D&D General Hasbro Should Open DnDBeyond to 3PP

Clint_L

Hero
If Hasbro wants a win-win situation moving out of this, I suggest they do the following:

1. Commit to maintaining the terms of the OGL 1.0a going forward, forever, including for OneD&D. Sure, add a clause about hate speech, as adjudicated by an arbitration panel with representatives from OGL stakeholders.

2. Open DnDBeyond to 3PP for a reasonable licensing rate/royalty.

It's clear that Hasbro sees DnDBeyond as the future - they just paid $146 million for it, and it already has millions of subscribers. Opening it up gives them a new revenue stream from 3PP, and gives those 3PP who want it access to a MUCH larger consumer base than they currently reach.

Speaking for myself, the reason I don't buy more 3PP products is because I find DnDBeyond so convenient. If 3PP were in the DDB shop and integrated into the interface (and those could be separate licensing arrangements), I would be far, far more likely to purchase the adventure or alternate Monster Manual or whatever.

From Hasbro's perspective, this keeps D&D the epicentre of fantasy roleplaying and gives them a lot more control over content, since they would be working out licensing deals with each 3PP provider, and it adds another revenue stream. It sort of creates more competition...but they are getting a cut. And most of their product going forward won't be from publications, it'll be from the VTT, which this would make even more appealing.

From the 3PP provider's perspective, their product is now WAY more available and convenient, should they choose to go this direction. It gives them a potent new sales option, especially since most struggle to get into FLGS. On the other hand, they would be giving up some control to WotC, but just like any licensing agreement they would be able to negotiate terms that suit them, or walk away.

And gamers? And gamers get access to way more variety. Win-win-win.

Thoughts? I feel like I probably missed a bunch of obvious problems.
 

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If Hasbro wants a win-win situation moving out of this, I suggest they do the following:

1. Commit to maintaining the terms of the OGL 1.0a going forward, forever, including for OneD&D. Sure, add a clause about hate speech, as adjudicated by an arbitration panel with representatives from OGL stakeholders.

2. Open DnDBeyond to 3PP for a reasonable licensing rate/royalty.

It's clear that Hasbro sees DnDBeyond as the future - they just paid $146 million for it, and it already has millions of subscribers. Opening it up gives them a new revenue stream from 3PP, and gives those 3PP who want it access to a MUCH larger consumer base than they currently reach.

Speaking for myself, the reason I don't buy more 3PP products is because I find DnDBeyond so convenient. If 3PP were in the DDB shop and integrated into the interface (and those could be separate licensing arrangements), I would be far, far more likely to purchase the adventure or alternate Monster Manual or whatever.

From Hasbro's perspective, this keeps D&D the epicentre of fantasy roleplaying and gives them a lot more control over content, since they would be working out licensing deals with each 3PP provider, and it adds another revenue stream. It sort of creates more competition...but they are getting a cut. And most of their product going forward won't be from publications, it'll be from the VTT, which this would make even more appealing.

From the 3PP provider's perspective, their product is now WAY more available and convenient, should they choose to go this direction. It gives them a potent new sales option, especially since most struggle to get into FLGS. On the other hand, they would be giving up some control to WotC, but just like any licensing agreement they would be able to negotiate terms that suit them, or walk away.

And gamers? And gamers get access to way more variety. Win-win-win.

Thoughts?

Full agreement, much better idea then this none sense.
 

If Hasbro wants a win-win situation moving out of this, I suggest they do the following:

1. Commit to maintaining the terms of the OGL 1.0a going forward, forever, including for OneD&D. Sure, add a clause about hate speech, as adjudicated by an arbitration panel with representatives from OGL stakeholders.

2. Open DnDBeyond to 3PP for a reasonable licensing rate/royalty.

It's clear that Hasbro sees DnDBeyond as the future - they just paid $146 million for it, and it already has millions of subscribers. Opening it up gives them a new revenue stream from 3PP, and gives those 3PP who want it access to a MUCH larger consumer base than they currently reach.

Speaking for myself, the reason I don't buy more 3PP products is because I find DnDBeyond so convenient. If 3PP were in the DDB shop and integrated into the interface (and those could be separate licensing arrangements), I would be far, far more likely to purchase the adventure or alternate Monster Manual or whatever.

From Hasbro's perspective, this keeps D&D the epicentre of fantasy roleplaying and gives them a lot more control over content, since they would be working out licensing deals with each 3PP provider, and it adds another revenue stream. It sort of creates more competition...but they are getting a cut. And most of their product going forward won't be from publications, it'll be from the VTT, which this would make even more appealing.

From the 3PP provider's perspective, their product is now WAY more available and convenient, should they choose to go this direction. It gives them a potent new sales option, especially since most struggle to get into FLGS. On the other hand, they would be giving up some control to WotC, but just like any licensing agreement they would be able to negotiate terms that suit them, or walk away.

And gamers? And gamers get access to way more variety. Win-win-win.

Thoughts? I feel like I probably missed a bunch of obvious problems.
To me that's the logical next step from DM's Guild, which has been great for D&D IMO.
 

Reynard

Legend
This plan would require that a) WotC is operating in good faith, and b) WotC understands what is important to its customers.

i don't think we have seen any evidence that either of these things are true at this point.
 

Oofta

Legend
I agree, I've suggested it a few times myself. Make a separate tab on DndBeyond open for purchase. If I buy Kobold Press's Tome of Monsters add them to my monster list. Some things like classes and subclasses might be tricky depending on how those are encoded (it seems like it might be a lot of hard-coded software) but monsters, backgrounds and spells should be easy enough.
 

