Post Number 300 IN A ROW!

THANK YOU!

Wasn’t sure I’d make it this far.

Thank you! ALL of you! If you’re here reading this, I appreciate you. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

Here’s to the next 300. I may never take a break. I dunno. I’m still having too much fun.

This happened two days ago. Thank you!!!

Wizards of the Coast Gave In. WOW!

Wizards of the Coast finally gave the fans what they want and content creators what they deserved after a hard-fought #OpenDnD campaign. Thank you all for your hard work. Happy gaming.

Honestly, I’m still in shock and cautiously optimistic.

I want to wait until the dust settles a bit and take a little time to rest before I get into why I think they capitulated to the fans’ demands. I don’t think it’s all as black and white as some would imagine. Yes, I still have some theories I want to test, but that can wait.

Today we celebrate! Let’s get back to gaming. Let’s get back to writing TTRPGs and talking about them. There is peace across the realm. Rejoice!

My plans for 2023 and this site are changing.

I’m still going ahead with the Des Moines Remote Viewing Society campaign for Monster of the Week. I have developed a new sort of fondness for this game over the past month. I feel like experimenting outside of the fantasy genre might be nice once in a while. DsM RVS will also live on in fiction and possibly an SCP RPG crossover.

SCP is one of my new obsessions. I’ll be putting up a review soon as well as creating a branch office for the SCP Foundation in my Des Moines Remote Viewing Society fiction. The systems might not mesh up, but the game concepts still can. SCP works just as well in Monster of the Week as it does its own game.

Horror gaming aside, I have some new and old TTRPG ideas.

I’m excited to be continuing my space game with giant robots and new frontiers. Still working on a name. I think I might be switching back to an old, familiar base system for some things. I learned some things while attempting to build my own game system. I might be bringing back some ideas from the Big Robots, Cool Starships game I was working on 25-ish years ago.

I had also been working on a Mekton Zeta campaign setting back in the day. I also stumbled upon a classic TTRPG called Marauder 2107 while I was looking for some things in my archives. I might be building a Cypher System game based roughly on a combination of Appleseed and Chrome Shelled Regios anime series. Cypher System gained a lot of my love and respect during the whole OGL crisis.

I may never trust Wizards of the Coast again, but they’re not Renegade Studios.

It’s true WotC and Hasbro are still the big slimy megacorp they always were. Hasbro might own Renegade and several associated Intellectual Properties such as Power Rangers, GI Joe, and Transformers, but I’m ready to ease up a little bit.

I still want to make some GI Joe and Transformers RPG content for free and put it up here on the site. As I stated recently, we waited 30+ years for those two RPGs. I’ll be darned if I’m passing up an opportunity to enjoy them. Essence 20 is still a really good system.

I’m also still bringing back Power Rangers RPG campaign Super Lightning Force. I want to do some sort of Tommy/Jason David Frank tribute. I think it’s going to involve retiring the green or white Ranger costume with honors.

Going back to my superhero gaming roots a bit.

Even though January royally knocked the wind out of my sails in terms of RPGs and wanting to work on them, I am still looking forward to some ICONS RPG action. I am working on creating a campaign similar to the DC Batman Animated Universe. Anyone else miss those cartoons? Imagine a small, newly formed team of superheroes dedicated to stomping out injustices and keeping the city safe from costumed super villains for the first time. Until recently all of my supers games contained the notion of the characters being legacy heroes.

Back to Fantasy RPGs, too.

I’ll still be putting out magic item and creature goodies for old school D&D, Dungeon Crawl Classics, and even Pathfinder 2E . PF2E is going to be the basis for my #Dungeon23 game. I hear it’s getting popular now for some reason… hmm. (*LOL!) As much as I despise what WotC did to the OGL and turning the entire industry upside down for a month, I can’t deny I still LOVE D&D.

That said, I might never touch One D&D again. (*More on that later. I’m done talking about WotC for a few days.) I’ll still run 5E for the kids. I think we, the fans and content creators, are still going to be using 5E for a very long time to come. I’m not going to tempt Law of Attraction by saying more than that.

I’m also digging out one of my quiet favorites, Operation White Box from Small Niche Games. I really enjoyed this when it came out. Now that the OGL crisis has abated, I think I’ll go back to using it. I had been considering a WW2 game using the Cypher System. I like WW2 gaming because there are hundreds of stories to tell. Plus the good guys and bad guys are pretty easy to identify.

It’s good to be back in the saddle writing games again.

I’ll still be talking about happenings in the TTRPG industry from time to time. I think there was a lot of low key bonding going on during the month of January. I know I discovered a half dozen new YouTubers I want to watch as a result. There are still stories to cover and fallout from the licensing talk. #ORCLicense #BlackFlag

I’ll also be coming at you with monthly writing prompts. Fantasy February is still on the way. I’ll also be dropping some free scenarios for various games. I have yet to write a d12 table this month. Gotta fix that. I love any excuse to roll d12s.

I’m also reworking parts of my site. My goal is to make the site easier to read. I’m also changing up logos, banners, etc. I hit a huge milestone yesterday and another big one is coming tomorrow.

Thank you so much for stopping by. We couldn’t have done what we did in January without dedicated, hard working TTRPG family. If you’re reading this, you probably ARE family now. I appreciate you. Happy gaming.

Please continue to be kind.

January 19th, Interrupted.

The last month or so has been tumultuous because of happenings in the TableTop RolePlaying Game industry. It’s a mess that I am drawn to because I’m very passionate about my hobby. But life goes on outside of the TTRPG world. I’d love to talk about other issues, but the #TTRPGIndustry has been in my purview for 4 decades.

Normally this is when I celebrate Freedom Day.

The last month or so has been tumultuous because of happenings in the TableTop RolePlaying Game industry. It’s a mess that I am drawn to because I’m very passionate about my hobby. But life goes on outside of the TTRPG world. I’ll touch briefly on a few things in this life update.

One of the very disturbing things with this whole Wizards of the Coast Open Game License crisis is the number of their employees that have apparently been terminated at their Dungeons & Dragons branch for giving an honest opinion when asked for one. That’s pretty despicable. Turns out I know a guy who was once canned from a McCorporate job for doing something similar. It royally sucks.

Fast life updates.

My kids are currently home from school. Since Winter Break they have been out of school more than they have been in it. Professional Development days for teachers have taken up several of these days off. There was also an incident where all of the school’s servers had to be shut down due to an incident with a hacker. Followed by MLK day and more Professional Development.

You may have noticed some menu items have vanished from my site recently. New and different content is on the way. The rate at which people and businesses come in and fall out of my life varies from day to day.

My SSDI hearing date is finally set. I’m more than a little anxious about it. That money would really help my family right now. My wife is doing the best she can, but turns out a teacher’s salary in Iowa doesn’t really keep a family of 6 afloat indefinitely. If SSDI doesn’t work out, things are gonna get real bleak around here.

You may have noticed the cute little ducky emoji in some of my recent articles. I decided to start dropping the cute little ducky into the middle of certain words in an effort to keep things more PG-13-ish. I know some will say I should just keep using harsh language as I have in the past. I prefer to think of this as editing out the word with a quack. I borrowed this idea from YouTube animator/gamer/content creator Dingo Doodles and others who use the quack to cover various four or five letter words.

This is interesting times for my favorite industry.

[Update: The OGL story is moving faster than I can keep up with it. Please be patient. Full breakdown of WotC and OGL 1.2 coming soon.]

