Kyle Brink (D&D Exec Producer) On OGL Controversy & One D&D (Summary)

The YouTube channel 3 Black Halflings spoke to WotC's Kyle Brink (executive producer, D&D) about the recent Open Game License events, amongst other things. It's an hour-plus long interview (which you can watch below) but here are some of the highlights of what Brink said. Note these are my paraphrases, so I encourage you to listen to the actual interview for full context if you have time. OGL...

The YouTube channel 3 Black Halflings spoke to WotC's Kyle Brink (executive producer, D&D) about the recent Open Game License events, amongst other things. It's an hour-plus long interview (which you can watch below) but here are some of the highlights of what Brink said. Note these are my paraphrases, so I encourage you to listen to the actual interview for full context if you have time.

OGL v1.1 Events
  • There was a concern that the OGL allowed Facebook to make a D&D Metaverse without WotC involvement.
  • Re. the OGL decisions, WotC had gotten themselves into a 'terrible place' and are grateful for the feedback that allowed them to see that.
  • The royalties in OGL v1.1 were there as a giant deterrent to mega corporations.
  • Kyle Brink is not familiar with what happened in the private meetings with certain publishers in December, although was aware that meetings were taking place.
  • When the OGL v1.1 document became public, WotC had already abandoned much of it.
  • The response from WotC coinciding with D&D Beyond subscription cancellations was a coincidence as it takes longer than that to modify a legal document.
  • The atmosphere in WotC during the delay before making an announcement after the OGL v1.1 went public was 'bad' -- fear of making it worse if they said anything. The feeling was that they should not talk, just deliver the new version.
  • Brink does not know who wrote the unpopular 'you won but we won too' announcement and saw it the same time we did. He was not happy with it.
  • 'Draft' contracts can have dates and boxes for signatures. Despite the leaked version going to some publishers, it was not final or published.
  • There were dissenting voices within WotC regarding the OGL v1.1, but once the company had agreed how to proceed, everybody did the best they could to deliver.
  • The dissenting voices were not given enough weight to effect change. Brinks' team is now involved in the process and can influence decisions.
  • The SRD release into Creative Commmons is a one-way door; there can be no takeback.
One D&D
  • The intention is that all of the new [One D&D] updates they are doing, "the SRD will be updated to remain compatible with all of that". This might be with updted rules or with bridging language like 'change the word race to species'.
  • Anything built with the current SRD will be 100% compatible with the new rules.
  • Brink does not think there is a plan to, and does not see the value, in creating a new OGL just for One D&D. When/if they put more stuff into the public space, they'd do it through Creative Commons.
  • WotC doesn't think of One D&D as a new edition. He feels it's more like what happened with 3.5. They think 5E is great, but coud be better and play faster and easier with more room for roleplay, so there is stuff they can do to improve it but not replace it.
  • WotC is leaning on the community to discourage bad actors and hateful content, rather than counting on a legal document.
  • They are working on an adaptable content policy describing what they consider to be hateful content which will apply to WotC's work (no legal structure to apply it to anybody else).
  • They now have external inclusivity reviewers (as of last fall) who look over every word and report back. They are putting old content through the same process before reprints.
  • Previously cultural consultances were used for spot reviews on things they thought might be problematic, but not everything (e.g. Hadozee).
  • The problematic Hadozee content was written by a trusted senior person at WotC, and very few people saw it before publication.
  • 'DnDShorts' video on the internal workings and management culture of WotC is not something Brinks can talk on, but it is not reflective of his team. Each team has its own culture.
  • In the last couple of years the D&D team hiring process has made the team more inclusive.
  • When asked about non white-CIS-men in leadership positions at WotC, Brinks referred to some designers and authors. He said 'guys like me, we're leaving the workforce, to be blunt' and 'I'm not the face of the hobby any more'. It is important that the creators at WotC look like the players. 'Guys like me can't leave soon enough'.
Virtual Tabletops (VTTs)/Digital Gaming
  • Goal is to make more ways to play ('and' not 'instead') including a cool looking 3D space.
  • Digital gaming is not meant to replace books etc., but to be additive.
  • The strategy is to give players a choice, and WotC will go where the player interests lie.


