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Public Service Message: James Ward is not a plagiarizer. – Omens and Portents

Public Service Message: James Ward is not a plagiarizer.

Once every year or so Jim Ward, I assume because he is tired of seeing misinformation and accusations about how TSR breached copyright laws by including the Melnibonéan and Lovecraftian mythoi in the 1st printing of the seminal Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Deities & Demigods book published in 1980, releases a statement about his involvement in the development, and publication of that work. His statement is reproduced below.

I'm not sure why, but around this time of year people pull out their Deities & Demigods and claim TSR (and I) stole two…

Posted by James M. Ward on Monday, December 23, 2019

If you’ve ever done any writing professionally, and perhaps even if you haven’t, you can understand how this persistent misinformation could rub someone the wrong way. Most of the old grognards I know are familiar with this story, but even in our AD&D Facebook group the old rumors surface every so often.

So if you know Jim, or like Jim, or just dislike misinformation take some time to spread the truth about Deities & Demigods for a stalwart of the gaming industry and a true professional, not to mention a really nice guy.

Embedded post updated December 23, 2019

7 Responses

  1. Ruprecht says:

    The question Mr Ward should actually answer is why they provided statblocks for Gods a the very same time Gygax was complaining in Dragon Magazine about overly high level characters.

    • I’m not sure I see how the two are connected. Can you reference the Dragon article?

      • Ruprecht says:

        The connection is the creator bemoans high level characters while the company creates a “monster manual” filled with things only killable by high level characters.

        Anyway I’m not sure what issue but one example I found was in the Best of Dragon Vol 1 (page 26). It dates to April 1976 and is reproduced here: http://themagictreerpg.blogspot.com/2008/10/d-is-only-as-good-as-dm.html
        I believe there was more than just the one article as I remember TSR being against the whole Monty Haul stye that developed as D&D moved from college to younger kids.

        • I see what you are saying, but I reject the “Deities & Demigods as a monster book” argument.

          • ruprecht says:

            Seemed like a Monster Manual at the time. Monster stats, hero stats, God stats.

          • Given the abilities of the gods presented and “Standard Divine Abilities” any DM who can’t wipe a party no matter the size and level with a god isn’t worth their salt. I always saw the stats as a way of comparing relative strengths and hierarchy. I agree the monsters and heroes could be, and were probably intended for use in combat. I always assumed parties that wanted to do battle with a god simply had a death wish and I obliged them.

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