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
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 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
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
Miranda Horner: Editor for many books, particularly Dragonlance and Ravenloft.
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).
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
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.
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
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.