OGL OGL 1.2 survey is now live

3PP are nothing to WotC. All of them together are a rounding error on the D&D books, let alone WotC's total revenue.
Unless they're doing something that hurts D&D, they're not worth thinking about.

Uh, if they are a rounding error, then why does WotC care? Given that you completely misrepresented the whole deal with cancellations, I can't say I have much faith in your pronouncements on the sales of Wizards and 3PPs.

But more to the point, giving people more chances to find an audience with other games sounds like something that is way better for the industry than simply having to force everything into the 5E market.

It's exploding because of Dungeons & Dragons. If D&D goes away or gets hurt by this, it's not going to keep growing at the same rate. Because a common well known entry point makes it easy to find games. And once you have a group, it's easier to get them to try other games.

It's exploding because people are playing RPGs. The idea that Dungeons and Dragons as a brand drove this misses that it was simply people introducing people to the concept of roleplaying via things like Critical Role or Stranger Things. There is nothing intrinsic in D&D right now that is really driving this explosion other than its name.

The last time D&D went away (4e) the entire industry shrank and contracted.

Did it? Are you sure about that? Or are you just saying it?

And what do you think is going to happen if Wizards can destroy any 3PPs or VTTs they want because of their new policies? Might be good for WotC, but it'll be to the detriment of anyone outside of them.
 

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dave2008

Legend
Who would be unhappy if they just walked this back and left 1.0a alone?

Other than WotC, of course.
Someone who wants a better documents I guess? OGL 1.2 can be better than 1.0(a). I mean just a few days ago people were asking for a 1.0(b) with irrevocable added. That is essentially what 1.2 is (plus some more). It still needs work to get there (or where I want it be), but that is what it could be. As a reminder, 1.2 does not deauthorize 1.0(a).* So we can have OGL 1.2 and 1.0(a) and CC as methods to deliver D&D content.

*Currently WotC is deauthorizing 1.0(a) separately. Which I think will ultimately fail court challenges, but that is not really the issue.
 

And it just hurts the hobby as there's no standard entry point. It's hard enough finding a good new player for your D&D table, let alone finding someone to play Fantasy Age or Numenera or Shadow of the Demon Lord. Fracturing the community into a half-dozen competing minor games means more spread out gamers and increased difficulty in finding games. Which discourages people from playing, shrinking the industry.

I won't speak to the financial health of 3PPs, but I think it would be great for them if Wizards offered a D&D compatibility license with all the control mechanisms and guardrails they'd need for that. They just don't need to kill the OGL 1.0(a) to do this.

But your idea about the benefits to the greater TTRPG sphere of having a standard point of entry to the hobby is frankly ludicrous. There's no benefit in that, none at all. A thriving RPG scene would have people playing lots of different games, just like board gamers play lots of different board games.

Such a state of affairs would arguably be much more effective in recruiting more players to the scene too. Do you like werewolves? Here's a game where we pretend to be werewolves. Do you like zombies? Here's a game about surviving the zombie apocalypse. That is what a healthy scene would look like, and we need assurances that it won't all descend into lawfare from the 800lb pound gorilla somehow.

The OGL provides a common lingua franca and a shared body of work built up over 20+ years. The money-grubbing bastards running the shop over at WotC now, they're not entitled to exclusive control over any of that. They voluntarily surrendered those rights in a mutual beneficial arrangement.
 

FormerLurker

Adventurer
My source is that article:

So please, stop spreading misinformation trying to stop the current moment.
Cancelling accounts also creates a support ticket. (As does filing a complaint.) You're reading what you want to read.
Admittedly it is unclear in that article and it does include those details in the same paragraph making it seem like they were talking about deletions.
Especially as outright deleting accounts would be a stupid thing to do. You'd lose all your books you've paid for. And since you can't come back, there's no reason for WotC to make any changes. If you cancel, there's a way for them to get you to return...