I’ll talk more about this tomorrow, and probably the rest of the week. I’m someone who would like to work as a freelancer in the TTRPG industry or possibly start my own company. This is a horrible time to freelance in that industry because Wizards of the Coast and parent company Hasbro decided to tamper with a 20+ year old OGL that has been sustaining the industry.

The TTRPG hobby/industry is not all about D&D contrary to what some might have you believe. A lot of companies and freelancers bank on that OGL protecting them from lawsuits so they can make 5E content or derivative content without fear of being sued out of existence by WotC and their crack team of ninja hit lawyers. “Lawyers of the Coast/Wizards of the Court” chased down a lot of Intellectual Property infringement cases back in the 4th Edition days and even before that.

The OGL flap centers around the deauthorization or abolishment of what used to be an “Open” Game License meaning game mechanics and terms were okay to use as outlined in the official System Reference Document. This means one can create their own game or derivative based on it as long as one doesn’t use certain copyrighted terms owned by Wizards of the Coast. Everything else is fair game as long as a copy of the OGL is attached and those pesky WotC-owned terms are avoided completely.

This ranges from copying and pasting the entire SRD into a document as a base for an entire game to just using one or two terms in a specific manner such as “ability scores” or “Armor Class.” Back many years ago the Supreme Court of the United States made it illegal to copyright game terms. One can’t simply go and copyright chess or checkers, for example. But with the OGL and subsequent SRD in place since 2000, game designers and writers have come up with all sorts of games, sourcebooks and articles based on it.

It doesn’t have to be a fantasy game, either. I have plenty of OGL Wild West, Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Sci-fi and Horror supplements. D20 Modern from WotC operates under the OGL as well. Entire companies has sprouted up around the OGL. Goodman Games, makers of Dungeon Crawl Classics and Paizo Inc, who created Pathfinder are just two examples of such companies. For those who follow this site, I was making DCC content for free with Goodman’s blessing. I was getting ready to use Pathfinder for #Dungeon23. Not any more, unfortunately.

That’s what happened to literally every company that runs off of the OGL last week. Projects were scrapped or put on hold. Freelance writers and artists were put on hold or not contacted. Layoffs and/or firings from smaller game companies are expected. I suspect a lot of writers are going to move onto greener pastures as a result. Maybe that’s what WotC intended all along?

GRR! Why can’t we have nice things, WotC?

Hope springs eternal, but doesn’t pay the rent.

“Hope” is one of those words Law of Attraction experts say never to use. Basically, it’s already there in an LoA Universe. We don’t have to “hope” because we know it’s coming. Don’t hope, intend for things to happen. But I’m using “hope” here because I’m making some points about what the TTRPG industry is facing.

We hope Hasbro/WotC don’t put up an OGL that deauthorizes the old OGL 1.0A. No OGL that is truly “Open” includes paying royalties, declaring profits, and signing contracts. We hope we can scramble around and get another TTRPG built and get it on Kickstarter, Patreon, or DriveThruRPG soon. We hope Paizo’s #ORCLicense gets put in place fast enough to save some of our work.

We hope WotC does the merciful thing and leaves OGL 1.0A exactly the way it was. There’s still a minute chance? No?

We intend to have an industry that thrives, but alas WotC and their Hasbro Reptilian overlords are hindering it. The horrible fact is that indie companies, artists, and writers are panicking big time. “Hope we can pay the rent next month” is more of what they’re thinking. YouTubers, artists, and writers alike have quit their regular day jobs to make D&D content under the OGL. A lot of us might be updating resumes and dusting off that interview clothing to go back to a “regular” job (which royally sucks.)

As a side note, why is a company that made a BILLION dollars last year worried about the next largest competing company that maybe pulled in four or five million? Hasbro, are you really that desperate to crush businesses that should not even appear on your radar? What kind of sick weirdo gets their jollies off seeing small companies and individuals suffer as a result of ill-conceived notions? I mean, who does that?

What does it mean for me?

I’m a little thtuck here.

I’m a prospective freelance writer. I’d be good at it assuming I could get over my social anxiety and depression long enough to accomplish something. But if companies were nervous about hiring before, they’re downright skittish now. My only other hope is to grind out my own game on my own system, come up with art, and pray that it sells.

This is a good time to be a blogger, however. We’re not going to stop pounding out determined article after another denouncing the heads of WotC and Hasbro for what they did and what they’re doing. Every leak, every time one of their flaws is exposed, we will cover it.

I’m part of a movement that will save jobs, the game of D&D perhaps, and the industry as a whole. It’s rumored that Hasbro and even WotC execs think the fans are an obstacle between them and more money. Those execs have no idea the kind of obstacles we can put up if their attitudes don’t visibly improve.

That’s where we are now.

That’s all I’ve got for today. It breaks my heart to see others suffer. I hate the fact that people I care about, a game that I once enjoyed, and an entire industry that I loved is falling apart at the seams because one corporation had to try to monopolize it. One nasty, awful, stinking, lousy corporation literally holds all the cards.

Thanks for stopping by. We’ll persevere. We always do. Keep believing in a benevolent Universe and a brighter future. Game on.

#StoptheSub
#DnDBeGone
#OpenDnD
#DnDONE

The Length and Breadth of OGL 1.0a

I know I’m just a simple guy with a blog. I still dream big dreams of writing that award-winning, best selling RPG adventure module, new sourcebook, or a campaign. I want to make a little money to help my family out and maybe invest in more gaming books. Honestly, I’d settle for some street cred amongst my fellow game fans and a bit of side cash.

I was recently reminded how many games rely on this thing.

I’m a TableTop RolePlaying Game nut from wayyy back. I live for TTRPGs these days. Ever since becoming unemployed, they’re one of the handful of things that keep me sane. The recent Dungeons & Dragons Open Game License flap with Wizards of the Coast has me pretty concerned about the future of my hobby.

TTRPGs have really been more than a hobby to me ever since I ran my first D&D game at the age of 10. My friends didn’t want to be Dungeon Master, so they taught me the game and then basically turned it over to me. It just kinda stuck. I was hopelessly and irreversibly hooked. Not in a negative way. I mean, there were way worse things I could have gotten hooked on.

Decades have gone by. Editions of D&D have gone by. I’m still up to my eyeballs in game books both in print and pdf. When the OGL scandal broke, I took stock of just how many 3.5 and 5E books I rely on. Turns out, quite a few.

The fantasy outside of the fantasy.

I’d be willing to bet money a lot of aspiring DMs/GMs probably dreamed of working for T$R back in the old days. (*The good, original T$R with Gygax and Co, not that other new thing we have nowadays.) Seriously, a lot of my heroes were RPG designers back then.

Many of the original T$R crew have moved onto greener pastures. Rest in Peace. But many of the second and third generation T$R guys are still going strong. Unfortunately, some of them passed from the golden embrace of T$R into the hands of Wizards of the Coast, but they’ve since gone onto great things. Sadly, most of the old school crew no longer works for WotC, and it really shows.

It used to be pretty tough to break into the industry as a writer. I’ve talked about this in previous articles. It was kinda the wild west when it came to RPG design. You either knew somebody and got in with an established company or created your own game/publication and hoped to survive. There was not a ton of cash in the industry then. It was more about (nerd) prestige.

Times have changed since the 80s and 90s. The Open Game License from Wizards of the Coast changed everything about the industry and the hobby, too. Entire game companies sprouted out of the OGL back in the day. Many of them are still around in one form or another. The industry went from “Tough break, kid,” to “Look what I made with the OGL, Ma!”

