D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Rogue 9 »

I don't know that the clause saying you can't challenge their decision actually holds up, for one simple reason: If you really want to fight it, you can just go "nah, printer go brrrr" and make them sue you, at which point they'd have to prove the breach. But it takes resources to do that.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Solauren »

People are viewing the 'conduct' as including the publishers private life, their habits, and the like.

So, them using a Crowdsourcing platform WOTC didn't like would be 'bad conduct'. Dating an OnlyFans model could be 'bad conduct'. Being at a political rally they don't like would be 'bad conduct'.

Really, WOTC is confusing an employment contract with a license.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Rogue 9 »

Wow, it made the Washington Post
The D&D Open Game License controversy, explained
Edwin Evans-Thirlwell
10–12 minutes

The tabletop gaming industry has fallen into crisis. As is often the case in fantasy stories, that crisis involves a king and a magic artifact. The king is Wizards of the Coast, the Hasbro-owned, billion-dollar publisher of Dungeons & Dragons, the nearly 50-year-old game that has become synonymous with pen-and-paper role-playing. The magic artifact is the company’s Open Game License, or OGL, written long, long ago (in 2000), which permits players to craft and monetize their own tabletop experiences using D&D rules and mechanics, as long as they avoid reproducing official characters, settings, stories and art.

Many tabletop designers portray the OGL as a kind of book of creation — the basis for a vast and noisy empire of artworks and experiences, from full-blown tabletop competitors with their own fantasy settings to what’s known as “actual play” projects like Critical Role, in which professional voice actors broadcast their D&D campaigns. This single document from Wizards of the Coast, often shortened to WotC or simply Wizards, helped transform D&D into a “cottage industry,” said Matt Jarvis, editor in chief of tabletop news outlet Dicebreaker.

But the once-benevolent king appeared to have succumbed to avarice and begun meddling with the book of creation. In a leaked draft of “OGL 1.1” dated mid-December and obtained by the pop culture news outlet i09, WotC proposed some drastic changes: a 25 percent royalty on revenue from any OGL creator earning above $750,000 per year in sales; the right for WotC to use any content created under the license for any purpose; an apparent ban on the virtual tabletop simulators that helped kindle a tabletop gaming boom during pandemic lockdowns; and the de-authorization of anything made according to the previous OGL.

Now, two weeks after that initial leak, WotC have executed a dramatic pivot: “We’re giving the core D&D mechanics to the community through a Creative Commons license, which means that they are fully in your hands,” reads a Thursday update from D&D Executive Producer Kyle Brink.

Since 2000, a number of D&D-based projects have turned into highly profitable enterprises. A 2021 leak of data from the live-streaming site Twitch listed Critical Role as the single highest-paid channel on the platform, earning more than $9.6 million since 2019. Publishers like Kobold Press and DriveThruRPG have built huge followings around their third-party D&D campaigns and other tabletop materials.

Since the leaked draft of the updated OGL was published in early January, WotC’s devoted subjects have rebelled. Over 60,000 creators and publishers have signed an open letter under the name #OpenDnD demanding the retraction of OGL 1.1. Online campaigns encouraging players to cancel their D&D Beyond subscriptions — WotC’s official digital D&D toolset — went viral. Rival game publishers like Pathfinder creator Paizo have announced plans for new “irrevocable” open tabletop systems and licenses, seeking to fill the breach.

The original OGL was “a masterstroke of community support,” Jarvis said. “It allowed Wizards to thrive, because people were making stuff for D&D, and it allowed creators to thrive, because they were able to say ‘this is compatible with D&D.’”

The leaked changes to the OGL, Jarvis and other critics argue, seem designed simply to monetize and extend control over the sprawling network of creators the OGL once empowered — part of a consolidation of the D&D brand under the One D&D label, a project WotC is calling “the future of D&D” that includes an updated ruleset, the D&D Beyond subscription service and a forthcoming official virtual tabletop app.

The OGL’s magic wasn’t just about money. According to designer, writer and disability consultant Sara Thompson, it made space for dialogue between WotC and the community, allowing designers to essentially offer playable critiques of problems such as D&D’s heritage of racial stereotypes, using D&D’s own mechanics. Take Thompson’s own Combat Wheelchair add-on, a set of rules for using wheelchairs as adventuring equipment that “allows disabled people to be empowered and see themselves as a hero in the story, because D&D didn’t allow for that.”

