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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Probably seemed appropriate if it was an issue in the social media community and the victims in question felt the community manager would help.them. And yeah, it is significant that Satine was out of that position soon after and the leader of the complaint took it over. Given the timing, this was probably the Zak Smith affair that took down Mearls.
I doubt it had anything to do with that. Probably hit the contract end. D&D was not proven then, and had been on tiny staff life support for a while. You need to terminate contract positions before a certain time lapse otherwise they are deemed to be employees. Just about everyone WoTC hires are a contractor has the same thing happen.

Why the improbable scandalous answer is picked instead of the standard happens every other contractor (including the one that said she made the complaint that was not acted on) at the one year mark says more about the people making the assumptions than the person being targeted.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Some people will do that, not because they feel horrible, but just to keep getting attention.

Mod Note:
And you are a licensed mental health professional, that you should be casting judgements on self-harm?

While on these boards, please refrain from blaming people for their illnesses - mental or otherwise. Whether or not you feel you are correct about a particular case, the harm you may be causing to others could be large.

On this site, please take the default position of kindness, rather than derision. Thank you.
 

Kickstarter update from today:


We have received many questions about what will happen with this project in light of recent changes at Apotheosis Studios. It is currently our intent to finish the book and fulfill the pledges that we received. We will be working over the next few weeks to assess our options and establish new timelines. We will update everyone as we have more information.


To address some of the concerns and claims about writers not being paid we would like to share with you a breakdown of what has happened. First and foremost ALL writers who have submitted their invoices as instructed to our accountant have been paid. Payments started in March, 2022 and as new invoices are received we process them promptly.

We had the following number of contractors working on this project:

  • Writers - 22 writers. Paid 10cents per word
  • Artists - 2. Paid monthly
  • Graphic Designer - 1. Paid monthly
  • Layout artist - Paid monthly, even when not working on a project
  • Musicians - 2. Paid promptly per song
  • Sculptor - 1. Paid promptly per sculpt
The Sirens writing Deadline was Oct 31. Approval passes started in November. Unfortunately the approval passes took longer than expected which pushed out approval for the contractors to bill by 3-4 months. Billing authorization was issued in March of 2022 and we promptly paid all invoices properly submitted to our accountant. We have recently learned that some writers had sent invoices to the wrong email address, this has been addressed and they have been paid. Additionally there were also some writers who, for reasons unknown, never invoiced us at all. Any writer who reaches out to us will be paid once we receive an invoice per the billing procedures sent to them at the time of approval.


For this project we provided templates for Adventure Chapters with a 8,450 words max budget.

9 of 22 chapters were over word count

  • 4 over by 1000 words
  • 1 over by 3700 words
  • 2 over by 4750 words
  • 1 over by 7000 words
Despite the fact that many chapters were over the word counts outlined the writers were paid for the overages after appropriate approval. Writers whose writing was not used were still authorized to bill us and were paid 10 cents per word. The majority of the book was written by: Rick Heinz, Pat Edwards, Rob Weiland, Megan Mackie, along with writing and editing by Satine Phoenix, and Jamison Stone.”
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
Please, please, please, for the love of all that is good and decent, if somebody is hurting themselves or threatening to hurt themselves, believe them. Help them get the help they need, whatever form that takes for them.

The idea that people harm themselves for aattention, spreading or sharing that vile misinformation, does considerably more harm than good. It tells people that you are not a safe person to turn to in need. It tells people that no one will believe them that they're hurting.

Be someone that someone can turn to in need. Be someone that someone can trust.

Please.
 

Von Ether

Legend
You've badly misunderstood. I did not claim, imply, or otherwise indicate to any degree whatsoever, that there was no professional class of musicians. Never in recorded history has their been a lack of a such professionals.

It was not, however, just the farmer in the field that was "happily off-key". It was everyone that wasn't a professional. Well, i'm sure many of them were quite good, but that isn't actually relevant to the point. All social activities involved music, made by the participants more often than by a separate group. All kinds of work tended to involve song.

Making music simply was not something reserved for professionals, until well into the very recent history of widespread recorded music.

We'll agree to disagree how "badly" I misunderstood vs how you might have "over simplified" a statement about public performance in the last 150 years. Otherwise, I grant you have good points.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
We'll agree to disagree how "badly" I misunderstood vs how you might have "over simplified" a statement about public performance in the last 150 years. Otherwise, I grant you have good points.
I’ve a hard time agreeing to disagree after rereading what I said in my first post in this exchange, but it’s a tangent to begin with, so I’ll leave it.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
"I saw your blog post. It was really fantastic. That was sarcastic. Because you write like a spastic."

I absolutely love this entire song and the video... except for that line. (I'd heard that it was a slur on people with epilepsy, not people with cerebral palsy, but either way.)
It was so jarring for me to learn, today, that it’s a slur for physical disabilities in the UK. Growing up, I only ever heard it used to refer to hyperactivity and the like.
Satine has posted a link to her video apology and included more details from her notes on her website's blog here: To those who I’ve caused pain, I’m so sorry. — SatinePhoenix

Make of it what you will.
The proof, as always, is in actions not words, but as far as words go these seem fine to me.

I don’t believe that someone accused of bad behavior has any obligation to just passively agree with every element of accusations, so I’ve no problem with the clarifications and “hey B. Dave why!?” section.

Overall, it’s a start. It will either support further action in helping her rehabilitate her reputation, or it will mean nothing after not being backed by actions. 🤷‍♂️
 

Chromie

Explorer
Some tweets and the stream with the comments.



I think Scott brings up an excellent point. The damage is too great and I don't see this ever being enough.

 

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