Anything from an entire genre-spanning RPG to a single D&D adventure could be created quick and dirty and thrown up on one of the various distribution sites for a pretty reasonable percentage, even for free. People started making enough to buy more gaming books just by producing their own character sheets and such. Talk about a great time to be in the hobby!

The stuff I want to be creating and for whom.

Pathfinder 2E. and/or Dungeon Crawl Classics. were top of my list. What’s Old is… would be fun, too. I also love ICONS from Ad Infinitum. (*I’m a big Steve Kenson fan.) Index Card RPG is great. D&D 5E or one of its many derivatives. (No link needed.)

I could literally name companies and/or games all day that I would go to work for tomorrow if they were hiring. Probably not WotC because I hear their management is awful and the employees are miserable. Of the games I listed, Pathfinder and DCC grew out of the OGL.

Why is that a problem? If the OGL gets deauthorized as WotC is incessantly pushing for it, there won’t likely be a free flow of content from any former OGL products or companies. I’m not even honestly sure how much I trust third party product distributors such and DriveThruRPG or even DMsGuild.com any more. It’s not that I have issues with OneBookShelf specifically, but the ability to keep producing D&D OGL 1.0a content might become severely limited in the very near future.

Genuine concern for what lies ahead.

I truly fear for Paizo Inc, Goodman Games, Troll Lord Games (Frog God and Necromancer games included) and even Old School Renaissance companies such as Necrotic Gnome. This is not a good time to have a 5E book or even a retroclone of D&D in the works. Sure, we can still probably print the old stuff, and that’s great. (*WotC has sort of assured us the old stuff will remained untouched for now.)

But what happens when Paizo goes to put out a Pathfinder 2E sourcebook after OGL 1.2 (or whatever they’re calling it today) takes effect? Companies could suddenly find themselves in court with Lawyers of the Coast in a big Intellectual Property dispute. No one wants that, except maybe Hasbro.

The panic created by this OGL mess alone has been enough to cause a downturn in the #TTRPGIndustry. Suddenly massive hoards of product has gone on sale by third party publishers to get what they still can while the OGL is still intact. Meanwhile, other projects are being scrapped or revised to include non-WotC OGL systems. It’s sad because a lot of freelance writers and artists are out of a job. With no money coming in, it’s hard to support a hobby or pay rent on time.

The McCorporate stooges at WotC just don’t get it.

They’re already done some serious damage to the industry with the leak of OGL 1.1 the legal abomination. Now the #TTPRGCommunity is squabbling amongst itself in places over information leaks and who’s telling the truth. Personally, I think it’s all intentional. I think it’s part of WotC’s plan to take over the industry and squash their competition completely.

They don’t see the OSR movement. They don’t see other TTRPGs that aren’t D&D. It’s rumored that one of the WotC/D&D execs has never played the game. He thinks it’s a MMORPG computer game or something. (*Sad.) They don’t see people at other companies or independent writers just trying to get by. I have doubts as to whether or not WotC execs ever dreamed of being anything beyond money-grubbing corporate weasels.

The WotC execs also don’t see all of the third party companies in the industry and the families that depend on their income. WotC execs don’t have to wonder if their next paycheck will come or how much it will be. They don’t see the drop or panic in third party sales. The fans do, but when has that ever mattered to Hasbro/WotC honchos?

Rumor has it that WotC employees are straight-up miserable, especially at the lower tiered echelons. Opinions are solicited, but honesty is not welcomed from the lower ranks. Even some mid-upper level people are allegedly scared to speak up about the OGL or any of the One D&D stuff. Some employees have even agreed that management can be draconian and thoughtless at WotC.

Who’d want to work like that unless nothing else was available? Imagine landing a dream job working for WotC making D&D a reality? Only to find out that it’s just as miserable or more so than working for McDonald’s? It’s bleak.

Maybe the instability was all part of the plan.

Yes, the Tinfoil Hat Society has arrived at the party. Again we see a fine line between absolute intentional genius Machiavellian planning or utter blunt stupidity. I’m banking on the genius side, myself. Hasbro/WotC execs are a lot of things, but stupid ain’t usually one of them. I might not like or agree with them, but I do low key respect most of them.

The other problem that I keep coming back to the OGL on is the WotC rumor mill. $30 subscription tiers to their new Unreal Engine Virtual “Table Top?” Not impossible. Even if the rumor was false, WotC could just as easily circle back around and jack up the price later. All they want to do is drain our wallets. I don’t even think the product matters in some cases.

I think the ground above Mr Gygax’s grave is getting warm from all the spinning beneath it. All of us dreamers are living the disappointment that comes with the OGL controversy and TTRPG market instability. Some people are abandoning their Actual Plays, YouTube careers, and even campaigns over this OGL nonsense. It makes me sad to see fans going from this hobby. But, a certain Wizards of the Coast exec allegedly wants an all-digital platform because he sees D&D as a video game.

If WotC thought the canceled D&D Beyond subscriptions were bad, wait til they see what happens to the new Honor Among Thieves movie. There’s already a boycott movement going for the movie. There are already boycotts going on Hasbro products. It’s going to get worse before it gets… somewhere? (*I can’t say “better.”)

Here’s where I sit.

I know I’m just a simple guy with a blog. I still dream big dreams of writing that award-winning, best selling RPG adventure module, new sourcebook, or a campaign. I want to make a little money to help my family out and maybe invest in more gaming books. Honestly, I’d settle for some street cred amongst my fellow game fans and a bit of side cash.

I feel pain for people announcing 5E projects right now. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. Yes, better now than when WotC ruins the OGL, but what happens if the D&D fan base dries up due to all the McShenanigans going on inside WotC? What happens to the companies that once relied on the OGL as their primary means? Obviously small companies aren’t going to want to hire freelancers right now. That just leaves the other option.

Not gonna lie. It feels like 1996 all over again. The best option for doing much of anything in the TTRPG industry is going to revolve around independent efforts published on my own. I intend to find a workable OGL from another company or work with some sort of core rules tied to a Creative Commons License. The only major difference now is the pdf market makes things a little easier.

#OpenDnD

#DnDBeGone

#StoptheSub

#DnDONE (Emphasis on “DONE.”)

#BoycottHonorAmongThieves

#BoycottHasbro

Thanks for stopping by. You really are part of my #ttrpgfamily if you’re here reading this. Game on. Keep gaming. Things are changing. Let’s stick together no matter what.

Wizards of the Coast- FAIL!

They’re slapping the fans in the face again. The plan for the digital platform was leaked. $30 subscription fee? Death of the OGL. Banned homebrew at any tier?! Oh, and I was right about the AI Dungeon Master?!? Fer cryin out loud.

You think they’d learn.

They’re slapping the fans in the face again. The plan for the digital platform was leaked. $30 subscription fee? Death of the OGL. Banned homebrew at any tier?! Oh, and I was right about the AI Dungeon Master?!? Fer cryin out loud.

I know Hasbro/WotC see the fans/players/DMs as “obstacles to their money,” but this is NOT the way to go about it. Maybe if it was an action figure line aimed at nine year olds, sure. That’s how GI Joe and Transformers worked. But D&D? That’s absurd.

Confirmed by multiple sources on Twitter, etc.

It’s pretty damned obvious they don’t know what they’re doing.

