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Drizztsmanchild
Learned Scribe

USA
228 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  07:17:05  Show Profile  Visit Drizztsmanchild's Homepage Send Drizztsmanchild a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I just noticed this today. From the description it sounds like one of the questions in Relentless is answered
https://www.harpervoyagerbooks.com/book/9780063029798/unti-drizzt-4/

PattPlays
Learned Scribe

201 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  10:06:33  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Whoooooo wants to take bets on whether or not there will be these Black Obelisks of time-travel in this series?

:The world's greatest OOTA fan/critic: :"Powder kegs within powder kegs!": :Meta-Dimensional Cheese: :Why is the Wand of Orcus just back?: :We still don't know the nature of Souls and the Positive Energy Plane: :PC on profile, Aldritch Elpyptrat Maxinfield: :Helljumpers, Bungie.net: :Rock Hard Gladiator, RIP Fluidanim, RIP Pluto: :IRC lives:


https://thisisstorytelling.wordpress.com

T_P_T

Edited by - PattPlays on 21 Oct 2020 10:06:48
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9754 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  14:08:08  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really really need to catch up on his novels, but it seems I go through spurts and stop and never get caught up. That being said, without knowing who his latest bout of characters are, and maybe with the current fascination I have with bearfolk coloring my views, but I think it would be interesting if he brought in Oyaminartok the Winter Walker as a character to his stories.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34213 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  16:49:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just wish other authors could be given a chance like this.

Yes, I know that we're talking about the most popular novel character in the setting and that this character has put the author on the NYT Best Seller list -- but that doesn't change the fact that the Realms has seen a lot of successful authors, and that every single novel character in the Realms, including Lord Ginsu, was at one point a new character the world was seeing for the first time.

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sno4wy
Learned Scribe

USA
331 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  17:08:23  Show Profile Send sno4wy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It’s very strange that Wizards of the Coast is moving forward with this series after nixing the next Dragonlance trilogy. It is speculated that WotC’s decision regarding Dragonlance might be affected by the bad press building up around the racism and sexism in their early products. Perhaps their decision was an effort to minimize possible backlash from all potential directions. If that’s true, it’s even stranger that they would kill Dragonlance but continue to support Drizzt publications. Unlike the (by comparison) progressive Dragonlance books, many of the Drizzt books embody the problematic issues for which WotC is receiving heat. There hasn’t been attention paid to similar issues beyond the racism and sexism elements in the Drizzt books, i.e. mishandling of LGBT+ representation, but even the most recent Drizzt trilogy hasn’t been devoid of outdated perspectives. Dragonlance is also a much wider known franchise than Drizzt. Why is WotC doing this? Who can say.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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34213 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  19:20:32  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sno4wy

It’s very strange that Wizards of the Coast is moving forward with this series after nixing the next Dragonlance trilogy. It is speculated that WotC’s decision regarding Dragonlance might be affected by the bad press building up around the racism and sexism in their early products. Perhaps their decision was an effort to minimize possible backlash from all potential directions. If that’s true, it’s even stranger that they would kill Dragonlance but continue to support Drizzt publications. Unlike the (by comparison) progressive Dragonlance books, many of the Drizzt books embody the problematic issues for which WotC is receiving heat. There hasn’t been attention paid to similar issues beyond the racism and sexism elements in the Drizzt books, i.e. mishandling of LGBT+ representation, but even the most recent Drizzt trilogy hasn’t been devoid of outdated perspectives. Dragonlance is also a much wider known franchise than Drizzt. Why is WotC doing this? Who can say.



Well, for one thing, this isn't Wizards that's doing it -- they're allowing Harper Voyager to do it. So WotC isn't taking any risk here -- someone else is doing all the work, and if there's any blowback, WotC can just blame them.

I'm not sure that Dragonlance is more widely known, as well. The Chronicles and Legends were quite popular, but Dragonlance hasn't been supported -- in novels or as a published game setting -- for a while, and I'm pretty sure that the only TSR/WotC stuff to hit the best seller list was Drizzt stuff.

This is also the first I've heard of a new Dragonlance trilogy.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 21 Oct 2020 19:21:58
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John Daker
Acolyte

USA
44 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  19:40:14  Show Profile Send John Daker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I read about the Dragonlance news, I thought, “That’s a wrap. There won’t be any more D&D novels for years now—if ever.”

I suspect the timing of this Drizzt leak is not an accident. Note that it’s not WOTC that leaked it, but the publisher (Harper), immediately confirmed and amplified by the author.