Faced with such comprehensive blowback, WotC eventually gave way. On Jan. 13, the company announced plans to discard the royalty scheme and promised that creators will retain exclusive ownership of their own work, while also defending the OGL 1.1 as a means of shutting down “hateful and discriminatory products” and quashing third-party NFTs. The post, which was not attributed to any specific individual at WotC, ended by hailing the situation as a victory for both sides, insisting that the company had always intended to solicit the community’s input: “You’re going to hear people say that they won, and we lost because making your voices heard forced us to change our plans. Those people will only be half right. They won — and so did we.”

Pushback from fans, who criticized WotC’s response as far from an apology and a dismissal of their legitimate concerns, led WotC to backpedal further. A second bulletin Wednesday included more details about the path forward, along with a mea culpa from Brink, the executive producer, on behalf of his team.

“We are sorry. We got it wrong,” Brink said. “Our language and requirements in the draft OGL were disruptive to creators and not in support of our core goals of protecting and cultivating an inclusive play environment and limiting the OGL to TTRPGs. Then we compounded things by being silent for too long. We hurt fans and creators, when more frequent and clear communications could have prevented so much of this.”

A new draft of the OGL was shared Thursday for players to review, along with a survey to provide feedback, which will remain available for two weeks.

“The Creative Commons license we picked lets us give everyone those core mechanics. Forever. Because we don’t control the license, releasing the D&D core rules under the Creative Commons will be a decision we can never change,” Brink wrote in the Thursday update.

But some say the damage is already done.

“They’ve lost quite a lot of faith that people had in them, and I don’t see how they can rebuild that trust anytime soon,” said Thompson, who was recently slated to work on an official D&D product. She ended up pulling out in protest.

The community’s mistrust of WotC has been simmering for a while, said Mike Holik, editor in chief of Mage Hand Press, a third-party D&D campaign publisher, who also organized the #OpenDnD letter. He points to the fourth edition of D&D, which shipped in 2008 with its own similarly controversial game license; WotC reverted to the previous OGL for the current fifth edition of the game, which debuted in 2014.

“Once they get big enough, they try to get greedy and capitalize on it,” Holik said, suggesting that WotC may be happy for some creators to walk away, “as long as they can monetize the remaining people more.”

D&D’s ubiquity makes it a safe source of revenue for third-party designers. The possibility of market fragmentation, Holik said, was cause for alarm, as waning support for D&D might impact more outlandish, niche games that rely on the title as an onboarding mechanism.

But disaster may bring opportunity. Austin Walker, IP director of game studio Possibility Space and Friends at the Table game master, described the reveal of OGL 1.1 as a potential “moment of rupture.” He noted that much innovation in the tabletop gaming space is already an attempt to break away from D&D, which promises imaginative scenarios but often boils down to “kicking down a door and fighting stuff.”

All of which speaks to the twist in this fairy story: The original OGL isn’t quite the magical enabler of indie creativity it’s cracked up to be. According to Thompson, a lot of what it covers isn’t strictly subject to copyright, and was never WotC’s to “give away.” Take the spell Aganazzar’s Scorcher. “That’s in official D&D, so if I put that in my own random game, yes, they could sue me,” Thompson said. “But if I made a spell with a similar fire effect but named it something else entirely, that’s not D&D anymore.”

Walker agreed, describing the original OGL as “an enclosure of the commons,” obfuscating the reality that creators are already free to adopt rules and mechanics from D&D under regular fair use doctrine. Skill checks, whereby players roll dice to determine an action’s success, are one example of a mechanic that is “too generic” to copyright, Walker said.

“You can trademark your logo, important characters, art and design aspects that indicate to consumers that they’re looking at an official product, but you can’t protect ‘roll 20 and add your attribute and skill modifier.’”

The only thing the OGL really offers, Walker said, is “the sense of safety that you will not be sued for something that you shouldn’t be able to be sued for to begin with.” Thanks to this purely “rhetorical” gambit, he said, WotC was able to “capture a lot of the creative energy” in the tabletop scene during the early 2000s, transforming up-and-coming designers into D&D satellite creators. Walker attributes this partly to creators being unversed in the legalities back in 2000 — and in particular, the option of publishing under then-emerging Creative Commons licenses — but it’s also a matter of money. Few publishers can afford a copyright battle with a company the size of WotC, even if they’re confident of victory.

