The OGL: Why is this really happening, and what to do now...

Faolyn

(she/her)


I keep seeing references to Loot Boxes and so forth. This really doesn't jibe with the One D&D playtest or its stated goal of producing new core rulebooks. Colville's prediction here is pretty grim, but if this is the plan then I'm not seeing it.
The loot boxes would likely come in the form of assets for the VTT.

I mentioned this in another thread, in Wild Beyond The Witchlight, they reference another book, Domains of Delight, for info on how to actually make one of these domains. The money for that went to charity, which was nice and all, and it wasn't a necessary tie-in. But it means its entirely possible that they will eventually produce books that effectively have required tie-ins or are otherwise incomplete unless you buy the extra material from DDB. Like, imagine if they sold Spelljammer the way it currently is, but you had to pay for the ship combat rules through DDB?
 

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ThorinTeague

Creative/Father/Professor
They appear to be exiting the industry entirely, according to this Matt Colville. And I might be inclined to agree with him.
If they were exiting the industry they shouldn't care about OGL? (which would be fine with me--I was always fine, before this bad faith/bad actor stuff, with dndone being a video game. I might have even tried it if the price was reasonable, but also continue TTRPG's as a separate thing).

It makes sense that their business plan is that the future of D&D is 100% digital, and it's fine with me. It also makes sense that they're exiting the industry entirely. Which brings us to their apparent obsession with forcing a new OGL on to the community--if there were no ulterior motives there would be no reason to do this. They could just do their thing and the community at their large could do their thing and both could coexist without much problem, many people probably taking my attitude in this scenario that it's a fun timewaster/curiosity but not a TTRPG. Just a video game. (And that's fine!)

But the attack on the OGL and the community at large in that context looks like base megalomania to me. Competitors who COMBINED make less in a year than WoTC makes in a week are not competitors at all. The only reason to threaten them with either falling in line or being squashed would be that WoTC execs are not confident with their ability to make a great new product and genuinely compete, making it so good that people want to buy those little micro-add-ons. The plan, instead, is to force the community into the choice because they have no others. (Of course, yes, playing at home with your friends in the traditional analogue style is still en vogue--but we're operating under the premise that this is not their realm anymore and they have no interest in or concern with that scene. Which again makes sense to me and I'm fine with it! But why OGL2?.... you get the idea.)
 

ThorinTeague

Creative/Father/Professor


I keep seeing references to Loot Boxes and so forth. This really doesn't jibe with the One D&D playtest or its stated goal of producing new core rulebooks. Colville's prediction here is pretty grim, but if this is the plan then I'm not seeing it.
That rumor is coming from people who appear to be in the know and claim to know Chris Whateverhisnameis' M.O. and past behavior. Assuming that applies to upcoming WoTC/D&D plans.
 

ThorinTeague

Creative/Father/Professor
I'm absolutely willing to contribute money to the poor, unfortunate company that faces their wrath and is willing to take it to court. It won't be me though. I'm nobody, and I'm in a bad jurisdiction for them.

Actually, I'd wager that a lot of people would be willing to contribute to such an effort. Paizo has already declared their stance here. And I'd furthermore wager that we could recruit powerful allies in that cause, if it made some ripples. The whole IT world depends on permissive licenses like this being irrevocable, even if they're not explicitly drafted to say that they are.
Don't be shocked if you see some 3pp's (maybe a lot) band together and kickstart/humble bundle some kind of fundraiser for a unified legal defense fund and agree to go about their legal actions corporately by consensus. Soon.
 

If they were exiting the industry they shouldn't care about OGL? (which would be fine with me--I was always fine, before this bad faith/bad actor stuff, with dndone being a video game. I might have even tried it if the price was reasonable, but also continue TTRPG's as a separate thing).
The OGL allows competitors to make VTTs that are essentially D&D played on a computer. WotC have no faith in their ability to compete with these offerings while making the kind of profits that they imagine would be possible otherwise.
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
The OGL allows competitors to make VTTs that are essentially D&D played on a computer. WotC have no faith in their ability to compete with these offerings while making the kind of profits that they imagine would be possible otherwise.

"Imagine" being the key word here. WotC's reasoning seems to rely on a number of significant assumptions:
  • There is a profitable market for the advanced VTT products WotC is working on.
  • A competitor's VTT can compete for this market even without the D&D brand and the non-SRD parts of the D&D ruleset.
  • A competitor's VTT cannot compete for this market without the SRD parts of the D&D ruleset.
  • WotC will be able to defend its retraction of the OGL through litigation or the threat thereof.
If all of these assumptions are correct, Wizards is clearing the way for its VTT as a massive cost to its public image (and ethics, if any of the decision makers care about that). But if even one of these assumptions turns out to be wrong, then WotC is inflicting these costs on itself and getting nothing in return.
 

"Imagine" being the key word here. WotC's reasoning seems to rely on a number of significant assumptions:
  • There is a profitable market for the advanced VTT products WotC is working on.
  • A competitor's VTT can compete for this market even without the D&D brand and the non-SRD parts of the D&D ruleset.
  • A competitor's VTT cannot compete for this market without the SRD parts of the D&D ruleset.
  • WotC will be able to defend its retraction of the OGL through litigation or the threat thereof.
If all of these assumptions are correct, Wizards is clearing the way for its VTT as a massive cost to its public image (and ethics, if any of the decision makers care about that). But if even one of these assumptions turns out to be wrong, then WotC is inflicting these costs on itself and getting nothing in return.
Yes.
 

mamba

Legend
The OGL allows competitors to make VTTs that are essentially D&D played on a computer. WotC have no faith in their ability to compete with these offerings while making the kind of profits that they imagine would be possible otherwise.
not really, you miss a lot of subclasses etc., which is what makes this all the more stupid
 

not really, you miss a lot of subclasses etc., which is what makes this all the more stupid
I don't think WotC have any faith that they can make more enjoyable subclasses than anyone else either. I don't know what subclasses are in this context, but I'm sure that whatever they are, the community at large would be better able to design them than the team at WotC anyway. And I think they know this.
 


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