Foundry VTT Author Chimes in on OGL 1.1

This speaks I think to a lot of people.

The majority, do not pirate things, and actually want to pay to support people.

Its only when corporations get massive delusions of self importance, and over reach, that people start to recoil in disgust.
I feel this immensely. Personally, WotC’s approach to both D&D and MTG over the past year have made me extremely interested in piracy. Not piracy in the sense of “illegal downloads” so much as like “pirate radio”—homemade and with a total disregard for authority. If the “authority” behind these beloved hobbies is so greedy that it interferes with my ability to enjoy these hobbies, AND it’s within my ability to continue with my hobby anyway, I will and I think many others will too.
 

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They DO produce a superior product, and most people use it. That's why everybody ELSE is trying to use their rules and player base to build their OWN products and companies without contributing to the upkeep of that rules base and community.
Are you talking about 5E? Because superiority isn’t NOT the reason for 5E D&D’s success. The reality is that the vast majority of players aren’t familiar with other TTRPGs and are hesitant to learn. It’s like playing board games with your relatives at Christmas—a lot of the players only know how to play Monopoly (or Clue or Life) and don’t like boardgames enough to want to learn any others. They’re playing the familiar game to avoid being left out, but aren’t interested in doing the work of learning which games they like better.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Are you talking about 5E? Because superiority isn’t NOT the reason for 5E D&D’s success. The reality is that the vast majority of players aren’t familiar with other TTRPGs and are hesitant to learn. It’s like playing board games with your relatives at Christmas—a lot of the players only know how to play Monopoly (or Clue or Life) and don’t like boardgames enough to want to learn any others. They’re playing the familiar game to avoid being left out, but aren’t interested in doing the work of learning which games they like better.

Often see tis arguement thrown around. Alot of D&D players don't like RPGs/not interested.

If D&D collapsed and burned you wouldn't see a drastic uptick in players moving to other systems.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
The appearance that such an observation by me has you so riled up is telling.

Mod Note:

I was watching The Orville a few days ago, in which the antagonist Kaylon present an argument that amounts to, "The fact that you defended your planet so stridently against our attack is evidence that we were right to attack you."


That folks get offended when you make an accusation is not evidence your accusation is accurate.

Please stop making the discussion about the speakers, rather than the words. Thanks.
 

It was for "political" reasons - though I don't think this is really "politics". @Umbran will correct me if necessary, I'm sure.

[And I apologize in advance if it is]

What happened was last February, Russia invaded Ukraine. Various Western nations announced financial sanctions on Russia and Russians, and in particular, took steps to ensure that it would be really hard to send money to (or get money out of) Russia to and from the West.

About 2-3 weeks after the invasion and as sanctions were being discussed in the media and announced by the UK, Canada, the USA and much of the rest of the West, there was an expansion DLC released for Wrath of the Righteous, the PC Game for PF1. The game is written by Owlcat, a Moscow based developer and published by its parent, which is a corporation based in Cyprus. I don't have anything against the devs in Owlcat, but the purpose of our financial sanctions is not to express our outrage on the people of Russia -- it's to make their lives difficult and so make it more difficult for Putin to govern that nation. And Owlcat's finances are based in Cypus. As a lawyer, I know that is a RED FLAG.

If you know anything about international banking, you know that Cyprus has the most corrupt banking system in the West. If you think you can track money that goes into a Cypriot bank? You can't; not really.

So as the DLC was announced, Paizo shilled for Owlcat -- as I am sure they were contractually obligated to do on both Twitter, via-email and on Paizo's website.

I took exception to this, because in the context at the time -- and at all times since -- sending money in a way that it certain to reach ordinary every day Russians just living their lives in Russia has been something that all of us,. collectively, in the West have been morally and legally against doing. Business as usual with Russia and Russians was not okay.

I posted on this very topic on Paizo's message board to complain about it. Tonya Woldrige DELETED MY POST suggesting that I was discussing "politics" and that was not okay on Paizo's boards. That was a deliberate and convenient lie, imo.

