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D&D General Critical Role Ending

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'd need some proof of that, it seems a bit questionable. They still use plenty of terms and spells that are not in the basic rules.
There's a difference between a troll and a beholder. The troll is generic and not under copyright, the beholder is unique and under copyright. The SRD lists what WotC considers Product Identity. On that list are "proper names (including those used in the names of spells or items)" followed by a long list of specific locations and characters and it finishes off with "beholder, gauth, carrion crawler, tanar’ri, baatezu, displacer beast, githyanki, githzerai, mind flayer, illithid, umber hulk, yuan‑ti." Of that entire list, I think only beholders and illithid / mind flayers appeared in C1. I know displacer beasts and yuan-ti appeared in C2...but I don't remember if either were actually name dropped in the episodes.
On the other hand, I change the fluff, names (if I even give the name) and descriptions for monsters all the time so that it fits my vision. It has nothing to do with legalities.
There's also a huge difference between the level of scrutiny most DMs have to deal with and what Matt does on Critical Role. You can use whatever you want and call it whatever you want. No matter how much you violate someone's intellectual property, you're not going to get a call from anyone's lawyer. On CR the cast has to drink from unlabeled cups and they have to cover any logos because they're broadcasting to however many millions of viewers on a weekly basis. They have to follow much different IP rules than the rest of us.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
There's a difference between a troll and a beholder. The troll is generic and not under copyright, the beholder is unique and under copyright. The SRD lists what WotC considers Product Identity. On that list are "proper names (including those used in the names of spells or items)" followed by a long list of specific locations and characters and it finishes off with "beholder, gauth, carrion crawler, tanar’ri, baatezu, displacer beast, githyanki, githzerai, mind flayer, illithid, umber hulk, yuan‑ti." Of that entire list, I think only beholders and illithid / mind flayers appeared in C1. I know displacer beasts and yuan-ti appeared in C2...but I don't remember if either were actually name dropped in the episodes.

There's also a huge difference between the level of scrutiny most DMs have to deal with and what Matt does on Critical Role. You can use whatever you want and call it whatever you want. No matter how much you violate someone's intellectual property, you're not going to get a call from anyone's lawyer. On CR the cast has to drink from unlabeled cups and they have to cover any logos because they're broadcasting to however many millions of viewers on a weekly basis. They have to follow much different IP rules than the rest of us.
So, again, if this were the case, other actual play shows would have the same restrictions, and they clearly don’t.

Beyond that, the notion that Lucien is a beholder but Matt couldn’t say so because trademark is...an incredible leap, even if your general thesis were true. Lucien is clearly meant to remind the audience of a beholder, and an NPC even comments on the similarity, but Lucien is very clearly meant to be a whole thing unto himself.

What may be revealed, alluded to, or implied, by the end of things, is that Aeor is the origin point of Beholders in Exandria. So nonagons that don’t exert their own will like Lucien, and just collect eyes and go mad without ever reaching Aeor, eventually become Beholders.

But the notion that Matt wanted to use a beholder and just couldn’t is...wild.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
So, again, if this were the case, other actual play shows would have the same restrictions, and they clearly don’t.

Beyond that, the notion that Lucien is a beholder but Matt couldn’t say so because trademark is...an incredible leap, even if your general thesis were true. Lucien is clearly meant to remind the audience of a beholder, and an NPC even comments on the similarity, but Lucien is very clearly meant to be a whole thing unto himself.

What may be revealed, alluded to, or implied, by the end of things, is that Aeor is the origin point of Beholders in Exandria. So nonagons that don’t exert their own will like Lucien, and just collect eyes and go mad without ever reaching Aeor, eventually become Beholders.

But the notion that Matt wanted to use a beholder and just couldn’t is...wild.

Also, Matt has ALREADY used a beholder as a BBEG.