Dear WotC/Hasbro:

Have you clowny bastards ever met a Dungeons & Dragons player? Ever actually seen the game? Do you know what the Dungeon Master does? Do you have any clue whatsoever what the Role Playing Game market looks like? Are you really this unbelievably fcking stupid?
Signed,
Angry Fans Everywhere.

Screw their subscription fee. I wouldn’t pay it if I had the money. It’s the rest of the bullsht that royally pisses me off.

I get that Monopoly is a Hasbro thing. Trying to Monopolize the entire RPG industry is complete lunacy. Hasbro might own some of its biggest competition with Renegade Games. But that model of Vampire/World of Darkness being the number two game in the industry is very 1995. Y’all missed the boat.

Trying to destroy the Open Game License 1.0A is just stupid at best. All WotC is doing is creating more and more competition. The game of D&D sparked a cottage industry. Hate to tell your bosses at Hasbro, but WotC is a Johnny-Come-Lately to the RPG scene. How about WotC goes back to peddling Magic: the Gathering cards? Maybe leave the RPG market to people who actually care about it? Just a thought.

No homebrew? WTAF is wrong with WotC?

The game is going on 50 years old and apparently the company who currently makes D&D has no clue what homebrew content is? Or how it works? Or they’ve been living in high-as-Hell McCorporate boardroom land way too long and have no actual clue how being a DM actually works.

Hate to tell you this, WotC, but fans built the game on homebrew. That red boxed set we all used to have? That was a toolkit and nothing more. The Player’s Handbook that you may have heard of? Toolkit. Dungeon Master’s guide? Toolkit. Monster Manual? Parts store.

See, the original creators of D&D never intended for the books to be all encompassing. AI DMs will NEVER be as good or as creative as live human beings. D&D is NOT a video game. It never was. WotC is stupid if they think we’re not going to continue to create our own worlds, adventures, sourcebooks, maps, and monsters. That’s what the game was built on!

I was right about the AI DM thing since before the OGL debacle broke.

I knew it was coming. The stuffed suits at WotC are more than predictable. Want more “players?” Eliminate DMs. (Because that’s where the money is made currently. DM shortage got ya down? AI is here to fix everything. Ffs. My conspiracy-laden article is here:

So WotC/Hasbro’s evil scheme is to totally monopolize the TTRPG market by destroying the OGL and eliminating those pesky Dungeon Masters. No more homebrew, no more problems. Right?

Nope. Not even close. Okay, we know Hasbro wants to treat D&D like a video game. And it might even transition for some of the kids that came in under the Critical Role banner. Good for them? I guess.

But the rest of us aren’t fooled so easily. I occasionally play a game of Fortnite. It’s not a TableTop Role Playing Game. It’s not even close. Unfortunately, Hasbro’s vision of the future is awful for many of us. It looks literally like Fortnite. We keep trying to tell WotC and Hasbro and they just. Don’t. Get. It.

The future of One D&D was supposed to be in the hands of the fans at one point.

I hate to say this, because normally I’m a huge fan of player input in game design. I’ve crafted tons of in-game ttrpg items by consulting my players and finding out what they want. The One D&D playtest even sorta started out seeking honest input, I guess. Maybe? But if WotC isn’t going to listen, they don’t deserve any input. #DnDONE.

But Hasbro and WotC have shown their very shtty true colors once again. It’s bloody obvious they do not care what the fans think about anything. They’ve had this plan to railroad One D&D down everyone’s throats from the beginning. The surveys are just a distraction tactic.

It may come down to WotC pitifully selling our Player’s Handbook via microtransactions on the new D&D Beyond site. (Whatever they’re calling it.) Looks like World of Warcraft to me. AI storytelling, outrageous subscription fee, microtransaction add-ons such as mounts and in-game cosmetic items. Looks like Fortnite, too. That’s not D&D. It never was.

Here’s what I see happening if Hasbro very ignorantly ignores all of the people trying to save the game. Screw WotC. We want D&D.

See, we technically have more than five prior editions of the game. Hasbro can’t run out and burn everyone’s old stuff. D&D is going to keep going as a game no matter what. We can do it without a new edition or the “One” edition or whatever. We’re going to still be playing older editions of D&D because it’s a game we enjoy. We don’t need shiny new phone apps to play a TABLETOP GAME!

Sure, make it so you think we can’t sell homebrew.

In case you’re oblivious, Hasbro, half of the #TTRPGIndustry has already started a rebellion. Congratulations, you just created more competition for WotC by monkeying around with the OGL. Not to mention the amount of damage done by talk of changes to the OGL.

Oh, that never crossed the minds of Mr Cocks and Ms Williams, I bet. OGL dependant projects cancelled. RPG company staff laid off. Freelance artists not commissioned. WotC actually hurt the industry they helped build up. And thousands upon thousands of angry fans cancelling subscriptions already. #DnDBeGone really chafes. Right, Hasbro.

So, maybe we don’t sell D&D 5E supplements and adventures going forward. Hello. Have you met a lot of DMs and writers for OGL products? They’re going to keep making cool stuff and probably even sell it right under your noses, WotC. Hasbro/WotC doesn’t have enough lawyers on Earth to track down every distinctive likeness and every copyright violation. Alternative products and alternative names are already well in the works.

#ORCLicense. It’s going to be a thing. Best get used to not being the only game in town, WotC. Paizo had your number when 4th Ed flopped, and they have it again now. Get used to being number two or three. Kudos to Kobold Press and others for doing the right thing.

Final thoughts.

Someone on YouTube mentioned it. Bloggers like me are NEVER going to let Hasbro/WotC live any of this down. We’re a vocal and unforgiving lot. D&D YouTubers and bloggers have a very, very good memories when it comes to things like the OGL, corporate shenanigans, and outright disrespect.

WotC, we tried to fix all your little screwups with 5E and you didn’t listen.
WotC, we the fans tried to save you the pain of the OGL debacle, and you didn’t listen.
WotC/Hasbro, we began #StopTheSub and #DnDBeGone to the tune of 40,000+ cancelled subscriptions last I checked, and you still won’t listen.
Heck, a lot of well-meaning fans like me are actually trying to help save the game of D&D and you’re not listening.
Hasbro, we tell you the demands on WotC, the price points, and the OGL are stupidly unreasonable. You don’t listen.
WotC/Hasbro- you issue ignorant statements. We, the fans get leaks of even more ignorant statements and get a huge, fiery reaction that you still won’t hear.

We, the fans, are passionate about TTRPGs and D&D specifically. WotC is never going to corner the market on creativity. They’re never going to corner the market on fun, shared, storytelling experiences with dice. When are the stuffy old suits at Hasbro/WotC going to figure it out?

Some big, stupid manupid new Unreal Engine digital platform that’s overpriced and riddled with microtransactions is just going to drive the TTRPG Community further from your reach, WotC. Hasbro and WotC are going to continue to bleed money until they figure out they can’t just tell the fans what to do and vacuum money from our pockets. Especially while they’re working hard on the other end to ruin several people’s livelihoods. When are they going to get a clue?

That’s all I’ve got for now, family. I love my #ttrpgfamily. I eat, sleep, drink, and breathe RPGs from the moment I get up in the morning when I’m not dealing with my kids. I love nothing more than to see good, kind hearted independent creators doing what they love. Please, let’s all keep it rolling.

Major Site Changes.

Even my plans for the year in terms of content vanished in a few short days when this OGL crapola happened. #Dungeon23 is off the table because I don’t even know what system to use that would be relatable or meaningful now. I’m working on my own RPG system, but I’m not going to blog it until I’m mostly done.

