It’s been over a month since everyone was in Seattle for the “big” Summit. What have we learned?

The first ever WotC D&D Content Creator Summit was held on April 3, 2023. Several of the attendees have written about the event or made videos. Some who attended the Summit have backed off from the TTRPG scene or haven’t said much of anything about it since.

This particular article is going to be a bit freer form than most. I can’t name any names specifically for fear of ending up on a Content Creator’s sh🦆t list. I’ve noticed a couple of Creators are still complaining about being harassed and picked-on or called shills just for attending. While I don’t doubt people were rude to some Content Creators, most of what I’m seeing online is overwhelmingly positive.

Everything here is based on my observations and my opinions. I can’t get interviews or even names of people willing to do interviews at this point. Please, if it’s an issue- address it on your own platform. Thank you.

Content Creators “getting all kinds of grief just for going to this thing.”

I forget who said that. It could have been multiple attendees at this point. I’ve heard rumors about everything from threats of physical injury, doxing, and harassment. I would never engage in or condone any of that type of behavior. Long story short- Don’t be mean to people.

I believe that Content Creators probably are or were subjected to all kinds of abuse from a section of the TTPRG fandom. It’s sad, but no different than the behavior we saw toward WotC employees during the OGL debacle. Again, IT IS NOT OKAY TO THREATEN, DOX, OR HARASS ANYONE. Just don’t do it.

I made the God awful mistake of mentioning someone by name, (as I often used to do with YouTubers who were leading the community,) and the word “Shill” was in the article title. Well, there were misunderstandings at that stage. I can call positive attention and “name-drop” YouTube/Instagram personalities over a dozen times, comment on videos, etc and no one gives me a second glance. But somehow, I earned the ayre of a YouTuber/TTRPG celebrity by mentioning them in a way that could be perceived negatively and whoosh! Then I was in trouble.

I used to be the kind of person to stay bitter and hold a grudge, but it’s just not worth it. I’ve tried to apologize. I’ve made my peace with the whole situation until an opportunity comes along to improve things. I hope the whole thing moves on with love and light.

The pendulum has swung the other way, it seems.

One thing that I take some issue with is now we’re being given the impression by various Content Creators that we can’t say anything negative or point out any disagreements without it being construed as some sort of attack. Three of the “big name” Content Creators who went to the summit have put out videos and looking through the thousands of comments- all I’ve seen is positivity. Either all of the big meanies are getting edited out or people are just being really super nice these days. (*As it should be, right?)

I disagree with a couple of things being said about the Summit, but I don’t dare speak of them for fear of getting all kinds of shade thrown this way. There’s one particular writer with WotC credits who likes to come after me on Twitter every time I dare question a Content Creator publicly. I find this ironic coming from someone who has no YouTube channel, Instagram page, or blog as far as I’ve seen. The same person doesn’t follow me on Twitter, but sure notices and freaks out when I say something he doesn’t like about his beloved Content Creators.

I think the overall vibe from the Summit was underwhelming. Some were unimpressed, others looked/reported on only the positives. Personally, I applaud the people who went at WotC with the tough questions whether they were answered properly or not. The rest, well, why didn’t you? I still wish I could have been there to ask a few burning questions that I don’t think anyone has touched yet.

I have my (conspiracy) theories about what WotC is doing behind the scenes. If I’m right, we ain’t seen nothin yet. There might be things coming that make the OGL debacle seem tame.

On a side note: let me find out how hard it really is.

Get ready to scream. I’m starting my own YouTube channel and Tik Tok accounts. If you think I’m inflammatory in print, wait until I stick my foot in my mouth on camera. LOL!

Maybe I can finally dispel some of the myths about us “Old Grognards.” We’re not all bitter. We’re not all out to pick on the younger generations. No gatekeeping here. Just fun. At the end of the day, that’s what we want the TTRPG hobby to be about- FUN!

Events at the Wizards of the Coast Summit are pretty stale compared to recent news.

The latest Unearthed Arcana One D&D Playtest dropped last week. They’re not calling it “One D&D” anymore, but when I went to download the update, there it was in multiple places. Supposedly it was never the final title, but they sure did use it an awful lot.

The UA Playtest 5 is the biggest yet. Some YouTubers are claiming “it’s too big.” I was announced at the Summit along with many of the key changes in it from D&D 5E. Personally, I’m not overjoyed with it, but that’s a long subject in and of itself.

