Wednesday, July 8, 2020

WotC Issues Disclaimer for Legacy Products on Sale via DM's Guild / DTRPG

I've already covered this in-depth on The Tavern Chat Podcast. I can't believe they STILL haven't corrected "Dungeon & Dragons".

The quoted text is from T1 The Village of Hommlet (1e)

Podcast discussion:


"We recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website, does not reflect the values of the Dungeon & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end."

There is an affiliate link above. Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links support your bartender.


  1. I guess the book burners will be all kinds of upset. Their waking state...

  2. Looks like they retracted it and offered an apology.

    1. Where do you see that? The disclaimers are still all over everything.

    2. Not retracted. But new announcement:

      A disclaimer has been added to several legacy titles on our partner distribution sites. We'd like to talk about why we've added that disclaimer, what it means, and other steps that are being taken to address a legacy of ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice in some old products.

      This is an early step and not done in a vacuum. It's not enough to evaluate ourselves. As outlined in our original diversity statement (http://spr.ly/6184GTbpj), we're undergoing the process of reviewing our content and practices and hiring external consultants to review with us.

      These processes take time to implement, and we'll continue to provide future updates. Unfortunately, our disclaimer was added before we were ready to fully communicate the steps we are taking. We apologize for failing to handle this situation with the care and grace it deserves.

      Lastly, we want to make it clear that we condemn the harassment or bullying of those raising their concerns about our content, past or present. D&D wants to be an open, welcoming, and inclusive space. Those who do not reflect those values are not welcome in our community.

      Simply put, we messed up and we're sorry. Wizards of the Coast is constantly working to be better, and we have a lot of work to do, especially so in repairing trust with our community. Thank you for continuing to use your voice so that we may continue to make meaningful change.

    3. The new announcement is disingenuous and misleading. It's not "several" titles. It appears to be literally *every* D&D or AD&D work prior to 5th edition. Claiming it is "several" is harmful as it suggests that particular works people are looking at are racist, when in fact, this is simply a placeholder for "we haven't vetted everything" (and probably won't for a while, if ever).

  3. So they just doubled down again and keep calling Arneson, Gygax, et all racists and misogynists. Because that's how that text reads.

    I'd rather they just said thanks Gary for our livelihoods and went on their way.

    1. It's just a blanket disclaimer that has been applied to every single TSR product: all the old modules, Tomb of Horrors, Dragon Lance, a Paladin in Hell, the Complete Fighter, etc.

      What is offensive about this is that readers looking at the disclaimer without realizing that EVERYTHING BY TSR was tagged with it may think that an individual author is racist. "Oh look, the disclaimer's on Dragonlance. Margaret Weis is a racist. Oh look, the disclaimer's on D&D Cyclopedia. Aaron Allston is a racist." Etc.

  4. They should have the courage to state what was improper. Was it T1's treatment of humanoids? A barmaid made too sexy?

    I think a bigger problem is that Mr Gygax didn't actually link the village with the moathouse in any meaningful way?

    1. It is not Hommlet. Every single book from 1st or 2nd edition has this disclaimer.

    2. Yes, but Tenkar's example was Hommlet so I went with it.

  5. I find it hilarious how WOTC is falling all over itself trying to score wokeness points, but isn't willing to put its money where its mouth is. First banning a bunch of old MTG cards it hasn't made any money from in 20+ years (and which don't see any tournament play), now condemning a bunch of old books (that WOTC didn't even write) while leaving them up for sale.

    What even is this supposed "legacy of ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice" that they're claiming exists?

  6. Long time reader and first time commenter.

    I think that WoTC is genuine in its desire to do the right thing. The problem is the approach they are taking will please no one.

    To those who have been playing D&D for a long time they have just accused them of being racist, misogynists, and so on. There are few few that are or ever were. The materials that they created weren't intended to be.

    Om the other hand those that scream the most at WoTC just seem to want to complain. Nothing wizards does will make then happy. Some don't even like D&D but are using the situation to take piss on it. Others don't like D&D are using it to get some publicity for their products (some good but most mediocre). In some cases people are using it to get a job that they may or may not be qualified for.

    The problem is this is bad for WoTC. They are starting to play it safe with their products. The products are OK but don't take any narrative risks. Brilliant settings and modules that sell well are ones that take risks.

  7. Well, as someone who just bought a bunch of 5e books, and re-bought my old 2e books. I even bought some POD classic titles! This treatment of legacy titles makes me not want to give them any more of my money :(


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition