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lorraine williams (includes opinions from Gygax et al)

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Spell said:
but don't you think that all the aggro attatched to her figure is a bit too much?

Honestly?

There's a certain level of "group-think" that goes on. Nothing special. It happens to any group.

My wife for example was just talking about a graduate student in her field that's getting hired for some 6 figure salary. She does environmental science stuff at Princeton University.

The advisor (who's also her boss) went on this long half-rant basically implying that the student "owed" him for the time he's spent guiding and advising the student on his research, and how the student is throwing it all away. Almost everyone else in her group doesn't have nice things to say either, and it's all because he's joining some think-tank. And not a "conservative" one, or one that's opposed to environmental sciences. My wife thinks in this case that it's just a matter of people having believed that they've put in so much time and effort and make so little money, it's got to be worth _something_. Seeing someone walk out of the field like that and into a position earning 3 times more they they do, and he's fresh out of grad school, it's not hard to think that people might be a bit bitter about the last 10 years of their career.

Lorraine Williams, Kevin Siembieda, John Wick, Ron Edwards... they're easy punching bags. Lots of people seem to need a reason to dislike and rant about others.

Are they blameless? Nah.

Then again, I've read some of Gygax's editorials in early Dragon and can't say I really like a lot of what he had to say either. He worked pretty actively against his share of stuff back in the day. He certainly was no kindly Santa Claus like people seem to think sometimes.

Heck, looking at movies... Keanu Reeves is a popular punching bag.

But you know what? I find an awful lot of the criticism heaped on Keanu applies to Anthony Hopkins and Christopher Walken. But Hopkins and Walken get a pass. It's popular to bag on Keanu.

However people want to dress it up, it boils down to "some people are looking for a reason to hate someone else."

I've got better things to do with my time. People are people and some are nicer than others. Nobody is completely irredeemable, and nobody is above criticism.

If people object to the way that someone does business, you spend your money elsewhere and make sure the people know why the money is going where it is. Otherwise it's a bunch of pointless chest thumping and raising your blood pressure for no good reason. I refused to buy 2E stuff in part because I objected to TSR's business practices. I object to White Wolf's support of a game that I consider to be objectionable, and therefore refuse to give them or their subsidiaries (like Sword & Sorcery Studio) any of my money.

Simple stuff really, and doesn't require any of the drama that forums seem to love.
 

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jdrakeh

Adventurer
Sanguinemetaldawn said:
There is significantly more to it than that.

First, think of your favorite RPG. You have purchased the core rules, and a few expansions, and you are looking forward to two major setting releases (the city of Ascalon and the City of Ys). Additionally, you just paid for a subscription to the new supplemental 'zine, and you are waiting for your first issue. You are working on a campaign, and your players have designed characters.

Then you find out your game is dead because the T$R has clubbed the creators into submission with relentless lawsuits and legal fees they can't hope to pay.

Even though the grounds for the suit (that it is a derivative of D&D) is pure garbage, and that fact is obvious to anyone with a brain.

And the sole purpose of the lawsuit was to crush Mythus. The game didn't fail against the competition. It didn't fail because it was managed badly. It was crushed by the biggest and oldest player in the industry, purely to destroy it and end its existence.

And that cash you shelled out for that subscription: kiss it goodbye and eat the loss, fool. That was Sean "Veggie boy" Reynolds answer, if couched in gentler diction.

When T$R became bankrupt only a few years later, it was very difficult to avoid feeling unadulterated and unrepentant schadenfreude.

As for the internet policy, there is something to it a lot of people may have missed. T$R was claimed they owned YOUR work. Period. You had no rights whatsoever to it (they claimed). They also employed their armies of lawyers to shut down fansites as part of their effort to exert total domination of thier IP.

So lets be clear. This board (ENworld) would not exist under TBL's T$R. You would be posting to only the WotC boards, and subject to the decrees of their moderators, and even the idea of the OGL or d20 license would have been unthinkable.

T$R under Lorraine Williams really was the Evil Empire of the RPG world, and she was the Emperor.

Hate fantasies...?
Only someone who didn't experience the effects of T$R's actions could believe that.
I wish thats all it was.

See, for me, none of this stuff applies. I simply didn't like her as a businesswoman due to her poor management decisions. I guess I'm grounded enough that I don't need to carry around a personal grudge for decades on end. I think that you're mistaken when you say that the issue is this intensely personal for all gamers, everywhere. I think most gamers could care less about events that took place more than a decade ago.

Clearly, your own resentment of Williams is a very personal thing for you but I know very few gamers who actually share your sentiments. Not all other gamers hate Williams or even care about what she did or didn't do anymore. That was a long time ago and many of the hypothetical situations that you mention -- such as the non-existence of ENworld -- never actually occurred (and, hence, are entirely moot points).