However, the support team is also understaffed AND was just returning for the two week holiday break. So a not insignificant number of those tickets were likely unrelated.
Explain to me why it won't happen? Because here's the thing: just creating ORC doesn't suddenly prevent this. OGL 1.0a is still a crucial part of what's going on. And again, if Wizards wants to follow through it either has to scare everyone or go to court. I see the latter being much more likely.
People don't just go to court for no reason.
Lawyers are expensive. Someone like Paizo isn't going to just sue on a whim to get brownie points with the community. They're not going to blow most of their profits for the year on lawyers unless they think it's absolutely necessary. If they weren't going to be able to sell their books, then absolutely. It's sue or go out of business. But since they'll likely have a goodly amount of time to update their unpublished books to ORC and still be able to publish existing books, then they have no reason to sue. It's not losing them any revenue, so there's no benefit to the lawsuit: even if the win, they're still out millions.
Uh, all those companies are saying what I'm saying, not what you're saying. Be aware, the choice you are making is for any 3PP to become permanent serfs of Wizards, to constantly have the threat of dissolution because Wizards can basically cancel their entire catalogue if they agree to the new "OGL".
WotC could destroy most 3PP for a variety of reasons without even trying. Kobold Press once released a book that heavily plagiarized the Dungeon Master's Guide. WotC could have destroyed them. But they didn't. Because the D&D team was friends with the head Kobold and knew it was an accident, and Kobold Press corrected the error.
This is just baseless fear mongering.
You said they are already committed to destroying 1.0a, so it's not about wording here. Feedback is meaningless when they are going to do exactly what they don't want us to do. This is a weird line of argumentation when your previous lines on this are basically "This is going to happen and nothing you do can stop it". I take a different view: I'm going to try and stop it, and if not then Wizards can do what they want without myself and many others.

If you want to negotiated, that is much better position compared to open supplication.
Quite the opposite. Feedback is not meaningless.
Okay, feedback that is just "QQ don't remove the OGL 1.0a QQ" is meaningless. But feedback on the OGL 1.2 and it's final form is very meaningful, and good feedback can have real impact. There's lots of ways it can be improved, but no one is discussing them because they're rather whine about the 1.0a going away.
There aren't any million dollar PF2 kickstarters because we have one big dominant company. This whole argument misses that the most stifling part of the industry is WotC's own dominance of it. 3PP will continue on, just as they did with 4E: that didn't hurt the industry, just Wizards. With the massive expansion of the market since then, it'd totally be better to have multiple companies as entries rather than relying on one megacompany that dominates everything.

Long story short: Wizards being the God-king of RPG companies is not a plus, but a minus.
WotC isn't stopping people from making Pathfinder 3PP. No one is "stifling" them.
The simple reason is that no one is making PF2 3PP because they can make ten times as much money with a mediocre selling 5e 3PP.

Dethroning the God-King of RPGs won't change how much money you can make for a Pathfinder 3PP. It will just mean that's all you can make, so you'll settle for the scraps instead of the feast.
It doesn't help 3PP. It actually seriously hurts them, especially if it drives players to the many, many game systems that aren't released under an open license and don't support 3PP.
Looking at the chart of top RPGs for the past few years (Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, G.I. Joe, Power Rangers, Fallout, Call of Cthulhu, Cyberpunk, Alien, Fate, Starfinder, Shadowrun, Vampire, Star Wars, Legend of the Five Rings, Star Trek) only four of those have an open gaming license.
 

FormerLurker

Adventurer
I won't speak to the financial health of 3PPs, but I think it would be great for them if Wizards offered a D&D compatibility license with all the control mechanisms and guardrails they'd need for that. They just don't need to kill the OGL 1.0(a) to do this.
No, they don't. But they're killing it anyone for other reasons, so there's no real point in debating that point.
But your idea about the benefits to the greater TTRPG sphere of having a standard point of entry to the hobby is frankly ludicrous. There's no benefit in that, none at all. A thriving RPG scene would have people playing lots of different games, just like board gamers play lots of different board games.
But board games do have common entry points. You have the standard, familiar all ages American games and then Catan to introduce people to adult Euro games.
And the industries are completely different. Because when you have friends over for board games, you're not just committing to one. You can have a board game day and play three or four in rapid succession. You can't do that with RPGs. Playing just one RPG can take months or a year.
Such a state of affairs would arguably be much more effective in recruiting more players to the scene too. Do you like werewolves? Here's a game where we pretend to be werewolves. Do you like zombies? Here's a game about surviving the zombie apocalypse. That is what a healthy scene would look like, and we need assurances that it won't all descend into lawfare from the 800lb pound gorilla somehow.
In theory, yes. In practice, no.
It's already not easy to find a good D&D game. Finding a new player that works with your group is a challenge. If everyone in your city played five or six different RPGs instead of D&D it suddenly becomes that much harder. You're not just finding people you can hang with who are telling a story that you like at a time that works with you, but the added wrinkle that they're playing a system you know. It adds another variable.
And once you have a solid group, it's easier to try different games and experiment with systems. D&D is great at introducing people to the hobby and letting them find out what type of game they don't want, so they can seek out other systems.

