OGL DnD Shorts final video

SAVeira

Adventurer
And that's exactly what Hasbro are - quite literally - banking on.

In this case it's quite possible that the only way to win really is not to play, or at least not to play in the way they want us to.
That would be asking someone like me or in similar situations to give up playing completely. That is a non-start. There are plenty of ways to play online that will never see a single cent go to Hasbro. So, it better to say, just keep on playing how you are playing and ignore Hasbro attempts to monetize. It is not like their tools are needed, asked for and in a lot of cases asked for.

Stick with whatever tools you are using today. Support your favour VTT (Fantasy Grounds, Roll20, FoundryVTT or whatever). Use whatever means you use to communicate online like Zoom or Discord.

To be frank, there was no way I would move to a WotC D&D VTT only environment. First, I already use Fantasy Grounds for D&D and many other RPG systems. Second, if I could not use Fantasy Grounds for future D&D products, still would abandon it as I have too much invested into it for D&D only. Third, due to the structure of Fantasy Grounds (like other VTTs) I can create add-ons with some ease, and I have items available (free) at the Forge for Fantasy Grounds.

Have just written the above, I am realizing how out of touch Hasbro must be with the current VTT user base. Especially those who pay for content, we really will not be interested in purchasing items over or elsewhere. With Fantasy Grounds, I have and running: D&D, Call of Cthulhu, ICONS, Mutants & Masterminds and Savage Worlds for starters. I and I believe others would want a Swiss Army when it comes to VTTs, not something limited to just OneD&D.
 

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Alternately, don’t use the fancy features of VTTs.

Or use discord, video or voice chat, and theater of the mind. This is a perfectly viable means to play.

It’s the bells and whistles that they’re trying to monetize. Bells and whistles are extraneous to play, not necessary to play.

I agree. But there is nothing wrong to offer sonething mire fancy for people who want that.
I mean, noone needs jewelry, diamonds or fancy cloths too...
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That would be asking someone like me or in similar situations to give up playing completely. That is a non-start. There are plenty of ways to play online that will never see a single cent go to Hasbro. So, it better to say, just keep on playing how you are playing and ignore Hasbro attempts to monetize. It is not like their tools are needed, asked for and in a lot of cases asked for.

Stick with whatever tools you are using today. Support your favour VTT (Fantasy Grounds, Roll20, FoundryVTT or whatever).
The assumption here is that these will all either be bought out (by WotC) or forced to shut down (by WotC) within the fairly near future, as will any others who try to start up.
Use whatever means you use to communicate online like Zoom or Discord.
True; voice-only fully-TotM play can't be shut down.
To be frank, there was no way I would move to a WotC D&D VTT only environment. First, I already use Fantasy Grounds for D&D and many other RPG systems. Second, if I could not use Fantasy Grounds for future D&D products, still would abandon it as I have too much invested into it for D&D only. Third, due to the structure of Fantasy Grounds (like other VTTs) I can create add-ons with some ease, and I have items available (free) at the Forge for Fantasy Grounds.
Great. And when Fantasy Grounds gets bought out by WotC and made newD&D only, then what do you do?
 

Haplo781

Legend
The assumption here is that these will all either be bought out (by WotC) or forced to shut down (by WotC) within the fairly near future, as will any others who try to start up.

True; voice-only fully-TotM play can't be shut down.

Great. And when Fantasy Grounds gets bought out by WotC and made newD&D only, then what do you do?
If the plan was to buy them out they wouldn't be trying to shut them out.
 

SAVeira

Adventurer
The assumption here is that these will all either be bought out (by WotC) or forced to shut down (by WotC) within the fairly near future, as will any others who try to start up.

True; voice-only fully-TotM play can't be shut down.

Great. And when Fantasy Grounds gets bought out by WotC and made newD&D only, then what do you do?
I really doubt that that Fantasy Grounds or any of the other will be purchased by WotC. If they were going to do that they would have done so already.

The other option of a force shut down will not happen as that would cause an even greater storm of issues, such as the fact most VTTs have licences from other companies for their game systems. Even if they removed the ability to sell WotC products going forward, they could not stop individuals from using the VTT for D&D.

In fact, either action would like to trigger some form of government oversight when people start yelling about monopolist behaviour.

Hasbro/WotC might be the big fish in the pond, but even they have limits.
 


