D&D General What Happened To The New DRAGONLANCE Trilogy?

Dire Bare

Legend
Yeah, it's never just one guy. I get this dude is the one who made the call, but a big company like WotC doesn't just sue because one guy thinks it's the right call. He had to have some support to have moved ahead with it.

Of course, the lawsuit clearly became untenable and they reversed and the guy resigned. But the idea that only one guy had concerns with the Dragonlance IP and is solely responsible is silly... what's true is that he became the fall guy for the whole fiasco.
WotC didn’t sue. The authors did.

And the one guy literally made the call over one phone conversation. On his own.

Now I’ll grant you, WotC et all should have balked at that right away.

@darjr is right that Weis & Hickman sued WotC, not the other way around.

But I'm with @Urriak Uruk in that it wasn't just that one guy. That one guy, what's his name, was a huge issue for a number of reasons, but the failed relationship and cancelled contract wasn't his solely his fault.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
WotC didn’t sue. The authors did.

And the one guy literally made the call over one phone conversation. On his own.

Now I’ll grant you, WotC et all should have balked at that right away.

Apologies, I had forgotten who-sued-who.

Still, I can guarantee that this one guy didn't unilaterally cancel the Dragonlance books, on his own, without consulting anyone. That's simply not how these decisions can be made at large companies (you have to consult with others to pull the triggers on this stuff). A one-on-one phone conversation doesn't mean he woke up one day and decided to cancel Dragonlance without telling anyone.
 

darjr

I crit!
Apologies, I had forgotten who-sued-who.

Still, I can guarantee that this one guy didn't unilaterally cancel the Dragonlance books, on his own, without consulting anyone. That's simply not how these decisions can be made at large companies (you have to consult with others to pull the triggers on this stuff). A one-on-one phone conversation doesn't mean he woke up one day and decided to cancel Dragonlance without telling anyone.
He absolutely did, he tried to strong arm the authors and when they said no he said he’d never review another draft. This happened over a single call. WotCs fault was not reversing it immediately.

WotC trusted him to be professional and not fly off the handle and he did just that. Why they didn’t step in right away and fix it I don’t know.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
He absolutely did, he tried to strong arm the authors and when they said no he said he’d never review another draft. This happened over a single call. WotCs fault was not reversing it immediately.

I'm going to need you to cite a source that says he unilaterally cancelled the Dragonlance books with no approvals or consultation. I'm extremely doubtful this happened, a company with WotC's bureaucracy is unlikely to be able to make decisions like this so easily.
 

darjr

I crit!
I'm going to need you to cite a source that says he unilaterally cancelled the Dragonlance books with no approvals or consultation. I'm extremely doubtful this happened, a company with WotC's bureaucracy is unlikely to be able to make decisions like this so easily.
Some of it is documented in the lawsuit.

On or about August 13, 2020, acting with the knowledge and consent and possibly at the direction of Hasbro, Defendant held a telephonic meeting with Plaintiff-Creators and their representatives. Among those present at the meeting were Messrs. Kelman and Morrissey, Defendant’s in-house lawyers, Nick Mitchell and Ben Hellerstein, and various PRH representatives, including executives and counsel. At that telephonic meeting, without any forewarning, Defendant’s attorney (Mr. Mitchell) stated Defendant refused to perform under the License Agreement, effectively terminating the agreement unilaterally. When challenged about the grounds for such termination, Mr. Mitchell responded with the nonsensical statement, “We are not moving toward breach, but we will not approve any further drafts.”


 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Some of it is documented in the lawsuit.

On or about August 13, 2020, acting with the knowledge and consent and possibly at the direction of Hasbro, Defendant held a telephonic meeting with Plaintiff-Creators and their representatives. Among those present at the meeting were Messrs. Kelman and Morrissey, Defendant’s in-house lawyers, Nick Mitchell and Ben Hellerstein, and various PRH representatives, including executives and counsel. At that telephonic meeting, without any forewarning, Defendant’s attorney (Mr. Mitchell) stated Defendant refused to perform under the License Agreement, effectively terminating the agreement unilaterally. When challenged about the grounds for such termination, Mr. Mitchell responded with the nonsensical statement, “We are not moving toward breach, but we will not approve any further drafts.”



Ok, all I'll say to this is just because he was alone on this call, doesn't mean no one else knew... I have plenty of calls where I need to tell a client/partner some new step, where I had a strategy meeting with coworkers before-hand deciding on that step. It would be very weird if this person was unilaterally making this decision without coworkers approval (or at least, acceptance).
 

darjr

I crit!
Ever wonder why the wierd “no more draft approvals” tactic? WotC has buried expensive things before like that supplement some folks wrongly think WotC “promised” us. Why go about such a wierd way to stop the publication? Do you really think this cost to end the contract would have driven WotC to do these shenanigans? I dont think so.

I think it’s because he didn’t have the power to do it properly but he sure as h*ck could stop the draft approval process.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Ever wonder why the wierd “no more draft approvals” tactic? WotC has buried expensive things before like that supplement some folks wrongly think WotC “promised” us. Why go about such a wierd way to stop the publication? Do you really think this cost to end the contract would have driven WotC to do these shenanigans? I dont think so.

