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 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.
Inclusivity
  • 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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Sacrosanct

Legend
So you think that working for someone who says things you disagree with is worse than working for a company that releases products that sickens and kills people?

Maybe you're not alone in that position, but I wish that you were.
This isn't a disagreement about whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza. This is about people who take an active approach to harm women, recruit extremists, support nazis, and advocate for pedophilia. Again, not "working for", but "working with", as in, they have a relationship with each other.
Your digression was nothing more than a case of whataboutism ("You think tobacco is harmful?! Well what about fast food, huh?! Isn't that harmful too?!"), which ignored the point in question, which is whether helping to sell tobacco is worse than working for someone who says things you dislike.
Wait, what? My digression? You were the one to bring up the fast food analogy, not me. You brought it up to (falsely) say the two weren't comparable. Those were your words. I only pointed out how you're factually wrong, and by bringing fast food into this, just shows how your line of what's bad is completely arbitrary because you're judging everyone who works for a tobacco company as bad, but aren't doing that for people who work for fast food companies when the evidences is that fast food is just as addictive and harmful.

Also, I don't know why you keep minimalizing the abhorrent things Macris and Milo have done as simply "you disagree with."
 

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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
This is about people who take an active approach to harm women, recruit extremists, support nazis, and advocate for pedophilia. Again, not "working for", but "working with", as in, they have a relationship with each other.
No, that's not what "this" is about. This is a debate as to whether or not associating with people who have reprehensible beliefs is a moral failing greater than working for a company which puts out products that they know will cause large-scale injury, suffering, and death. I'm saying that the latter is worse, and you're taking the opposite position.
Wait, what? My digression? You were the one to bring up the fast food analogy, not me. You brought it up to (falsely) say the two weren't comparable. Those were your words. I only pointed out how you're factually wrong, and by bringing fast food into this, just shows how your line of what's bad is completely arbitrary because you're judging everyone who works for a tobacco company as bad, but aren't doing that for people who work for fast food companies when the evidences is that fast food is just as addictive and harmful.
Incorrect. You introduced the mischaracterization that my position was applicable to "any corporation and most large businesses." I simply predicted how you'd then run with that digression (i.e. whataboutism), and you proved me right.

But that's not what we're discussing. Even in the hypothetical instance that the premise was granted that junk food companies, oil companies, car companies, etc. were all just as guilty of harming the public as Big Tobacco, that wouldn't change that what we're discussing is whether or not that's as bad as associating with someone who holds beliefs you find vile. I hold that it's worse, and you're saying the opposite (though your initial post on the subject implies otherwise, by way of suggesting that it's somehow less egregious if a woman does it).
 

Interesting. My perspective is that the the free market works best as the situation approaches infinitely informed individuals make infinitely rational decisions with their purchases, and that includes whatever judgment about who most deserves their financial remuneration. That can include my judgement on the words and actions of the producers of the product, as the value of a purchase to the purchaser can include how good they feel about financially rewarding the producer. That is simply people being held accountable (and hopefully taking responsibility) to, for, and of themselves. Likewise, autonomy suggests we have the right to share with the public free market of ideas why we make our purchasing decisions. If others agree and decide likewise, then the person isn't 'locked' or prevented from doing their job, they have failed in their job of convincing us to bequeath to them our hard-earned money. I agree that everyone deserves the right to eat (and there ought by systems in place to allow people who cannot convince others to give them money to learn how), but not that everyone has the right to expect money from any given endeavor. If you become a publisher and no one wants to buy books from you, you've failed at that career and should consider either 1) how better to do that career (and that includes engagement with why people wouldn't want to purchase from you), or 2) examining which other skills you have are fungible (and if you have no other, turn to the resources which provider job-skill training).
You are free to have your standards and to financially boycott whoever you want. Until this mechanism remains in the dominion of personal decisions is absolutely acceptable. What is wrong is when it become a system, a law, a common practice arbitrary conducted by big groups of power. In this case we stop to talk about free choice and responsible consumerism and we slip in the slope of authoritarianism. There is not a clear line, is a matter of social climate and could end in a dictatorship of the majority that is the contrary of democracy. We are talking of balancement. The theme is when we remove somebody from a position for their ideas. This is plainly wrong. I cannot but find insincere the attitude of a publisher who remove a book from his catalogue due to political views of the author. The same for a producer that do not want an actor because of he said something racist on twitter. This removals are always motivated by the fear of a money loss, because in a particular hystorical periods there is a vast majority of people among the costumer base that wants to boycott that kind of ideas to the point to mix the man, the work of that man and the personal view of that man. This is some sort of preheventive action to avoid potential money loss and it is motivated by the social intolerance of a customer base in regards to certain ideas. So it is worth to ask ourselves if a society in which vast majority of people are incapable of judging the work of a man separating it from its ideas or better incapable to accept radically different ideas in itself is really sane and strong or just made of fragile people unable to sustain cultural and moral relativism. A majority so vast that create a censorship in cultural life without the need of written laws and suffocates the democratic debate. The results are not the death for starvation of all nazi / racist people. The result is the strong polarization of political positions and an horrible division in political life of the nation. Ultimately it can conduct to a civil war and to other ugly conseguences.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
No, that's not what "this" is about. This is a debate as to whether or not associating with people who have reprehensible beliefs is a moral failing greater than working for a company which puts out products that they know will cause large-scale injury, suffering, and death. I'm saying that the latter is worse, and you're taking the opposite position.
Because of the slippery slope of your argument that I and others have pointed out to you.
(though your initial post on the subject implies otherwise, by way of suggesting that it's somehow less egregious if a woman does it).
That is not what I said at all. I said that women have less opportunities in the workforce to climb the ladder. This is a fact. And therefore, there is consideration to factor that in before lambasting them for the job they chose to accept. I did not absolve her or say she is less culpable (I think she's less culpable because her job didn't have anything to do with the companies actual policy or decisions, but that's another topic). I was simply alerting you to the position of privilege you seem to be making by completely disregarding how women (and other marginalized groups) don't have the same opportunities as non-marginalized groups have.