Whether you view the original OGL as a mystic talisman or smoke-and-mirrors, WotC appears to have committed an irreversible act of self-sabotage in trying to replace it — squandering the prestige accumulated over 20 years in a matter of weeks.

“A king shouldn’t be grasping at all of your coins — that’s what a dragon does, right?” Walker joked. And as any group of D&D adventurers might tell you, in stories like this, the point of a dragon atop a treasure trove is for it to be slain.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Solauren »

Wow.

Washington Post hit it on the head.

You'd think they'd have learned with 4e. (Go to Drivethru RPG. Filter for D&D and look at how much was out for 3e, 4e, and 5e. 4e had less released for it then OD&D/AD&D1E+2E did. 5e is catching up to 3e/D20 system.)

And now you have a major media outlet quoting copyright experts saying 'it doesn't matter, cause they can't really sue over it anyway!'

Wizards needs to apologize in full, say they fired (or reassigned) the legal guys behind the attempt at OGL 1.2, release SRD level mechanics from all versions to Creative Commons, and then focus on damage control and relationship repair.

Free stuff would help with that.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Gunhead »

Solauren wrote: 2023-01-22 11:06am Wow.

Washington Post hit it on the head.

You'd think they'd have learned with 4e. (Go to Drivethru RPG. Filter for D&D and look at how much was out for 3e, 4e, and 5e. 4e had less released for it then OD&D/AD&D1E+2E did. 5e is catching up to 3e/D20 system.)

And now you have a major media outlet quoting copyright experts saying 'it doesn't matter, cause they can't really sue over it anyway!'

Wizards needs to apologize in full, say they fired (or reassigned) the legal guys behind the attempt at OGL 1.2, release SRD level mechanics from all versions to Creative Commons, and then focus on damage control and relationship repair.

Free stuff would help with that.
I wish you all the luck with that. Somehow I'm inclined to believe what will happen is there will be a half assed apology, which they already gave, followed by another attempt to squeeze the player base for more monies as soon as they think they can get away with it.
I have no real horse in this race because WoTC/Hasbro doing whatever with DnD doesn't affect me in the slightest directly as I wouldn't touch it with an eleven foot pole. However as the biggest thing out there, these types of heavy handed tactics are a cause for concern as they could cause issues with Virtual gaming services, which is something that could potentially affect people like me adversely. To me the whole licensing thing is about virtual gaming, because that's where it is far more easy to dictate who's content is approved or not and it is far more easy to monetize too. Gotta get those sweet sweet subscription monies.

-Gunhead

P.S Oh and Raw Shark... GURPS?? REALLY?? A system so 80's it's like the C64, you can't do anything modern with it. :lol:
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Solauren »

Problem is, it's very easy to bypass there attempts at control of the Virtual Table Top.

Just don't produce 'official to the VTT' D&D Character sheets.
For spell effects 'Generic sphere - Fire effect' and you have Fireball.
That, and allow 'custom, user supplies uploads', and fair use applies.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Gunhead »

Solauren wrote: 2023-01-22 12:25pm Problem is, it's very easy to bypass there attempts at control of the Virtual Table Top.

Just don't produce 'official to the VTT' D&D Character sheets.
For spell effects 'Generic sphere - Fire effect' and you have Fireball.
That, and allow 'custom, user supplies uploads', and fair use applies.
True, but all that requires time and effort = money. If you can force the competition to tiptoe around your rules, you slow down the speed of unofficial material catching s up to yours.
It's not an end of the world scenario really, but I'm willing to bet real money that this type of thinking is what gave the impetus to fuck with the original OGL.

Aside from that, as it is probable that virtual roleplaying will get bigger, we're not talking about rules of the game, we're talking about campaign modules, new career books, adventures and all that published directly to the virtual platform. Those you cannot just "rip off" both from a legal and a technical stand point easily.

-Gunhead
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Solauren »

All true Gunhead

But, let's consider for a moment.

Roll20 already does all the tech stuff I said. It's a simple thing to remove the D&D 'interact with the VTT'. And then reveal how to do it in their FAQ so people can make their own character sheet. (I've been debating doing that with the excel sheet my wife and I use. It's actually very easy with VBA if you use the Microsoft Web Browser plugin to interact with the website.)

