Michael Mearls is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) and associated fiction writer and designer. He was the Dungeons & Dragons research and design team’s senior manager. He was a part of the design team for the game’s fifth edition. He also worked on the Castle Ravenloft board game and many Dungeons & Dragons compendium books for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th editions.
Following Mike Mearls Departure, There Is a New Head of Dungeons & Dragons
Mike Mearls, an experienced game designer, appears to have left Wizards of the Coast, and Ray Winninger has taken his position. It should ring a bell if the name sounds familiar to you. Ray has an outstanding resume, having worked for TSR, the original Dungeons & Dragons publisher. He also contributed a regular column to Dragon magazine, and since August 2018, he has served as an Executive Producer for WotC. His work with Mayfair Games and West End Games, both RPG companies in the 1980s and 1990s, had an impact on numerous games outside of D&D.
So far, here’s what we know. WotC has yet to issue an official statement about Mearl’s departure, and his LinkedIn page still lists him as “Franchise Creative Director – Dungeons & Dragons.” However, there is an interesting Twitter interaction in which WotC designer Christoper Perkins responds to a question concerning Winninger’s career. He “heads up the current D&D RPG team,” according to the response. If that wasn’t evident enough, another designer, Jeremey Crawford, says Mearls hasn’t worked on D&D in a long time, leaving “sometime last year.”
Regarding Mike Mearls Harassment
While I understand why many gamers feel justified in attacking me, I need to clear up some misconceptions concerning the collateral harm that is spreading throughout the gaming community. People on the Something Awful /tg forum started the conspiracy hypothesis. The theory is based on events that occurred after the fifth edition of D&D was released in 2014.
This is what happened between Mike and me. In this order:
Mike and I were only passing acquaintances on the internet. He stated that he enjoyed my blog. Shortly after the announcement of the development of the 5th Edition of D&D, he contacted me about being a paid consultant. This was quite likely the longest discussion we’d ever had.
I was paid to examine draughts and exchange long emails with Mike regarding the new editions’ player’s handbook draughts. I never put the game through its paces. That wasn’t in my contract, and there was no compelling reason for me to interrupt my weekly campaign to test a new game — and I wasn’t particularly like what I was seeing at the moment.
I greatly preferred the final product.) If anyone is interested, I’m not sure how much of an impact I have on the game. They either took some of my suggestions or others had the same ideas as me. After it was out, the same conspiracy theorists who had harassed me and the D&D With Porn Stars/I Hit It With My Axe women for years over our appearance in Maxim in 2011 began bothering us again. They began with public tweets on Twitter. Since they’d been pestering us for three years, these were not unfamiliar names to us.
-I knew D&D was going to have to respond in some way, and that an investigation was likely, so I gave Mike all the information I had at the time on all the trolls and conspiracy theorists involved and said I was happy to cooperate with any investigation the company might conduct into my alleged wrongdoing.
Mike responded that he had received numerous emails, but that none of them pointed to me doing anything wrong. In many cases, it appeared that people were linking to blog pieces of mine that had been forwarded to them by Something Awful “friends” but which they had not read. (Anytime a corporation examines me, they ask for complaints, get a lot of them, and they all turn out to be lies.)
-Note that none of these apparently damaging emails have appeared, despite the fact that the people involved are still alive and well, active in the scene and on RPG Twitter.
-It’s important to note that Mike’s complaints against me were all about internet issues, and they were all in response to recorded conversations, so there’s no question that Mike “believes” or “doesn’t believe” anyone. Mike was probably provided links after he asked, but they weren’t to anything incriminating, just the usual: gamers harassing one other and me advising them not to.
-Mike’s names with me were ones I’d already mentioned throughout the chat (they had been publicly attacking me all over Twitter and Something Awful for years.) Mike refused to give me any of their information. He simply stated, “I believe that people like (Something Awful troll A, who you have mentioned) are supporting people like you” (other trolls b and c that you already brought up).
-If there’s a screenshot of the accusation going around, have a look at it. Mike does not appear to be forwarding emails to me or anybody else. We’re talking about infamous harassers Tracy Hurley and (the lady now known as) Olivia Hill. They’d been pestering me in public since 2011.
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