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It is certainly acceptable to say they are probably outright lies, that does leave some possibility that you are wrong even if you think you are not.
I don’t know, if I had to hedge with ‘probably’, I’d skip the ‘outright’. These two do not go together in my book - and even the probably is already a reach, ‘possibly’ would have been a much more accurate term

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You did it again. You did not apologize to me. Look up in this thread. Nothing. I received zero notifications that you replied to me other than your outright lie that I literally said leave the hobby when I did not even use the word hobby which breaks literally.
You seem to have a lot of hostility. So much it seems you’re missing things.



Heck, Wendy's put out one. And while it was tongue-in-cheek about the setting and content, the system was more than serviceable.
And while to us in the TTRPG hobby, the idea of Disney edging in on Hasbro's turf might seem silly...well, let's keep in mind that the decision makers at WotC are responsible for Dungeongs & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering...and look what's dropping later this year from Disney:

Maybe there will be a digital component, I'm sure people in Renton are actually losing sleep over this. Also, bigger companies than Hasbro, namely Nintendo and Activision-Blizzard, have made serious plays on the TCG industry...and Nintendo is actually the market leader witj Pokémon, not Magic.


Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
The bad thing is that the groups are having plenty of fun with 5e and aren't interested in trying anything new. For me, I was already getting tired of the system before all this happened.
So do I ostracize myself from the game? Do I stop coming to these boards and miss out on our conversations?
Pulling oneself away from a community you've enjoyed for decades is a hard decision to make. And I hate that I'm being put in this position, real or imagined.
I mean, we can talk about other games here, right?

If you start a Stars Without Numbers campaign and want others to know about it, I promise I will happily read that thread and engage with you.

You seem to have a lot of hostility. So much it seems you’re missing things.

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You seem to avoid owning up to your errors.

I did not literally say leaving the hobby. I did not use the word hobby in my post.

You offer a half hearted, well, maybe I can see what you mean but it is in a whole different paragraph you wrote.

What really happened is that you had some point to make, assumed my post said the opposite of what it did and dumped in a complete straw person argument quoting my post.

An apology is, my mistake, I misread what you said, I will edit out my bad post.

Instead, you complain about the qualifier another poster is making but you can toss in qualifiers to what you now call an apology.

And you did not respond to my post pointing out that your literal (but fake) claim of what I said.

You know, sort of like the latest WoTC representative twisting around while answering questions.

You think that's controversial? Just wait until Germany starts redressing its history of anti-Turkish discrimination...

I don't think it is controversial. But parity on election lists were successfully contested. :/

Maybe don't assume what I think. If I do think something, I say that I think something.
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Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Somehow I doubt that's the real reason.

For all of Facebook's bluster and hype about the metaverse. . .nobody outside Facebook seems to give a dang about it. The metaverse seems to be an ongoing joke, not a serious tech imitative.

I've been hearing for 30 years how virtual reality is coming real soon and is going to totally change everyone's lives.

"We were afraid of a metaverse VTT" sounds like an excuse that shifts any talk about competition or hostility away from fans and the tabletop gaming community and onto Facebook or some other big tech company.

Still vaporware.
He was referring to a Quest 2 game I think. They're already pretty far down that road. I do think a VTT for Quest 2 where you can play D&D that way is one natural development in the future. It's a rational concern. I don't think that royalty clause was the way to address that concern, but it's not an irrational prediction for where things are headed. My D&D group was talking about it 3 years ago.


Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
The crazy thing about this whole, "we were worried about Meta or Disney," is that their solution was to release the 5.1 SRD into CC?! Now either can freely use the SRD if they really wanted.
Pretty sure it was a solution to a different and more present and dangerous problem than the Meta or Disney concern. They were solving for an immediate crises of a revolt. They're accepting the risk now of a Meta or Disney taking advantage of the IP. It was part of their surrender for the more immediate revolt problem.

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