For the modules, etc, that... could be more complicated, depending on a number of factors, that vary across the VTT and the TT ruleset.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Formless »

Another point to consider for RPG creators outside the D20 system (including games like GURPS) is that WotC is trying to claim that "examples" seen in the content they are releasing via Creative Commons are still copyrighted because, by WotC's argument, they are "quintessentially D&D". Which is to say, things that were previously considered Open Gaming Content under OGL 1.0 are being reinterpreted as Product Identity. But the troubling thing is, these examples appear to be things they can't really copyright. Most people have zeroed in on the Owlbear because chimeric monsters are part of mythology AND people have claimed that Gygax didn't create the Owlbear but simply copied the concept from a Japanese toy. But I found it more troubling and hilarious that they tried claiming Magic Missile as "quintessentially D&D". Magic Missile is not only one of the most generic spells one can think of, as soon as I heard it I immediately knew I had seen other franchises that had come up with the exact same idea independently. Lyrical Nanoha immediately sprung to mind; practically every fight scene features them until final season when they fully make the transition to magical fistfighting (and then the movies bring it back again). And of course, trust TVTropes to have an entire page about Magic Missile in other fiction. If your game includes any kind of fantasy trope, given their propensity to claim ownership of concepts that they cannot legally own, how safe is any fantasy RPG now? Remember, its not about whether you could win a case in court, its about whether you can afford to defend yourself at all.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Solauren »

Yes, that is a problem.

My wife was watching a pod-cast today. Apparently, if the podcast is to be believed, the people in charge of WOTC are not gamers, and despite claims, do not play and have never played D&D or M:TG. All they care about is making as much money as possible.

Apparently, Hasbro is going to start dropping support of Intellectual property that 'under performs', and they want to get D&D up as high as possible to prevent that. (Cause it's their jobs). Apparently, everyone else involved with with the D&D / M:TG brands at WOTC are players, and are very unhappy with the situation.

If true, that explains the leaks and stupidity.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Rogue 9 »

Cynthia Williams is in fact on record saying she doesn't play.

Anyway, Paizo announces over 1500 publishers have signed on to their Open RPG Creative license effort rather than OGL 1.2.
The ORC Alliance Grows

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Over the course of the last week, more than 1,500 tabletop RPG publishers, from household names going back to the dawn of the hobby to single proprietors just starting out with their first digital release, have joined together to pledge their support for the development of a universal system-neutral open license that provides a legal “safe harbor” for sharing rules mechanics and encourages innovation and collaboration in the tabletop gaming space.

The alliance is gathered. Work has begun.

It would take too long to list all the companies behind the ORC license effort, but we thought you might be interested to see a few of the organizations already pledged toward this common goal. We are honored to be allied with them, as well as with the equally important participating publishers too numerous to list here. Each is crucial to the effort’s success. The list below is but a representative sample of participating publishers from a huge variety of market segments with a huge variety of perspectives. But we all agree on one thing.

We are all in this together.
  • Alchemy RPG
  • Arcane Minis
  • Atlas Games
  • Autarch
  • Azora Law
  • Black Book Editions
  • Bombshell Miniatures
  • BRW Games
  • Chaosium
  • Cze & Peku
  • Demiplane
  • DMDave
  • The DM Lair
  • Elderbrain
  • EN Publishing
  • Epic Miniatures
  • Evil Genius Games
  • Expeditious Retreat Press
  • Fantasy Grounds
  • Fat Dragon Games
  • Forgotten Adventures
  • Foundry VTT
  • Free RPG Day
  • Frog God Games
  • Gale Force 9
  • Game On Tabletop
  • Giochi Uniti
  • Goodman Games
  • Green Ronin
  • The Griffon’s Saddlebag
  • Iron GM Games
  • Know Direction
  • Kobold Press
  • Lazy Wolf Studios
  • Legendary Games
  • Lone Wolf Development
  • Loot Tavern
  • Louis Porter Jr. Designs
  • Mad Cartographer
  • Minotaur Games
  • Mongoose Publishing
  • MonkeyDM
  • Monte Cook Games
  • MT Black
  • Necromancer Games
  • Nord Games
  • Open Gaming, Inc.
  • Paizo Inc.
  • Paradigm Concepts
  • Pelgrane Press
  • Pinnacle Entertainment Group
  • Raging Swan Press
  • Rogue Games
  • Rogue Genius Games
  • Roll 20
  • Roll for Combat
  • Sly Flourish
  • Tom Cartos
  • Troll Lord Games
  • Ulisses Spiele
You will be hearing a lot more from us in the days to come.
Notable for its absence is Palladium, but they've always kept their system stubbornly closed, so that's not a surprise.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Rogue 9 »

Turns out there was an activist investment fund behind all this nonsense. Shocker.
The Fox in the Henhouse

Yesterday at 11:55 AM

Before WOTC began rolling out its monetization plans for D&D, Hasbro was under fire for not doing enough. Alta Fox Capital's blueprint has turned out to be prescient.

