut of course. But I have been pretty uncomfortable with a lot of what I have seen in terms of how cruel people are to one another, even when they feel justified, or have justification for anger, on social media, especially in gaming circles in the past few years. In general I think there is a lot of anger, a lot of people not seeing one another as real human beings. Overall I think the hobby would benefit from more compassion
Feeling uncomfortable with it and asking for social interactions to be legislated are very different things, though. That's a heck of a step I don't think any of us want? I mean, do we?
 

vostygg

Explorer
We can't imprison or fine anybody, or deprive them of life or liberty. A court of law is not required to determine social consequences. The very idea that a court of law should be needed before one decides how to legally and non-violently react to somebody's behaviour is waaaaaaay beyond anything I think anybody would reasonably suggest. So let's not throw around legal terms like 'due process' and the like unless you want a judge to intervene every time you disagree with somebody. We're not there yet in our society, fortunately.
Due process in the sense that I am using it is not about a court of law. It is about applying principles such as a presumption of innocence and a desire to hear all sides of a case before drawing any conclusions. Let's not pretend that social media is interested in these principles. I read the tweets in question and I don't see enough evidence to warrant the destruction of these peoples' lives or livelihoods.
 
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Mort

Legend
Supporter
Due process in the sense that I am using it is not about a court of law. It is about applying principles such as a presumption of innocence and a desire to hear all sides of a case before drawing any conclusions. I read the tweets in question and I don't see enough evidence to warrant the destruction of these peoples' lives or livelihoods.

But again, their lives and livelihoods are based, a good deal, on dealing with employees and contractors.

Again, knowing what you know, would you work for or even with these people?

Exposing terrible business practices is not "ruining these people's lives" it is ensuring THEY don't ruin more people's lives.
 

Feeling uncomfortable with it and asking for social interactions to be legislated are very different things, though. That's a heck of a step I don't think any of us want? I mean, do we?

Maybe we are talking past each other. I am not acting for social interactions to be legislated. I don't know how you would even begin to do that. I just think we should be more compassionate and resist the online rage. Especially when it centers justice on taking away peoples ability to work or to exist. By extrajudicial I just mean that online campaigns of anger directed at individuals (justified and not justified) are yielding consequences that rise to de facto legal outcomes: people losing work, having their lives ruined, being excused from events, from spaces, etc. This is why I think people mention due process. It just feels rather chaotic and cruel sometimes, and like it can easily be directed by bad actors.
 


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