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Author Topic: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle  (Read 2718 times)

Sacrificial Lamb

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2023, 09:47:34 AM »

My experience is that new players seek out DMs and games to join, not specific systems. Our group has seen dozens of first-time TTRPG players, all of whom were seeking out "their first D&D experience", and none of whom cared one iota which game rules provided it. My current players refer to our game as "D&D night", although we don't play D&D, or a clone of any kind, and never have.

Someone mentioned D&D being the Kleenex of TTRPGs. Just because new players call something D&D doesn't mean it's WoTC's product they're playing, or even looking for.

My numbers are similar in starting with my games, and my experience is that it happens like that, OR, it happens when someone, usually fairly young, buys the game and figures it out with a group of friends, much like a lot of us did back in the day.  Occasionally, I get a cross-over from one of those groups into mine, even someone who taught themselves to GM.  That usually spawns an in-depth conversation about why I run the way I do (a lot more like early D&D than anyone would get opening up a WotC product and running it as their first experience).  There's usually some doubt about it, while at the same time acknowledging that they enjoyed my game.  The usual result is they leave the conversation in thoughtful silence.  Sometimes this has an actual effect on how they run their games, sometimes not.

There is a strain of wishful thinking that runs through this forum, or more accurately, one strain of wishful thinking and one of despair.  One group, the RPG mechanics snobs, thinks that enjoying a D&D-like game is, de facto, evidence that the person is either close-minded or dense or both.  If all of these people would ever try [insert their favorite game of the day], a new world would emerge with scintillating butterflies and heavy metal unicorns of good gaming.  Meanwhile, the despair crowd is convinced that there is something lowest common denominator about D&D (appeal, branding, bandwagon, whatever) that makes it akin to an addiction. So of course no matter what happens, everyone currently playing 5E will stick with whatever the Wankers produce.

The reality is that the snobs are correct about a tiny slice of the D&D (ish) player base, and the despair crowd is correct about a tiny slice of the same base (albeit, maybe a slightly larger slice than the snobs).  The vast bulk of the remainder of the player base is filled with mostly casual players and relatively few who really get into it.  Some of the casuals will become more interested if they can hit on the right group.  And with the recent bandwagon effects, there are of course a big chunk that aren't really TTRPG players, never have been, never will be.  They go through the motions, and as soon as the motions cease, they'll be off to something.  I hope that WotC keeps every last one of that last chunk in their new endeavors, because it will make the "community" they create completely alien to real players.

TL;DR:  We only want the quality players in that existing base to move, whether to something akin to D&D or something more exotic.

I think you're missing something here. This situation is completely unique. Hasbro has already managed to piss off a large number of people. They're using veiled threats of weaponized lawfare to destroy the entire TTRPG industry (not just OGL games), to destroy all other VTTs, and with subtle implied threats to go after anyone posting game material on their shitty Internet blogs.

Hasbro is basically trying to BULLY and GASLIGHT the entire TTRPG hobby and industry into switching to a somewhat related, but different hobby. I've never seen anything quite like this before. ???

Playing an online video game with an AI DM Chatbot is not the same hobby as tabletop roleplaying games. In regards to VTT, there are certainly similarities to tabletop roleplaying games....but what Hasbro is trying to do has more in common with computer games or MMOs or whatever. And these evil retards are trying to intimidate or gaslight everyone into not playing, sharing, or publishing TTRPGs any more (not just OGL games). This might not be completely obvious, but their highly weaponized tactics of corporate psychological warfare demonstrate that this is what they are trying to do.

I do not know what will happen next, but I do believe Hasbro made an enormous tactical mistake that cannot be easily fixed. This mistake is potentially exploitable by people who publish games. Hasbro removed their mask, and reminded people that the D&D trademark is not controlled by gamer nerds, but by monstrously evil billion dollar corporations.

I think we all needed that reminder.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2023, 10:08:17 AM »
I have noticed a definite shift away from D&D. Heck, this even predates the OGL debacle; I remember watching a Colville a few months ago where he mentioned Paranoia and described it in a positive light to show how D&D doesn't do everything, so I think this isn't exactly the start of a big trend away from D&D, but it is going to be the incident which many players remember as the cause.

Will it happen overnight? No. Most groups will wrap up current games and that's 2-10 sessions, so expect the swing to not start in earnest for several months, anyways. But there is a definite decrease in D&D-Dominance in the market.

Despite there being many people (me included) who genuinely enjoy most D&D games (especially D&D-like games not under the control of idiots) more than many would like to admit, there are definitely people who jump on it as a bandwagon, without even exploring other options.  Some of them would indeed prefer something else if they gave it a try.  Others, would retain their enjoyment for D&D but find that they also enjoy other options (me included, a long time ago).   