Who's Alta Fox?​
Alta Fox Capital is an activist investor firm which owns 2.5% of Hasbro stock. Activist investors are typically specialized hedge funds that buy a significant minority stake in publicly traded companies to change how it's run. Unlike traditional takeovers from private equity firms, activist investors use the media and proxy contests to force change within a company. As you can imagine, activist investors are often a company's worst nightmare.

For a long time, Hasbro's financial performance flew under the radar of investor scrutiny. That all changed when Alta Fox took an interest in Hasbro, and specifically in Wizards of the Coast. They launched their plan with a web site, Free the Wizards, which has since been archived. In retrospect, it's clear that Alta Fox's activism had an outsized influence on the Wizards of the Coast we know today.

The Case to Repair Hasbro​
Alta Fox argued that Hasbro's Board of Directors needed a shakeup:
Despite phenomenal growth in Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast (“Wizards”) division over the last five years, the Company’s stock price has significantly underperformed the broader market and its own benchmark over every relevant timeframe. We attribute this underperformance to the Board’s exceptionally poor capital allocation and deficient investor disclosure and communication.
Alta Fox pointed out that none of the Board members had purchased shares of Hasbro over the last decade and received generous payouts (paid an average of $350,000 annually, higher than Apple) despite underperforming. According to Alta Fox, Hasbro's Brand Blueprint strategy was failing because it lacked financial discipline, an inability to sell successful branded video games, poor cost control (compared to Mattel), and underinvestment in its "crown jewel" intellectual properties like Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons.

To fix this, Alta Fox recommended four nominees to the board: Marcelo Fischer of IDT Corporation (a cloud communications and financial services company); Jon Finkel, Managing Partner and Co-Chief Investment Officer at Landscape Capital Management and a former professional Magic player; Rani Hublou a marketing exec and Principal at Incline Strategies; and Carolyn Johnson, Chief Transformation Officer of American International Group, Inc. This dream team, Alta Fox argued, would shake things up.

Moreover, Alta Fox wanted Wizards of the Coast to be spun off. According to Alta Fox, Hasbro's Brand Blueprint strategy was a "cash cow" in which WOTC gave money to its parent company with little in return. They speculated that D&D and M:TG made up 90% of WOTC's 2021 sales. It quoted Cocks as saying that there was an 8x to 10x audience potential in bringing tabletop brands to the digital side of the business. Of the five reinvestment opportunities, Alta Fox's fifth recommendation was:
a one-stop-shop digital subscription & pay-as-you-go offering for a true-to-physical D&D experience (similar to how Arena is a true-to-physical MTG experience).
It all came to a head with an election contest by shareholders on Alta Fox's recommendations. Alta Fox lost the vote, and that should have been the end of it. But the efforts to revitalize Hasbro and WOTC in particular would be tremendously influential on the way the company is operating today.

Hasbro Takes Notice​
Although Hasbro rejected Alta Fox's proposals, its next actions were aligned with their suggestions. Hasbro brought on two new board members, Elizabeth Hamren and Blake Jorgensen. Both were executives with experience in gaming, technology, operations, and capital allocation: Hamren was chief operating officer at Discord Inc and worked on Xbox products, while Jorgensen previously served as chief financial officer for Electronic Arts.

That wasn't the only change. Directors were asked to purchase shares on the open market, just as Alta Fox had recommended. More to the point, the Brand Blueprint strategy that Alta Fox loathed got a revamp as Brand Blueprint 2.0. That was a four quadrant strategy in which Hasbro focused on a core group of eight to ten brands, including Dungeons & Dragons. The goal was to create $250 to $300 million savings annually over the next three years.

