Wizards of the Coast Finally Spoke.

We’re not just gamers. We’re people. There is no ill will toward the writers, artists, editors, designers, people who answer the phones or any other regular non-management staff member at WotC. We do not wish physical violence on anyone. Ever. Period!
WotC, please learn to respect us.

We’re talking, of course, about the Open Game License 2.0.

After being hounded on Twitter, Facebook, by phone calls, and emails over the course of eight days, WotC issued a statement on what used to be the popular D&D Beyond website. DDB was a strange choice for this release given hundreds, maybe thousands of fans recently canceled their subscriptions following news of the OGL 1.1 leak. Well known D&D spokesperson Ginny Di loudly canceled her subscription to the TTRPG mega site in protest of the new OGL’s treatment of third party content creators.

#OpenDnD
#DnDBegone
#StoptheSub
#OpenRPG

The TableTop RolePlaying Game community was not screwing around. In addition to the massive outcry against WotC and the OGL 1.1, several game companies have broken off and are working to create their own Open RPG Creators License or #ORC License for short. (Clever acronym given the Tolkien-esque nature of the hobby.)

What WotC said will NEVER be mistaken for a proper apology.

Fans have reacted. I have a lot to say about it myself. You know what’s even worse? WotC has already started revising the statement while it’s live on the DDB site. Next week, it might look completely different.

I’ve got a larger article planned where I discuss the whole response one piece at a time. For now, I’ll just say it was somewhere on the spectrum between slimy and terrible.

Screenshot 4 hours after the statement was released.

For now, I’m just going to say it looks like they tried. I’m not saying they did a good job, but they sorta tried. I’m going to let it soak in for a day or two before I really get into the meat and bones of this statement and what it means to me as a writer/designer/Dungeon Master/Player. There has also been another info leak to key content creators that I’ll touch on later.

The responses to this WotC statement on the DDB site and Twitter were overwhelmingly negative. Some very well known content creators for D&D on YouTube, various artists, writers, and fans all put WotC and the above statement on blast. Some of it was a little toxic. Most of it was honest and on point. For once the community really did function as such in complete outrage over the disrespect shown by WotC today.

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. “You’re right. We got caught in with our hands in the cookie jar. Forgive us.” was the sentiment WotC presented, only more arrogant and completely showing a lack of empathy. They’re about to find out that the OGL 1.0A was a big deal to the #ttrpgcommunity and #ttrpgindustry. They literally put the lives of others at stake just to squeeze a pile of money out of their competitors. It was not cool. Never will be.

There is no beef with WotC employees.

We’re only interested at shouting at the people in charge. The average cubicle inmate has never been nor should ever be the target of insults, humiliation and scorn. We’re saving all the truly toxic negativity for the higher ups that proposed and enacted this OGL nightmare.

To be super clear- There is no ill will toward the writers, artists, editors, designers, people who answer the phones or any other regular non-management staff member at WotC. We do not wish physical violence on anyone. Ever. Period!

The slimy higher ups at WotC have a lot of learning, healing and fence-mending to do. Again, I wish them no physical ill will. I will honestly say I’m pretty mad at the higher ups at WotC and fck Hasbro. The corporate McShenanigans need to stop so we can get back to making good TTRPGs again.

We, as a united #ttrpgcommunity are not going to forget what happened today or the OGL 1.1 as it was presented. We’re going to examine every word in whatever OGL 2.0 document that is presented. Ain’t none of us signing anything, so I hope WotC is smart about leaving that sht out of the document. And I speak for a lot of people who would normally not come together for any reason when I say we’ll never stop fighting this until OGL 1.0A is upheld OR something similar is put in place so we can still enjoy our shared TTRPG experience.

We’re not just gamers. We’re people. WotC, please learn to respect us.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. I have a lot more on this topic coming up. We aren’t done with any of these issues by a dmn sight. I’m not giving up. I’m not going anywhere. Keep fighting the good fight. #OpenDnD.

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.

This Can’t Be Real

Yes, I’d rather be running a game or writing one. Sure, who wouldn’t like a big ol’ salary and an office. That’s what we’re told is the dream in capitalist society at a very young age. It’s just not my particular jam. But this job is supposed to be “Head of Creative (Dungeons & Dragons.)” For cryin out loud, the last three words in that title say it all. Creative. Dungeons & Dragons. That’s my dream.

