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Top 10 role-playing game controversies of 2013

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2013 was a tumultuous year for role-playing games, featuring everything from pedophiles to child cannibals, claims of plagiarism to the start/stop emergence of classic Dungeons & Dragons material in electronic format. Here's what was covered in 2013.

  1. Everyone wanted Dungeons & Dragons to return to PDF when every issue of Dragon and Polyhedron appeared online. It turned out to be illegally uploaded.
  2. Eventually, Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) rescinded their ban on all things PDF and launched DNDClassics.com
  3. This brought up the question as to whether or not printed RPGs are even viable as a business model.
  4. We got an ugly look at how WOTC dealt with its licensing agreements, particularly Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons.
  5. And speaking of licensing agreements, Mystara became a topic of discussion when author Tracey Alley was accused of plagiarizing the campaign for her self-published books.
  6. In the transition from 4th to 5th Edition, Dungeons & Dragons went silent, with WOTC pulling back from Gen Con.
  7. Meanwhile, Pathfinder continued to trounce 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons in sales.
  8. Popular Pathfinder publisher Super Genius Games lost two-thirds of its members to found another company.
  9. And Pathfinder supporter Clark Peterson's role-playing activities came under scrutiny from disgruntled plaintiffs as his day job as a judge intruded on his game company.
  10. Pedophiles with ties to role-playing games came up not once, but twice, with justice served for both Edward Kramer and Geoffrey Portway.

My predictions for the Dungeons & Dragons brand in 2014 are covered here.

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