Dungeons & Dragons has released a statement about a game designer whose name appears in the Player's Handbook and who was recently accused of abusive behavior by several former partners.
Last week, several women came forward to accuse Zak Smith of abuse and sexual violence during past relationships. Smith is an artist, adult film star and game designer best known for his work on I Hit It With My Axe, a D&D video series starring himself and several other adult film actors, several of whom were among those who accused him of abuse. Smith also designed Maze of the Blue Medusa, which won multiple ENnie awards.
In 2014, Smith was among several playtesters who consulted on the early design of D&D Next, which eventually became Dungeons & Dragons' Fifth Edition ruleset. Smith's name appears in the credits of the current Player's Handbook as a result of his work on the game.
In response to the allegations, several game design companies and publishers announced that they would no longer publish or work with Smith. Today, the Dungeons & Dragons team made their own statement about Smith and his past work on the game.
"Zak Smith, along with many others was engaged by Wizards to provide feedback on D&D Next, the playtest which evolved into D&D fifth edition," the statement reads. "We have not contracted with him since, and regret our choice to do so in 2014. Because of that, we are removing Zak's credit from future physical printings and digital versions of the Player's Handbook"0comments
The statement also notes that D&D is supporting several DMs Guild bundles raising funds to donate to RAINN, a non-profit that supports victims of sexual violence. Both Wizards of the Coast and DriveThruRPG, which runs the site, will donate their proceeds of the bundles to charity, as will the individual creators of the publications found in the bundles.
"We are grateful to be a part of this wonderful community," the statement reads. "And we thank you for your passion. We remain committed to working with and learning from you, the D&D community."