So, I'm sure he wanted to evoke a beholder vibe but have something unique - without repeating himself.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
3 of my 6 players have PHDs, 2 have engineering degrees and one has an undergraduate degree from Cal Tech. We've been playing 5e since it came out, yet rules hiccups still happen. One of my players still makes basic rules mistakes all the time, and he's been gaming for over 20 years.
And some members of my group have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express at one time or another.

Home groups are voluntary and unpaid good times.

CR are literally paid professionals.

In my opinion, it is not unreasonable to notice that the paid professionals on CR are not delivering any higher standard than a home game.

That CR gets away with a home group standard...

Yeah Ok, more power to them. Ultimately I can't really hate on the hustle.


Don't they all have D&D beyond on their ipads? With the character right there?

D&D beyond is about as quick reference as you can get. All bonuses are front and center. All ability descriptions are front and center. Equipment is front and center and if you touch it, has exact descriptions.

The spell sheet not only lists all prepared spells with a short description but provides a longer description when touched.

Yeah, my experience with people that use these tools is obviously different than yours.

They seemed to spend much of their turn looking down and tapping at the screen...



I think they would have a difficult time distancing from 5e at this point. Sure they could do it, but it would be a risk. They seem to have set the format at 5e with occasional forays into other systems via one shot.
I am 100% sure they will never switch from D&D.

That being said, given they way they play, and the large number of players; CR as a streaming show would be better served by a bit lighter system.
 


billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Home groups are voluntary and unpaid good times.

CR are literally paid professionals.

In my opinion, it is not unreasonable to notice that the paid professionals on CR are not delivering any higher standard than a home game.

That CR gets away with a home group standard...
That's because it's still a home game at its fundamentals. They aren't paid professionals in the sense that they were hired to produce a streamed D&D game - rather, they were a home game that was hired to be streamed. They've broadened from there but the core is still much the same.

They've been able to significantly improve their technology and accessories, though, so I'd be willing to bet their integration of Dwarven Forge combat maps and miniatures is at a significantly higher standard than a home game.
 

Iry

Hero
In my opinion, it is not unreasonable to notice that the paid professionals on CR are not delivering any higher standard than a home game.
It's hard to make observations about any player without running into Geek Social Fallacy #2, but I personally try to turn it around on myself. Would I start to feel bad if I've been playing for a year+ and my group has needed to remind me dozens of times about something? The answer for me is "Yes, absolutely" even if everyone else at my table was genuinely okay with it. The answer for other people is probably a spectrum.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
And some members of my group have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express at one time or another.

Home groups are voluntary and unpaid good times.

CR are literally paid professionals.

In my opinion, it is not unreasonable to notice that the paid professionals on CR are not delivering any higher standard than a home game.
But they ARE delivering at a higher standard. They're clearly clicking with an audience in a way that few (no?) other streams have. People very clearly identify with the way they engage with the game and each other. And people are willing to throw money at them at rarified levels.

It's just that the higher standard isn't from a rules perspective it's from a performance perspective - and clearly it's working. as was just stated above, it's essentially a home game at heart, warts and all - and that seems to be a big part of the appeal.

That CR gets away with a home group standard...

Yeah Ok, more power to them. Ultimately I can't really hate on the hustle.
Again, the point was to HAVE a home game that people actually like to watch. That was the appeal from the beginning. Felicia Day saw their actual home game and clearly thought "WOW this is something people have to see!" So while these guys are technically paid professionals, they started as paid professionals but not paid for this. It just turns out people want to watch them play.

Yeah, my experience with people that use these tools is obviously different than yours.

They seemed to spend much of their turn looking down and tapping at the screen...
There are some players no aid will help. At least it's better than someone flipping sheets around for minutes on end.

I am 100% sure they will never switch from D&D.

