OGL Going Nuclear:1D&D

I don't actually believe that fan backlash ended 4e. It certainly had a lot to do with Paizo's rise in popularity, but I don't think 4e would have lasted the years it did if fan backlash were primary concern. I think the end of 4e had more to do with the degree to which the core mechanics of the 4th edition system was prone to issues needing frequent errata.
i disagree. I feel 4e was the best edition even prior to errata and each frequent update showed a love for fine tuneing.
 

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Michael Linke

Adventurer
I would agree that I don't know what "going nuclear" means in this context. I think it just means not buying stuff from wotc if you don't like they way they are conducting their business. Likewise, no one is who is so-criticizing wotc is able to make your "life's passion...fade into obscurity." That's equally hyperbolic.

In fact, the only things that will be 'fading into obscurity' will be those products that relied on the OGL. For example, my favorite OSR game, Whitehack 3e, has paused sales, and my other favorite game/company, Old School Essentials by Necrotic Gnome, has a much anticipated kickstarter in the works that is in jeopardy. Hopefully they'll figure out a way around the OGL. Nevertheless, you can remain blissfully unaware of the existence of these and many other 3pp and free to keep playing your official wotc-approved version of dnd, aka your "life's passion."
My preferred edition is actually BECMI, and DriveThruRPG has me covered as long as WotC is happy to sell the classics POD. I own the OSE Classic and Advanced books and Greg Gillespie's mega dungeons, and bought everything from New Big Dragon Games/Richard LeBlanc on Lulu today just in case it goes away with the new OGL, but of those three, i would think only Necrotic Gnome is likely to have to worry about hitting the $750k threshold to pay royalties and, while I appreciate the production value of OSE Classic, i think "faithful" retro clones like that stretch the spirit of what the OGL was meant to allow.

I never said I only support official WotC approved D&D, I said that I'm very skeptical of the idea that many studios who will be subject to royalties don't also have the resources to reduce their reliance on the OGL.

Someone elsewhere mentioned that many third party publishers sell for very low margis, to the point that a 20% royalty might mean selling at a loss. It wouldn't be unreasonable for WotC to try to tweak the licensing agreement in a way to prevent third parties from undercutting them like that. They probably very much don't want their competition being able to undercut them on a given product so aggressively, and the royalty might be more about forcing small publishers to sell at prices WotC can compete than it is about WotC making cash off the royalties. Accomplishing this with a price-fixing agreement would have been illegal, but a royalty structure might accomplish the same thing legally.

Edit: And yes, of course some of my posts have been hyperbolic. I was trying to match the hyperbolic energy i see coming from the anti-wotc wing of this debate in hopes it makes clear how awkward it is to talk about games when half the community is so revved up.
 

mamba

Hero
people think activism is organizing a boycott because the previously free thing their games publishing companies needs to function might not stay free for ever.
they went from record year to record year so the whole ‘WotC is forced to do this as they are otherwise doomed’ line is ignoring the facts
 

Michael Linke

Adventurer
i disagree. I feel 4e was the best edition even prior to errata and each frequent update showed a love for fine tuneing.
I don't know that I can support "best edition ever". It was a great system design. It was a fun game to play. But the amount of time and energy spent on maintaining that system with balance and errata was unsustainable from a business perspective. Hasbro likely wanted design staff to start working on other projects, but the game was constantly in need of fixing and rebalancing.

For business reasons, a game less focused on inter-object interactions and game balance is just easier to produce and support. As I said, fan backlash didn't kill 4e. I think the labor cost of maintaining it with errata led to the desire to replace it.
 

mamba

Hero
Whataboutism would be if I said "why boycott Hasbro when what Blizzard did is just as bad?" An accusation that trivial matters are exaggerated in importance, and that passion to right wrongs can be better channeled elsewhere entirely isn't "whataboutism".
ok, so what are you doing about the Ukraine war? Or is this just something you wave in front of our eyes to distract us…
 

Michael Linke

Adventurer
they went from record year to record year so the whole ‘WotC is forced to do this as they are otherwise doomed’ line is ignoring the facts
Never said anything about them being doomed. They don't have to be staring down certain doom to rethink how generous they are with their competition. The new OGL still lets a devoted fan sell $50,000 worth of books a year without even worrying about financial reporting. That's pretty generous.

Is it as generous as the OGL 1.0a? Of course not.
 


I don't know that I can support "best edition ever".
I mean I assume we all have our own ranking of what edition we like best... I did go out of the way to say it's how I feel.
It was a great system design. It was a fun game to play. But the amount of time and energy spent on maintaining that system with balance and errata was unsustainable from a business perspective.
I don't think they were spending that much time on it... as they playtested new races and classes and watched other players (maybe even some on here) they came up with fixes.
Hasbro likely wanted design staff to start working on other projects, but the game was constantly in need of fixing and rebalancing.
I think you are overselling what was going on with new feats, new feedback and trying to dial in the best possible game.
For business reasons, a game less focused on inter-object interactions and game balance is just easier to produce and support.
if they would just come out and admit that balance doesn't work for them I would respect them more.
As I said, fan backlash didn't kill 4e. I think the labor cost of maintaining it with errata led to the desire to replace it.
and again I do not agree with YOUR feelings
 

Never said anything about them being doomed. They don't have to be staring down certain doom to rethink how generous they are with their competition. The new OGL still lets a devoted fan sell $50,000 worth of books a year without even worrying about financial reporting. That's pretty generous.

