Dragonlance Dragonlance Lawsuit Dismissed Without Prejudice

The recent lawsuit brought against D&D publishers Wizards of the Coast by Dragonlance authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman has been voluntarily dismissed without prejudice.


When a lawsuit is dismissed with prejudice, it means that the plaintiff cannot bring the issue back to court. When -- as in this case -- it is dismissed without prejudice, the plaintiff can try again.

In this case it was voluntarily dismissed by Weis & Hickman. We can only guess why; perhaps a settlement occurred? In any case, Margaret Weis tweeted, thanking people for their support, and hinting at exciting news to come.

"Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff Margaret Weis, LLC and Tracy Hickman hereby gives notice that the above-captioned action is voluntarily dismissed as to Wizards of the Coast LLC, without prejudice. Defendant Wizards of the Coast LLC has not filed an answer or motion for summary judgment, no proceedings or discovery have been undertaken as to these claims, and this action is not subject to any federal statute which would preclude the dismissal of this action under Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i)."


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Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
My suggestion? MW&TH creating a new world with total creative freedom, something like a spiritual succesor. If this project works, then WotC buys it as a new D&D world.
The issue was that they have already put in over a year of work on what they are doing now, which in the original lawsuit they claimed at millions of dollars of value - which sounds like established work with expected royalties. A settlement to do something else that does not fulfill that would probably not be acceptable.


I'm still bummed we never saw Dragonlance 4E.
Blame the switch to the Essentials release method for that. Dragonlance was going to be the next setting after Ravenloft (which work on that got repurposes into the Shadowfell thing they did) with a complete reboot of the setting and a new trilogy of novels starting with a brand new version of Dragons of Autumn Twilight written by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files, Codex Alera). He was going to have Tasselhoff not have the dagger he "borrowed" during their first fight on the way to the Inn of the Last Home, which means Flint would've been injured and the three of them delayed getting to the Inn until after Goldmoon and Riverwind arrived and all the ripple effect changes from there. He also had new concepts for the characters, like Raistlin inspired by Dr. Gregory House from the TV show House. The deal fell apart when Butcher learned that Weis and Hickman hadn't been consulted so he pulled out, and shortly after the 4e line was restructured and the release schedule scrapped.

Von Ether

Again, kill fees (where the writer gets some compensation even if the project is killed) were invented for a reason. And for projects as big as WotC tackles, kill fees can be a good insurance policy (since the fee would have probably been smaller than the settlement they are now locked into.)

And high profile personalities like W and H should have merited a kill fee. In many ways, the ttRPG industry is young and it still look to other industries for tools to use.

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