That being said, given they way they play, and the large number of players; CR as a streaming show would be better served by a bit lighter system.
There is clearly some magic that resulted from the mix of ingredients, changing to a "rules light" system may change something in that magic formula that could result in a worse show.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
In my opinion, it is not unreasonable to notice that the paid professionals on CR are not delivering any higher standard than a home game.
LOL. Wow. Your definition of “home game standards” is a bit skewed, I think. I had never seen any game come close to the level of CR. It’s such a higher standard than most of the hobby has ever encountered there’s a name for DMs trying to up their game to match. You might have heard of the Mercer Effect.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
In my opinion, it is not unreasonable to notice that the paid professionals on CR are not delivering any higher standard than a home game.

That CR gets away with a home group standard...

Yeah Ok, more power to them. Ultimately I can't really hate on the hustle.
Ooof. Tall poppies, much?

I have a much different opinion of Critical Role and their standards of performance.
 

pemerton

Legend
Trademark and copyright are weird. If you don’t actively defend it you risk losing the protection.
This is not true of copyright. And in the context of both it would be very straightforward for WotC to grant licences. That's not to say you're wrong about the lack of licences, but the reasons for not granting any - if they haven't been granted - would be strictly commercial, not legal.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
There's a difference between a troll and a beholder. The troll is generic and not under copyright, the beholder is unique and under copyright. The SRD lists what WotC considers Product Identity. On that list are "proper names (including those used in the names of spells or items)" followed by a long list of specific locations and characters and it finishes off with "beholder, gauth, carrion crawler, tanar’ri, baatezu, displacer beast, githyanki, githzerai, mind flayer, illithid, umber hulk, yuan‑ti." Of that entire list, I think only beholders and illithid / mind flayers appeared in C1. I know displacer beasts and yuan-ti appeared in C2...but I don't remember if either were actually name dropped in the episodes.

There's also a huge difference between the level of scrutiny most DMs have to deal with and what Matt does on Critical Role. You can use whatever you want and call it whatever you want. No matter how much you violate someone's intellectual property, you're not going to get a call from anyone's lawyer. On CR the cast has to drink from unlabeled cups and they have to cover any logos because they're broadcasting to however many millions of viewers on a weekly basis. They have to follow much different IP rules than the rest of us.
They use classes and spells that are not in the basic rules. As far as monsters, Matt does some custom stuff for monsters and classes that are unique to his campaign world. Others come from various published sources other than the basic rules. When it comes to spells, Liam likes to add his own spin. But things definitely come from the published books. For example, Fjord casts Thunder Step which is from Xanathar's. Laura plays a trickster cleric, Taliesin is a Firbolg grave domain cleric and so on. Those aren't in the basic rules. He does have a custom subclass for Marisha and other custom things. So do a lot of DMs.

Just because Matt likes to make up new stuff, doesn't mean there are any licensing issues. If the Wildemount book reprinted things directly from WOTC, it could be an issue. Running a streaming game? There's no issue unless they claim the rules as their own.

You have no basis for your claim, sorry.
 

pemerton

Legend
There's a difference between a troll and a beholder. The troll is generic and not under copyright, the beholder is unique and under copyright. The SRD lists what WotC considers Product Identity. On that list are "proper names (including those used in the names of spells or items)" followed by a long list of specific locations and characters and it finishes off with "beholder, gauth, carrion crawler, tanar’ri, baatezu, displacer beast, githyanki, githzerai, mind flayer, illithid, umber hulk, yuan‑ti."
I believe WotC's interests here are broadly in the realm of trademark rather than copyright.

There's also a huge difference between the level of scrutiny most DMs have to deal with and what Matt does on Critical Role. You can use whatever you want and call it whatever you want. No matter how much you violate someone's intellectual property, you're not going to get a call from anyone's lawyer. On CR the cast has to drink from unlabeled cups and they have to cover any logos because they're broadcasting to however many millions of viewers on a weekly basis. They have to follow much different IP rules than the rest of us.
The difference isn't about scrutiny. It's about whether or not someone else is using IP's intellectual property, without being licensed, in the course of trade. When I GM a game at home I am not trading. I think CR are trading - they are commercial service providers.