Now, the timing *could* a coincidence. But if not, there’s an obvious motive: to make it at least a little more difficult for WOTC to quietly cancel the Drizzt books in the same immoral and illegal way that they just canceled Dragonlance.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
34213 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  20:21:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John Daker

Now, the timing *could* a coincidence. But if not, there’s an obvious motive: to make it at least a little more difficult for WOTC to quietly cancel the Drizzt books in the same immoral and illegal way that they just canceled Dragonlance.



How is a company deciding not to publish a work of fiction based on an IP that it owns illegal or immoral? As the IP holder, it is perfectly legal for them to do whatever they want with the IP. As for it being immoral, I can't see too many scenarios where it would be immoral, unless there was some prior agreement that they unilaterally withdrew from -- and even then, it may not be immoral, depending on the cause.

Remember, just because we find their decisions disagreeable/incomprehensible, it doesn't mean these decisions were made maliciously or that there is anything morally or legally questionable about them.

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John Daker
Acolyte

USA
44 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  20:55:38  Show Profile Send John Daker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would suggest you read a bit about the lawsuit, which has been reported fairly widely in the last couple of days. If you have a lot of time on your hands, this video explains the legal merits of the suit in depth: https://youtu.be/x18niWAQiBk.

Short version: no, even if you own an IP, you can’t just do whatever you want with it once you have a licensing contract with another party to do something with that IP. You have obligations to uphold your end of that contract. What WOTC appears to have done here is to say “We’ve decided we don’t actually want Penguin to publish any new Dragonlance novels, and so although we can’t withdraw from our contract without triggering a breach claim, we’ll obstruct you from publishing your work by refusing to approve any drafts, no matter what you do.” I’m sure Hasbro will throw a lot of lawyers at this, of course. But it looks very much like a meritorious suit at this point.

And yeah, I would argue that WOTC’s actions here, if they are indeed as the suit describes, are not just illegal but immoral. The moral thing would have been to breach the suit and pay the penalties, rather than act in bad faith and try to weasel out of the contract without overtly breaching it (by declaring they will simply refuse to approve *any* drafts so things can’t move forward and the contract will eventually expire). This is totally screwing over Weis and Hickman in several ways and leaving them on the hook to pay back their advance to Penguin, refusing to return the portion of the advance that went to WOTC and now must also be returned to Penguin, and with nothing whatsoever to show for more than a year’s labor—and even (if I understand this part correctly) exposing W&H to a possible suit from the third party with whom they struck an ancillary sublicensing deal under the terms of the one with WOTC.

Disclaimer: I’m sure a lot of new details will come to light. I don’t anticipate those details will make WOTC look any better than they do at the moment—but stranger things have happened.

Note also that Weis and Hickman specifically allege that Hasbro told WOTC to do this as a result of all the controversy WOTC has faced recently over racism, sexism, and inclusivity.

Edited by - John Daker on 21 Oct 2020 21:41:39
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sno4wy
Learned Scribe

USA
331 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  21:14:23  Show Profile Send sno4wy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
Well, for one thing, this isn't Wizards that's doing it -- they're allowing Harper Voyager to do it. So WotC isn't taking any risk here -- someone else is doing all the work, and if there's any blowback, WotC can just blame them.


According to this article (https://boingboing.net/2020/10/19/margaret-weis-and-tracy-hickman-sue-wizards-of-the-coast-after-it-abandons-new-dragonlance-trilogy.html), the latest Dragonlance trilogy was supposed to be published by an external publisher, Penguin Random House, much like how Drizzt has been licensed out to external publisher Harper Voyager.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34213 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  22:21:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John Daker

I would suggest you read a bit about the lawsuit, which has been reported fairly widely in the last couple of days. If you have a lot of time on your hands, this video explains the legal merits of the suit in depth: https://youtu.be/x18niWAQiBk.

Short version: no, even if you own an IP, you can’t just do whatever you want with it once you have a licensing contract with another party to do something with that IP. You have obligations to uphold your end of that contract. What WOTC appears to have done here is to say “We’ve decided we don’t actually want Penguin to publish any new Dragonlance novels, and so although we can’t withdraw from our contract without triggering a breach claim, we’ll obstruct you from publishing your work by refusing to approve any drafts, no matter what you do.” I’m sure Hasbro will throw a lot of lawyers at this, of course. But it looks very much like a meritorious suit at this point.

