February 18, 2019

Abuse in the Industry

I’ve had to think quite a bit about this post. Some of you may be aware that the tabletop gaming community has been having its own #metoo moment, starting with Mandy Morbid’s post here. I already thought that the subject of that post was a shithead. Her post was followed by others.

I believe Mandy, Hannah, Jennifer, and Vivka. But it’s easy for me to believe them, because I already had no respect for their abuser. Due to his harassment, a friend of mine removed her online presence, and other friends had to move countries — but these posts made it clear that he is a proper waste of a human genome.

I believe the victims of John Mørke. Which is easy, because I hardly know him. John’s main defender, Holden Shearer, continues to point people to Mørke’s Patreon, signal-boosting to raise money for his friend the abuser. Meanwhile, Holden posts a lot about the other abusers in the industry, presumably to deflect from his own role.

I believe Irlymvhir. I believe Cheyenne. I believe Amy. I believe Luka. Which is harder, because for a long time I thought of Matt McFarland as a friend. I dropped all contact with him and Michelle (his wife, who helped hide his abuse) after the first allegations came out and Matt refused to say anything about it. I have no place in my life for abusers. I was wrong not to say something at the time.

I have worked with Matt, Holden, and John on the vast majority of my books with White Wolf and Onyx Path, and my name appears with theirs on the credits. These shared credits — some of which are because I hired them1 — have rather poisoned my memories of the past fifteen years of work. That’s left me pondering what to do about my back catalogue. Do I really want to continue promoting books that include abusers in their credits?

In the end, I’ve come up with a compromise. All of the affected books were work-for-hire. None of the people involved (including me) get any money from people purchasing the books. I get a small kickback if you use the links on this site. As such, I’m not going to remove links to my work. But I’m aware that many people will have stronger feelings against buying books by abusers. As such, I’ve flagged all of the books where I share a credit with an abuser or an enabler with a pair of red stars (**), and have linked to this post to explain why.

  1. I hope it goes without saying, but this was before I knew about their history of abuse

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