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Lorraine Williams did... what?

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Xyxox

Hero
Now, as far as fragmentation goes...back in the 2E heyday, they were releasing 4, 5, 6 D&D, products a month, every month, and not just (or hardly) little 64 page adventures. There is no way you don't start canibalizing your own sales at some point, and start to see product quality fall.

This was also a time when TSR faced a lot of competition, and lots of other mid-sized game companies where also churning out lots of product, using all sorts of disparate mechanics. The Dancy response: pull back what WoTC released (though in hindsight they still released a lot in 3Es early days), use the OGL to bring more unity in mechanics across the market as a whole, and let 3rd parties release all that supporting material and canabilize each other. It seemed to work, at least for a while.

Yep, in a high competition market TSR needed to drive down the total number of products released and concentrated on core competencies instead of coming out with the campaign setting of the month. My gosh, how many settings did we end up with?

Add on top of that numerous new games and you're setting yourself up for disaster.
 

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Echohawk

Shirokinukatsukami fan
My gosh, how many settings did we end up with?
Off the top of my head, the settings which had their own line of support products were:
  • Greyhawk
  • Dragonlance
  • Forgotten Realms
  • Mystara
  • Planescape
  • Dark Sun
  • Ravenloft
  • Spelljammer
  • Al-Qadim
  • Birthright
  • Lankhmar
  • Oriental Adventures/Kara-Tur

There were also a number of minor settings (Jakandor, Dragon Mountain, etc.) with only a few products, and several subsettings of the main settings (Red Steel, Horde, Maztica, etc.)

Or, put another way: "at least twelve". :p
 

ProfessorPain

First Post
I doubt it. Usually web sites are commissioned, but the client writes the copy. Since mistakes to the site are being written to Flint Dille's e-mail address, I'm sure he's at least aware of the error, and likely wrote the copy himself. (Flint tends to be the Linus to Lorraine's Lucy, from what I've heard. Nice guy, but I believe Lorraine makes most of the decisions for the family's business).
.

Sure, but just because her name is attached to the site, that doesn't mean she is actively involved. The person who comissioned it, may not have even been a member of the family. For all we know, they are living in semi-retirement and hired someone else to manage the website. I am not saying it isn't suspicious or the information shouldn't be corrected. And I am not saying it is minor. Just that there are other explanations that don't include her being a bad person. At the end of day, her name is attached to this thing, and it is her responsibility to have it corrected. But this isn't 1982, you can't get away with beefing up your credentials by lying. People find out and it comes back to bite you. Everyone knows if you say you created something that you didn't people will find out. So I suspect this was someone they hired, not understanding the history of TSR and Lorraine's role; and Lorraine either taking a hands-off approach to the web site, or not bothering to read the copy.
 

kitsune9

Adventurer
Accounts paint two very different pictures of her depending of who you were. She was apparently very dismissive and perhaps "haughty" of and towards her customers, yes. At the same time, she was also apparently very kind and caring towards her employees. While certainly TSR did not, well, flourish" under her guidance, I can't help but wonder if perhaps tabletop gamers at times deserve the dismissiveness.

I agree. Ms Williams may be an overall a good person (I don't know her, so I have nothing to say yay or nay about her). However, the politics of TSR and its eventually downfall has put a bad taste in many gamers for myriads of reasons that all of us know.
 

Ranger REG

Explorer
Buck Rogers was the vehicle through which Lorraine Williams exported tons of cash from TSR Inc. into her family's personal trust fund, nearly destroying Dungeons and Dragons forever.

I never much cared for MAgic the Gathering as a game, but I love it because it put Peter Adkison into a postion to save the game from ruin. For that reason, I'll always despise Buck Rogers.

Besides, the Flash gordon serials were way better than Buck Rogers any way.
Despite the Maiden of Pain's strong [familial] link to Buck Rogers, I don't despise the IP. I just despise the way it was handled, or rather despise the person currently controlling it. It's the same sentiment I have of Christopher Tolkiens of Tolkien Estate, who controls all of the other JRR Tolkien's works. I mean, the only time we will ever see the Silmarilion adapted to motion picture is when he and his supporters are dead. Not that I want it to come true too soon, it's just wishful thinking.

Sometimes I wonder if the current IP law is beneficial. Sure, Lorraine Williams is just a handful of bad inheritors/trustees of IP being passed on from their parent creators. But not all IP trustees are that bad.
 

JohnRTroy

Adventurer
It's the same sentiment I have of Christopher Tolkiens of Tolkien Estate, who controls all of the other JRR Tolkien's works. I mean, the only time we will ever see the Silmarilion adapted to motion picture is when he and his supporters are dead. Not that I want it to come true too soon, it's just wishful thinking.

In this particular case, I'd rather have the creator's wishes followed than what the fans might want. JRRT didn't really want any of his stuff adapted to movies. And the movie industry has a way of (a) disrespecting the creators and (b) screwing them out of deserved royalties.
 

kitsune9

Adventurer
The rash of posts here that've been edited and reading through that thread only cements my position: Quite frankly, gamers deserve to be dismissed at times. Look at how we react to this, how we rip each other apart in edition wars, or the darkly humerous (VERY darkly) response to the charity fiasco at Gencon, where hundreds and hundreds of gamers sent angry and threatening emails to Gygax's charity of coice because of a stupid misunderstanding.

We aren't saints. We aren't wonderful golden rainbow people who never argue and never fight with one another.

People are allowed to look down on us just as much as we're allowed to look down on others. We deserve it. I'm not saying we're less then human. I'm saying that we're human, and people woh tweak our nose are going to exist.

Lorraine was a bad manager, yes, there's no doubt about that, but was she a bad person? Those two are not connected. Yet from how people react to the woman they've never met, who never really touched their lives, they make it sound like she abused their goldfish. You could make arguments she's a bad person. You could make arguments she's a good person. There's nothing to back up either save from second hand information. For every story of this maniacal witch-hag that mistreated her employees and hated the world, there's a story of her employees being treated just fine with animal charities and bring your pet to work days. Yet so many people choose to side with the worst of the two.

Good post Professor. Society is well-within its rights to look down upon us when we publicly display our fan-boy dork rage either against one another or against less-eccentric people. ;)
 

ProfessorCirno

Banned
Banned
Good post Professor. Society is well-within its rights to look down upon us when we publicly display our fan-boy dork rage either against one another or against less-eccentric people. ;)

Hey, my view is that everyone is well-within their rights to look down on anyone when they go into dork mode ;p. I have just as much - if not more - irritation towards sports fans, my, ah, slight fan boy-ism for hockey aside ;)

Fan is the shortened form of fanatic, as the saying goes.
 

Wolfspider

Explorer
In this particular case, I'd rather have the creator's wishes followed than what the fans might want. JRRT didn't really want any of his stuff adapted to movies.

Which is why he sold the film rights for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings to United Artists in 1968, no doubt.
 

JohnRTroy

Adventurer
Which is why he sold the film rights for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings to United Artists in 1968, no doubt.

No, if you read scholar's and Christopher's own writings, he sold the rights to pay a tax debt, a rather stupid mistake, based on his own wishes and the fact that the family now has limited control over that stuff.

And despite complaints about that, Christopher was named by Tolkien as the sole executor of his rights, so he's left the decision up to his son, who from what I've seen and read respects his father's wishes.

I mean, I'm critical of Lorraine, but I don't think they should lose the rights to Buck Rogers. Flint's a good guy, and even if the RPG stunk, I believe he tries to work as much as he can on the creation.
 

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