SAVeira

Adventurer
So with rumors of upper managements mistreatment of employees do you(general) think WotC employees may unionize?
At the least I would not be shocked to see Chris Cao employee with Hasbro/WotC terminated to earn a PR win and maybe as a means to justify a complete reverse in direction. Given report of his behaviour it would be extremely use for him to be thrown under the bus and have all the blame placed on him.
 



darjr

I crit!
I am very wary of DND_Shorts. So much so that I will take it as hearsay for now.

However Stan! has chimed in and he usually stays out of things like this.

As a former WotC insider, I found this report not only insightful and compelling, but as I read between the lines and applied it to my knowledge and experience (and combined that with what I've heard from my personal connections in and near to the ongoing troubles), I found it to have the ring of bone-chilling accuracy.
The one piece that it solidified for me was how deep and complete the separation has become between the C-suite and what we usually refer to as the "D&D Team." I have to remember as this situation continues to develop that when news or commentary talks about what the "D&D Team" is doing, they are NOT talking about the creative team, or even the highest level of brand management that deals with the game we play and the game products we buy—they are talking about upper-level, C-suite management.
To use names from the past (who were ALL passionate stewards for the game and the community, no matter what you may think of any individual's contribution), this is not something that's happening at the Bill Salvicsek, Mike Mearls, Nathan Stewart, Liz Schuh level ... it's happening at the Peter Adkison, Vince Calouri, Loren Greenwood level.
In all my time at the company (with all of the names listed above), the C-suite, Brand Team, and Design Team all worked TOGETHER. Today it seems like the executive team is simply running amok without any knowledge of or care for opinions or input from the people who actually work on the game we know and play (and in many cases love).

link
 
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At the least I would not be shocked to see Chris Cao employee with Hasbro/WotC terminated to earn a PR win and maybe as a means to justify a complete reverse in direction. Given report of his behaviour it would be extremely use for him to be thrown under the bus and have all the blame placed on him.
I think that's incredibly unlikely given the sort of corporation that Hasbro is.

They're not some videogame company who enjoy some spectacular resignations or firings or the like, they're a long-established toy company, and they supposed to be calm and orderly.

It's much more likely, if they get rid of him, they quietly put him on gardening leave and don't ever even acknowledge he was a topic of discussion, or move him to another part of the organisation or something.

I mean, remember what they did with Mearls? Mearls completely overstepped his bounds and publicly and unnecessarily acted unprofessionally in a #MeToo-type situation which he had absolutely no earthly reason to involve himself in. In a lot of companies, that'd be a firing offence. With WotC? He just went radio silence, and we were left thinking he was still in his job at WotC for, what, two years? At which point WotC revealed it had been Agatha all Along Ray Winninger for the last two years, and in fact Mearls was working in a different, arguably more senior, but definitely less public-facing part of WotC.
 


SAVeira

Adventurer
I think that's incredibly unlikely given the sort of corporation that Hasbro is.

They're not some videogame company who enjoy some spectacular resignations or firings or the like, they're a long-established toy company, and they supposed to be calm and orderly.

It's much more likely, if they get rid of him, they quietly put him on gardening leave and don't ever even acknowledge he was a topic of discussion, or move him to another part of the organisation or something.

I mean, remember what they did with Mearls? Mearls completely overstepped his bounds and publicly and unnecessarily acted unprofessionally in a #MeToo-type situation which he had absolutely no earthly reason to involve himself in. In a lot of companies, that'd be a firing offence. With WotC? He just went radio silence, and we were left thinking he was still in his job at WotC for, what, two years? At which point WotC revealed it had been Agatha all Along Ray Winninger for the last two years, and in fact Mearls was working in a different, arguably more senior, but definitely less public-facing part of WotC.
Given the pressure on Hasbro and the increase mainstream press coverage, never say never. I would imagine that they have engaged a crisis PR firm, who will tell them that a termination is called for.

Especially when as it is only a matter of time before the press goes digging in Chris Cao. If he really has been behaving this bad around his current staff, there is zero chance that he was not abusive at his older jobs. I have worked with a guy at two different companies, and he has been fired with cause from both. Last I heard he has been fired from two other places for the same reasons. Some people have patterns of behaviour.
 

darjr

I crit!
I think demonizing Chris Cao is a mistake.

For instance in this interview he doesn't sound like someone who wants to kill the tabletop paper version of the game. More like he understands how important it is and how important it is not to violate that trust. This is about Arena for Magic the gathering.

