Popular Dungeons & Dragons 5E community figure Jamison Stone has reappeared on the website for his company, Apotheosis Studio, after resigning as CEO on June 10th. Stone faced intense public scrutiny after multiple former staff, freelancers and other community members accused him of consistent manipulation and abusive behaviour, in addition to a history of not paying for work.
Along with prominent streamer Satine Phoenix, Stone built a reputation at live events for hosting sponsored appearances at conventions and other live events. Phoenix found her way to D&D through The Sirens of the Realm, an actual play show featured on the tabletop RPG’s official streaming channel. She also worked for publisher Wizards of the Coast for a time before joining Stone at Apotheosis studio. Phoenix met Stone, a self-published author, while working together at Apotheosis and married in March of this year.
Accusations about both Stone and Phoenix began circulating online - largely via Twitter threads - after tattoo artist Chad Rowe claimed that he had been castigated, demeaned and bullied regarding payment and contracts for Stone’s tattoo sessions. What followed was an outpouring of similar allegations from tabletop streamers, industry workers and freelance writers who had worked on Apotheosis Studio’s previous and current projects, such as D&D 5E campaign book Sirens: Battle of the Bards.
Most of the individuals who came forward made accusations about Stone’s unwillingness to pay for work, consistent emotional manipulation that swung between pinpointed anger and fawning praise and insistence that he could personally ruin people’s professional careers if they upset him or Phoenix. Two former writers on Sirens alleged that Stone blacklisted them from the company after they asked about payment timelines and clarity on contracts. Writers who worked at Apotheosis directly alleged that Stone would “hold projects hostage” to coerce them into accepting lower payment and poor treatment. Several writers claimed Apotheosis had still not paid them for work rendered up to a year ago.
The bulk of the allegations against Stone and Phoenix played out from June 8th to June 11th. Organisations with agreements to host the pair or have them appear on their shows began backing out. Actual play series D&D in a Castle dropped them from their upcoming performances, and prominent charity Jasper’s Game Day removed Phoenix from her role on its advisory panel. ComicBook.com reported that a former collaborator with Phoenix had sued her for allegedly misappropriating $40,000 of streaming network Maze Arcana’s money during her time there.
On June 17th, Apotheosis COO Sarah Urfer announced that Stone had been removed from his position as the studio’s CEO, writing that “we will not tolerate Jamison’s actions within our company, or with the contractors and consultants we work with.” By this point, both Stone and Phoenix had issued public apologies on social media to fairly critical reactions, and several other Apotheosis employees had quit or cut ties with the studio. All those who had reportedly left, including Stone, were removed from the website.
Then, on June 25th, those following the situation noticed that Jamison Stone had been added back to Apotheosis Studio’s site, under the Team Bios page. The CEO title no longer accompanied his paragraph, but he apparently retained positions as its founder, creative director and lead writer and editor. Social media links below the extremely wordy biography contained urls pulled from Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine set to dates before the controversy had broken out and Stone’s subsequent public apologies.
It’s worth noting that Apotheosis Studio is an LLC - a limited liability company - registered with the state of Colorado. Documents filed with Colorado’s Secretary of State show that Stone is the registered agent for the company and therefore required to file paperwork for any meaningful change in ownership or designation. The publicly available records show no changes to the company to remove or replace Stone as the registered agent, nor from any other capacity.
It is not clear to what extent Stone is still involved with Apotheosis Studio or benefits from ongoing Kickstarter projects, such as the as-yet-undelivered Sirens book and a tarot deck for previous campaign setting The Red Opera. Apotheosis failed to respond to multiple requests for comment, and Dicebreaker reached out directly to Stone, Urfer and Phoenix but did not receive any replies.