I spent the last couple months looking for a good group to play Vampire the Masquerade with. Not easy. And I already know I like RPGs and the hobby. If I had that much trouble even getting started, I'd have given up. And this was online. If I wanted to do this in meat space, unless I lived in a big city there'd be no point.
The OGL provides a common lingua franca and a shared body of work built up over 20+ years. The money-grubbing bastards running the shop over at WotC now, they're not entitled to exclusive control over any of that. They voluntarily surrendered those rights in a mutual beneficial arrangement.
Maybe. But complaining about that isn't going to change anything.
 


Cancelling accounts also creates a support ticket. (As does filing a complaint.) You're reading what you want to read.
Admittedly it is unclear in that article and it does include those details in the same paragraph making it seem like they were talking about deletions.
Especially as outright deleting accounts would be a stupid thing to do. You'd lose all your books you've paid for. And since you can't come back, there's no reason for WotC to make any changes. If you cancel, there's a way for them to get you to return...

I'm sorry, no. I've got the text of the article on my side. You can try to switch it up for any number of reasons not named in the article, but from the article itself it is pretty clear what they are talking about.

However, the support team is also understaffed AND was just returning for the two week holiday break. So a not insignificant number of those tickets were likely unrelated.

That really wouldn't matter when it comes to the breadth of deletions going on. It takes a lot more effort and dedication to delete rather than simply cancel. I'm waiting to do it, if only to give Wizards a slight chance. But it's tossing away hundreds of dollars worth of purchases. I think you are severely underestimating how much this means.

People don't just go to court for no reason.
Lawyers are expensive. Someone like Paizo isn't going to just sue on a whim to get brownie points with the community. They're not going to blow most of their profits for the year on lawyers unless they think it's absolutely necessary. If they weren't going to be able to sell their books, then absolutely. It's sue or go out of business. But since they'll likely have a goodly amount of time to update their unpublished books to ORC and still be able to publish existing books, then they have no reason to sue. It's not losing them any revenue, so there's no benefit to the lawsuit: even if the win, they're still out millions.

They don't need to sue. Wizards needs to make the move to enforce their copyright. Paizo and others just need to defend, and have plenty of defense in that regard. It's going to be on Wizards to actively defend themselves, and I'm not sure they were expecting a whole bunch of games to come out against them. They definitely didn't

WotC could destroy most 3PP for a variety of reasons without even trying. Kobold Press once released a book that heavily plagiarized the Dungeon Master's Guide. WotC could have destroyed them. But they didn't. Because the D&D team was friends with the head Kobold and knew it was an accident, and Kobold Press corrected the error.
This is just baseless fear mongering.

I mean, it's not. Wizards has been going about its business trying to consolidate the brand completely inside the company. Just look at the stupidity of what it did with Gale Force Nine, who they had a contract that GF9 was faithfully adhering to. Why would you trust a company that attempted to bully a bunch of 3PPs into a bad contract via NDAs and a ticking clock?

The idea that they want to control the industry is pretty clear given what they are doing with the old OGL and their new VTT policy. It's pretty clear that they want to be the only game in the business, and this move really solidifies it. That it didn't work initially doesn't really change that it's clearly still their objective. At this point, there's no point to take any Wizards action as being in good-faith until they make a serious concession, such as regarding OGL 1.0a. Actions speak louder than words, and no amount of casting "Friends" is going to get around the fact that they failed their Deception check.

Quite the opposite. Feedback is not meaningless.
Okay, feedback that is just "QQ don't remove the OGL 1.0a QQ" is meaningless. But feedback on the OGL 1.2 and it's final form is very meaningful, and good feedback can have real impact. There's lots of ways it can be improved, but no one is discussing them because they're rather whine about the 1.0a going away.

Ah, so feedback on things that matter are meaningless, but we get to decide the wallpaper in our cell. Great! :LOL:

This kind of proves my point: OGL 1.2 is a non-starter. They don't want to change anything that needs changing, and why forgive and forget when they aren't correcting the thing I got angry at them for? If you come into house and wreck up the place, saying you're sorry doesn't suddenly absolve you of your actions, especially when your apology is "I'll help you move in any new stuff you buy to replace the old stuff I broke".