As I posted, the issues are primarily commercial, not legal. See further these posts:

No matter how friendly they may be with WoTC - it won't get them out of (at a minimum) licensing fees if WoTC sees them using the IP for profit. It's one thing on the stream, but absolutely best avoid it for future stuff.
More likely they want to make the Critical Role IP as clean as possible, since they realized it had value.
There are already parts of Campaign 1 that won't make it into the animated series because they strongly feature IP such as mind flayers. If they have designs on eventually similarly adapting campaign 2, it makes sense that they'd want to avoid such issues going forward.
 

pemerton

Legend
Just because Matt likes to make up new stuff, doesn't mean there are any licensing issues. If the Wildemount book reprinted things directly from WOTC, it would be an issue. Running a streaming game? There's no issue unless they claim the rules as their own.
If your streaming is a commercial venture, and you use WotC's trademarks without a licence, that would be an issue. I would strongly suggest getting legal advice if you are planning to do this.
 

Rikka66

Adventurer
If your streaming is a commercial venture, and you use WotC's trademarks without a licence, that would be an issue. I would strongly suggest getting legal advice if you are planning to do this.
WoTC cracking down on streamers for using beholders would be a very poor decision on their part.

I agree with the suggestion that this is likely just a choice on CR's part to avoid problems with the non-stream products than Wizards getting on their case. But maybe they big enough and close enough that it came up.
 

pemerton

Legend
WoTC cracking down on streamers for using beholders would be a very poor decision on their part.
WotC objecting to other traders using their trademarks without a licence would be rational protection of their product identity.

I don't know how many streamers count as traders, but it seems to me that Critical Role certainly does.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
But they ARE delivering at a higher standard.
LOL. Wow. Your definition of “home game standards” is a bit skewed
I have a much different opinion of Critical Role and their standards of performance.
LOL, this is what I get for waiting until after the weekend to respond.

A total loss of context to my comment.

At the time of the original exchange, I am commenting on the lack of rules-mastery CR still shows after years of play.

Their lack of rules mastery is the 'home game standard' I am referencing.

In replying to a post over 7 pages back, I get how that could get lost.



There is clearly some magic that resulted from the mix of ingredients, changing to a "rules light" system may change something in that magic formula that could result in a worse show.
Ehhh maybe,

I'm thinking of a system more medium-lite, between outright rules-lite like PbTA, and 5e RAW.

I think that it is the chemistry of the cast that seems to be the main draw if this thread is anything to go by.

But either way, CR and D&D are joined at the hip for the foreseeable future. It would take a major unforeseeable change for them to part.
 

WotC objecting to other traders using their trademarks without a licence would be rational protection of their product identity.

Suffice it to say that legal departments and PR departments often find themselves at odds with each other, and brand management is inherently a battle between the dueling ethos of each.
 

Rikka66

Adventurer
WotC objecting to other traders using their trademarks without a licence would be rational protection of their product identity.
Rational on the lawyer side. A nightmare on the PR side. I will clarify that I'm not saying it would be a financial disaster, but it would probably end up similar to when Nintendo tried to crack down and take a cut from content producers.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
If your streaming is a commercial venture, and you use WotC's trademarks without a licence, that would be an issue. I would strongly suggest getting legal advice if you are planning to do this.

What I was objecting to is the theory that CR only uses OGL materials and didn't use a beholder because of legal issues. They use many things that are not in the basic rules and they have used a beholder.

As far as legal obligations, CR does not charge people to view their content. Therefore I don't believe there is not any licensing issue because of the Fan Content Policy [1] [2]. Yes they sell merchandise, but it's not D&D copyrighted merchandise. The CR cartoon will obviously be a different issue, as is the Wildemount guide.

If you are a lawyer, or if you can point to any evidence at all, I will bow to legal expertise. Until then, it's not worth arguing about. 🤷‍♂️
 

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