This job would be a dream come true for someone.

I’m still not 100% certain this isn’t a hoax or some kind of ruse to get people hyped up about One D&D. Something seems terribly off to me about this. My other thought is that they’ve probably already made their selection, but had to post the position publicly as some sort of McCorporate legal formality.

It’s been suggested by a former WotC employee that the public posting is just a formality and that the post is already filled. As a former employee of a big, scummy company myself, I’ve seen this type of behavior already. I feel it’s somewhat sickening. Why torment potential job seekers in this manner? It borders on cruel, even sadistic.

Here’s a link to the full posting:

https://boards.greenhouse.io/wizardsofthecoast/jobs/6517250002?fbclid=IwAR100Ed4L65Rxva5bnenZryLFn1FlikyBPAwNlbK0rbDKG2GYFNuI0dkFNM&mibextid=S66gvF&s=09

The posting describes a lot about the job, and some of what they’re planning for One D&D.

I’m fortunate in that I’m a small blog, of no real consequence to Wizards of the Coast or Hasbro. I doubt they’ll notice a tiny mite like me nipping at the heels of the McCorporate mega giant that they are. It’d be just short of a miracle if I hear back on the application I sent. I’m sure I’m one of hundreds, if not thousands of would-be applicants.

I wonder if they even blinked before they deleted my application. I mean, tell me they didn’t already have this filled. And what tabletop gamer in his/her/their right mind wouldn’t want this job? Here: put together One D&D and possibly a bunch of stuff to go with it.

The last bullet point on the list makes me crazy above all the rest. I’m sure every Old Grognard in the gaming community probably thought much the same. Tell me you’re discriminating based on age without actually discriminating based on age.

“Grow and evolve our IP to attract new audiences, including younger demographics…

Maybe my grasp of McCorporate speak is rusty, but that sounds a lot like they don’t want anyone over the age of 35 in charge of this thing. I’ll be curious to see who they had picked out for this thing. I’m sure it’ll be a fresh young face, right? Maybe I’m old and going a bit daffy with age, but I really don’t feel like I’d be a good fit.

That line about “Create a team and IP that is rich, diverse and constantly evolving…” made me laugh, too. In other words, they don’t just want the same old white guys doing the same old medieval European stuff we’ve been doing for the last almost 50 years. Which is great, but in terms of a hiring qualification? WotC was an Equal Opportunity Employer last I checked.

It’s the Internet, I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

But wait, there’s more:

If the job description wasn’t nauseating enough, you should see what they want for qualifications. Dear God, they practically want someone ready to step in as head of Hasbro, much less D&D. You know what they say about the Internet- If it sounds too good to be true, it is. This is a fabulous example:

The thing I find most incredulous about this whole list of requirements is that they want qualifications that none of the original founders of T$R could have possibly possessed. It almost sounds like they want a PhD in Business and 10+ years in charge of a Fortune 500 company and oh, have you maybe heard of Dungeons & Dragons 5E. (*Notice not a word about prior editions.)

It sounds to me as if WotC doesn’t want anyone they haven’t already groomed for this position within their own ranks. Disgusting, if you ask me. McCorporate favoritism or even nepotism at its most nauseating. It’s almost as if the “Creative” part of the job is the furthest thing from their minds.

If this is what WotC wants for their company, that’s on them. It’s their call to make, sure. What I find most disturbing about everything in this job listing is what it says for the game. To me it sounds like screw anyone who isn’t totally up-to-date with their corporate mindset, culture, and part of the new generation of D&D. (*Again I say tell me you’re discriminating on basis of age without telling me you’re discriminating on basis of age.)

Damnit. It’s about the game. The GAME of D&D.

I’m passionate about TTRPGs in general and D&D as well. I eat, sleep, breathe, and write about gaming every day. Every. Day. I make no pretensions about being qualified for any position at WotC, much less this one that’s posted.

Do I really want to see D&D go down the path it’s currently on? Hell naw! Basically, they’re telling us they want something that looks vaguely like D&D only completely integrated as a phone app, social media platform, website, and PC game (*possibly console, too.)