None of this changes the fact that you're drawing an arbitrary line of what's good and what's OK to judge people for based on your own personal biases and certainly not fact (as the fast food analogy discussion proved). you're entitled to your opinion, but please don't think you're taking any moral or objective high ground here.
 

Easily done, since what you quoted was neither of those things.
Well, you saying it isn't so doesn't make it true. You seem to be getting a bit hot under the collar and defensive. You're in a discussion with several others and not taking in a single word any of them are saying. Lay down those weapons and speak to others as if they were human beings instead of instruments of malice.

Every single person you are disagreeing with sees some value in what you are saying. You, however, are not reciprocating. See the problem?
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Because of the slippery slope of your argument that I and others have pointed out to you.
No, because you're not engaging with the substance of the debate. So allow me to reiterate it for you:

Comparing the levels of harm that Milo Yiannopoulos and Big Tobacco have inflicted on the public, why do you believe that associating with the former is worse than associating with the latter?
That is not what I said at all. I said that women have less opportunities in the workforce to climb the ladder. This is a fact. And therefore, there is consideration to factor that in before lambasting them for the job they chose to accept. I did not absolve her or say she is less culpable (I think she's less culpable because her job didn't have anything to do with the companies actual policy or decisions, but that's another topic).
In point of fact, that's not another topic; that's the central topic which is under discussion. We're not talking about women in the workforce in general; we're talking about Williams and Macris in particular.
None of this changes the fact that you're drawing an arbitrary line of what's good and what's OK to judge people for based on your own personal biases and certainly not fact (as the fast food analogy discussion proved).
Except I've already demonstrated that the fast food analogy was a digression. Remember, I already pointed out that the central topic under debate - which moral failing is more egregious to associate with - isn't altered even if you grant the premise of your whataboutism. You still haven't spoken to that central point.
you're entitled to your opinion, but please don't think you're taking any moral or objective high ground here.
No, I feel quite comfortable in the morality of the position I've taken. I'm waiting for you to explain the morality of yours.
 

mamba

Legend
It is part of his course at Brock University.
"Greg Gillespie (PhD University of Western Ontario) teaches and researches popular culture with a focus on non-mass mediated subjects (including role-playing games, sport culture, and Scottishness)."
so only somewhat relevant, not comparable to a book that has the subject of the class as its content. Then no, this should not be required at all. I am surprised he can get away with that
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Look... I was debating with you in a reasonable manner. Your response was not reasonable. Stop that.
Mod Note:

I realize you probably accidentally hit “Quote” instead of “Edit”. when you posted that in response to your own post, but the content is still problematic.

People: keep it civil. Don’t respond to others by publicly declaring they’re “unreasonable” or similarly flawed or dishonest. Disengage, ignore, report. Throwing disparaging remarks around in open chat just degrades the conversational tone, creating problems.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Well, you saying it isn't so doesn't make it true.
That sword cuts both ways. You characterizing my post that way doesn't mean that your characterization is correct.
You seem to be getting a bit hot under the collar and defensive.
I think that your observation is wrong, in that regard. Likewise, saying "you're getting defensive" is the same personal attack that you're saying not to engage in. Perhaps it would be better if you engaged in the substance of the debate rather than observations about the people in it.
You're in a discussion with several others and not taking in a single word any of them are saying.
I am taking in what they're saying, I'm just disagreeing. Personally, I don't find their positions very compelling, because so far almost no one is speaking to the topic in question, which is why they think Macris/Yiannopoulos is culpable for greater harm than Williams is in her capacity as having worked for Big Tobacco.

If you want to bring the discussion back around to something more productive, why not speak to that issue?
Lay down those weapons and speak to others as if they were human beings instead of instruments of malice.

Every single person you are disagreeing with sees some value in what you are saying. You, however, are not reciprocating. See the problem?
Again, I bear no weapons. Quite the opposite, I'm waiting for other people to put down there's and use reason rather than digressions and snark ("Must be nice to pass judgement on millions of people").

Perhaps you should be directing your message of calming down to someone else in this thread?
 


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