I think it’s because he didn’t have the power to do it properly but he sure as h*ck could stop the draft approval process.
It was a way . . . they thought . . . to kill the project without breaking the contract. They didn't say "we're canceling the books", they said, "we're not approving any more drafts". Weaselly, lawyer stuff, you know!
 

darjr

I crit!
It was a way . . . they thought . . . to kill the project without breaking the contract. They didn't say "we're canceling the books", they said, "we're not approving any more drafts". Weaselly, lawyer stuff, you know!
WotC doesn’t do that. They put a steak in things. I think that was him.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Some of it is documented in the lawsuit.

On or about August 13, 2020, acting with the knowledge and consent and possibly at the direction of Hasbro, Defendant held a telephonic meeting with Plaintiff-Creators and their representatives. Among those present at the meeting were Messrs. Kelman and Morrissey, Defendant’s in-house lawyers, Nick Mitchell and Ben Hellerstein, and various PRH representatives, including executives and counsel. At that telephonic meeting, without any forewarning, Defendant’s attorney (Mr. Mitchell) stated Defendant refused to perform under the License Agreement, effectively terminating the agreement unilaterally. When challenged about the grounds for such termination, Mr. Mitchell responded with the nonsensical statement, “We are not moving toward breach, but we will not approve any further drafts.”



This is a bit confusing because it seems it was WoTCs in-house attorney that put forth the no breach but no further drafts argument. It's HIGHLY unlikely that they attorney would do that without approval from his client!

Am I reading that wrong?
 

darjr

I crit!
This is a bit confusing because it seems it was WoTCs in-house attorney that put forth the no breach but no further drafts argument. It's HIGHLY unlikely that they attorney would do that without approval from his client!

Am I reading that wrong?
I think you are. Attorneys don’t make those kinds of decisions.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I think you are. Attorneys don’t make those kinds of decisions.

Right it says:

At that telephonic meeting, without any forewarning, Defendant’s attorney (Mr. Mitchell) stated Defendant refused to perform under the License Agreement, effectively terminating the agreement unilaterally.


Mr. Mitchell, the attorney, made the statement.
Defendant here is WoTC, right? So he had to have had direction from them. Or was he acting under the direction of "one guy..." Who's no longer there?
 

darjr

I crit!
He was speaking on behalf of the Defendant, Mr Kelman, representing management of WotC, the Defendants.

Note also that the authors were ALREADY making changes per WotC and Mr Kelman's requests. They were working together and making progress, together.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Ever wonder why the wierd “no more draft approvals” tactic? WotC has buried expensive things before like that supplement some folks wrongly think WotC “promised” us. Why go about such a wierd way to stop the publication? Do you really think this cost to end the contract would have driven WotC to do these shenanigans? I dont think so.
Because Weiss and Hickman were due royalties for sales. WOTC would have to pay them for sales that never happened if they wanted to settle. This would be a huge cost.

Their "no more draft approvals" was their silly way to try to skirt contract breach - No you can still write the novels but we are not going to approve any of the drafts for publication.
 

Ok, all I'll say to this is just because he was alone on this call, doesn't mean no one else knew... I have plenty of calls where I need to tell a client/partner some new step, where I had a strategy meeting with coworkers before-hand deciding on that step. It would be very weird if this person was unilaterally making this decision without coworkers approval (or at least, acceptance).
Not if you thought your co-workers where wrong. Then you do your best to keep them out of the loop, and have to resign when you get found out.

Maybe shenanigans of this sort are less common in your line of work.
 

darjr

I crit!
Because Weiss and Hickman were due royalties for sales. WOTC would have to pay them for sales that never happened if they wanted to settle. This would be a huge cost.

Their "no more draft approvals" was their silly way to try to skirt contract breach - No you can still write the novels but we are not going to approve any of the drafts for publication.
I don't think any guarantee of royalties were in the contract? Or any for breaking it via the means laid out in the contract? Have you seen the contract?
 


Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Not if you thought your co-workers where wrong. Then you do your best to keep them out of the loop, and have to resign when you get found out.

Maybe shenanigans of this sort are less common in your line of work.

For something of this magnitude, the man would have to be a colossal moron to have done this without telling anyone (you can't exactly keep it a secret!). So unless there's some actual proof that he did this alone (and being on a call alone doesn't mean anything) this is hard to believe.

Anyway, I've been arguing ad nauseum about something that honestly doesn't matter much. I was just trying to point out that when "poop hits the fan," a big company usually assigns one person the role of fall-guy to take heat off, even though it's rarely solely one guy's responsibility.
 

darjr

I crit!
Have you? @ECMO3's posts line up with my recollection of the news on ENWorld about the legal scuffle between W&H and WotC.
No and I dint believe he has either.

But the text in the lawsuit doesn’t say anything about what WotC would owe the authors of the followed the contract to step away from it.

Those millions are the damages asked for IN the lawsuit.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
For something of this magnitude, the man would have to be a colossal moron to have done this without telling anyone (you can't exactly keep it a secret!). So unless there's some actual proof that he did this alone (and being on a call alone doesn't mean anything) this is hard to believe.
Well, the guy is a pedo apologist, so the colossal moron part may be true.
 

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