And yeah, I would argue that WOTC’s actions here, if they are indeed as the suit describes, are not just illegal but immoral. The moral thing would have been to breach the suit and pay the penalties, rather than act in bad faith and try to weasel out of the contract without overtly breaching it (by declaring they will simply refuse to approve *any* drafts so things can’t move forward and the contract will eventually expire). This is totally screwing over Weis and Hickman in several ways and leaving them on the hook to pay back their advance to Penguin, refusing to return the portion of the advance that went to WOTC and now must also be returned to Penguin, and with nothing whatsoever to show for more than a year’s labor—and even (if I understand this part correctly) exposing W&H to a possible suit from the third party with whom they struck an ancillary sublicensing deal under the terms of the one with WOTC.

Disclaimer: I’m sure a lot of new details will come to light. I don’t anticipate those details will make WOTC look any better than they do at the moment—but stranger things have happened.

Note also that Weis and Hickman specifically allege that Hasbro told WOTC to do this as a result of all the controversy WOTC has faced recently over racism, sexism, and inclusivity.



Actually, a lot of licensing deals do have specific parameters allowing one party to make a unilateral contract break. These parameters are written into the contract itself and thus agreed to by all parties.

I don't see anything there saying that Weis & Hickman had to return their advance or that they were empowered to make deals based on someone else's IP, either. Note: I did not watch the video, but the article Snowy linked to has no information to that effect, and another one I just read did not indicate money had changed hands anywhere, just that Weis & Hickman were suing over money they expected to make on the books.

Honestly, I seriously doubt WotC is going to do anything that exposes them to a financial loss, in a deal like this -- meaning that despite Weis & Hickman filing a lawsuit, WotC's lawyers had already gone over everything and determined how they could proceed with minimal penalties.

Please note that I'm not trying to defend WotC; I'm very thoroughly not a fan of them, myself. I just feel that credit must be given where credit is due, and conversely, discredit shouldn't be given where it's not deserved. Decisions I think are bad decisions may still have sound legal/business reasoning behind them.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 21 Oct 2020 22:28:59
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
34213 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  22:37:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Reading more into it... Without WotC actually saying they were killing the deal, I don't see how anyone can say they've breached the contract. All WotC has to do is come back and say it's delayed, and as long as the timeframe isn't too long, then that really undercuts any litigation against them.

Also, I think there's a lot of information we don't have, here. All we have is one side of the story.

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John Daker
Acolyte

USA
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Posted - 21 Oct 2020 :  23:37:46  Show Profile Send John Daker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
OK—I've now read the filing through and can correct a couple of things. Disclaimer: I'm not an attorney. But I know a bit about the law nonetheless.

First off: W&H don't appear to have been granted any sublicensing rights beyond publishing the trilogy. The part of the filing referring to ancillaries actually pertains to W&H's stake in any sublicensing deals WOTC might cut. Sorry for the confusion.

Second: The filing of course doesn't reproduce the entire contract, but it does reproduce the termination clause. WOTC is allowed to terminate only under certain conditions. The relevant condition here, and the one Hasbro's lawyers will surely focus on, states that they can terminate unilaterally IF W&H fail "to comply with the approval and quality requirements"—but W&H can reasonably claim that they did *not* fail to comply with those requirements, which are laid out elsewhere and which impose on WOTC a duty to provide notes telling W&H what to change. The filing states that W&H have revised several times according to those notes, which included objections to love potions (recall the recent kerfluffle with the Love Domain cleric Unearthed Arcana, which became the Unity Domain cleric). They revised more than 70 pages as a result of sensitivity readers' suggestions. It seems clear cut to me—though I'm not a lawyer. However, I do note that there's an ellipsis in this clause in the filing, so perhaps WOTC has more contractual wiggle room that the filing has elided.

Third: In response to this: "Without WotC actually saying they were killing the deal, I don't see how anyone can say they've breached the contract. All WotC has to do is come back and say it's delayed, and as long as the timeframe isn't too long, then that really undercuts any litigation against them." Part of the relief W&H are seeking is for WOTC to be orderd to honor the contract and move forward toward approving the book drafts. I suppose WOTC could reach out to W&H directly, offer to move forward toward approval, and convince them to drop the suit. Things having escalated to the point of a lawsuit, however, it seems to me that WOTC is likely to respond within the court system and do one of three things: settle and agree to publication; fight the suit and hope to win; settle without agreeing to publication. Personally, I'd speculate that I've listed those in increasing order of likelihood. At any rate, it's hard to imagine any settlement that would *only* include moving forward toward publication without at least including paying W&H's legal fees.

