OGL I think they got what they wanted

Matt Thomason

Adventurer
Even if Black Flag is only an SRD (and it's not clear to me whether it'll be a full game beyond that, since a 5E-compatible SRD would allow Kobold Press to keep chugging along in perpetuity).
IMO, it doesn't make much sense to produce a "Black Flag Rulebook" until the existing 5e one becomes hard to find. At that point, you want one just to make sure there's something for new players to keep the game going.

Unless, of course, a large number of existing players make it clear they would happily buy it anyway.
 

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mamba

Hero
The only way this can not go their way is if there were much more backlash and WotC released an irrevocable 1.0b as a result, or if Paizo shows that 1.0a is irrevocable in court.

Since the latter will take a while, this kills the 3pp market, but it might restart after that. Not sure at that point that is not a self-own by Paizo however.

Long term, I am not sure that is not a loss for WotC however, they basically killed off the one thing that made them special / the center of the ecosystem. Now nothing is holding them centered there except inertia
 

Mercurius

Legend
Oh, I've stopped giving any weight whatsoever to the creative team in all of this. "They" is Hasbro/WotC corporate, and they view the D&D team as a factory they own that outputs stuff.
Yes, agreed. But we know the smaller "they" is still there, and to be honest, I feel for them. Must be a hard place to be in. I do wonder if we're going to see an exodus at some point. Probably not, as they've still got it pretty good, but it could happen.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
Not so long as they wanted to keep it compatible with 5e. So long as they did that, anything that was published to be compatible with 5e would also work with OneD&D.
Correct. Which is why the "de-authorize the OGL 1.0a" stuff emerged. It will go nowhere in the end -- and we will be back with a 6e that, consequently, isn't really compatible with 5e - but it looks like it mostly is for marketing purposes. The designers of 6e will be tasked with breaking it just enough that it won't actually work well with 5e.

A D&D Rule system designed by lawyers!??! This is the moment I have been training for all of my life!
 



Dreamscape

Crafter of fine role-playing games
I think they they wanted to chase away those too strong for them to control (this succeeded), while retaining the hobbyists willing to provide free labor for D&D.

It is the later point they now likely are afraid they might not achieve. A platform without creators is doomed, and they know it.
They still have DMs Guild which does exactly what they want without the OGL - full control over content, a very high cut, locking products into their platform. Basically a textbook predatory contract, but it seems to attract quite a high number of creators who just want to produce things for their favourite settings (just like all those other DTRPG community programmes).
 

bloodtide

Adventurer
No. They have not gotten what they wanted....yet.

I think the want to gut the RPG companies and at least lessen all the smaller outfits.

They can't really "stop" D&D compatible content, as much as they want too. It's a Gray area but for close to 50 years other companies have made "D&D compatible content". Things can be made "not using D&D words" easy enough. Plus there is the huge danger of if WotC goes to court....they might loose: The court might rule against everything WotC wants.

Plus, there is the sneaky bit: A company can release content to buy "D&D rules free".....then release the D&D rule content online for free. Anyone can release free 'fan' content.

So, no...
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
In sum, I think onednd will be broadly acceptable to people looking to get into dnd.
Well, it will be D&D so it stands to reason people interested in D&D will start there. People new to the scene won’t know about all this nonsense leading up to it.
The viral backlash is real, and I do think long term wotc is misunderstanding both the function of third parties and the appeal of ttrpgs vs other media.
That’s the one that baffles me. Their official content is no where near as good as 3PP and they literally cannot keep up with the output of all the 3PP out there. So their players will quickly tire of the trickle of substandard dreck they get access to on their platform. Unless WotC’s big hope was either everyone signed on or everyone went out of business and came to them asking for jobs.
Medium term, it's a viable plan (even if cynical and soulless.)
I don’t think it is. It’s not even a good short-term plan. Alienate the community. Ask outrageous prices. And produce a tiny trickle of at best mediocre content. I don’t see the up side here.
 


Mercurius

Legend
I don’t think it is. It’s not even a good short-term plan. Alienate the community. Ask outrageous prices. And produce a tiny trickle of at best mediocre content. I don’t see the up side here.
What is the "community," though? For all we know, the only people who are outraged are old-timers - or, at least, outrage may be heavily skewed towards older players, especially those for whom the arrival of the OGL is still a first-hand memory - so we're talking about Millenials and older. The demographic is getting younger and younger, and presumably the median age is somewhere in the early 20s now.

Furthermore, as much as there's been outrage here and in other "diehard spaces," it may be that the bulk of D&D players don't care, or aren't even aware of what's going on. We're talking about tens of millions.

WotC gave us a 50 million figure a couple years ago, which had gone up from 40 million the year before. If we assume it has continued to grow, maybe it is 55-60+ million now, presumably half or more of whom are active players (and buyers). I can't remember when exactly, but I think about 20 years ago they estimated that about 20 million people have ever played D&D, and a few million actively so - so we're talking about almost 3x as many since then, and many more times who actively play...most of whom have started over the last half decade or so.

