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D&D General Lorraine Williams: Is it Time for a Reevaluation?

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Welcome to the first in, perhaps, an occasional series: Snarf Presents Hawt Taek Thursdays.

Ahem. Anyway, if you read my review of Jon Peterson's new book, or better yet read his book (Game Wizards, now on sale!), you probably see that it presents the ouster of Gary Gygax from TSR and the takeover by Lorraine Williams in a very different light than what was commonly received before. And it began solidifying some thoughts I have had that I wanted to put out, and see the reaction that it got-

Here it is- Lorraine Williams was a positive influence on D&D.

Let me start with the traditional narrative about Lorraine Williams (I'm just going to use "Lorraine" from here on out, because her first name is more distinctive) that many older gamers either say, or have been taught-

The Great God Gygax ran his kingdom of TSR, and all were happy. But one day, Gygax did the unthinkable- he allowed in a non-gamer by the name of Lorraine. And Lorraine did conspire in the darkness with the Brothers Blume and overthrew Gygax from his throne and banished him from his kingdom. It was only too late did Gygax realize that this person he had trusted was actually the Wicked Witch Lorraine, who hated all things good, gamer, and TSR.

And thus was the Golden Age of TSR ended. From then on, the Wicked Witch Lorraine belittled all the gaming citizens of TSR, and ensured that all of the great gold and treasures of TSR would go to her own treasuries, starving the kingdom. The Wicked Witch Lorraine did not even see that a new, goodly Kingdom of Carding Wizards was gaining power on her borders. This continued for interminable ages, until one day, with the treasury of TSR depleted, Kingdom of Carding Wizards invaded and took over the Kingdom of TSR, and the Wicked Witch Lorraine fled, never to be seen again.


I exaggerate, but only slightly. There are some gaming circles were the name Lorraine is roughly akin to Voldemort.

But how true is that narrative? I would stipulate that the basic beginning and ending facts are true- yes, she ousted Gygax, and yes, she was the one forced to sell out to Wizards of the Coast. Is that it, or is there more nuance to the story?


A. The Good That Gets Overlooked.

This is the important part- I think that there is a lot of good that people tend to forget. Let's start with the most basic; if you read Game Wizards, or have a passing familiarity with what happened, you quickly understand that Lorraine was not the villain in the ouster of Gygax- she was the hero. Quite literally, she saved TSR. The sheer amount of details and the repetition of them truly paint the picture, but in brief, TSR had massive debts, Gygax was both ignoring the financial issues (and the banks), ignoring meetings, spending TSR's money, and also demanding (in his capacity as majority shareholder) that TSR begin dramatically increasing royalty payments to him. To add to all of that, he negotiated a deal with the Brothers Blume and then reneged on the terms. In short, he was a disaster, and was quickly running what was left of the company into the ground. Lorraine didn't pull this off by herself- all the people involved with TSR at senior levels except Gygax knew the score. If you are a fan of shows like Succession, it's like a scene where the person comes into dictate terms, and realizes that no one is supporting him. Not a single person. More importantly, at the time there were a lot of outstanding liabilities other than just the terrible debts they already had due to poor projections and governance- such as the multiple suits due to the promise of stock options that TSR chose not to honor (settled under Lorraine's watch).

So she should get credit for saving TSR, in my opinion.

The second thing is we should reflect on the intellectual property that was developed during her tenure. Sure, you can't beat the very original few years, simply because it developed a lot of the vocabulary (classes, levels, AC, etc.) and lore (Fighters, Clerics, Beholders, Mind Flayers, Githyanki etc.) that still resonate today. But let's do a quick check into what happened during her reign-
1. Signed the contract with Ed Greenwood and began developing Forgotten Realms as a D&D property.
2. Published the Manual of the Planes, the first major step in going from the prime material centric (with multiple planes) to the outer planes model we are used to today. (Yes, I have mixed feeling on this one).
3. Successfully launched 2e. There's a lot more to this- but this is already a long post.
4. Launched campaign settings we continue to be familiar with today (other than FR!), such as Spelljammer, Ravenloft, Hollow World, Dark Sun, Al-Qadim, Birthright, and Planescape.
5. Drizzt. sigh Okay, whatever your feelings about Drizzt specifically, or about the quality of writing in TSR's books in general, there was a massive explosion of titles and fantasy novels in the D&D world that brought new people to D&D.