WotC isn't stopping people from making Pathfinder 3PP. No one is "stifling" them.
The simple reason is that no one is making PF2 3PP because they can make ten times as much money with a mediocre selling 5e 3PP.

I mean, they kind of are. When you have one big dog in the industry, it is a stifling thing because people are generally attracted to the standard, the status quo option. When everyone plays D&D, people want to put money into something that everyone plays. Not having that top dog means people might invest in other things because there is not one automatic choice anymore.

Also there is plenty of PF2 3PP. The difference is that Paizo has a pretty quick, robust schedule when it comes to making content. They don't need 3PPs to fill in the obvious niches because they are already doing that themselves. But there are absolutely 3PPs that are doing well there.

Dethroning the God-King of RPGs won't change how much money you can make for a Pathfinder 3PP. It will just mean that's all you can make, so you'll settle for the scraps instead of the feast.

What? The idea that people will just leave RPGs just because it's not D&D is utterly inane in ways I cannot even begin to describe. If D&D falters, that means people can go elsewhere. If it's just casual fans, then they are people who were never going to help 3PPs in the first place. What happens is that Wizards gets a bit smaller and other companies can get a bit bigger as those players look for alternatives.

You talk about how there will only be table scraps left, but Wizbro's plan basically means that you'll still be scraps with the threat that you could become the next course at any given moment.

It doesn't help 3PP. It actually seriously hurts them, especially if it drives players to the many, many game systems that aren't released under an open license and don't support 3PP.

Yeah, that might be bad if there weren't a whole bunch of people signing up and looking to create like their own OGLs. Free League is a good example of one that didn't have one before, but will in the future.

Looking at the chart of top RPGs for the past few years (Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, G.I. Joe, Power Rangers, Fallout, Call of Cthulhu, Cyberpunk, Alien, Fate, Starfinder, Shadowrun, Vampire, Star Wars, Legend of the Five Rings, Star Trek) only four of those have an open gaming license.

Okay, and? The decision you are defending literally allows Wizards to kill off the 3PP market at their whim. The companies themselves have said as such, and there is no reason to believe they won't try to exert that power given how they have been acting regarding their business relationships recently and their attempt to strong-arm companies into OGL 1.1. If you were worried about 3PPs, you'd be listening to them instead of trying to coax people into accepting a system that would give them no agency and put them at the complete mercy of Wizards.
 

I won't speak to the financial health of 3PPs, but I think it would be great for them if Wizards offered a D&D compatibility license with all the control mechanisms and guardrails they'd need for that. They just don't need to kill the OGL 1.0(a) to do this.

But your idea about the benefits to the greater TTRPG sphere of having a standard point of entry to the hobby is frankly ludicrous. There's no benefit in that, none at all. A thriving RPG scene would have people playing lots of different games, just like board gamers play lots of different board games.

Such a state of affairs would arguably be much more effective in recruiting more players to the scene too. Do you like werewolves? Here's a game where we pretend to be werewolves. Do you like zombies? Here's a game about surviving the zombie apocalypse. That is what a healthy scene would look like, and we need assurances that it won't all descend into lawfare from the 800lb pound gorilla somehow.

The OGL provides a common lingua franca and a shared body of work built up over 20+ years. The money-grubbing bastards running the shop over at WotC now, they're not entitled to exclusive control over any of that. They voluntarily surrendered those rights in a mutual beneficial arrangement.

FRIEND WIZARD IS YOUR FRIEND AND PROTECTOR
DON'T ALLOW ORCS TO TELL YOU OTHERWISE


ANYONE WORKING WITH A NON-WIZARD VTT WILL BE DESTROYED
ANYONE WORKING WITH A NON-WIZARDS OGL WILL BE DESTROYED
ANYONE WORKING WITH A NON-APPROVED WIZARDS OGL WILL BE DESTROYED
ANYONE WORKING FOR OR WITH A NON-APPROVED 3PP WILL BE DESTROYED
 
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raniE

Adventurer
The biggest tabletop rpg Kickstarter, by the way, was for Avatar Legends, the roleplaying game, not for a D&D product. The only 1 million dollar plus D&D Kickstarter was to fund a book AND Matt Colville twitch streaming his campaign. Edit: a few more million dollar rpg kickstarters have appeared over the last few years it appears, several of them not connected to D&D.