WotC spent more time talking about the Virtual TableTop video game that they’re building and how cool it’s going to be than they did the actual TTRPG. WotC awkwardly dodged tons of real questions when they weren’t deflecting them or passing the buck. Questions were submitted ahead of time, and they still had no clue how to answer any of them? The excuse we’ve gotten recently was, “We had to throw this together in a hurry and we just weren’t prepared.”

That’s okay, the VTT was exactly the same demo as seen on the D&D Beyond 2023 Showcase. It looks great. But that’s all they have so far according to all accounts from people at the Summit. It was running on some pretty high-end gaming laptops, too. I seem to recall someone saying something about phones and console systems being used to play this VTT? Hmm.

Then, a move about as epic as something out of the Clinton administration, WotC sent the Pinkertons, (Yes, those Pinkertons,) to a Magic: the Gathering YouTuber’s house to confiscate boxes of magic cards that hadn’t been officially released yet and strongarm the poor guy into taking the unboxing video down. The PR blunder is just one in a string of failures to make good Public Relations decisions ever since the OGL debacle in late 2022/early 2023. The Summit was just another failure in a string of many.

In fact, it’s gotten so bad WotC is now hiring a new “Director of Strategic Response Communications.” Pretty sure I volunteered for this job at a third of their starting price in this article. Yes, if anyone wonders, I am applying for that job. I doubt they’ll humor me with so much as a flush letter much like they have yet to humor my interview requests or that pro wrestling match against Kyle Brink. I just want to go to WotC HQ and politely beg them to stop doing dumb shit. I can do that in a couple of days.

But it’s not “One D&D” anymore.

I see Wizards of the Coast dropped a new survey yesterday. I took it, but in order to be able to take it, you practically have to sign an NDA or you can’t actually take the survey. I wanted to drop screenshots, but alas, I can’t. I will say they seemed awfully concerned about why I wouldn’t buy their VTT or recommend it ever.

The biggest takeaways from the Content Creators Summit.

“We can totally trust WotC.”

First, Content Creators and fans aren’t stupid. We know the Summit backfired on WotC because corporate expectations were a dog & pony show while creator expectations were hard answers from the OGL debacle and subsequent blunders. Second, WotC staff are real people and we need to be nice to them as well as the Content Creators they invited. Third, WotC still can’t decide what to call this new revision, edition, abomination or whatever it is tied to the new VTT. Fourth, WotC plans to do this again, possibly at conventions. Finally, there’s a physical tabletop game called D&D and WotC seems to be stumbling on what to do with it.

I’m also underwhelmed with the previews of Planescape. It sounds like Spelljammer all over again in terms of content or lack thereof; I’ll look at it when it comes out. I was around in the original Planescape days. Impress me?

Most importantly, Wizards of the Coast has proven they still have no clue how to interface with the fans. I think they were banking on these Content Creators coming back and telling us fans how awesome the new VTT is and how great everything is going to be, so we’d forget the OGL debacle nearly wiped out a big chunk of the industry. I think WotC also intended to smooth things over with the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities within the larger TTRPG crowd. And they still haven’t made their intentions clear regarding Roll20/OneBookShelf. (More on that if/when I get those interviews.)

Wizards of the Coast employees are human. Content Creators who met and had dinner with some of them had mostly good things to say. WotC’s corporate culture seems like it might be toxic. The leadership is obviously plagued with issues and everyone seemingly has a fancy title. I heard a lot of “I’m Assistant Executive Head Director Producer of Scrubbing Vice Presidential Toilets.” (or whatever.) coming back from some of the attendees. I don’t think a lot of the fans actually understands what goes on at WotC and it seems deliberately vague.

I think at this point if we’re not asking questions that make WotC execs squirm a bit when they try to answer: we’re not asking the right questions. Content Creators talking directly to WotC need to keep the fire under Kyle Brink or whomever and get those tough questions out there.

We love the game. D&D is great. But WotC? They have a long road ahead to get any sort of fan support back from some of us.

Thanks for being here. I appreciate it. More to come on Wizards of the Coast and D&D the next time something silly happens. I’m giving it about a week.

Additional: THANK YOU ALL! Yesterday’s article on Guns in D&D Part 2 was one of the best days I’ve ever experienced on social media and this blogl. I really enjoy hearing everyone’s opinions on the subject. Lots of love for y’all.

You rock!