Overall, and without going too far into the details, that's a pretty solid track record! What about the other side?


B. What About the Bad?

Well, here (without getting into the "not a gamer" thing, which I'll address in the next part), I'll put it simply-
SCOREBOARD.
That's the common refrain in sports events- you can make all the excuses you want, but at the end of the game, the only thing that matters is the final score. And business is a lot like that. Sure, there's reasons. There's extenuating circumstances. There's bad economies. But at the end of the day, TSR collapsed under Lorraine's watch. That's the alpha and the omega the end.

...and yet, businesses fail all the time. It's sad, but true, that a lot of businesses fail (or have issues) and the CEOs/owners get fat payouts. I mean, don't look at what happened with WeWork. Seriously, don't. More importantly, we don't usually have a specific level of vitriol toward the person running the business. I mean, it's not like "Blume" is a dirty name in the gaming community!

I would start by looking at why TSR failed the second time. Unfortunately, we don't have the full account like we did with Jon Peterson's book, but there have been scattered accounts here and there (there is a post by Ryan Dancey, for example, here). I think that the failure of TSR is like the old saying .... it happened slowly then all at once. There were warning signs- the rise of computer games, the rise of Games Workshop (which made money with miniatures, a market TSR was not in), and most importantly, the rise of WoTC, which was making insane profits off of a ... card game. The industry itself was having issues, with many major distributors suffering and going under. TSR tried to adapt (Dragon Dice, for example) and tried to expand (pushing out more profitable fiction hardcovers), but, much like the 80s, they were in a trap of their own creation. The success of the many of the 2e supplements had saturated the AD&D market, and their attempts to expand through Dragon Dice other means were not successful (not to mention much more costly than the cards WoTC was making). That, plus the Random House contract, meant that a company that looked like it was going gangbusters, or at least okay, in the early 90s, faced a cash crunch in '95, and was decimated and sold to WoTC in '97.

Not great, Bob. But ... understandable.

Oh, the Buck Williams thing? Without going too far into the weeds, not the best look, but also not surprising in closely-held corporations. It wasn't a factor in TSR's demise.


C. So ... why the Hate?

I have a few theories I'd like to throw out-

1. Lorraine ousted Gygax. This is the most simple. Gygax was, for many people, D&D. So she was always going to be the villain in any morality play.

2. Lorraine wasn't a gamer. This is a little more nuanced, especially consider that, for example, Kevin Blume wasn't really a gamer either. But Lorraine never cared much about the "community" in the sense of gamers. She wanted to run TSR as a company, with products. This tends to be a reciprocal thing- you don't care about us, we don't care about you.

3. Surprise. I'm not sure I agree with this, given there was a lot of hate even before the collapse, but ... I think a lot of people were genuinely shocked that TSR collapsed suddenly, and, moreover, it was sold to a "mere" card company. It's more difficult to understand now, but there was a sizeable number of people that thought that D&D was it, and M:TG was just some kids playing a silly game. Kind of like how, way back when, wargamers thought what they were doing was it, and D&D was just kids playing a silly game. Anyway, the collapse and sale of TSR was shocking to a lot of people, and Lorraine was a convenient target to blame.

4. Misogyny. Not to put too fine a point on it, but female executives were not common in the 80s and 90s. And the gaming community could be rough. I'm not going to spell this out for you, I'm just going to say this- Lorraine was probably treated a lot worse than a comparable male executive would have been.


D. Conclusion.

Look, I think two things can be said- first, Lorraine wasn't a great owner. I wouldn't say that. In the end, SCOREBOARD is a valid argument. But I do think it is important that we balance that ending with the fact that she both helped save TSR in the 80s, and also was at the helm for a number of products that still resonate with people today. If you love Forgotten Realms, for example, you can thank Ed Greenwood. And you can tank Jeff Grubb. But it was Lorraine who was running the company during the big FR bet.
 

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Well thought through and written. I don't see any flaws.

I will add that I think most of the community was (and still) cares naught about the business of D&D. And perhaps they shouldn't. But in the end, what they knew (or specifically did not know), and the idolization they/we had of Gygax was really the most important part of setting the tone of vehemence against Lorraine. Simple put, most gamers idolized Gygax, they had no idea (or interest) of the business or realities, Lorraine "fired" Gary, therefore she was "bad".
 