There is a lot of information and jumping off the handle, especially advocating firing someone to a corporation that looks desperate to appease the fan base, is a possible future regret.

 

I have subscribed to D&D Shorts for a long time. I really enjoy it; Will makes fun videos and is super charismatic.

That said, he's not a journalist, and this is not good reporting. There is a story here, and I want to know what it is, but he is not responsibly assessing his sources or digging for verification the way any reputable reporter would. For example, he is heavily relying on sources that have already been shown to have misrepresented facts (i.e. by insisting that survey responses were never read, etc.). The way those facts were misrepresented, and the confidence with which they were misrepresented suggests an agenda. A journalist would be (rightly) much more cautious about those sources going forward, whereas his response has been to simply drop those allegations but otherwise rely on those same sources' other claims.

So are their other allegations accurate? Maybe. It's impossible to know from this reporting. Much verification is needed, though the broad strokes (D&D moving to a much more digital platform) seem pretty uncontroversial. This video seems more about DnDShorts trying to salvage his own reputation than it is responsible journalism, which is understandable: he's a YouTube content provider not a journalist.
I'm hoping what he said about turning everything over to Linda for any future developments is true. I don't doubt there's some truth to what he's saying, but it's certainly colored by the opinion of that one employee and I feel like they'll do a better job of vetting those opinions against other credible sources to form the whole story.
 


The assumption here is that these will all either be bought out (by WotC) or forced to shut down (by WotC) within the fairly near future, as will any others who try to start up.
More accurately, given the VTTs run other things (See Foundry in particular having Pathfinder integration), the other ones will continue to exist. Other RPGs out there after all.

They're going to do everything they can to try and stop D&D working on those VTTs and probably break the various D&D Beyond integration, but like... Folks got those working previously without D&D Beyond integration to begin with.. Folks'll just grab a 'free use weird spell effects' animation pack, hack it into 5E, and boom, you've already broken this part of it in 10 seconds flat. Probably can't upload your stuff elsewhere, but, a black market of this stuff will not only exist, but be incredibly easy to just do. Its all just numbers at its heart

Because, yeah, that's ultimately the end result here. Them trying to make a walled garden when its ridiculously simple to replicate the exact details outside of it
 

Haplo781

Legend
More accurately, given the VTTs run other things (See Foundry in particular having Pathfinder integration), the other ones will continue to exist. Other RPGs out there after all.

They're going to do everything they can to try and stop D&D working on those VTTs and probably break the various D&D Beyond integration, but like... Folks got those working previously without D&D Beyond integration to begin with.. Folks'll just grab a 'free use weird spell effects' animation pack, hack it into 5E, and boom, you've already broken this part of it in 10 seconds flat. Probably can't upload your stuff elsewhere, but, a black market of this stuff will not only exist, but be incredibly easy to just do. Its all just numbers at its heart

Because, yeah, that's ultimately the end result here. Them trying to make a walled garden when its ridiculously simple to replicate the exact details outside of it
Lack of a license doesn't stop me from playing 4e on Foundry.
 

I would imagine that they have engaged a crisis PR firm, who will tell them that a termination is called for.
Will they have?

I feel like doing that would suggest a much better appreciation of the magnitude of the error than they appear to possess.
Especially when as it is only a matter of time before the press goes digging in Chris Cao. If he really has been behaving this bad around his current staff, there is zero chance that he was not abusive at his older jobs.
Eh.

Nothing described is completely out-of-line with what would be expected by an exec in a company with weak HR/poor corporate culture so I don't think there will be much to find, and I'm not sure the press is interested in Cao. Again, someone above him said yes to hiring hundreds of employees and spending tens of millions. That seems like the bigger story to me.
I think demonizing Chris Cao is a mistake.
I agree.

However, watching that video on Arena, I think it's entirely possible that the characterisation of him as fundamentally not understanding D&D is correct. I think that the entire approach to the 3D VTT reeks of a large-scale misunderstanding of what makes D&D great.
 

So with rumors of upper managements mistreatment of employees do you(general) think WotC employees may unionize?
Unfortunately, I think they would get crushed. At least, it would take like a year of organizing work (largely done in secret) to even start to put forward ideas of unionization. Even then, Hasbro has the resources to make it very difficult. Unionization is hard!
 

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