DDB is simply not a robust enough platform to allow it to be opened to 3PP.

It has huge technical hurdles and issues just implementing rules from things like Tasha's etc. They are not going to be able to open it to 3PP player options. Dumb text / PDF's sure. But actual incorporation into game mechanics and character management? Nope, it's not technically capable. Maybe it will be with all the devs they have brought on board in a year or two. But I don't think they are working towards that capability.
 

Clint_L

Hero
DDB is simply not a robust enough platform to allow it to be opened to 3PP.

It has huge technical hurdles and issues just implementing rules from things like Tasha's etc. They are not going to be able to open it to 3PP player options. Dumb text / PDF's sure. But actual incorporation into game mechanics and character management? Nope, it's not technically capable. Maybe it will be with all the devs they have brought on board in a year or two. But I don't think they are working towards that capability.
I agree when it comes to really complicated new mechanics. But things like magic items, monsters, and adventures should be straightforward. I've added plenty of my own to it and it works just fine, and most chimpanzees can code better than I can. I can't see why adding the latest Kobold Press Tome of Beasts would be so much harder. And presumably they would pay for the coding.
 

Oofta

Legend
DDB is simply not a robust enough platform to allow it to be opened to 3PP.

It has huge technical hurdles and issues just implementing rules from things like Tasha's etc. They are not going to be able to open it to 3PP player options. Dumb text / PDF's sure. But actual incorporation into game mechanics and character management? Nope, it's not technically capable. Maybe it will be with all the devs they have brought on board in a year or two. But I don't think they are working towards that capability.

Depends on what's being done. Classes and subclasses are difficult, but I can create monsters right now and spells wouldn't be any different. They'd just have to figure out how to open up the sharing and integrate it in. A formatter for input would also be nice but isn't absolutely required.
 

It would be good for the 3PPs because D&DB should the best showcase to show their franchises and IPs.

Of course WotC should show good will and fair play.

But I wonder if 3PPs launch titles about the same ideas, for example classes, PC species or monsters, or powers with some special game mechanics (psionic powers, martial adepts, vestige pact magic, incarnum, truename..).
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Yes, it's clearly the way to go and in the long run inviting all the 3PPs to sell on DNDBeyond and then taking a percentage of every sale would serve WotC's bottom line so much better than playing whack-a-mole trying to shut every 3PP down.

However, I think this would only really work for 3PP adventures or other products that essentially adhere to the established mechanics of 5E and OneD&D. DNDBeyond wouldn't be able to technically support some of the more radical and innovative 3PP stuff.
 



aco175

Legend
To pull it off, they would need more robots on the AI side and they would also need to figure out if everyone that stated "Never equals never- no mater what" really meant it when they dropped their subscription.
 

I agree when it comes to really complicated new mechanics. But things like magic items, monsters, and adventures should be straightforward. ...

Depends on what's being done. ...

That's what I was trying to get at. Adventure, maps, and things that follow current mechanics are not a problem. But add a new ability to an NPC or spell or magic item that doesn't use core mechanics (stat drain? unusual duration? Unique targeting or effect or condition) and it just becomes near useless. And ime, many of the 3PP stuff does that type of stuff. Especially for classes and races, but even for NPCs, spells, and magic items (just not as much).

So yes, some 3PP could easily be incorporated, but some of it wouldn't and that would cause a support nightmare as well as complaints.
 

Oofta

Legend
That's what I was trying to get at. Adventure, maps, and things that follow current mechanics are not a problem. But add a new ability to an NPC or spell or magic item that doesn't use core mechanics (stat drain? unusual duration? Unique targeting or effect or condition) and it just becomes near useless. And ime, many of the 3PP stuff does that type of stuff. Especially for classes and races, but even for NPCs, spells, and magic items (just not as much).

So yes, some 3PP could easily be incorporated, but some of it wouldn't and that would cause a support nightmare as well as complaints.

I would hope they are modifying their software to allow easier modification, but I have no idea what they are prioritizing. Maybe finally getting the encounter generator out of beta. ;)
 

Stormonu

Legend
I definitely agree with allowing 3rd party material to be licensed to be purchased in DnDBeyond. There’s several products I’ve purchased I’d love to be able to access therein.

‘The issue might be though, whose responsible for getting it into the right format - WotC, the 3PP publisher or some other service/3rd party? If it isn’t done right and quality assured, it may damage the reputation of either (or both) entity.
 

Oofta

Legend
I definitely agree with allowing 3rd party material to be licensed to be purchased in DnDBeyond. There’s several products I’ve purchased I’d love to be able to access therein.

‘The issue might be though, whose responsible for getting it into the right format - WotC, the 3PP publisher or some other service/3rd party? If it isn’t done right and quality assured, it may damage the reputation of either (or both) entity.
The 3PP with review from WOTC and/or an option to report badly formatted content. I could see WOTC retaining the option to be a bit more strict on content as well than the OGL 1.2 since it's being sold on their storefront.
 

My suggestion is a "free demo", a couple of pages introducing the settings, only lore/background. Then you have got the option to buy the pack, and Hasbro is paid the royalty.

Other point is the crunch when this is published in the 3PP section of the SRD. What about several 3PPs with their own version of the same idea? For example the shaman class, or assasin, or summoner. Or the same version of a PC specie, for example, the little gray aliens, or monsters as werevernims or monsters based in (now public domain) Lovecraftian myths.

But what if the company is closed, but the titles are yet in Drivethrugh or in this D&DB shop for 3PPs? Hasbro could buy the licence, and here maybe they are saving the IP to not fall into the oblivion.
 

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