OGL 1.2 and VTT [+]


log in or register to remove this ad

Steel_Wind

Legend
This. Current 2d VTTs and 3d token table top simulators are fine.
I think you are behind the times on what Foundry VTT can do right now. The complaints that WotC voices in its VTT Policy objects to spell animations -- the magic missile is the specific example.

I have HUNDREDS of animations in Foundry for weapon and monster attacks and spells, together with sound effects for each of them.

As for 3d VTTs? That exists right now for Foundry as well (and Talespire, too). Foundry has the attention right now, as it has the sales base, and more importantly, the creator community of software developers and patreon artists surrounding it. Any doubts? Look here:


But WotC's objections that your VTT "can't be too good" are absolutely aimed at Foundry VTT as it is being used by thousands of people today. All of this is being done, right now, under the OGL 1.0a.
 


Steel_Wind

Legend
What will make all of this much easier to do is to get an exporter from Dungeon Alchemist (alternatively, an importer for blender) so that the 1,000s of 3d maps created for Dungeon Alchemist over the past 6 months or so can be easily converted to a format 3d Canvas (the add-on for Foundry VTT) can use. Right now? Nothing can actually make use of these 3d maps created in DA -- they are only "useful" for making 2d images captured from a point of view. As actual map making software, DA is inferior to DungeonDraft using FA assets.

What do those Dungeon Alchemist 3d maps look like? See for yourself here.

But with one tool -- all of that changes on a dime.

1674323507027.png


That one simple file conversion tool will lead to both an expansion and ease of creation for 3d maps in Foundry by several orders of magnitude. It's just a piece of software that nobody has taken the time to bother to write. Yet. YET.

But to hear WotC explain it, digital Dwarven Forge (or, better said, Terrain Tinker) scenes are "too good". Meaning, they want to be the sole purveyors of computerized eye candy for a scene. That they didn't invent. Ever. Same thing with .stl files used as tokens in a game. And god forbid you make that static token appear to move, or swing a sword - or fire a magic missile arcane arrow.

 
Last edited:

FormerLurker

Adventurer
When filling out the survey I had to think on this police and decided it's easily the worst thing in the 1.2 OGL.

Think of it this way: it's banning features that cannot be done on a physical tabletop and replace imagination. That's the policy "What isn’t permitted are features that don’t replicate your dining room table storytelling."
It uses spell effects as its example but other examples could be:
  • Fog of War
  • Dynamic lighting
  • Animated tokens
  • Animated backgrounds
  • Tokens and handouts only visible to some players
  • Progress automatically saved between games
  • A tabletop that can't be disrupted by a cat
  • Battlemaps larger than a realistic physical tabletop
It's a ridiculous limitation.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
When filling out the survey I had to think on this police and decided it's easily the worst thing in the 1.2 OGL.

Think of it this way: it's banning features that cannot be done on a physical tabletop and replace imagination. That's the policy "What isn’t permitted are features that don’t replicate your dining room table storytelling."
It uses spell effects as its example but other examples could be:
  • Fog of War
  • Dynamic lighting
  • Animated tokens
  • Animated backgrounds
  • Tokens and handouts only visible to some players
  • Progress automatically saved between games
  • A tabletop that can't be disrupted by a cat
  • Battlemaps larger than a realistic physical tabletop
It's a ridiculous limitation.
TO quote what Foundry VTT had to say about this specific topic:

"Thou shalt not animate​

The perplexing focus on animation of spell effects is an absurd heuristic as the primary example of what makes a virtual tabletop different from a video game. If differentiating between a VTT and a video game is essential (we contend it is not), there are far more cogent classifiers to use. Are the actions of both player and non-player characters controlled by a human? Does the game experience provide a framework for collaborative storytelling? Can the gamemaster invent new rules on the fly? Surely virtual tabletops and video games alike may both have animation present in the way they communicate information visually to users.

Even if a focus on "animation" is removed, it is concerning that Wizards of the Coast would choose which software features are appropriate for a virtual tabletop to implement and which are not.

Be good, but not too good​

Under this policy, virtual tabletops should only replicate (but not improve upon) the experience of sitting around a physical table. This myopic perspective neglects that modern VTT software augments the experience of traditional play by heightening the quality of experience for players at the table, regardless of whether the game is played in-person or remotely. For many gamers virtual tabletop software is an integral part of the TTRPG experience and not just a fallback option when a traditional mode of play is unavailable. We would have expected a team who are "gamers and big fans of VTTs" to understand this.

