Dungeons & Dragons Publisher Sued by Dragonlance Co-Writers Over Scrapped Book Trilogy

A planned trilogy of Dragonlance novels has become the basis of a lawsuit between a pair of popular fantasy writers and Wizards of the Coast. Last week, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, the co-creators of the popular fantasy series Dragonlance, filed a lawsuit at the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against Wizards of the Coast, claiming that Wizards had breached a contract related to a planned trilogy of new Dragonlance novels. The 25-page complaint notes that Weis and Hickman had entered into a License Agreement with Wizards of the Coast to work on a trilogy of new novels, the first two of which were titled Dragons of Deceit and Dragons of Fate. After a manuscript had been turned in for the first book and and substantial work on a second planned book was underway, Wizards of the Coast told the pair they would not any new drafts of the book or subsequent work on the trilogy in August 2020. This, according to the lawsuit, effectively terminated Wizards of the Coast's contract with Weis and Hickman, with no reason given for the termination.

The lawsuit also claims that Wizards cancelled their License Agreement with Weis and Hickman because of a series of well-publicized controversies involving Wizards of the Coast over that company's hiring practices, as well as several controversies concerning racism in its Magic: The Gathering cards. Specifically mentioned in the lawsuit was criticism regarding Nic Kelman, the Head of Story and Entertainment for Wizards of the Coast, whose 2019 book Girls: A Paean was "subject to ongoing public discussions of whether his work contained or promoted misogyny and pedophilia." Kelman and Paul Morrisey became the editorial and oversight team for the planned Dragonlance novels in June 2020, replacing a pair of female editors previously assigned to work on the novels.

Per the filing, Weis and Hickman are requesting a jury trial and claim that Wizards' actions has resulted in damages in excess of $10 million. The full filing can be read here.

Dragonlance was a popular campaign setting in the 1980s, although no new Dungeons & Dragons game material has been released since 2007. Many fans had hoped that Dragonlance would return to game shelves over the next few years, as Wizards of the Coast noted they were working on updating three classic campaign settings.