3.5 Opinions: Credit Where Credit is Due

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In my 3.5 Opinions: Intro, Races, and Classes article I mention how the title page no longer lists me, despite the contributions I made to 3.0 and my material used almost verbatim in the 3.5 books. There are a lot of other people who were cut from the credits page, and I didn't want to make that section of the other article run too long, so I've put them all here.

(Note: I'm not blaming Andy Collins for this situation. Andy's not the kind of guy to screw someone out of their credit. I don't know why these things were cut or who did it. But I think it was inappropriate to do so, whoever is responsible.)

Really the annoying thing about being cut from the book is that it looks like I and those people made no contribution to 3.5 at all. While we may not have had a direct hand in shaping 3.5, we still contributed to 3.0 enough to be mentioned, and as 3.5 is supposed to only be a revision of 3.0 rather than a completely new edition of the game, you'd think those contributions would still be important enough to mention.

And the irony of that annoying thing is that many of the people cut from the list were still working in R&D at the time of the core book revisions. I mean, I sat right across from Andy Collins while he worked on the 3.5 PH. We all were involved in playtests and gave feedback on the material (Example: My bard playtester character ended up with an abysmal AC because they took away mage armor from the 3.5 bard spell list and yet he still couldn't cast in armor without arcane spell failure ... the result is that in 3.5 bards don't have ASF in light armor, which makes up for the loss of mage armor). Yet someone decided to cut our names from the book ... probably just to save space on the credits page.

So yes, I'm still miffed about that. There's nothing I can do about it except complain, and I doubt WotC's going to "fix" it in the next printing of the books ... making fixes for reprints costs money, and to them it's probably not worth the money to re-credit twenty ex-employees just to get me to shut up about it.

Now let's talk about those other unlisted contributors for a minute, just so you know who isn't being credited. (And none of these people have asked me to mention them here ... this is all my doing, looking at the 3.5 book and noticing which 3.0 names aren't there).
    Eric Cagle: Eric used to work in customer service and had to deal with crazy D&D rules calls. Then he got hired as the admin for R&D. Not only was he the one who scheduled most of the playtests with R&D members, he played in a lot of them. I'm sure he contributed a lot to the core books.
    Jason Carl: Jason was a designer in the core team ... you probably recognize his name from Sword & Fist and The Silver Marches. Another guy who was there for most of the 3.0 design, giving feedback. And some of the material from S&F was updated for the 3.5 PH.
    Shawn Carnes: Designer on the card-side of R&D (mainly Magic). A good technical guy. I'm sure he had good number-crunching feedback on things (the sort of thing that Jonathan Tweet and Andrew Finch provided for the game).
    Bill Connors: During 3E's design Bill was mostly working on Star*Drive and working as a remote employee from Wisconsin. I don't know how much feedback he gave.
    Dale Donovan: Dale is a former editor of Dragon Magazine, and a designer and editor for FR for years.
    Jeff Grubb: how can you play D&D and not know who Jeff Grubb is? You probably know him best for a little book called the Manual of the Planes. Yes, he wrote the 1E version, too. (He is listed in the 3.5 DMG, so now I'm wondering what the criteria was for listing in one book but not the other).
    Miranda Horner: Editor for many books, particularly Dragonlance and Ravenloft.
    Harold Johnson: Wearer of many hats at TSR and WotC, including Dragonlance and Ravenloft. His last hat at TSR/WotC was as an editor, which was a had he had worn before. Harold and Lisa Stevens are the ones who pushed to hire me as a full-time designer. Harold was one of the strongest voices pushing to keep the gnome race in 3.0 (yes, they were considering dropping the gnome from 3.0).
    Kij Johnson: Editor of my first solo project, The Star Cairns. Line editor for the 1998 revival of the Greyhawk line. Established (and award-winning) novelist.
    Duane Maxwell: Editor for Birthright, FR, and Dragonlance. One of the toughest guys I know. Co-designer of Magic of Faerûn.
    Steve Miller: Designer for Ravenloft, Dragonlance, and FR (he and I are co-authors for Into the Dragon's Lair).
    Roger Moore: Former editor of Dragon Magazine, champion of Greyhawk, creator way back when of the lesser deities of the nonhuman pantheons that are now part of core D&D (you know, everyone in the dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, and orc pantheons that isn't the head of the pantheon).
    Jon Pickens: A library of game info, editor for the massive Spell Compendiums and other books.
    Chris Pramas: Head of Green Ronin publishing, co-author of the Slavers adventure for Greyhawk, one of the designers for (and I think a brand manager for) the Chainmail minis game, and the award-winning game Dragonfist, a pre-d20 system that is oddly precursive to actual d20 mechanics.
    Thomas Reid: Designer and editor for a ton of stuff (including Ghostwalk), former creative director for settings such as Birthright, Planescape, and (I think) Alternity. Also a novelist.
    Stephen Schend: The FR guru for many years. Most of your 2E FR game books are either by Ed Greenwood or by Stephen Schend.
    Mike Selinker: Games guru and puzzlemaster. Most recently known for his work on the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game. A mechanically-minded guy; he broke the original version of the Sword-Dancer prestige class in Faiths & Pantheons ... 272 points of damage in a round!
    Stan!: designer for a ton of Dragonlance stuff, including the award-winning Dragonlance Bestiary.
    JD Wiker: Designer of Star Wars d20 (both original and revised) along with Bill Slavicsek and Andy Collins, plus stuff for Dark*Matter, Alternity, Vampire, and other Star Wars stuff, too. Many elements of the Star Wars rules had an influence on d20 modern and (I believe) D&D 3.5.

All of these people were present for 3.0 D&D's design. How can you leave them out of the credits in 3.5? I admit, it's not my call, and WotC doesn't have to answer to me, but I still can say I don't think it's right.
    And they took out all of the 500+ playtester names, too! Was that because 3.5 wasn't playtested as much as 3.0? In terms of time spent in the playtesting phase, certainly. In terms of numbers of playtesters, quite possibly (I don't actually know to what extent 3.5 was playtested outside of the WotC office, not including home games run by WotC staffers).

    So when you take a look at a 3.5 book, understand that there are a lot of people who worked hard to make its precursor, 3.0, and they aren't given any credit for that work, which applies just as much to 3.5 as it does to 3.0.