Is it as generous as the OGL 1.0a? Of course not.
...and (reportedly) giving wotc complete ownership over everything they produce and the ability to change the terms of the license with 30 days notice.

I said that I'm very skeptical of the idea that many studios who will be subject to royalties don't also have the resources to reduce their reliance on the OGL.
Hopefully! But the way wotc is going about this feels like a rugpull. I don't think it can even really be about the money, because the amount 3pp generate is very small compared to wotc's revenue. So it does currently feel like they are just trying to bully small publishers out of the business entirely.
 

ok, so what are you doing about the Ukraine war? Or is this just something you wave in front of our eyes to distract us…
unless anyone has an uncle that owes them one and happens to be incharge of Russia I'm not sure there is anything we CAN do about the war... we can help survivors and people hurt by it but even if every enworld poster got up tomorrow got on a plane went and fought for the Ukraine it would be very little change...
 

mamba

Hero
unless anyone has an uncle that owes them one and happens to be incharge of Russia I'm not sure there is anything we CAN do about the war... we can help survivors and people hurt by it but even if every enworld poster got up tomorrow got on a plane went and fought for the Ukraine it would be very little change...
yeah, I include donating to Ukraine, helping refugees, boycotting russian products, etc. in this, clearly we will not affect the war directly
 


Scribe

Legend
Whataboutism would be if I said "why boycott Hasbro when what Blizzard did is just as bad?" An accusation that trivial matters are exaggerated in importance, and that passion to right wrongs can be better channeled elsewhere entirely isn't "whataboutism".
It costs me literally nothing, to not support a predatory, morally bankrupt, lip service paying, talk out both sides of your mouth, corporate parasite. Indeed, it allows me to save money, or put it towards a company or individual I feel is more worthy of support

That they Wizards has exposed themselves for what they really are (as I have suspected for quite some time) is simply the icing on the cake.
 

I really wish that I had the same faith you do in my fellow players of D&D. based on some reactions so far I am not sure.
For me, I understand the upset some posters are feeling, but it's just overwhelming all other discussions here. I understand having a few threads discussing this, but do we need a dozen or so clogging up the top part of the page, crowding out all the other topics for discussion?
 

Michael Linke

Adventurer
I mean I assume we all have our own ranking of what edition we like best... I did go out of the way to say it's how I feel.

I don't think they were spending that much time on it... as they playtested new races and classes and watched other players (maybe even some on here) they came up with fixes.

I think you are overselling what was going on with new feats, new feedback and trying to dial in the best possible game.

if they would just come out and admit that balance doesn't work for them I would respect them more.

and again I do not agree with YOUR feelings
I thought I remember an article, possibly in Dragon+, where Mearls said that the bloat of errata had gotten out of hand, and he was specifically tasked with reducing the amount of resources spent on errata for 4e releases, which he planned to do through a combination of better play testing, looser design, and less focus on symetrical balance, which I think in part led to Essentials.
 

Michael Linke

Adventurer
to not support a predatory, morally bankrupt, lip service paying, talk out both sides of your mouth, corporate parasite.
This is exactly the stuff i'm complaining about. Nothing about this situation speaks to morality. You could argue there that the alteration of the license is unethical. But immoral? The eliminationist rhetoric (parasite) is maybe excusable provided we are specifically talking about WotC the corporation, but I think too often people equate corporations with at least SOME of the people in charge at them.
 

Scribe

Legend
This is exactly the stuff i'm complaining about. Nothing about this situation speaks to morality. You could argue there that the alteration of the license is unethical. But immoral? The eliminationist rhetoric (parasite) is maybe excusable provided we are specifically talking about WotC the corporation, but I think too often people equate corporations with at least SOME of the people in charge at them.

Everything about this indicates that the corporation of WotC/Hasbro, feels its entitled to suppress competition (it is!) extract profit from third parties (it is!) and essentially bully anyone within the RPG space that wants to interact with their IP of D&D.

All of which is fine, and fair for them to do.

They are perfectly entitled to act like a petty villain from an Adventure someone else writes for them. Perfectly Lawful, perfectly Evil.

No problem.

Just dont try and tell me that they are inclusive, and support the social movement of the day, while they are trampling on the lives and careers of people who depended upon the good faith nature of the license they (Wizards!) created. :)
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
It cracks me up. This forum has been 80% D&D 5e for the last 3-5 years. I’ve lost track of the number of people who have said they can’t find Folks to play any other game than 5e.

Basically if all the people that say they’re boycotting 5e and One D&D, actual do… then it’s going to be awfully quiet around here.
I won't touch 6e, or anything further that WotC makes, but I'm still going to play my mostly Level Up-based homebrew.
 


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