Big chunks of last year are pretty much shot.

Anything I did for any Wizards of the Coast Open Game License property or Hasbro licensed product came down or will come down as soon as I figure out what all I missed. It’s not a legal issue (yet.) It’s that I don’t want to support Hasbro right now.

I’m kinda bummed about it, though. I’m lucky. I don’t make a single penny off of anything published on this site. As free stuff, I’m not subject to a lot of OGL related copyright issues. If WotC were to go after Goodman Games over Dungeon Crawl Classics or everyone over Dungeons & Dragons material, then I’d have big issues assuming anyone actually cares. (*I have my doubts, but…)

I also pulled down most/all of my Power Rangers RPG stuff because Hasbro owns Renegade Studios. Obviously there’s no hope of an OGL ever coming about for Essence20. So, probably no fan content for Power Rangers, GI Joe or Transformers TTRPGs, like- ever. Companies have a really hard time coming after people who make original things for free, but if OGL 2.0 looks like OGL 1.1, I don’t want any WotC $$holes coming after my content either. And I will never willingly sign anything over to them.

No matter how bummed I am, someone else has it much worse.

Imagine having invested upwards of 20 years making OGL content. What if someone’s entire business model depended on the OGL 1.0A? Looking at you, Paizo, Troll Lord, Goodman, and more. Not to mention all of the creators that publish on DriveThruRPG and DMsGuild. Imagine the nightmare OneBookShelf might be facing if half or more of their product has to suddenly come down or else. It’s gotta sting even though it hasn’t come to fruition.

I’m a tiny speck on a tiny speck of a blog compared to some of the mainstream 5E content creators and all of the guys making stuff for the Old School Renaissance. As much as I like to grief the OSR goons over some of their attitudes, politics, etc- I wouldn’t wish any of this OGL business on them, either. This is the one time over half to two thirds of the TableTop RolePlaying Game community has united under a single banner in protest of a big, stinky corporation and its antics.

Universally speaking, the Earth is a teensy weensy microcosm compared to the billions of stars and planets. And we’re just one very small part of that as humans. And of the almost 8 Billion humans, the TTRPG community is what? Maybe 1% or so? And I’m just one guy with a blog. Kinda puts things in perspective, I guess.

That’s not the only change I’ve made.

All of my Laura DiBenedetto/Six Habits content is gone for the foreseeable future. I haven’t abandoned the program altogether, but the author and I don’t see eye-to-eye as well as we used to. I wish Laura all the love and Light, but it’s complicated.

Filling gaps and plugging leaks.

This website feels like a house full of bad plumbing right now. (*I suck at real world plumbing, btw.) There are a lot of things missing and even more likely coming down. I’ve got a lot of content to replace or revise somehow.

Cripes, even my plans for the year in terms of content vanished in a few short days when this OGL crapola happened. #Dungeon23 is off the table because I don’t even know what system to use that would be relatable or meaningful now. I’m working on my own RPG system, but I’m not going to blog it until I’m mostly done.

I’m sort of giving thoughts to moving over to another genre or genres of TTRPGs entirely. I’m still interested in Spirit of ’77, Monster of the Week, and other Powered by the Apocalypse games. I might even build a setting based off of PbtA and try building content for that.

I’m also still big on ICONS and other superhero games. FATE Mecha Vs Kaiju is another campaign I could possible bring back around. WrightWerx MvK is a great mecha setting, btw. If you know my blog, I’m also a big fan of a lot of Spectrum Games RPGs. I wouldn’t mind making some free content for them. Specifically I love Cartoon Action Hour S3; Capes, Cowls, and Villains Foul; and RetroStar RPG. A couple of other Spectrum supers games just dropped as well.

More to come in the days ahead.

I’m just spitballin’ right now. This week might be another tense and telling week in the TTRPG industry. I kinda envy Gizmodo/IO9’s Linda Codega just a little. Last week was a career maker for them. It was a TTRPG reporter’s dream come true. If my blog got that kind of attention, I might even be able to monetize it. (LOL!) That said, Great job Linda!

By the time this week ends, we might be in a whole different TTRPG industry environment or absolutely no different than where we are now. Maybe I’ll have my stuff figured out by then, too. Onward and upward? Maybe?

I appreciate you, probably more than words can say right now. Thank you for stopping by. Keep gaming, regardless. Much love.

Personal-ish Share OGL 1.1

This OGL debacle is going to turn the TTRPG industry back into that Wild West scenario of writers stomping on each other just to get an interview. There’s no sign of stability with the drastic measures some companies are taking just to stay in business right now. People are worried about making the rent in a month or two, not hiring new talent.

I took a break yesterday to talk about something I enjoy.

Soon to be upgraded to OGL 2.0 according to Wizards of the Coast via Gizmodo. Linda Codega (my new personal hero, btw) posted this article. Personally, I’m hedging my bets that OGL 2.0 looks pretty similar to OGL 1.1 with a few changes in semantics. The RPG community has been by and large railing against WotC and parent company Hasbro all week.

I’m still kinda low key disappointed Chris Cocks won’t face me in a steel cage wrestling match. My wife says it’s bad for my back, fibro, etc anyway. I think Cocks just got lucky. (No pun intended…)

My educated guess is WotC is trying desperately to smooth over ruffled feathers after spokesperson/D&D celebrity Ginny Di publicly cancelled her D&D Beyond membership, admonishing Wizards for their foul behavior. In a related note, D&D Beyond suddenly had problems that strangely caused the removal of the subscription cancellation button. (Hey, isn’t that illegal? That’s a monthly renewal.)

Lucky for me I never pay for my D&D Beyond subscription, anyway. I never saw the sense in giving WotC money every month, and I doubt I will after this either. WotC is likely scrambling to retain as many of those players that they so desperately want to milk for cash, right?

So many (former) D&D fans and TTRPG companies have become flustered over the OGL debacle that they have started their own game licenses, systems, etc. Some of the bigger names such as Kobold and Paizo have banded together to create what is being hailed as the Open Roleplaying Creators License or ORC license. Paizo’s website is down, but you can read the Linda Codega article here. (*Linda is probably going to get tired of me using them as a reference, but they’re just so good!)

Some days I should just avoid social media.

So, this gaming celebrity-ish person who I shan’t name and shame said some things I find incredibly ignorant regarding the OGL debacle. After I quote-tweeted the thread with some rather harsh criticism I was promptly shouted down by a bunch of this person’s followers. Drink the Corporate Cool-Aid all ya like, folx. It’s okay.

Maybe I’m wrong, but it wouldn’t be the first time XY person has offended me. In fact XY regularly says things that not only indicate a lack of wisdom, but an overall lack of experience outside of WotC and Critical Role. Look, kiddo. With all due respect, you’re only as good as your corporate programming.

It gets my hackles up when people basically try to pass off obedience to the McMachine as sincere, heartfelt advice. Yeah… it sounded to me like, “Just blindly obey WotC so we can get back to making games for them. Sign your OGL contracts and be good little sheeple. Don’t stress yourself out by making your own games or banding together in solidarity.”

The thing that offends me more than this person taking up space in my head is the level of insensitivity to what is surely going to be the plight of others when half of the industry collapses under an unfavorable OGL announcement. Not that XY has to worry. Their job will be safe. Even with the OGL 1.1 leak we’re seeing all kinds of chaos and disarray in the TTRPG industry. Get a clue, WotC.

Maybe I’m just a bitter old Grognard.