That's WotC's primary audience - those folks, mostly younger, mostly new, and...future players; players they hope to get from the movie and tv show, and just continued exposure.

For better or worse, the "community" is now so much larger than "us" (long-term, diehard players) - and really, it seems that WotC cares less and less about that aging demographic.

So maybe they don't care about alienating the 38-year old Millenial who started when 3E came out? They probably care even less about the 50-year old Gen Xer who started in the boom of the early 80s, and not at all about the 65-year old greybeard Boomer who rolled dice with Gary.
 

mamba

Hero
They can't really "stop" D&D compatible content, as much as they want too. It's a Gray area but for close to 50 years other companies have made "D&D compatible content". Things can be made "not using D&D words" easy enough. Plus there is the huge danger of if WotC goes to court....they might loose: The court might rule against everything WotC wants.
well, I will ignore the court case in my reply, but I’d much rather no one created anything for 5e any more than trying to make a living in the ruins of the OGL. Move on to Pathfinder, Shadow of the Demon Lord or literally anything else. Not sure how feasible that is from an earnings perspective, but right now clinging to 5e does not feel like such a great choice either in that regard

Move on and rebuild, no point living under the thumb of WotC
 

innerdude

Legend
To the OP:

Yep.

I think I mentioned it in a different thread; the point of deauthorizing OGL 1.0a was never about collecting the pittance of royalties that it would generate.

It was always about creating the walled garden. And it seems pretty clear that deauthorization of OGL 1.0a is the centerpiece of that strategy.

They're betting on the likelihood---and it's an entirely rational bet, in my mind---that even if they lose some marketshare short term, they'll more than make up for it by remaining the de facto, default ecosystem for roleplaying. They're betting that they will continue to control enough market share to capture the bulk of the industry revenue stream.
 


Matt Thomason

Adventurer
well, I will ignore the court case in my reply, but I’d much rather no one created anything for 5e any more than trying to make a living in the ruins of the OGL. Move on to Pathfinder, Shadow of the Demon Lord or literally anything else. Not sure how feasible that is from an earnings perspective, but right now clinging to 5e does not feel like such a great choice either in that regard

Move on and rebuild, no point living under the thumb of WotC
For me I figure it's a case of keeping existing projects ticking over, but then trying to put more and more effort into alternatives moving forwards. The existing revenue stream needs to be maintained, anything currently being worked on that's dependent on the OGL needs to be finished, and then new projects can be introduced to start the move away. My particular circumstances mean there'll always be legacy OGL content I need to support, unless it literally becomes illegal to do so, but I'll be making every effort to diversify away.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Seems like mixed bag.

Hasbro-WotC hates the negative press and considers boycotts against DnDBeyond to be lethal.

But in other ways, they seem to be defacto excluding the gaming community from OneD&D − an ironic benefit when Hasbro-WotC evolves OneD&D into a videogame with "AI" monsters, that relies on branding recognizability rather than on the roleplay imagination experience.
 

mamba

Hero
The initial wave seems to be splitting for Pathfinder 2E. I hope that works out for people. The system is far too crunchy for my tastes.
well, it is the next biggest one out there. To me it is far too early to decide what to move to. Will see what gets published under ORC and will go from there. Maybe Black Flag is more your speed, I will certainly keep an eye on that one.

The immediate next one I am curious about will be Shadow of the Weird Wizard and whether Schwalb goes with the ORC license
 

I agree with others that it still matters what happens with the license. Maybe most of the big 3PPs still go off and make their own games, but some won't. And even beyond that, if there's a usable license publishers can build a business on, others will rise to fill that space. If there's not a usable license, then yeah, we're probably left with WotC and DMs Guild.
 

mamba

Hero
But in other ways, they seem to be defacto excluding the gaming community from OneD&D − an ironic benefit when Hasbro-WotC evolves OneD&D into a videogame with "AI" monsters, that relies on branding recognizability rather than on the roleplay imagination experience.
they can keep that, I have much better computer games to play. This is not what I want TTRPGs for, not sure who actually would
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
well, it is the next biggest one out there. To me it is far too early to decide what to move to. Will see what gets published under ORC and will go from there. Maybe Black Flag is more your speed, I will certainly keep an eye on that one.
Early signs point to Project Black Flag being a 5E clone.

As long as enough content is released under the ORC people will be able to cobble things together and make their own systems. To me that’s the sign it’s a successful open license.

My speed is ultra-light games. Here’s to hoping there’s a wave of popularity for those as well.
The immediate next one I am curious about will be Shadow of the Weird Wizard and whether Schwalb goes with the ORC license.
Yeah. Lots of games to watch. Almost like it’s the dawn of another RPG renaissance.
 
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