Dissecting the clumsy wording of this policy is ultimately a distraction from a more fundamental question. Is it right for an open gaming license to restrict product formats at all? If a goal of the OGL 1.2 license is to foster creativity and further grow the profile of D&D as a game and as a brand, its authors are misled in attempts to suppress technological innovation that can enrich the quality of play or empower storytellers to deliver immersive experiences."
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
When filling out the survey I had to think on this police and decided it's easily the worst thing in the 1.2 OGL.

Think of it this way: it's banning features that cannot be done on a physical tabletop and replace imagination. That's the policy "What isn’t permitted are features that don’t replicate your dining room table storytelling."
It uses spell effects as its example but other examples could be:
  • Fog of War
  • Dynamic lighting
  • Animated tokens
  • Animated backgrounds
  • Tokens and handouts only visible to some players
  • Progress automatically saved between games
  • A tabletop that can't be disrupted by a cat
  • Battlemaps larger than a realistic physical tabletop
It's a ridiculous limitation.
What's funny is that some of these things can be replicated by a physical tabletop. I can give handouts to only some people. I can trust my players to not "see" some (presumably invisible) tokens. I can even make a special map just for people who can see those tokens. If I had enough time and money, I could create dynamic lighting, fog of war, and even an animated background with a large enough monitor or TV screen laid flat. I can lock my cat out of the room and even lock the door between games, thus saving it for later.

VTTs just make these things available to people who can't spend thousands or more on their battle maps.

It is a ridiculous limitation, for a wide variety of reasons and with a very stupid excuse. How many people are really trying to create a video game out of a fancy battle map?
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
What's funny is that some of these things can be replicated by a physical tabletop. I can give handouts to only some people. I can trust my players to not "see" some (presumably invisible) tokens. I can even make a special map just for people who can see those tokens. If I had enough time and money, I could create dynamic lighting, fog of war, and even an animated background with a large enough monitor or TV screen laid flat. I can lock my cat out of the room and even lock the door between games, thus saving it for later.

VTTs just make these things available to people who can't spend thousands or more on their battle maps.

It is a ridiculous limitation, for a wide variety of reasons and with a very stupid excuse. How many people are really trying to create a video game out of a fancy battle map?
It's a false choice, too. The idea that there was a legitimate reason to exclude a computer game from the OGL is demonstrated by the fact that this has existed for 23 years. IT has not interfered with their ability to license and create computer games in any manner.

They are taking things away, and at the same time, saying computer games were never authorized (they are LYING about that) to create some debate about 2 categories which were each previously wholly permitted.
 

FormerLurker

Adventurer
What's funny is that some of these things can be replicated by a physical tabletop. I can give handouts to only some people. I can trust my players to not "see" some (presumably invisible) tokens. I can even make a special map just for people who can see those tokens. If I had enough time and money, I could create dynamic lighting, fog of war, and even an animated background with a large enough monitor or TV screen laid flat. I can lock my cat out of the room and even lock the door between games, thus saving it for later.

VTTs just make these things available to people who can't spend thousands or more on their battle maps.

It is a ridiculous limitation, for a wide variety of reasons and with a very stupid excuse. How many people are really trying to create a video game out of a fancy battle map?
And by having a projector aimed down or flat TV built into the table you can have animated spell FX too...
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
And by having a projector aimed down or flat TV built into the table you can have animated spell FX too...
Quite so. As you probably know, I was one of the first people to do that and had quite an epic thread about it here on ENWorld back in ca. 2006-08.

Then we switched to flatscreens on the table for a time, and since 2013, I have been playing online exclusively. The tech changes over time, but the objective remains.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
they are already beyond the limitations WotC wants to impose.

Apart from that I see no reason why I should be ok with them not having to compete by providing the better experience instead.
I think the point is that you can't but the actual effects with the names in the VTT or attach the spell to the math.

You can make a Mage token and have it shoot a missile of light.

Once you make a Mage token that can shoot a missile of light by either clicking a "Magic Missile" button, tagging the effect to deal 1d4+1 damage, or attaching a spell list to the token.... you are flirting with housing a video game engine.
 
Last edited:

Steel_Wind

Legend
I think the point is that you can't but the actual effects with the names in the VTT or attach the spell to the math.

You can make a Mage token and have it shoot a missile of light.

Once you make a Moken token that can shoot a missile of light by either clicking a "Magic Missile" button, tagging the effect to deal 1d4+1 damage, or attaching a spell list to the token.... you are flirting with housing a video game engine.
Firstly, I reject this interpretation.

Secondly, a video game engine is EXACTLY what you are PERFECTLY ENTITLED TO DO under the OGL 1.0a. Which is precisely why they want to get rid of the OGL 1.0a, of course.

From WotC's own website on the OGL 1.0a. as recently as November 2021:

Q: So what kinds of programs can I make with the OGL?

A: Anything. Character generators are popular, as are programs that help GMs keep track of their adventure. Random treasure generators are also fun.