Cocks and Williams Lay It All Out​
In a USB Fireside Chat, Chris Cocks and new WOTC CEO Cynthia Williams shared their perspective on D&D's future:
You'll see us leaning heavily into the expansion of D&D through D&D Beyond, the acquisition that we did that closed this past May ... We have about 13 million customers, registered users, there that we will continue to serve by giving them more ways to express their fandom.
When Williams mentioned that the "D&D brand is undermonetized," it sounded a lot like the same claim made by Alta Fox. She pointed out that dungeon masters only made up 20% of the customer base, with an untapped player base that could be unlocked as "recurrent spenders," with more than 70% of digital gaming profits coming from post-sale. The D&D monetization strategy, according to Cocks, would be Hasbro's prime opportunity to implement Brand Blueprint 2.0.

We're now seeing that strategy in action. Although Alta Fox didn't get its board members listed, it seems it still got its way.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Formless »

Yeah, on the Roll For Combat podcast, Ryan Dancey talked at length about the role of Alta Fox in this whole affair. Even though he no longer works for them, it seems he keeps tabs on Hasbro's business side probably because it influences the businesses he now works with. He also clarified something I had previously thought true, namely that WotC's shenanigains won't effect Star Wars because when Lucasfilm went to Wizards to license out their tabletop RPG, they didn't use the OGL after all. Instead they made sure to negotiate a custom license with tight controls over copyrights, because the makers of the D6 Star Wars game managed to pull a fast one on Lucas by copyrighting every starship they designed for the universe. Apparently George Lucas himself told Dancy that Wizards couldn't use any of those designs because Lucasarts didn't own them in the first place, and that was something Lucasfilm really didn't want Wizards to attempt as well. So KotoR isn't going to get plundered after all because WotC has to honor its contract with Lucasarts/Disney, but that doesn't mean that there aren't still video games at risk because they used the OGL.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Solauren »

2.5% ownership, and they caused this mess.

This is what I mean when I say 'Overly Vocal Minority'.

I wonder what would happen if the ORC alliance bought Alta Fox out, and then more stock, and decided to use the same tactics?
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Zaune »

Rogue 9 wrote: 2023-01-15 09:41pmWell the statement is obviously full of lies. If it was a draft for feedback, why did it have an effective date in it?
Besides, even the fact that it got that far is indicative of some serious problems at management level. Anyone with the authority to be making proposals like this should have enough of a basic understanding of both IP law and the theory and practice of public relations to realise that even if the new rules stood up to scrutiny in court the blowback wouldn't be remotely worth it. That someone thought that even presenting this proposal at a departmental meeting wouldn't result in them being told it was a bloody silly idea, let alone what would happen if it entered the public domain, does not speak well of their competence.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Rogue 9 »

Well, I just filled out their survey. There's a lot of open-ended essay questions in it. I laid out all the problems I see in it (the weird-ass severability clause, there being no standards on the non-discrimination clause allowing them to arbitrarily apply it to anyone they please, its foreclosure of all SRD versions prior to 5.1), and hammered it home as much as I could without just telling them off. It'll probably do no good.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Solauren »

Zaune wrote: 2023-01-24 09:18am That someone thought that even presenting this proposal at a departmental meeting wouldn't result in them being told it was a bloody silly idea, let alone what would happen if it entered the public domain, does not speak well of their competence.
That's not entirely accurate.

Some companies have a policy of 'the only bad ideas are the ones not discussed'. So, bringing forth that version of the OGL wasn't a bad idea in of itself. As a rough draft to be cleaned up, updated, torn apart, put back to together. A 'This will do what we want, but how do we make it better', as it were.

The problem was, it made it out of that meeting(s) in that form, as an active document. (vs 'this is the first draft, we're keeping it for historical purposes')
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It's so when they comment on or approve of something, I know what pages to block/what not to vote for.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Ralin »

As the saying goes, there are no stupid questions. Only stupid people.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Rogue 9 »

NPR is covering the OGL mess today. Here and Now already did their segment, and they announced during Morning Edition that there will be a story about it on All Things Considered this afternoon.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Formless »

So this youtuber actually managed to get Alta Fox themselves to comment on the situation on Twitter, and predictably their response was pretty damn scathing. Now keeping in mind that they are an activist investor group and are specifically trying to change the company for their own benefit, they're pretty much putting this down to the CEOs being completely incompetent at running companies in this industry (although given their own suggested CEO's included a former Electronic Arts executive, I'm doubtful they are correct in suggesting that the people they recommended actually care about the games any more than the current two fools). According to them, the current CEO of Hasbro was promoted to the spot based on his performance at Wizards, but that had nothing to do with him; he was in charge when Magic Arena went live, but the project predates his leadership. Its Alta Fox's belief that he got the job based on someone else's success.