I’ll freely admit I’m a pretty bitter bstard when it comes to dealing with corporations and their well-programmed zombie drone types. I’ve been off work for a year and a half after getting canned by such a company. I’m still not allowed to trash talk the lil shtz directly due to all the NDA and severance garbage I signed. But I’ve also been around the TTRPG and hobby industry for 40 years.

Y’all youngins should gather around and listen for a minute. I’ve wanted to be employed gainfully by the TTRPG industry for over 35+ years. The closest I’ve gotten so far is on the retail end of things. Even then, selling one D&D book along with a crapload of Magic: the Gathering, boardgames, and other product is just not that darn fulfilling. Sorry, gotta be honest. Not to mention minimum wage retail gets to be a real drag when you know you could be doing so much more in life.

Once upon a when, breaking into the TTRPG field as a writer seemed to be a matter of who you knew or, uh, who you bl- did certain favors for behind the curtain. I’ve written a few magazine articles and such for publications that no longer exist but they never really got me noticed. Before OGL 1.0 there was little to no hope of getting hired because there was really no good way to get noticed. The line I got from an original T$R editor once was, “Come back when you get published somewhere else in the industry, kid.”

Sigh. This OGL debacle is going to turn the TTRPG industry back into that Wild West scenario of writers stomping on each other just to get an interview. There’s no sign of stability with the drastic measures some companies are taking just to stay in business right now. People are worried about making the rent in a month or two, not hiring new talent.

I’d like to think I haven’t squandered the last 20+ years.

I’d like to think that, but it’s sorta true, I guess. I’ve always tried to stay on top of the happenings TTRPG industry minus a couple of years when I checked out almost completely and only wrote things for some of my ICONS characters/campaigns. Meditation and enlightenment took priority for a while. But otherwise I’ve always kept an eye open for the one niche I could fill in a way that only I’m meant to fill.

It’s not like I love being unemployed. In fact, this OGL 1.1 business has taught me how much I truly miss having money for Christmas presents, food, gasoline for my car, and disposable income to spend on friends. I miss having an excuse to occasionally get out of the house. And then I remember how much is sucks being around people, how much pain I’m in on any given day, and how crippling depression really can be sometimes.

But hey, it’s Monday. Let’s see what new corporate McBullshttery this week brings from our friends at WotC. I mean, what’s the best that can happen? (nervous chuckle)

I’ve probably chewed on everyone’s ears long enough for one night. I had a lot more to say, but it’ll keep until the 19th or my next personal share. Thanks for being here, fam. Love you all in a Universal way.

Dear Wizards of the Coast (Part 4)…

Look, I got no love for corporations. I was fired from a Fortune 500 company over a year and a half ago. Big, nasty, unfeeling, uncaring corporations can burn in a hole for all I really care. BUT- I never begrudge anyone the right to earn a living no matter who they work for!

Some visuals to help jar your memory, WotC.

You see these books? Each and every one of them published by an independent third party publisher. Each one of them has artists, writers, layout designers, editors and printers that worked hard to make someone’s dream come to fruition. Please- @Hasbro, Please- @Wizards_DnD Stop and consider carefully what you want to do with the Open Game License 1.0 before you release 1.1.

Kobold, Frog God, Necromancer Games, Dren Publications and various DMsGuild authors.

#OpenDnD isn’t just some cute hashtag we came up with for social media. It’s an attempt to keep people’s’ jobs, PLEASE. If you (WotC) eliminate OGL 1.0 hundreds of people will lose their livelihood! Do you care at all???

Large and small publishers alike owe their livelihood to OGL 1.0A.

Say what you would like about some of the companies depicted here, but their hard working, creatively talented minds build all of this from D&D. In most cases for 5E. You know, that game you (WotC) are replacing with this abomination that is rapidly becoming One D&D. Yeah…

I understand you’re a big, weasely, slimy corporation under an even bigger, slimier corporation, Hasbro. But did you ever consider that even though they’re competition, these businesses you’re wanting to squash actually employ people?!?

Look, I got no love for corporations. I was fired from a Fortune 500 company over a year and a half ago. Big, nasty, unfeeling, uncaring corporations can burn in a hole for all I really care. BUT- I never begrudge anyone the right to earn a living no matter who they work for! Always take care of your family.

Fateforge, the three blue hardcovers and the big box in the photo were created by Studio Agate. They’re a French company. Powered by the OGL 1.0A license. Do you know how much work they put into Fateforge? AND- Jim Searcy of Studio Agate is a big supporter of other RPG and miniatures wargames on Kickstarter. Do you (WotC) really think these people are going to want to sign your unreasonable OGL 1.1 agreement?!?

Here’s another example of a company the OGL 1.1 is going to royally screw over:

Pathfinder Second Edition by Paizo, Inc

I get that the shortsighted goofballs at WotC/Hasbro don’t remember they’re the company ultimately responsible for the creation of Pathfinder. Paizo grew out of OGL 1.0. They give Dungeons & Dragons a run for its money every day. They’re not perfect, but they’re an amazing game company that employs a lot of people in the RPG industry. Do you, WotC/Hasbro, really want to put this many people out of a job with your McCorporate greed?

Are you going to hire anyone after they lose their jobs because of this OGL 1.1 bullsht? Has any of the massive outcry from the #RPGCommunity on social media reached your high tower of McCorporate stupidity??? Do you realize that WotC is going to be “under monetized” as all Hell because the OGL 1.1 can literally DESTROY the ENTIRE RPG INDUSTRY by cancelling the OGL 1.0A?

A bunch of former D&D players are going to be out of jobs. Word will spread like wildfire of all of the layoffs and unemployment caused when entire game companies shut down because of the very toxic chain reaction caused by OGL 1.1.

These aren’t just pretty words on a screen or a piece of paper. These are people’s lives we’re talking about. These aren’t just individuals- there are entire families affected by this OGL 1.1 document! How do you sit in your corner office at WotC HQ and not realize this stuff?

People are already upset, and OGL 1.1 isn’t live yet.

Troll Lord Games is just one company in a near-blind panic over OGL 1.1.

Companies all over the #TTRPG Industry are already bailing on 5E.

Congratulations, WotC. You win. Companies are dumping 5E products at a discount just to get rid of them. They know that if OGL 1.1 invalidates the prior OGL that their product will be worth less than the paper it’s printed on.

Even if OGL 1.1 doesn’t go live, which is looking doubtful right now, WotC has lost a lot of the D&D fan base and countless sales because of the ill will in the industry. Did you (WotC) stop and consider the absolute PR nightmare this thing was going to cause. Are you (WotC) that oblivious?

You could probably set me up with free D&D books for life and I’d tell you where you can stuff em at this point, WotC. Throw in free movie tickets? That’ll be a good laugh when I stay home. I dare say nothing you (WotC) could possibly do will silence me from continuing to shove this issue in your cute little corporate faces until things are fixed. #OpenDnD .

Someone convinced OneBookShelf to take this down from DriveThruRPG.com

The Fck WotC Bundle from Frog God Games was an interesting and somewhat funny take on the whole situation. I wonder how well it sold. I find it interesting that anyone in their right mind is still buying OGL product for 5E or any other aspect of the D20 game.

At this point, I dunno if I’ll ever buy anything made by HASBRO ever again. I’m even looking at Renegade Studios games sideways. That’s a damn shame because I loved Power Rangers RPG. I came into 2023 wanting to create (free) adventures for Transformers and GI Joe here on my site. WotC ruined that good will. I’ll actively encourage people to boycott WotC, Renegade, and all Hasbro products if OGL 1.1 comes to fruition. Think about all that revenue the bad word of mouth advertising is going to cost Hasbro.