I cancelled my subscriptions the next day (I like to wait and not do things when I am angry). I ceased all development of a PF2 version of RotRL I was doing as a for pay gig for Foundry VTT, ended all work I was doing on the Automated Animations and SND FX for PF2 for Foundry VTT (free project, I was ~half done) and suspended two Pathfinder 2 campaigns indefinitely. Another player of mine, who runs Agents of Edgewatch ended his campaign that same day.

This was a difficult decision for me, as many of the top level creative people at Paizo are people I consider to be personal friends. I bear them no ill will -- but this was more than "just business" to me.

And just like that, after being a Paizo superfan and literally owing every product they had ever released, in any format, (including some really obscure ones from 2003) I was out.

If and when the war In Ukraine comes to an end, I will reconsider my position. If, before that should occur, WotC does something really offensive with the OGL 1.1, I will, perhaps, also reconsider.

But for now, that's why I am here, running Rime of the FrostMaiden and Shadow of the Dragon Queen via Foundry VTT, and how it is that WotC recently got a whole lot more of my money.
As a big PF2e fan and an ardent support of Ukraine, I’m shocked and concerned to hear this! I wasn’t aware, so thanks for this. I don’t own any Owlcat products, and I won’t buy any for the foreseeable future. I’m still supportive of Paizo… but you’ve made me think twice.
 

Often see tis arguement thrown around. Alot of D&D players don't like RPGs/not interested.

If D&D collapsed a d burtn you wouldn't see a drastic uptick in players moving to other systems.
I generally agree with that assessment, that’s what I was trying to say. I think the majority of 5E players are into it casually and are never going to invest heavily the way Hasbro hopes.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Regarding DNDB and Foundry or any VTT.

Saying you can buy a book on DNDB but you are not allowed to use it on Foundry is the same as buying a book at the Barnes and Noble but are told you can only use it at Barnes and Noble. You are not allowed to bring it home and play it and you darn sure are not allowed to carry it over to your friend Bill's house to play.

I am sure if that is the same legally, but that is identical morally and ethically.
 
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drl2

Explorer
Personally, I don't blame WotC for trying to reduce what I have seen as a huge .. hole in the current approach of Foundry and other VTTs. I have felt from day 1 it was unethical what people were doing to get WotC content into Foundry and other non-licensed VTTs. I feel it is about time that these people who are taking advantage of technical loopholes finally be made to compete on a fair and level playing field. Other VTTs have licenses, Foundry et al should be required to obtain and comply with such if they are to allow use of WotC IP.
It sounds like you're assuming the Foundry (etc) folks just tried to sneak their way into D&D support without trying to obtain official support.

I'm not privy to any discussions that may or may not have happened between WOTC and Foundry, but I strongly suspect the opposite to be the case - that FVTT has tried to become an official licensee on some level, but came along at a time when WOTC was solidifying plans for their own VTT... so they joined the game too late.

The SRD was out there and available and in widespread use elsewhere - were they supposed to ignore the largest part of their market in the name of being "fair" about Hasbro's profit margins?
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm glad to hear someone with some authority is stepping up to tell WotC that this is unacceptable.
What authority does Foundry have? They are one of the top three VTTs, along with Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, but of those they do not have a WotC license and do not sell official WotC material. They only offer the SRD. WotC benefits indirectly through users who buy D&D Beyond subscriptions to import official content in the VTT, but Foundry releasing a statement isn't going to have the impact that Fantasy Grounds or Roll20 would. Then again, the lack of a legal relationship with WotC give's Foundry more freedom to share their opinion.
 
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dave2008

Legend
What authority does Foundry have. They are one of the top three VTTs, along with Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, but of those they do not have a WotC license and do not sell official WotC material. They only offer the SRD. WotC benefits indirectly through users who buy D&D Beyond subscriptions to import official content in the VTT, but Foundry releasing a statement isn't going to have the impact that Fantasy Grounds or Roll20 would. Then again, the lack of a legal relationship with WotC give's Foundry more freedom to share their opinion.
Someone in the industry has more authority then a fan like me. Since I posted that comment, several 3PP have singed the OpenDD letter, so it is less of an issue now. But I was glad to see it at the time when so many were being quite.
 

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