Welcome to the first in, perhaps, an occasional series: Snarf Presents Hawt Taek Thursdays.

Ahem. Anyway, if you read my review of Jon Peterson's new book, or better yet read his book (Game Wizards, now on sale!), you probably see that it presents the ouster of Gary Gygax from TSR and the takeover by Lorraine Williams in a very different light than what was commonly received before. And it began solidifying some thoughts I have had that I wanted to put out, and see the reaction that it got-

Here it is- Lorraine Williams was a positive influence on D&D.

Let me start with the traditional narrative about Lorraine Williams (I'm just going to use "Lorraine" from here on out, because her first name is more distinctive) that many older gamers either say, or have been taught-

The Great God Gygax ran his kingdom of TSR, and all were happy. But one day, Gygax did the unthinkable- he allowed in a non-gamer by the name of Lorraine. And Lorraine did conspire in the darkness with the Brothers Blume and overthrew Gygax from his throne and banished him from his kingdom. It was only too late did Gygax realize that this person he had trusted was actually the Wicked Witch Lorraine, who hated all things good, gamer, and TSR.

And thus was the Golden Age of TSR ended. From then on, the Wicked Witch Lorraine belittled all the gaming citizens of TSR, and ensured that all of the great gold and treasures of TSR would go to her own treasuries, starving the kingdom. The Wicked Witch Lorraine did not even see that a new, goodly Kingdom of Carding Wizards was gaining power on her borders. This continued for interminable ages, until one day, with the treasury of TSR depleted, Kingdom of Carding Wizards invaded and took over the Kingdom of TSR, and the Wicked Witch Lorraine fled, never to be seen again.


I exaggerate, but only slightly. There are some gaming circles were the name Lorraine is roughly akin to Voldemort.

But how true is that narrative? I would stipulate that the basic beginning and ending facts are true- yes, she ousted Gygax, and yes, she was the one forced to sell out to Wizards of the Coast. Is that it, or is there more nuance to the story?


A. The Good That Gets Overlooked.

This is the important part- I think that there is a lot of good that people tend to forget. Let's start with the most basic; if you read Game Wizards, or have a passing familiarity with what happened, you quickly understand that Lorraine was not the villain in the ouster of Gygax- she was the hero. Quite literally, she saved TSR. The sheer amount of details and the repetition of them truly paint the picture, but in brief, TSR had massive debts, Gygax was both ignoring the financial issues (and the banks), ignoring meetings, spending TSR's money, and also demanding (in his capacity as majority shareholder) that TSR begin dramatically increasing royalty payments to him. To add to all of that, he negotiated a deal with the Brothers Blume and then reneged on the terms. In short, he was a disaster, and was quickly running what was left of the company into the ground. Lorraine didn't pull this off by herself- all the people involved with TSR at senior levels except Gygax knew the score. If you are a fan of shows like Succession, it's like a scene where the person comes into dictate terms, and realizes that no one is supporting him. Not a single person. More importantly, at the time there were a lot of outstanding liabilities other than just the terrible debts they already had due to poor projections and governance- such as the multiple suits due to the promise of stock options that TSR chose not to honor (settled under Lorraine's watch).

So she should get credit for saving TSR, in my opinion.

The second thing is we should reflect on the intellectual property that was developed during her tenure. Sure, you can't beat the very original few years, simply because it developed a lot of the vocabulary (classes, levels, AC, etc.) and lore (Fighters, Clerics, Beholders, Mind Flayers, Githyanki etc.) that still resonate today. But let's do a quick check into what happened during her reign-
1. Signed the contract with Ed Greenwood and began developing Forgotten Realms as a D&D property.
2. Published the Manual of the Planes, the first major step in going from the prime material centric (with multiple planes) to the outer planes model we are used to today. (Yes, I have mixed feeling on this one).
3. Successfully launched 2e. There's a lot more to this- but this is already a long post.
4. Launched campaign settings we continue to be familiar with today (other than FR!), such as Spelljammer, Ravenloft, Hollow World, Dark Sun, Al-Qadim, Birthright, and Planescape.
5. Drizzt. sigh Okay, whatever your feelings about Drizzt specifically, or about the quality of writing in TSR's books in general, there was a massive explosion of titles and fantasy novels in the D&D world that brought new people to D&D.