I was writing free content for an OGL 1.0A game, Dungeon Crawl Classics. Yet another company: Goodman Games, that will probably fold under the weight of OGL 1.1. I can’t stress enough how this legal maneuvering and ill will from WotC is destroying the community of people I care about. People who work hard to create lots of fun games. Remember fun?

Please take note of the highlighted passage.

Frog God/Necromancer Games are serious about this. It’s gonna get ugly real fast in the TTRPG Industry if the OGL 1.1 ever goes live. Stuff’s already getting real, not just with this company, but many of the larger companies around the industry. WotC might not have to worry about OGL 1.0 properties any more, but all new game with its own truly Open License might be coming. Let that sink in, WotC. You’ve (WotC) already made things worse for yourselves.

This isn’t even me in truly rebellious mode.

You don’t want to meet that guy. I’m just getting warmed up. WotC needs to get their collective McCorporate heads out of their fuzzy little butts and squash the OGL 1.1. Every day they delay action or faff about trying to smooth ruffled feathers in the community without doing anything is another day more companies jump ship from D&D and WotC in general. I wonder how bad Hasbro is going to freak out if this D&D ill will spills over into Magic: the Gathering sales.

This is a good place to leave the discussion for now. I’ll be back tomorrow, of course. #OpenDnD isn’t going away. The fans aren’t going to just let this go. WotC is literally destroying and industry they helped build and started a war with a big chunk of D&D fandom. It ain’t over yet.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Lots more to discuss on this topic, if you can believe that. I appreciate everyone who stops by. Please, tell friends.

Dear Wizards of the Coast (Part 3)…

Does anyone at Wizards of the Court/Lawyers of the Coast remember the last time so much ill will was shown toward the fans. 4th Edition? Fans and writers being taken to court right and left for Intellectual Property disputes? No, no one at WotC nowadays seems to have any clue. That’s how we got here with OGL 1.1.

I grew up playing D&D, reading Marvel comics, and watching professional wrestling.

Would you like to know how I’d really like to end this dispute? Steel cage match between myself and Chris, the Punchline Writes Itself, Cocks! To quote the late, great Macho Man Randy Savage, “We’re doing this right now. Somebody ring the bell!”

Alas, my kung fu skills and pro wrestling moves will not be put to the test this day. I wasn’t kidding about Chris Cocks. His Hasbro bio is linked here if you don’t believe me. We’re all trying so hard to restrain ourselves from the obvious dck jokes and other juvenile puns around this man’s last name. Glad he’ll never read this.

If 2022 has taught me anything, it’s the power of Grognard.

Back to the wrestling analogy- “Cocks! I’m gonna be doin this until I’m a hundred and two years old. I ain’t goin anywhere. They’ll have to pry my dice from my cold, wrinkled, old hands. Roll for Initiative!”

Oh, oh crap. Is “initiative” a trademarked term? Is it cool under the System Resource Document? Is WotC’s hit ninja lawyer squad going to charge the ring? <gasp> Oh noes. I might have violated OGL 1.1 in all of its assanine glory and gotten myself thoroughly cancelled. Only I ain’t signed nothin, brother.

See, I’ve been a roleplaying gamer since about 1982. You can take away OGL 1.0. Sure. Great. Whatever. You can enstate some sort of long-winded legal bullsht. That’s fine. I’ll still find an RPG out there to play and enjoy. It just won’t be D&D. WotC can kiss my butt.

And, sorry to tell you this, Ms Williams and Mr Cocks, but there are thousands of guys just like me out there who will be shouting down your One D&D brand as well. Much of the ttrpg industry WotC is trying to control or squash was propped up on the OGL. Your lifestyle mega brand plans for One D&D are probably going to be pretty weak at the rate you’re going. May as well call it, “D&DOne.”

Someone may have misled you to the delusion that all the D&D fans are somehow the young crowd that the antics of Critical Role brought into the game.

Only problem is, the game of D&D, (the thing the crafters of Open Game License 1.1 seem to have forgotten,) is much older than 5E. I was running D&D when Matt Mercer was still a twinkle in his mommy and daddy’s eyes. Y’all at WotC better figure out real quick that yes, there ARE other editions of the D&D game. Cripes, WotC even sells them over on the OneBookShelf sites. Ya ought to know by now. You should know better by now.

Wizards of the bloody Coast wasn’t even a company when some of of started running D&D games. Yeah, Adkinson got some clout with Magic: the Gathering back when and acquired T$R when it was most vulnerable. I promise you. No matter how much the erroneous fools at WotC think they understand D&D in terms of demographics? They don’t know enough. They don’t know the TTRPG industry.

If D&D goes the way of OGL 1.1? Does WotC have any clue what’s going to happen next? Entire game companies have already stated they have new, non-WotC OGL games in the works. One D&D is going to have so much competition on the market that WotC better pray they sell a lot of D&D t-shirts, because their D&D game is going to be in the dumpster fire faster than 4th Edition.

You want more player money because D&D is “under monetized.”

Yes, we want D&D to make money. 5E was due for an edition change. Okay. We, the fans, understand that WotC employees are people with families to feed, too.

But for God’s sakes, why did WotC have to be so awfully ruthless with OGL 1.1? Did they really foresee wiping out half the industry and putting dozens of independent writers out of business with it? Was that the evil plan all along?

Does anyone at Wizards of the Court/Lawyers of the Coast remember the last time so much ill will was shown toward the fans. 4th Edition? Fans and writers being taken to court right and left for Intellectual Property disputes? No, no one at WotC nowadays seems to have any clue. That’s how we got here with OGL 1.1.

I dare say WotC is going to have to do a LOT of fence mending and spin doctoring to get fan trust or even loyalty back. Even then, a lot of us old guys, the ones who regularly talk about the Old School Renaissance movement, are never going to trust WotC again. (In fairness, they might not have before.) What’cha gonna do, WotC? What’cha gonna do when the OSR runs wild on you?

A regular network of OSR gamers has sprouted up around the OGL 1.0. Yes, many of them have blogs and YouTube channels. One such channel even seems to think they don’t need an OGL and are telling people to keep rolling without it. I wish them well in the future. BUT, the OSR is a strong TTRPG subculture and a force to be reckoned with.

Say what you will about the #OSR movement, they do have some things going in their favor.

WotC should really have done some research before they OGL 1.1 was written. The OSR movement has built some really great D&D style retro clone games. The best part is- many of their games are free downloads or really cheap in print form. OGL 1.0 is the reason the OSR was started in the first place. The OSR will still be distributing a game similar to D&D (without signing any agreement) for FREE for decades to come.

Would WotC like to know the difference between 5E and the OSR? I bet they would know if they ever played the game before 5E. See, a lot of OSR style retroclones are built on the old B/X Moldvay D&D. Oh, WotC doesn’t see editions? Well, wish you’d sure as hell seen that one. Because old school Basic/Expert D&D is far simpler, far easier to grasp, more adaptable, and easier to introduce new players to the game. Y’all kids don’t get it.

I can literally make a Basic style D&D character almost from memory with a few minor exceptions in less than 5 minutes and be ready to play. Try that with 5E. A basic style character takes fraction of the effort to make and can still be just as dramatic.

