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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Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The level of passive aggressive self-righteousness in your posts on this topic is truly wild.
There's never been a better example of the pot calling the kettle black. Talk about wild.
Working in or for the tobacco industry isn’t ideal, but mid-level associates are not running companies. Anyone below the executive level is a misguided target for your self righteous judgement.
"Isn't ideal" is hardly the way to describe being a high-level executive who helps a transnational corporation peddle products which sicken and kill hundreds of thousands of people every year. And we know she wasn't a mid-level anything. Here's her own description of her job responsibilities (as of 2007, when she left Altria) as taken from her LinkedIn page:

Responsible for consolidating annual and three year plan income statement forecasts for USA, with annual net revenues of approximately $18 billion and operating income of $4 billion. Responsible for development of all financial presentations to Altria, Inc. Chairman and Board of Directors and development of US portion of quarterly and annual presentations to Wall Street analysts.

Drafting multi-year plans to chart revenue in the billions, presented to the company chair and the board of directors? Not mid-level, no.

On top of that, you refuse to acknowledge the harm caused by neonazi propagandists,
Youre Wrong John C Mcginley GIF


Can you cite any instance where I've "refused to acknowledge" anything? Spoiler alert: no, you can't. Because that's not what this is about. It's about saying that there are worse things than people who say stuff you find reprehensible, such as working for a company who knowingly puts out products which kill people.
Not like hate crimes and white supremecist recruitment have increased in the last 20 years or anything.
Again, hundreds of thousands of people dead from tobacco products every year. Why do you refuse to acknowledge that?
You also can’t even bring yourself to acknowledge that the high-sugar, high-sodium, low quality, addictive, products of the fast food industry are one of the primary drivers of the obesity epidemic, the rise of severe type 2 diabetes (fairly uncommon amongst people with low sugar and processed carb/starch intake), and the rise of heart cardiovascular disease (one of the most common causes of death in America), and as such absolutely are on the same level of “evil” as the tobacco industry.
Wrong again! I already pointed out that even if that premise were granted, it wouldn't change anything with regard to the debate being had.
So maybe get off your high horse, and keep crusades to yourself when on a discussion board about something completely unrelated to said crusades.
Maybe next time, take the "advice" you so blithely offer to others.
Suffice to say, material harm is caused to millions of people by many industries. Passing judgement on a mid-tier employee of a company in such an industry is both objectionable, and irrelevant to the topic of the thread.
Not mid-tier, not objectionable, and not irrelevant. Three strikes back to back.
@Alzrius thank you for mocking that post with a laugh reaction. Doing so will help me avoid wasting time in the future.
Considering that it was in reply to your own mocking laugh, you're very welcome.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
Well you are right about that. I'm just still venting at the audacity of Wizards OGL 1.2 morals clause (which is obviously moot now anyways) in which "harmful content" might cause them to revoke a license. After all when I watch a movie or TV show there is a disclaimer that persons in the show are smoking, so it's not that far-fetched Wizards might have done such a thing.
Yeah, that's a definite problem. Along with the "illegal" clause, because what's illegal can vary a lot depending on where you are.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Depends on how readily available that cure disease is, and what counts as a disease.
Personally, I'd consider any of the diseases that can come about by smoking to be diseases that can be cured with a cure disease spell. And while D&D has always liked to say that magic should be on the rare side and most people don't see it, in practice, that's often not the case.
 

teitan

Legend
The idea of retire the material because the author express undesiderable ideas or act in a bad way find me very doubtful about the level of civilization. Being able to see the difference between an artistic work and its author would be a very easy task for rational people. Hope that in Italy this madness do not lead us to destroy Cappella Sistina because Caravaggio was a bad*ss and an assassin.
I think it’s more not giving him money but sure let’s go there
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The level of passive aggressive self-righteousness in your posts on this topic is truly wild.

Working in or for the tobacco industry isn’t ideal, but mid-level associates are not running companies. Anyone below the executive level is a misguided target for your self righteous judgement.

On top of that, you refuse to acknowledge the harm caused by neonazi propagandists, I guess because they aren’t involved with a physical product. Not like hate crimes and white supremecist recruitment have increased in the last 20 years or anything. You also can’t even bring yourself to acknowledge that the high-sugar, high-sodium, low quality, addictive, products of the fast food industry are one of the primary drivers of the obesity epidemic, the rise of severe type 2 diabetes (fairly uncommon amongst people with low sugar and processed carb/starch intake), and the rise of heart cardiovascular disease (one of the most common causes of death in America), and as such absolutely are on the same level of “evil” as the tobacco industry.

So maybe get off your high horse, and keep crusades to yourself when on a discussion board about something completely unrelated to said crusades.

Suffice to say, material harm is caused to millions of people by many industries. Passing judgement on a mid-tier employee of a company in such an industry is both objectionable, and irrelevant to the topic of the thread.
Namecalling is never a way to win a debate. Please watch your tone.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Point taken, @Morrus

I forget sometimes that you consider statements relating directly to behavior to be name-calling. Apologies.

(That isn’t snark or argument, btw, in case that isn’t clear. I’ve made a concerted effort to not push against that particular rule as I used to do, and I slipped up here)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Personally, I'd consider any of the diseases that can come about by smoking to be diseases that can be cured with a cure disease spell. And while D&D has always liked to say that magic should be on the rare side and most people don't see it, in practice, that's often not the case.
So strictly speaking on cure disease and what counts, I'm just pointing out that there is a spectrum of interpretations on that spell, as well as detect poison and disease.

As to commonality of magic, that again varies from table to table and even campaign to campaign.

So, as I run the game, yeah, medicine is pretty advanced as a result of magic, as is agriculture, metallurgy, and various other crafts.

But it also, when worldbuilding, depends on the question of how old are these spells?

If they are brand new and not everyone even believes they work yet, because they were invented within the last couple years, or last month by the PC cleric, then the world probably has medicine equivalent to the era your world most closely resembles otherwise.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
So strictly speaking on cure disease and what counts, I'm just pointing out that there is a spectrum of interpretations on that spell, as well as detect poison and disease.

As to commonality of magic, that again varies from table to table and even campaign to campaign.

So, as I run the game, yeah, medicine is pretty advanced as a result of magic, as is agriculture, metallurgy, and various other crafts.

But it also, when worldbuilding, depends on the question of how old are these spells?

If they are brand new and not everyone even believes they work yet, because they were invented within the last couple years, or last month by the PC cleric, then the world probably has medicine equivalent to the era your world most closely resembles otherwise.
That's true. Typical D&D, though, assumes these spells are as old as time, unless they're named after someone.
 


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