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


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Really? how many threads do we have on this forum about people the community has mostly ostracized because of their statements and actions outside of the gaming aspects?

I'm not passing judgement one way or another. But let's not pretend that "we" treat everyone equally.

I'd like to clarify two points.

First, I'm talking about people who are no longer active in creating content (e.g. dead, incapacitated, or removed from the industry and public eye). It's a different story for people who are currently trying to sell their product while also espousing venomous rhetoric. And even in cases where someone does continue down the bad path, I don't think you have to feel shame for enjoying the works before they went there. It's okay to say you enjoyed "Vornheim: The Complete City Kit" while also vowing you'll never buy anything from that author again.

Second, well, these are all just my opinions. There's a reason I said "we should" and not "ENWorld unanimously agrees".
 



TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
That is a monumental understatement and whitewashing which shows extreme bias in your spin.
This.

There are multiple accounts of the self dealing--and how else do you explain it? They kept coming up with Buck Rogers stuff no one was buying. But her family was certainly getting paid for it.

There are so many stories about her bad management, so many. Some are now in this thread. But certainly not all.

TSR under her released a few good things, and so much crap. Just so much. I don't think that people that came into the game later can understand the amount of crap. And eventually the company did crash, hard.
 


HomegrownHydra

Adventurer
This.

There are multiple accounts of the self dealing--and how else do you explain it? They kept coming up with Buck Rogers stuff no one was buying. But her family was certainly getting paid for it.

There are so many stories about her bad management, so many. Some are now in this thread. But certainly not all.

TSR under her released a few good things, and so much crap. Just so much. I don't think that people that came into the game later can understand the amount of crap. And eventually the company did crash, hard.
Snarf's comments about the Buck Rogers issue does sound like spin and handwaving, but they're right that Lorraine initially did a far better job than Gary which significantly prolonged the existence of the company. That's especially critical because it meant that by the time TSR did fail WotC was wealthy enough to buy the whole company, thus saving D&D as well as providing the resources to keep it the top RPG. If TSR had crashed in the late 80's or early 90's there may not have been such savior and D&D could have gone up in smoke.
 

She was both hero and villain, but it had nothing to do with her being a woman, it was because she was the boss and as such the buck stops at the top.

She took out Gygax who was a hero to many I guess, taking his throne, it's natural that those who lionized him would be angry at whoever was the face of that.

And if she was as nasty to gamers as some say, then some of the hate would simply be her own reflected back at her.

BUT she also was responsible the golden age of D&D, all the best settings except Eberron came from this era, the novel lines, most of the best D&D games, like the Gold Box games, her era was the reason why I became a D&D fan.

So I like Lorraine, but I wouldn't pretend she didn't contribute to her own unpopularity.

Lorraine Williams was the Rick Berman of D&D, often vilified, but they made the choices that saved settings and created the golden age of their franchises.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I am not gonna waste my time trying to defend Gygax, as I think you are probably right. However, I just read that whole last chapter + epilogue last night and he makes it clear no one else was there and knows for sure. This is a point Peterson makes sure to mention more than once. While I think the judgement you mention is a reasonable conclusion, I think the Blumes' own sketchiness and nepotism requires that we preserve at least a little doubt.

I would totally agree about their sketchiness and nepotism! The whole Purchasing Department saga ...

But ... I guess I read Peterson a little differently I read it as, "No one can ever know .... but let's lay this out ...." I don't think there was any other conclusion?

It's the way that Peterson does the "show, don't tell." Let me explain why I read it the way I did. You have the accumulation of details that paints Gygax as not being truthful (why would the Blume settle without the commitment? why were they sending the letters without the commitment? and so on).

And then, right at the end of the chapter, was this-

"The court also considered the question of whether Gygax had promised to buy the Blume family position in the solarium at Rexnord on April 16, and finally ruled on the basis of testimony from the independent board members that Gygax had 'agreed to buy their stock, and the Blume and {Gygax} reported that commitment ... to the other directors." p. 310 (emphasis supplied)

So yes, only they were in the room, but other people testified under oath that right afterwards, Gygax said he was going to buy it (which makes sense, since that's what led to the settlement).

Anyway, I think we are definitely in general agreement. Such a good read! There have been a lot of good comments in this thread, so I'm going to write one long and more general comment regarding the rest of it in a little while when I get the chance.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
This.

There are multiple accounts of the self dealing--and how else do you explain it? They kept coming up with Buck Rogers stuff no one was buying. But her family was certainly getting paid for it.

There are so many stories about her bad management, so many. Some are now in this thread. But certainly not all.

TSR under her released a few good things, and so much crap. Just so much. I don't think that people that came into the game later can understand the amount of crap. And eventually the company did crash, hard.
Her brother was also brought in at times, because of the Buck Rogers stuff.
 

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