Many gamers have moved on.
 

Sanguinemetaldawn

First Post
jdrakeh said:
See, for me, none of this stuff applies. I simply didn't like her as a businesswoman due to her poor management decisions. I guess I'm grounded enough that I don't need to carry around a personal grudge for decades on end.

Oh, and I guess I do?
Gimme a break.

I rarely think about it, but neither have I forgotten. I'd like to see one hate-rant I have posted on this board (or any other) in the last 5 or 10 years on Lorraine Williams. What I just wrote above is by far the most I have ever written on the topic, and if that is a hatred filled rant to you, well, you haven't been on the net very long.

T$R during Lorraine Williams' time was a spectacular extreme image of what a company could be, and it commited some very real abuses. The decision to get rid of TSR as a brand by WotC was made as a calculated decision to rid itself of the legacy of Williams actions.

This makes Williams' TSR an excellent example for purposes of discussion, and a critical part of the history of this hobby. And said example and history is largely negative in character. Thus, you can look forward to citations of Lorraine Williams' TSR when discussing the history of D&D...pretty much forever.

jdrakeh said:
Clearly, your own resentment of Williams is a very personal thing for you but I know very few gamers who actually share your sentiments.
...<snip>...
Many gamers have moved on.

Well, I'll report to counseling immediately, and perhaps I can achieve the nirvana of your enlightenment.

Pathetic.
 

The Grumpy Celt

First Post
I wonder what it would take to persuade Stephen Sondheim to do a musical about Lorraine Williams (Devil Manager of TSR)… You get some big choreographed numbers with designers, duets by people playing Hickman and Weis, arias by Ed Greenwood….
 


Arnwyn

First Post
Hammerhead said:
Yeah, do you think we could call it "TSR" instead of so cleverly substituting a dollar sign for the S?
I suppose you can, but I don't think others are obligated to do so. ENWorld isn't part of TSR's/WotC's listserv groups.
 


jdrakeh

Adventurer
Sanguinemetaldawn said:
Oh, and I guess I do?

Well, you've just written two huge posts about how the evil Lorraine Williams deliberately and intentionally crushed your childhood, trounced your heroes, and sued other companies for spite (or sport) -- complete with the ubiquitous "T$R" references and a bevy of other ad-hominems and hyperbole. I could be wrong, but that sounds very resentful.

The language of forgiving peace, it ain't.

I'm merely saying that not everybody feels that way, despite claims to the contrary. Your feelings of hate and intense animosity toward Williams are not shared by all D&D fans. Again, I don't hate Williams. Bully for you if you do but your blanket statements about all gamers sharing your hatred are insulting. And, yes, absolutely pathetic.
 

Delta

First Post
jdrakeh said:
Your feelings of hate and intense animosity toward Williams are not shared by all D&D fans...

Harsh criticism is not the same thing as "hate and animosity". It's pretty unfair to impugn saguine's post as merely a "personal grudge". At no point did he say that he "hated" her (in fact, he said the opposite). Assigning that kind of emotional rhetoric to him just serves to avoid the points of detail that he's bringing up.

I'm not a mod, but should both probably cool it a bit at this point.
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
jdrakeh said:
I guess I'm grounded enough that I don't need to carry around a personal grudge for decades on end. I think that you're mistaken when you say that the issue is this intensely personal for all gamers, everywhere. I think most gamers could care less about events that took place more than a decade ago.

Clearly, your own resentment of Williams is a very personal thing for you but I know very few gamers who actually share your sentiments.
James, out of the thread, please. I'm pretty sure you could have expressed your point without telling another member how he feels, and without being rude and condescending in the process.

Sanguine, when something like this happens, don't call another person pathetic; please report the post instead. Folks squabbling isn't how I want to spend my New Years!
 

The Grumpy Celt

First Post
Gygax (Soprano Singing)

Attend the tale of Lorraine Williams.
Her skin was pale and her dress was odd.
She shoved game testing in a bin
and good ideas were thereafter never heard of again.
She trod a path that few have trod
did Lorraine Williams
the devil manager of game ing.
She throttled the Geneva con.
until most fan were long gone
and what if church nearly had the game banned
by the end most everyone was canned.
By Lorraine,
by Lorraine Williams
the devil manager of game ing.