Overall, and without going too far into the details, that's a pretty solid track record! What about the other side?


B. What About the Bad?

Well, here (without getting into the "not a gamer" thing, which I'll address in the next part), I'll put it simply-
SCOREBOARD.
That's the common refrain in sports events- you can make all the excuses you want, but at the end of the game, the only thing that matters is the final score. And business is a lot like that. Sure, there's reasons. There's extenuating circumstances. There's bad economies. But at the end of the day, TSR collapsed under Lorraine's watch. That's the alpha and the omega the end.

...and yet, businesses fail all the time. It's sad, but true, that a lot of businesses fail (or have issues) and the CEOs/owners get fat payouts. I mean, don't look at what happened with WeWork. Seriously, don't. More importantly, we don't usually have a specific level of vitriol toward the person running the business. I mean, it's not like "Blume" is a dirty name in the gaming community!

I would start by looking at why TSR failed the second time. Unfortunately, we don't have the full account like we did with Jon Peterson's book, but there have been scattered accounts here and there (there is a post by Ryan Dancey, for example, here). I think that the failure of TSR is like the old saying .... it happened slowly then all at once. There were warning signs- the rise of computer games, the rise of Games Workshop (which made money with miniatures, a market TSR was not in), and most importantly, the rise of WoTC, which was making insane profits off of a ... card game. The industry itself was having issues, with many major distributors suffering and going under. TSR tried to adapt (Dragon Dice, for example) and tried to expand (pushing out more profitable fiction hardcovers), but, much like the 80s, they were in a trap of their own creation. The success of the many of the 2e supplements had saturated the AD&D market, and their attempts to expand through Dragon Dice other means were not successful (not to mention much more costly than the cards WoTC was making). That, plus the Random House contract, meant that a company that looked like it was going gangbusters, or at least okay, in the early 90s, faced a cash crunch in '95, and was decimated and sold to WoTC in '97.

Not great, Bob. But ... understandable.

Oh, the Buck Williams thing? Without going too far into the weeds, not the best look, but also not surprising in closely-held corporations. It wasn't a factor in TSR's demise.


C. So ... why the Hate?

I have a few theories I'd like to throw out-

1. Lorraine ousted Gygax. This is the most simple. Gygax was, for many people, D&D. So she was always going to be the villain in any morality play.

2. Lorraine wasn't a gamer. This is a little more nuanced, especially consider that, for example, Kevin Blume wasn't really a gamer either. But Lorraine never cared much about the "community" in the sense of gamers. She wanted to run TSR as a company, with products. This tends to be a reciprocal thing- you don't care about us, we don't care about you.

3. Surprise. I'm not sure I agree with this, given there was a lot of hate even before the collapse, but ... I think a lot of people were genuinely shocked that TSR collapsed suddenly, and, moreover, it was sold to a "mere" card company. It's more difficult to understand now, but there was a sizeable number of people that thought that D&D was it, and M:TG was just some kids playing a silly game. Kind of like how, way back when, wargamers thought what they were doing was it, and D&D was just kids playing a silly game. Anyway, the collapse and sale of TSR was shocking to a lot of people, and Lorraine was a convenient target to blame.

4. Misogyny. Not to put too fine a point on it, but female executives were not common in the 80s and 90s. And the gaming community could be rough. I'm not going to spell this out for you, I'm just going to say this- Lorraine was probably treated a lot worse than a comparable male executive would have been.


D. Conclusion.

Look, I think two things can be said- first, Lorraine wasn't a great owner. I wouldn't say that. In the end, SCOREBOARD is a valid argument. But I do think it is important that we balance that ending with the fact that she both helped save TSR in the 80s, and also was at the helm for a number of products that still resonate with people today. If you love Forgotten Realms, for example, you can thank Ed Greenwood. And you can tank Jeff Grubb. But it was Lorraine who was running the company during the big FR bet.
I think this is spot-on.