Also: The contract can definitely be breached without WOTC saying they're killing the deal. There is a distinction between "breach of contract" and "breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing"; the latter is legal terminology meaning you've violated the spirit of the agreement (e.g., you've worked to obstruct the goal toward which the contract was signed) even if you haven't violated any specific terms, and yes, this is frequently the basis of meritorious suits. W&H's suit alleges both kinds of breach, plausibly it seems to me. (They also allege tortious interference with contract, based on the fact that WOTC allegedly contacted Penguin to notify them of their itent to scuttle the deal in this underhanded way; because Penguin's contract was with W&H, and not with WOTC, this is potentially illegal.)

Also: WOTC is contractually obligated to provide notes within ten days of submission of a draft, so no, they couldn't just feign an innocent grin and claim delay—not without breaching the contract. But anyway, they haven't claimed that. What they've done is to tell W&H not to bother submitting any further drafts, because there is no way WOTC will approve them.

Sorry folks, didn't mean to completely derail the thread about the Drizzt news, about which I'm very excited, but also more than a little concerned won't ultimately reach publication.

Edited by - John Daker on 22 Oct 2020 14:26:26
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2551 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2020 :  02:10:44  Show Profile Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This has been flying around the various social media platforms. On the one hand, I'm happy we'll finally get updates on Doum'wielle (sp?), and indeed answers the question that was left at the end of Relentless. Bob did say there was one more trilogy he wanted to do, but I will say this happened fast, as just a month or so ago, he was saying, "we'll see". Now, it sounds like it's a go.

I've had such mixed feelings towards every book for a while, and some recent interviews (there is a link to one in one of the Relentless scrolls) with RAS have left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, but I find myself reading them, anyway, so I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

Sweet water and light laughter
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9754 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2020 :  15:43:40  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Haven't read that link about whatever legal stuff is happening. Don't plan to. Got other stuff going on in my life. That being said... out of curiosity... has actually WotC done ANYTHING really with dragonlance ever to any extent? I'm literally just curious. I know they apparently let someone make a really bad cartoon for dragons of autumn twilight, and there may have been dragon mag articles published by Paizo, but wizards themselves... they ever do anything with the setting? Again, I'm literally just curious. I quit reading DL novels long ago except for the ones release by Weiss & Hickman themselves. I know some kind of like "prequel" novels by Weiss and Hickman did come out at one point that filled in the gaps missingo in the original DL trilogy, but I honestly can't remember if that was at the end of TSR's time or the start/middle of WotC time.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Belnick
Acolyte

6 Posts

Posted - 11 Nov 2020 :  14:43:59  Show Profile Send Belnick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
link is down, but copied this from cashed:



Starlight Enclave
A Novel
by R. A. Salvatore
Price: $14.99
Release date: Aug 03, 2021
ISBN: 9780063029798
Format: E-book
quote:
After the settling dust of the demon uprising and two years of peace, rumblings from the Menzoberranzan drow have Jarlaxle nervous. Worried his allies may be pulled into a Civil War between the great Houses, he is eager to ensure Zaknafein is armed with weapons befitting his skill, including one in particular: Khazid’hea. A powerful artifact, the sword known as “Cutter” has started wars, corrupted its users, and spilled the blood of many, many people. Nonetheless—or maybe because of that—the rogue Jarlaxle and a small group of friends will go on an expedition looking for the weapon’s last wielder, Doum’wielle, in the freezing north, for she may be the key to unlocking the sword’s potential…and perhaps the key to preventing the bloodshed looming over the Underdark.

And as they explore the top of the world, Drizzt is on a journey of his own—both spiritual and physical. He wants to introduce his daughter Brie to Grandmaster Kane and the practices that have been so central to his beliefs. But, having only recently come back from true transcendence, the drow ranger is no longer sure what his beliefs mean anymore. He is on a path to determining the future, not just for his family, but perhaps the entire northlands of the Realms themselves.

Two different roads. On one, Jarlaxle and Zaknefein are on a quest to find pieces that could offer salvation to Menzoberranzan. On the other, Drizzt seeks answers that could offer salvation to not just his soul, but all souls.

And no matter the outcome of either journey, the Realms will never be the same again.

Edited by - Belnick on 11 Nov 2020 14:45:16
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