TSR Employees (Chorus Singing)

Swing your budget wide!
Lorraine, hold it to the skies.
Freely flows the blood of those who game-ize.
Her needswere few, her room was bare.
A silly-big desk and a fancy chair.
A mug of puppies-blood, and a leather strop,
an purse, a throw pillow, nail polish, and a can of pop.
For neatness she deserves a nod,
does Lorraine Williams,
the devil manager of Game Ing.
Inconspicuous Lorraine was,
quick, and quiet and clean she was.
Back of her smile, under her word,
Lorraine heard music that nobody heard.
Lorraine pondered and Lorraine planned,
like a crazy computer she planned,
Lorraine was smooth, Lorraine was subtle,
Lorraine would blink, and writers would scuttle
Lorraine was smooth, Lorraine was subtle
Lorraine would blink, and artists would scuttle
Lorraine was smooth, Lorraine was subtle,
Lorraine would blink, and customers would scuttle
Lorraine was smooth, Lorraine was subtle,
Lorraine would blink, and printers would scuttle
Lorraine! Lorraine! Lorraine! Lorraine!
Lorraine!

Lorraine Williams (Base Singing)

Attend the tale of Lorraine Williams!

TSR Employees (Chorus Singing)

Attend the tale of Lorraine Williams!

Lorraine Williams (Base Singing)

She served a dark and incompetent God!

TSR Employees (Chorus Singing)

She served a dark and incompetent God!

Lorraine Williams (Base Singing)

What happened then, well that's the play,
and she wouldn't want us to give it away...

TSR Employees (Chorus Singing)

Not Lorraine
Not Lorraine Williams
The devil manager of Game...
Ing...
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
Sanguinemetaldawn said:
Even though the grounds for the suit (that it is a derivative of D&D) is pure garbage, and that fact is obvious to anyone with a brain.

I understood that there was a legally valid beef about how Gygax had spent TSR company time on the project, which made it TSR property. But of course, TSR ended up throwing away a lot of money attacking something that was never going to have a noticeable impact on their bottom line.
 

The Little Raven

First Post
jdrakeh said:
I think most gamers could care less about events that took place more than a decade ago.

Unless it had a personal and significant impact, like, say, getting a cease-and-desist letter from your favorite RPG company one week before your 14th birthday because of a crappy little campaign site you posted about the game you and your friends were playing.
 

tenkar

Old School Blogger
I have no hate for Ms. Williams... but I do have a healthy dose of dislike for her.

I remember the cease and desist period of TSR quite well thank you very much.

I remember buying Mythus at the one and only GenCon I attended... I followed the death of the game fairly closely.

I remember wasting my money on the Buck Rogers in the XXV Century and wondering why TSR had published this trash.

So, like i said... i don't like the woman
 

Thurbane

First Post
I had (still have) much love for AD&D 2E, so add me to the names of those who revile Lorraine Williams name as the greatest blight on the history or RPGs. Strangely enough, she would probably be proud of the fact that she is so universally despised by the "unwashed masses" of D&Ders...

I hope Asmodeus is keeping a seat of honor for her warm on the most desolate layer of the Nine Hells! :p
 

Ranger REG

Explorer
Spell said:
if she really was the horrible person and short sighted manager that everyone likes to spit on, how comes that LOADS of gamers were thrilled and excited about the games produced by her company?
Because by her business actions, she killed the company created by Gygax, Kaye, and later Blume (who is the real bastard that sold his stocks to Ms. Williams and made her a major shareholder to control TSR). She let it be sold to WotC. TSR is just a memory.

But everything has to happen for a reason, right? Everyone have their roles to play, for goods or ills in history. She meant to owned TSR, who then later sold it to WotC.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
The Grumpy Celt said:
Becuase of the way she handled the business end of our hobby, a lot of people seem to assume she eats puppies for fun when really she is apparently just a poor manager.
What a cruel thing to say! Puppies may be the world's most perfect food, and the thought that Ms. Williams might enjoy a Broulet au Bowser half as as much as I do is criminal, I say! Criminal! :p

In all honesty, I never really attached a name to what I thought of as 'TSR silliness', aside from the 'anti-dark gaming' crusade that Roger E. Moore indulged in.

When TSR started going after fan-sites I just chalked it up to the same forward thinking that led to them not allowing Spielberg to show the kids playing D&D in the movie E.T.. There was plenty of stupidity to spread around.

The Auld Grump
 

Spell

First Post
Ranger REG said:
Because by her business actions, she killed the company created by Gygax, Kaye, and later Blume (who is the real bastard that sold his stocks to Ms. Williams and made her a major shareholder to control TSR). She let it be sold to WotC. TSR is just a memory.

you see, to me the blumes were much worse managers! sure, they didn't drive the company into nothingness, but only because they found someone to sell their stocks to, before it was too late. TSR was in dire financial straits, thanks to them... and that was when D&D could not fail.(*)

(sure, the market was smaller, but D&D was *the* fantasy game. warhammer was still to come. and runequest... come on, seriously! :p)
 

Spell

First Post
TheAuldGrump said:
... I just chalked it up to the same forward thinking that led to them not allowing Spielberg to show the kids playing D&D in the movie E.T...

you are kidding, right?!?
even the mickey mouse of management would have PAID for such an opportunity!!!!!
 


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