They might be willing to put out rulebooks? Maybe? But fear not, they’ll only sell the physical books and electronic copies through their exclusive website. One D&D is starting to sound a lot less like D&D all the time. (Just my nutty take, though.)

IF there’s an up side to any of this, it sounds like someone might finally give us a new setting for the first time in decades. Maybe, just maybe someone will finally abandon Forgotten Realms as the main D&D setting. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if they put out something completely new? Bring exploration back to the game.

Parting shots of a defeated old guy.

I understand now, probably more than ever, why so many older avid roleplayers are shying away from D&D than ever before. I am starting to understand the amassing heaps of criticism and negative banter about Wizards of the Coast and D&D in particular. This job posting, with all it indicates about the company’s attitude, is part of what makes me want to go back to retro clones and other editions of the D&D game. Or just go back to focusing in gaming, period.

I’m a tabletop gamer first and a businessman last. (*Or not at all business anything.) Sure, who wouldn’t love to be at the reigns of the next rendition of D&D? Seriously. How many of us dreamed for years of filling the shoes of Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, or Ed Greenwood? (*I’d even say Monte Cook, Sean Reynolds, or any other noteworthy T$R/D&D alumni.)

Yes, I’d rather be running a game or writing one. Sure, who wouldn’t like a big ol’ salary and an office. That’s what we’re told is the dream in capitalist society at a very young age. It’s just not my particular jam. But this job is supposed to be “Head of Creative (Dungeons & Dragons.)” For cryin out loud, the last three words in that title say it all. Creative. Dungeons & Dragons. That’s my dream.

That was my dream, anyway. I’m working on coming up with a slightly newer improved dream for myself. I’m always going to be a TTRPG guy for however long I’m still on the Earth in this adorable, loveable, physical form.

I hope whoever gets the big title at WotC does right by it. I’d be low key impressed if I heard back from WotC on my application, but I’m not holding my breath. It’s really a neat idea for a job, no matter how far-fetched.

I’m still working on that million dollar idea. I’m still innovating and creating here. Maybe I’ll hit Gygaxian status someday.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a good week. Good luck if you applied at WotC for anything.

Perf- Porf- uh… Perfeshional.

I’m just not professional enough for the rest of y’all. Sorry, not sorry.

Yeah. That’s gotta be it, right?

Photo by Julissa Helmuth on Pexels.com

This is going to be a little more light-hearted and cheeky than my usual postings. Because people who know me will totally tell you I’m oh-so-serious all the time. Yes, I’ve taken three professionalism classes in college. I get all that stuff. But if I have to wear a tie and be super serious all the time? We have a problem.

I have to laugh. No, literally. If I can’t find something to laugh about, I WILL find something to laugh about even if it’s something funny inside my own head. I think people who are in “big business” are in danger of taking themselves and everything else far too seriously. I mean, unless you’re running a health care business or hauling radioactive material for examples, you probably don’t have that much to be freaking out over. A lot of times, people just need to lighten up.

I think people are in danger of taking themselves far too seriously.

I’ve been applying for jobs lately, and it just makes me cringe. Not a direct example, but I’ve seen postings for things like, “Senior Administrative Assistant,” and “Building Sanitation Engineer.” So, we can’t just say, “secretary” and “you’re going to be the only one in the office most of the time.” And we can’t just say “custodian” or “janitor.” For real, these folks aren’t driving the freight train or building the next phase pulse generator. This ain’t rocket science. In fact, I’d be surprised if it’s still called “rocket science.” They probably contrived some new name for it like “Aerospace Dynamics Specialist 1.”

There plenty of people out here in the real world who don’t mind being referred to as custodians, telemarketers, or secretaries. Heck, some of us would just be happy to have one of those jobs.

The door greeter at your local big box store is still literally the guy standing at the front entrance greeting people as they come in. You can call mushed apples anything you like, they’re still “applesauce.” For the life of me on this 3D Earth, I have yet to truly understand why human beings go out of their way to overcomplicate things. So, this leads me to my big conclusion.

Get in the moon buggy and don’t ask!

I’m just not professional enough for the rest of y’all.