What’s that, WotC? One D&D characters are going to be all online? Like Fortnite that uses the same Unreal Engine? Hmm. It’s almost like WotC doesn’t understand the TABLETOP part of TTRPG. Wonder if dice are even still going to be part of the character creation process. What about character sheets? Or do we just buy skins like in Fortnite.

Shredding the industry by ruining the OGL and all of the good faith that came with it is just going to cost WotC a bunch of money.

Good luck with the witch hunt to find out who leaked OGL 1.1, btw. They did the industry a favor. They might have done it as a part of a cunning plan at WotC. I’m not sure what cheesing off thousands or even a million fans would do to make more money. Gawrsh, I sure hope Mr Cocks has been briefed on the plan.

Making a smart move look dumb is exactly the kind of thing an evil mastermind might do divert attention from true genius. Or whatever plan WotC had for OGL 1.1 was just plain stupid and evil to begin with. But maybe that’s what an evil genius would have us think? We’ll never know for sure.

WotC is digging a hole so deep with OGL 1.1 that they don’t even realize it yet. All of the tons of OGL 1.0 licensed product is never going away just because we can’t legally produce more. I’m not going to burn all of my dozens of third party 3E and 5E books just because we can’t sell new ones. The older editions of the game aren’t going away just because some new, shiny video game D&D gets released in 2024.

What’s the best that can happen, WotC?

WotC has yet to release an official statement as of yet. There was a Tweet from DnD Beyond that they would be making a statement… super helpful, guys. I’ll have much more to say about the statement by WotC and the OGL 1.1 document itself after I finish reading it and all of its legalese corporatized jargon. RPGs are sometimes like learning a new language. RPG legalese is like learning a dead language in reverse.

Thanks for stopping in. More to come. I can’t believe the last few days have really happened.

Dear Wizards of the Coast (Cont’d)…

I know y’all forgot all about Dragon.
… no one at WotC ever had to suffer through this as far as anyone can tell.
… not that anyone currently at WotC seems to remember this sht.
I don’t see anyone at WotC seemingly remembering what it was like to be a small fish in a big pond.
WotC puts out mediocre corporatized products and the fans/writers create homebrew fixes for all the errors.
The top of the McCorporate ladder at WotC seems especially detached these days.

Let us discuss the “Before Time.”

Back before Wizards of the Coast wrapped their fuzzy little claws around Dungeons & Dragons, there was this company called T$R. There was no Open Game License for Gary Gygax was not big on sharing his creation unless T$R would profit from it.

If someone (perhaps foolishly) wanted to work in the TableTop RolePlaying Game industry there were basically two options. First, get a job working for a game company. Second, create one’s own game. Obviously no one currently remaining at WotC seems to have any clue about how bad either of these options truly sucked because if you (WotC) did, there would likely not be an Open Game License 1.1.

The first option was the worst, in my experience. No one wanted to hire new talent fresh out of high school or college and there weren’t a lot of great ways to showcase one’s writing skills as there are now. It was pretty tough to even get in writing articles for Dragon Magazine. (I know y’all forgot all about Dragon.) Basically, if you weren’t already on staff, an editor would say something quippy like, “Come back when you have more experience writing for another industry publication, kid.”

Only to find out that the other industry publications wanted writing experience from Dragon Magazine, Dungeon Magazine or another reputable company like T$R. It was a very vicious cycle and very unproductive. Game company execs, especially at T$R, had a reputation for being aholes. They already had their nice, cushy ttrpg industry jobs and screw all the rest of us.

That led to option number two: Write, find art, and produce one’s own game, then figure out how and where to get it printed. Unless one wanted to spend a mint at the photocopier, one would have to scrounge up about $2-3,000 and get a print run. After that, one prayed for enough sales to pay for another print run. Again, no one at WotC ever had to suffer through this as far as anyone can tell.

One could still do plenty of stuff for free. There were no agreements to sign. One could distribute FREE materials at game conventions, some small indie magazines, and over the fledgling Usenet. There was no OGL and no way to get one’s name in print that it provided.

Ah, the dawn of the OGL.

This is where your, uh, greatnesses came in at WotC. D&D was acquired and Third Edition was born. This great idea called the OGL was likewise born out of 3rd Ed and there was much rejoicing among the fans. Again, not that anyone currently at WotC seems to remember this sht.

Many, many publications were born and new companies sprouted up everywhere. Most of them made D&D or D20 products using the OGL 1.0 that we all loved dearly. Those were the good old days. Writers were no longer automatically pigeonholed and could get their names out there in the industry. It was a veritable revolution. It was a win-win scenario to use one of those fancy shmancy business goob terms. Not that anyone at WotC seems to remember or wants to return to the Silver Age of TTRPG history.

Fast forward past the travesty that was 4th Ed D&D and the closed license onto 5E. The OGL 1.0A brought back the love. The DMsGuild.com was born to give fans and writers the chance to maybe earn a little credit and still get their names out there. Maybe the profits weren’t all that great, but enough to buy another book. Again, I don’t see anyone at WotC seemingly remembering what it was like to be a small fish in a big pond.

5E has been good times so far. WotC puts out mediocre corporatized products and the fans/writers create homebrew fixes for all the errors. Sometimes a little money is made on DMsGuild, other times stuff is given away for free. WotC didn’t used to care because it got their product out the door and kept all the fans happy. What changed? Was it greed?

Then we come to Kickstarters and Patreon, where the real money is seemingly made from OGL 1.0A these days. 5E ushered in a whole new batch of companies who greatly benefit from the D&D brand. Maybe it has gotten excessive. Maybe WotC has a right to be jealous of an industry they helped build up. But, don’t we all grow together? Isn’t there room for everyone at the table.

It’s about family.

I understand WotC is like every other big, slimy McCorporation out there these days. You have hundreds of people that are underpaid and underappreciated on staff. WotC and Hasbro have their big, doofy, “important” meetings where middle management gets to lord their feeble power over the underlings. These people all have families to feed, too. I guess. The top of the McCorporate ladder at WotC seems especially detached these days. They seem more than happy to spend (waste) a bunch of time and money defending Intellectual Property that is going to rapidly fade away into obscurity with the way things are going.

But, the crass changes and insensitive, unfeeling, cold, ruthless business tactics projected by the OGL 1.1 is going to return D&D to the ttrpg industry stone ages. Tough luck for new and aspiring game designers, I know. See, all those independent writers on DMsGuild and all the new or old companies who sprouted up around the OGL are probably going to go away, or go bankrupt when WotC crushes them beneath their McCorporate hee.. Think of all the unemployed, bitterly angry people WotC clearly doesn’t care about. That’s a good look for the D&D brand, isn’t it?

I applied for creative positions at WotC. I noticed I didn’t get hired. Not even a flush letter. Jerks. Grr. Maybe it’s for the best. I’d probably make some of your management cry.

If we’re really back to the dark ages before the OGL, I might consider finding a new hobby. Seriously. We had some big egoes out there before OGL 1.1. It’s only going to get worse. Again, is this really the brand image an “under monetized” D&D wants? Good luck getting more player money on hats and movie sales if hundreds of jobs are lost because of OGL 1.1. Jerks.

Stay tuned next time when I talk about what this does to the TTRPG community. Specifically, we’ll talk about Pathfinder and the OSR movement. You’re not doing anyone any favors, WotC. Take a hint.

Thanks to all of my regular readers for making this especially vitriolic rant possible. At least it feels good to get this sht off my chest. You guys are the best.

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