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15/March/2018 Posted by Freddy

TSR Code of Ethics

        James Lowder, a former writer of TSR published on his Facebook page the code of ethics that all of their writers and freelancers had to abide by. This obviously comes straight out of the moral panic in the 70's and 80's at D&D, the same reasons that Demons and Devils were renamed to Tanar'ri and Baatezu. Hilarious now, and pretty much ineffective in diverting the wave of panic at the time.

TSR Freelancer Code of Ethics. TSR attached these pages to all game and fiction contracts issued in the late 1980s and early 1990s. (These pages are copied from a 1992 fiction contract, but I received the same pages with RPG design contracts.) The guides, which I've always assumed were created in reaction to the 1980s Moral Panic around D&D, were obviously modeled on the old Comics Code Authority rules. They were, to be blunt, patently ridiculous. Editors never enforced them. Entire TSR product lines, such as Ravenloft, would have been impossible if they had been enforced. The code was in place when I started with TSR in 1988. I recall the pages being dropped from fiction contracts around 1993, but apparently they stuck around long after that.

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