But its also interesting to see just how damn overpayed the CEOs of Hasbro and Wizards actually are. As we all know, that never bodes well for the CEO actually giving a damn about the health of a company, especially when paired with mass layoffs. They also brought up the absolute shitshow that was Magic's 30'th anniversary, which for those who don't know, was them selling packs of what are literally proxies (they have a different card back from the real deal) of the Alpha edition set for 1000$ per pack *. Clearly Alta Fox does have a point, that the current leadership really is just trying to chase whales in an unsustainable way at the expense of customer goodwill, and its good to see someone connect the dots between the various ways that Magic is being mismanaged (its not just M30, by the way, but a bunch of products that have left Magic fans with a bad taste in their mouths, perhaps most notably crossover products called Universes Beyond that feel like they are diluting the brand identity of the game) and the PR, legal, and business nightmare that has become the OGL debacle.

* Apparently one of the members of Alta Fox is Jon Finkel, one of Magic's most notably players, so its quite possible that at least some of their people want to split the companies for more than just profit, and do care about the quality of the games. Still, they are an investor firm, so take anything they say with a grain of salt.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Formless »

"Still, I would love to see human beings, and their constituent organ systems, trivialized and commercialized to the same extent as damn iPods and other crappy consumer products. It would be absolutely horrific, yet so wonderful." — Shroom Man 777
"To Err is Human; to Arrr is Pirate." — Skallagrim
“I would suggest "Schmuckulating", which is what Futurists do and, by extension, what they are." — Commenter "Rayneau"
The Magic Eight Ball Conspiracy.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Jub »

The lesson here ought to be clear, don't piss off terminally online nerds.
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Solauren »

As my wife just said

'They lost too much money from the D&D Beyond subscriptions being cancelled, and saw they'd lose even more money from the online discussions and feedback. Combine that with the online call to boycott the upcoming movie, Hasbro probably went 'If this tanks, guess who's getting fired?'

This just gave them numbers to quote to make them seem reasonable to the masses"

So, we won, and WOTC's executives are praying this is enough to not piss off their Hasbro masters.
I've been asked why I still follow a few of the people I know on Facebook with 'interesting political habits and view points'.

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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Formless »

Piazo responded to the news on Twitter and says to expect a blog post in the near future, but to the point: they will continue to work on the ORC regardless of this news since, after all, the OGL still isn't system neutral, and there is no trust between 3PP and Wizards to be had anymore. The only real way to protect an open license is through third party stewardship by nonprofit organizations the same way software and CC licenses have been protected for decades. Or as someone on EN world pointed out, Wizbro said they won't touch 1.0a, but they did not affirm that it is irrevocable, did not admit that de-authorization was a bullshit excuse, and to my knowledge they have not restored the damning FAQs that prove it. They said back in December that they wouldn't revoke the OGL, and they are still insisting that the morality clause was the main reason for this drama when that is a known provable lie, and they may be putting the 5e rules on a CC license, but not the 3.5 or D20 Modern SRDs; so at this point we will still have to wait for them to release the SRD 5.1 like they promised onto a CC license before they will start to regain even a fraction of the trust they have destroyed. I think you probably could retroclone 3.5 and D20 Modern from 5e (since 5e is basically 3e lite with some 4e ideas hiding in there), but aint nobody got time to do that when the retroclones of even earlier editions are mostly based on 3e rules to begin with. No one wants to lose a decades worth of OSR content when Wizbro tries this bullshit again with a limited focus on 3e derived content.
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“I would suggest "Schmuckulating", which is what Futurists do and, by extension, what they are." — Commenter "Rayneau"
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Re: D&D AND THE OPEN GAMING LICENSE

Post by Solauren »

Which is part of the reason I'm still planning to download websites and put them up somewhere for others to copy as well.
WOTC still has lots of ways to screw with the community if they want to, and being prepared is a good idea.
I've been asked why I still follow a few of the people I know on Facebook with 'interesting political habits and view points'.

It's so when they comment on or approve of something, I know what pages to block/what not to vote for.
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