I mean, I never quite understood the hate-train for Williams, because everything people listed as "bad" seemed to be fairly standard stuff, and she presided over my favourite edition of D&D in terms of content. Certainly I can't see the argument that Gygax was somehow "better" or more suitable for the role, especially not based on what Gygax went on to do, and based on Gygax's comments about what he thought D&D was about and so on. I suspect had he been directing D&D in the the 1990s, we would have seen D&D actually, genuinely turn into "just another system", and it would have lost market-leader status and probably never regained it, because he'd have pushed it further into being extremely specific and niche and old-school. This wouldn't even have pleased people who like OSR games now, I suspect, because the existence of this very old-school D&D might well have stopped them from ever existing, let alone branching into the amazing forms they exist in now.

She certainly made some mistakes, everyone decision-making at TSR in that era did, but aside from the obvious personal deal with Buck Rogers, I can't see how she was a particularly bad. Not everyone whose company gets bought or who isn't making money is some monumental screw-up. A lot of the time they just can't find the path out - doesn't mean someone else could have - especially not Gygax of all people.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I always like to remember that the same way WoTC kept the lights on in 99 by buying TSR that was about to go away, Loraine kept the lights on through all of 2e.

by the way Hasbro is keeping them on now.

If you love D&D like I do, then yes Dave invented the game, and Gary popularized and fine tuned it, but the blume/Loraine/skip williams/monte cook/WoTC/Hasbro all did there parts... even if you hate some of what they did...enworld would be nothing without them
 



Staffan

Legend
One thing TSR did under her watch was being extremely overprotective of its IP. They demanded that people not host any AD&D material, self-written or not, except in "walled gardens" provided by TSR. And when GDW published the Gygax-written Dangerous Journeys, TSR launched an extremely frivolous lawsuit claiming ridiculous things as copyright infringement – things like "The First Aid skill is derivative of the Cure Light Wounds spell".
 

David Howery

Adventurer
Oh, the Buck Williams thing? Without going too far into the weeds, not the best look, but also not surprising in closely-held corporations. It wasn't a factor in TSR's demise.
by itself? No. But it was one more waste of money that they didn't need. Sadly, TSR, both under Gygax and then Williams, made some bad money decisions that frittered away their cash.... suing lots of people in needless lawsuits being one of them...
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
One thing TSR did under her watch was being extremely overprotective of its IP. They demanded that people not host any AD&D material, self-written or not, except in "walled gardens" provided by TSR. And when GDW published the Gygax-written Dangerous Journeys, TSR launched an extremely frivolous lawsuit claiming ridiculous things as copyright infringement – things like "The First Aid skill is derivative of the Cure Light Wounds spell".

So ... this may just be because there are more surviving people more familiar with it during the 90s, but TSR was notorious for being overprotective of its IP during the late 70s and 80s (the Gygax/Blume era). Which had the additional irony, back then, of the IP not always really even being TSR's.

That wasn't new "under her watch." Generally, this is a corporate culture thing, often with in-house or outside counsel. I'd be curious to see what influence that had.
 

For reference:




Edits (adding as I find more):

 
Last edited:

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
he negotiated a deal with the Brothers Blume and then reneged on the terms

This is still disputed. No one else was in the room where it happened.

where it happens i wanna go GIF by Official London Theatre


Every other point is spot on (I finished the book last night). That said, if someone wants to call Gygax a liar when he said he never made that offer to the Blumes, I would not blame them, given his other less than sound fiscal behavior - including pointedly ignoring the Blumes' intent to sell notices, which allowed Lorraine Williams the backdoor ouster.
 

payn

Legend
One of the weirder things of the last few decades are how crazy these things tend to snowball in folks opinions. Folks start making all kinds of leaps of logic to heap not just the relevant story, but all the worlds problems onto perceived enemies. I mean, just the other day somebody was saying, "a manger too cheap to clean the office for their workers, is the same type of person who likes lawful good paladins." What? How do you get there? Eventually, it snowballs into conspiracy about how this person disagreeing with you means they have a secret agenda to make your life, specifically, miserable in all manners. Reasonable perspective is just a thing of the past and everything rolls into a fight of good and evil. It's just terrible folks...

Anyways, good post Snarf.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
by itself? No. But it was one more waste of money that they didn't need. Sadly, TSR, both under Gygax and then Williams, made some bad money decisions that frittered away their cash.... suing lots of people in needless lawsuits being one of them...