Exalted Funeral/Necrotic Gnome did raise 772,956 dollars just reprint their Old School Essentials books (and some more adventures) last year though. That’s an OSR game, and they’re coming up to close to a million dollars on kickstarter just to reprint stuff.
 
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FormerLurker

Adventurer
Pretty much everything @FormerLurker is writing is wrong, and it’s just geared to get people to stop pressuring WotC. The only reason they would care about that is if the pressure was actually doing something, otherwise why bother trying to talk people out of it if it isn’t going to work?
Why do they care?
It's either because they're not monsters who want to make people happy or they want to make as much money as possible and don't want to lose customers. Pick the option that fits your level of cynicism.

Personally, I think it's a mix of both. Plus... WotC is doing this for positive PR. They know after the bashing they took from they press they sacrificed the optional "wish list" of clauses and launched this survey, knowing most D&D fans are neutral on the subject and will just see the positive changes. So they can hold up the results of the survey and declare they're following the will of most players and responded to criticism, and take a win in the press.

They've backpedaled two or three times now, and each time they've changed everything BUT deauthorizing the 1.0a OGL. That seems to be where they draw the line. So it comes down to whether or not they'll give up on sales to 50,000 people out of their estimated 13.7 million players (or 0.36%) OR if they'll abandon their plans to protect D&D. Even if you think 10x as many people will leave the game over this in protest, that's still only a drop of 3%, for a game that has been experiencing double-digit growth for the last decade.
If the <3% leave... 🤷‍♂️ They tried their best. It's acceptable losses.

Focus on the aspect of the fight you can win. Make the 1.2 OGL excellent. The fight over the 1.0a is already over.
 

The biggest tabletop rpg Kickstarter, by the way, was for Avatar Legends, the roleplaying game, not for a D&D product. The only 1 million dollar plus D&D Kickstarter was to fund a book AND Matt Colville twitch streaming his campaign.

There are, actually, more than you think. Shannon Applecline details them in his year-end posts, and you can see that there is a jump from 2020 to 2021 and 2022. But in those, you can still see that 5E has a good amount of spots, it is not at all just 5E. Really, it seems like pandemic helped the RPG market as a whole grow, given that you see plenty of other RPGs on those lists.
 


raniE

Adventurer
There are, actually, more than you think. Shannon Applecline details them in his year-end posts, and you can see that there is a jump from 2020 to 2021 and 2022. But in those, you can still see that 5E has a good amount of spots, it is not at all just 5E. Really, it seems like pandemic helped the RPG market as a whole grow, given that you see plenty of other RPGs on those lists.
Ah, there we go. Hadn’t looked at the numbers for a while it seems. Still, Avatar comes out on top.
 

Ah, there we go. Hadn’t looked at the numbers for a while it seems. Still, Avatar comes out on top.

Oh most definitely. But if you go back to 2019, you can see that most 5E Kickstarters were not making nearly that much. It's only been recently that we've seen more consistently-high Kickstarter hauls, and that travels across the entire industry. Look at Delta Green: the original kickstarted for $360K in late 2015, then got a set of books for The Labyrinth for $150K in 2018. While I know the original books are popular, when they kickstarted The Conspiracy in 2021, it goes for $510K. Clearly during the pandemic people just became interested in RPGs, and I think we should not just associate such growth with just 5E, nor should we think that them losing market share will cause the market itself to collapse.
 

FormerLurker

Adventurer
No @FormerLurker, “they” meant “FormerLurker”. I have no clue what your gender is, so you get they as a pronoun. Why does @FormerLurker care? They don’t think boycotting Hasbro is going to make any difference, but they also seem desperate for us not to it.
First, because it fills up the conversation with useless whining.
If you want to boycott then actually do so. Go to the Pathfinder forums or go talk about another game. You can't boycott and leave D&D and still be involved in the conversation. Make a choice: are you in or are you out.
And if you're in, then provide useful and constructive discussion about the survey and how to improve it. Accept—albeit reluctantly—the loss of the old license and instead work to make the new license better.

Second... because I actually care about the hobby and 3rd Party Publishers.
Improving the new license helps them and gives them the best terms.
And as I've outlined before, boycotting WotC and D&D just hurts 3PP by reducing their sales. You're not going to buy Flee Mortals or support the kickstarter to Kobold Press's Deep Magic 2 if you're not playing D&D. If you go off and play Fantasy Age or Vaesen or Lamentations of the Flame Princess you're also no longer supporting the 3PP that everyone was worried about when the OGL was threatened.
 

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