Q: So I could make a game?

A: Sure. Remember though, you cannot use any Product Identity with the OGL or claim compatibility with anything. So you can't say your game is a d20 System game or uses D&D rules or call it Elminster's Undermountain Crawl.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
When filling out the survey I had to think on this police and decided it's easily the worst thing in the 1.2 OGL.

Think of it this way: it's banning features that cannot be done on a physical tabletop and replace imagination. That's the policy "What isn’t permitted are features that don’t replicate your dining room table storytelling."
It uses spell effects as its example but other examples could be:
  • Fog of War
  • Dynamic lighting
  • Animated tokens
  • Animated backgrounds
  • Tokens and handouts only visible to some players
  • Progress automatically saved between games
  • A tabletop that can't be disrupted by a cat
  • Battlemaps larger than a realistic physical tabletop
It's a ridiculous limitation.
Indeed. The 2022 post I linked shows dynamic lighting mixed with physical minis and there were animated bubbles in the static picture I took at the time While the 2010 one wasn't touch enabled but using digital tokens & obviously unable to be interrupted by a cat. In both games I could have sent (and sometimes did) things to only specific players. I used discord for that sometimes did/could have but I think roll 20 has allowed that for years..

I think that the vtt section in 1.2 combined with the decision to show a player view cinematic rather than literally anything at all about the "really robust tool" shows how utterly unfamiliar with the existing VTT market that wotc marketing & maybe legal/csuite/d&d designer folks are. Hopefully their VTT development isn't being managed by those same folks
 

MarkB

Legend
I think the point is that you can't but the actual effects with the names in the VTT or attach the spell to the math.

You can make a Mage token and have it shoot a missile of light.

Once you make a Mage token that can shoot a missile of light by either clicking a "Magic Missile" button, tagging the effect to deal 1d4+1 damage, or attaching a spell list to the token.... you are flirting with housing a video game engine.
It's astonishingly poorly-worded, but that's not the impression I get. What I get is that what you call the specific effects is irrelevant - if your VTT has features that make it look and play sufficiently better than a typical tabletop experience, it cannot provide OGL content.
 

I don’t think Wizards can make anything out of dynamic lighting and stuff. Even examples like magic missile don’t apply if it’s not called Magic Missile.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Firstly, I reject this interpretation.

Secondly, a video game engine is EXACTLY what you are PERFECTLY ENTITLED TO DO under the OGL 1.0a. Which is precisely why they want to get rid of the OGL 1.0a, of course.
I don't think you are entitled to make the Image of a Magic Missie attached to the Mechanics of a Magic Missile with the option with the Name of Magic Missole..

I just asked all the casuals in my groups and some nonplayers. All of them agree that its an easy lawsuit win for WOTC.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
I don't think you are entitled to make the Image of a Magic Missie attached to the Mechanics of a Magic Missile with the option with the Name of Magic Missole..

I just asked all the casuals in my groups and some nonplayers. All of them agree that its an easy lawsuit win for WOTC.
According to whom?

The 5.1 SRD under the OGL 1.0a? It says this at p. 161:

Magic Missile
1st-level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 120 feet
Components: V,S
Duration: Instantaneous
You create three glowing darts of magical force. Each dart hits a creature of your choice that you can see within range. A dart deals 1d4+1 force damage to its target. The darts all strike simultaneously, and you can direct them to hit one creature or several.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the spell creates one more dart for each slot level above 1st.

Nobody held a gun to WotC's head in 2014 (or 2016) when they released this under the OGL 1.0a. That computerized spell effect was absolutely legal and licensed by WotC. We don't have to guess about this. It is explicitly in the license. (It appears you shouldn't go to the members of your gaming group for legal advice, btw.)

What you mean to say is:

"I'm altering the OGL, pray I don't alter it any further".

I have a few choice words about that. Two particular well worn Anglo-Saxon words immediately come to mind.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It appears you shouldn't go to the members of your gaming group for legal advice, btw.)
I was going to them as potential jury members. I think WOTC could managae to get a jury trail. And then it becomes a case of how much PI and IP is interpreted into in the VTT.

Because actually to te people I've asked, you'd need permission from WOTC once you lean from VTT to game engine.

That's the question. When does a VTT become a game engine?
 

Haplo781

Legend
My question is, let's say I made an animation for a magical burst of energy that can be used to strike a foe at a distance. WotC doesn't want that because they don't want magic missile being animated. OK. Dumb, but OK.

But--and I ask this as someone who has not actually used a VTT yet--what's to stop someone from saying "this isn't D&D's magic missile spell, it's SWADE's bolt spell or GURPS' Sunbolt spell"?
Absolutely nothing.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top