No, but it's a truly bizarre continuing complaint I have seen! Look, without going too far into the weeds (as I've been trying to avoid)-
1. These types of transactions are completely normal, especially for closely held corporations.
2. It's not illegal. It's not even unethical.

Now, are there facts that could change my mind? Sure! If she was using this to funnel TSR's money to herself, by paying outrageous sums, that would be one thing.

But let's do a quick comparison (which I am doing by memory)-

Under prior leadership, you had the principals purchase the property that the company would then rent. If this is confusing to you, I'll break it down-
TSR would need new property for its workforce. So TSR would find the property that they wanted to use. Then Gygax + the Brothers Blume would form a partnership and buy the property with a mortgage. TSR would then rent the property from the G+BB partnership.

See what happened there? Not clear enough?

How about TSR acquiring the rights to Chainmail (and other properties) from Guidon Games, meaning that TSR was acquiring the intellectual property of Gygax, which would allow Gygax to get re-publish them and get royalties.

Honestly, so long as these are at market rates ... who cares? Get approval, move on. This isn't like the obscene nepotism that we saw later.

So the reason I didn't go into this is because it's tiring seeing this same thing trotted out over and over again- yeah, so what? This wasn't a factor, at all, in the demise of TSR. If someone has receipts showing that this was some backdoor to funnel money to Williams, then I will gladly change my opinion! Otherwise ...
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
This is still disputed. No one else was in the room where it happened.

where it happens i wanna go GIF by Official London Theatre


Every other point is spot on (I finished the book last night). That said, if someone wants to call Gygax a liar when he said he never made that offer to the Blumes, I would not blame them, given his other less than sound fiscal behavior - including pointedly ignoring the Blumes' intent to sell notices, which allowed Lorraine Williams the backdoor ouster.

Well ... so, this is what I would say (I don't have my copy handy).

My recollection is that the book makes it clear that Gygax disputes this. It was also clear that Gygax was the only one disputing this. My recollection is that the extrinsic evidence seems to indicate that Gygax was not being truthful- everything from the repeated letters from the Blumes to the existence of the settlement to the actions of the Board.

IIRC (do you have your book) I believe that there was a reference to a judicial finding which basically implied that Gygax's account was not credible. Did you read it some other way?


EDIT- Gygax has disputed a lot of things in his life; as much as I love what he did for bringing us D&D, I do not believe him to be a reliable narrator.
 

My 2 cents:

Lorraine Williams both saved TSR from bankruptcy and drove it into bankruptcy. She ensured the company survived, and made long term deals that crippled it for years. She was good at playing the financials, but bad at understanding gamers. She made good business decisions that ensured TSR made money, and made shady business deals that ensured she made more money than she otherwise would have.

She deserves both: all the credit for the good she did, and the blame for all the bad she did. There is no contradiction in saying she was both a good and bad influence on the history of D&D.
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It's an era I know very little about. I will Peterson's first book and will definitely look into this one.
 

Voadam

Legend
…….. ¯\_ (ツ)_/¯
Can't find the original threads thanks to links changing but there is this post.

JoseFreitas said:

But I am quite convinced that Ms. Williams really ran the company to the best of her abilities, which were very good, but this meant that she ran it to benefit herself to the exclusion of anyone else, employees included. There are some very fine lines re. ethical issues, but one might very well question the continued release and overprinting of a game that was really selling close to zero, while paying yourself royalties advances based on 60% of the printruns. And since I was a partner of a company that distributes RPGs and MtG and WotC products in general in Spain, Portugal and Brasil, and I was there when WotC bought TSR, and talked to pretty much everyone, including Peter Adkinson, I was told there were TONS of unsold Buck Rogers in the 25th Century RPG in the warehouses.... And at the same time that Ms. Williams got paid a really good salary, employees were underpaid, given bad equipment to work on things, etc.... Just read Ryan Dancey's accounts of what he found when he went and audited TSR for WotC before they bought it.

I have no first hand knowledge of any of this. But if true it is enough for me to think of her as a villain.

She and her family got royalties from Buck Rogers licensed stuff as heirs of Buck Rogers rights owners. As head of TSR she allegedly got TSR to license Buck Rogers stuff on non-market negotiated terms including much bigger than normal market royalties based on print runs, not sales, then had TSR do huge print runs that did not sell.
 

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