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TSR Lorraine Williams, unfairly lambasted?

darjr

I crit!
Why was the module recalled? Player outrage? No, it was barely at the distributor. Distributor outrage? Not that I see, is there any evidence the distributor balked, I don’t think so. TSR recalled it, the very same folks who tried to stop it going out in the first place.
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Why was the module recalled? Player outrage? No, it was barely at the distributor. Distributor outrage? Not that I see, is there any evidence the distributor balked, I don’t think so. TSR recalled it, the very same folks who tried to stop it going out in the first place.

Considering it was the height of the satanic panic, deciding to recall an adventure that has visual depictions of S&M and ritual torture was probably the right decision at the time.
 

darjr

I crit!
Maybe, have you seen the DMG or monster manual? Imho those were convenient excuses, vehemently believed by some or even most of the folks that held them at TSR. But I can’t help but think, nay I’m pretty sure, just not absolute, if the author had been a man it wouldn’t have been recalled. Controversial or not.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I'm not excusing her bad decisions, as I said in my OP. But the comments here seem to prove what I was saying. She gets all of the blame, none of the recognition for the good things that happened under her watch, and Blume and Gary barely even get acknowledged about how TSR would have had to sell before Lorraine even joined, and that only happens if you force people to acknowledge it. If not for Williams, TSR would have went bankrupt and dissolved in the mid 80s.

Only if you apply that context. I was saying nothing about others. Someone was saying that the many settings was a good thing, and I was just correcting that it ended up not being a good thing financially.

If examining one issue that someone else brought up, without linking it to her, is "proof' that she gets dumped on and others do not -- then you are incorrectly assigning a context to the post that supports your point.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
More than just armchair Internet ramblings, I have a bad taste in my mouth from a lot of the comments directed at her from TSR insiders. It does seem that she was not a beloved boss due in a fair part to her own choices, but some of the vitriol has a particular bitter flavor.

There was plenty of vitriol aimed at management from before her tenure at the helm as well. Just check out that Wired article about the Palace of the Silver Princess.

 

Quartz

Hero
What happened before absolutely is relevant. If you're handed a dumpster fire, how reasonable is it for you to fix it completely and long term, compared to if you're handed a solid business with tons of cashflow? That makes a world of difference, regardless of the industry.

If she had only had 6 months you might have had a point but she had a decade, so you don't. She had plenty of time.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
There was plenty of vitriol aimed at management from before her tenure at the helm as well. Just check out that Wired article about the Palace of the Silver Princess.


Yes, it was a toxic environment, unfortunately. That article doesn't do much to dispel the impression that misogyny was rampant in the Design team at TSR.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Woah. I think you misunderstood.

To be clear, many of the settings that many people continue to love today, from Forgotten Realms to Planescape, from Al Qadim to Ravenloft, got their start under Williams.

That wasn't a comments about how many settings are a good thing. While I would say that the lack of focus wasn't helpful, I think we can now see that the creation of all of the IP was (in the long-term, at least) beneficial.

As a gamer, I am happy with the descision. And it partially rebuffs her "not a gamer" issue in that she did good for gamers.

I was just pointing out that financially it worked to their detriment. Which is relevant because this thread is talking about the financial issues of TSR under it's various management (Gygax/Blume/Williams).

Something can be positive along one axis and negative along another.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Maybe, have you seen the DMG or monster manual? Imho those were convenient excuses, vehemently believed by some or even most of the folks that held them at TSR. But I can’t help but think, nay I’m pretty sure, just not absolute, if the author had been a man it wouldn’t have been recalled. Controversial or not.

The MM and DMG were written before the panic. Before James Egbert disappeared in the steam tunnels in 1979. When PotSP was being written, they were well aware of this and the subsequent panic and bad PR that that situation brought to D&D
 

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