A-hem… Sorry. You’re just going to have to learn to cope with my very bizarre, very off-the-wall, pretty much boundless sense of humor. You’re going to have to live with my sometimes bizarre conspiracy theories. Dress code? I wrote my own. If I can’t be comfortable in my hoodie and cargo pants? Sorry. I’ll never put on a uniform or a tie again if I can avoid it. I’d rather eat a spoonful of fire ants than wear a suit to work. If that’s your thing, good for you. It’s just not mine.

For the 115,000th time, I DO NOT DO SALES!!! I have had my fill of retail experience and upselling product to last me the rest of this incarnation and probably several more. It’s not “customer service” if you’re asking me to push more product. I’m not “helping customers internally and externally” by cramming more product down their throats or up their… you get the idea. I have yet to see a “Customer Service Representative” job listed locally, especially here in Des Moines, IA that wasn’t easily re-labeled as “Telemarketer.” Only most of us will bypass what is easily considered the slimiest of slimy jobs short of cleaning gutters or hosing out public restrooms.

While I’m on the subject…

Something else that just drives me batty, that I’m sure most people can relate to is: Temp Agencies. I apologize in advance if this is you. Seriously? Like, y’all have it relabeled everywhere as “human resources specialist,” or “recruiter” or even, “staffing experts.” Nuh-uh. Y’all are collecting resumes and acting as headhunters to fill up office pools for your corporate overlords. Here’s a thought- some of us can see you coming a mile away. I ain’t down now or ever. I’ve had way too many bad experiences and wastes of time and labor just so someone could latch onto a percent of my check, put my name on a list, and shuffle papers from one side of their desk to the other. I dare say I’d rather be locked in a broom closet full of coral snakes than ever go near a temp agency ever again. No thank you that is not part of my belief system. Keep on truckin.

Look to your left. Now to your right. Wonder why your business is short on help?

This is a no-brainer for some folks. Have you seen the skill requirements some of these employers are looking for? Chances are if the list is a mile and a half long, they’re looking to replace someone who retired after 30 years. Or, maybe they’re just not actually serious about hiring. Another possibility is, they cooked up a bunch of corporate Mchorseshit for a description that looked good on paper when all they really wanted was to get someone to stock shelves or clean floors. Again, humans overcomplicate their lives. I’ll let you know if I find a definitive answer as to why.

The other one I laugh about often, having been in short-staffed jobs many times, is high turnover. Usually because management is (Fill in the Blank:) ______. (A.)Inept. (B.) Bad about playing favorites. (C.)Clueless. (D.)Downsizing. (E.) Ignorant. (F.) Greedy. Or All of the above. There are more that I’ve left off but you get the picture. Most of these situations revolve around bad management, horrid business practices, and/or chaffed staff because of the first two. I always raise an eyebrow when I see a business perpetually looking for help, especially if a temp agency is involved. If you have to hire entire classrooms full of 25-30 people in the vague hopes a couple of them might stick around? Chances are, somebody is F’d up in management and the turnover rate is far too high.

Before class is dismissed:

Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels.com

I kinda ended up being in rant mode for this one, but I gotta level with you. I’m not going to shave my beard and (gag) actually put on a tie (euww) for an interview if I know it’s a waste of my time. And after countless crappy interviews and 30+ years of being in the workfarce, my bullshit detector works very well. In conclusion, here’s some of my advice if you’re looking for help.

Honesty: List what you NEED from an employee in plain , simple language up front. Are you with a temp agency just looking to fill lists? Don’t call people and make it look like you’re for real hiring.

Authenticity: Honesty’s cousin. Don’t beat around the bush about what it is your company represents. If you’re selling luxury designer custom toilets, say it up front. (There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve been hired as a front desk receptionist at a hotel and then ending up in the kitchen. True story.)

Simplicity: Don’t put 20 words in a job description if 10 will get the point across. Don’t add a bunch of things to a job description if the employee will rarely ever have to deal with it. Lastly, don’t throw a bunch of requirements out there for the “perfect” or “ideal” candidate if you are willing to accept way less. Do I really have to have a Master’s Degree and 7 years of experience if I can still do whatever it is with a High School Diploma and straight off the street for the first time?

Expediency: Do not drag applicants in for three interviews just to go with the first gal you were going to hire. Temp agencies- do not just call me in just so you can shuffle the paperwork with my name on it from one side of the desk to the other.

End rant here for now. Hope you’re all having a lovely week. Stay safe. See you later.

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