So it takes something pretty seismic to move people off wholesale.  It takes something a lot less significant than that to get people to look.  And that's all everyone else really needs.  If 3% of the current 5E players look, and 2% of those jump, and 1% drop WotC entirely, it's a blip on Wanker's radar but huge for the people where they land.  If the numbers go up from that, adjust accordingly.  I think events so far are already such that more than 3% will look.  10% looking is an earthquake, because that puts us back to mid-TSR days, as far as the size of the market for everyone else.

I don't think you realize the reason for the switch; the OGL 1.1 was basically designed to skim 25% off Critical Role's revenue, which makes it quite likely that the most famous D&D podcast will drop D&D in favor of something else, at least in protest. And Colville already seems to be on a slow divorce trajectory with D&D. What's happening is that online influencers are leaving D&D, and that will have an effect on the most involved players and GMs, who will then discuss it with the rest of their groups, and you have a snowball.

How much of the market will actually drop D&D? I have no clue. But the real awakening point is not if you drop D&D; it's if you visit a website like DriveThru or Itch.

No, I get that.  But what I'm saying is that the downstream effects are impossible to predict.  Other than that we know some slice is going to stick (no matter how badly they are treated) and some slice is going to look for alternatives and jump.  But there is this huge chunk in the middle who are more likely to simply curtail what they do around gaming or get out altogether. 

Therefore, the most likely snowball effect is that the market size craters, as the bulk of the casuals wander off to do something else.  Doesn't mean your scenario is impossible, just that it's not the way to bet at the moment.  Happily, both outcomes are good for us.  If the market craters, but everyone else get significantly increased raw numbers, that helps the smaller guys but is devastating for WotC.  If you are correct, then we get a few medium players in the remains who will spend the next 5 to 10 years hashing out who is going to be the next 800 lb gorilla.  Meanwhile, the smaller guys are still getting more eyeballs anyway.

tenbones

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2023, 11:56:33 AM »
Yeah - I think we win no matter what.

Long before this happened, I know several of us have been saying this for years - that whether you like 5e or not, but love D&D (as I do) *nothing* prevents us from playing the brand of D&D we love without giving a nickel to WotC unless it's 5e. All the previous editions are right there, as well as the large selection of OSR content.

And that holds more true than ever with OneD&D... now 5e will be sunset like all the previous editions. And let's be factual: 5e did not have the content spread that previous editions had in the first place. So going over to OneD&D to follow "content" is not going to be a real thing. OneD&D is promising a different kind of game altogether.

That is the big difference between now and all these other edition-changes. It's not *just* a tweak to the d20 formula, where they plan to give you less for more money expenditure. They're *leaving* the TTRPG space and trying nuke their perceived competitors from orbit. They don't really *care* about non-OGL games. We're on a different continent altogether.

Nor do they care about survivors. They're going to create an entirely different kind of RPG experience with their VTT domination attempt and betting Brand loyalty will carry them to the stars.

For those of us that don't play OGL games, or D&D for that matter, we're gonna watch them blast off into space - and perhaps explode, or not... but in either case, we're going to be able to catch a lot of those bailing from OneD&D mothership as it rockets off into the abyss. It's win/win.

Fheredin

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #48 on: January 23, 2023, 12:35:28 PM »
I have noticed a definite shift away from D&D. Heck, this even predates the OGL debacle; I remember watching a Colville a few months ago where he mentioned Paranoia and described it in a positive light to show how D&D doesn't do everything, so I think this isn't exactly the start of a big trend away from D&D, but it is going to be the incident which many players remember as the cause.

Will it happen overnight? No. Most groups will wrap up current games and that's 2-10 sessions, so expect the swing to not start in earnest for several months, anyways. But there is a definite decrease in D&D-Dominance in the market.

Despite there being many people (me included) who genuinely enjoy most D&D games (especially D&D-like games not under the control of idiots) more than many would like to admit, there are definitely people who jump on it as a bandwagon, without even exploring other options.  Some of them would indeed prefer something else if they gave it a try.  Others, would retain their enjoyment for D&D but find that they also enjoy other options (me included, a long time ago).   

So it takes something pretty seismic to move people off wholesale.  It takes something a lot less significant than that to get people to look.  And that's all everyone else really needs.  If 3% of the current 5E players look, and 2% of those jump, and 1% drop WotC entirely, it's a blip on Wanker's radar but huge for the people where they land.  If the numbers go up from that, adjust accordingly.  I think events so far are already such that more than 3% will look.  10% looking is an earthquake, because that puts us back to mid-TSR days, as far as the size of the market for everyone else.

I don't think you realize the reason for the switch; the OGL 1.1 was basically designed to skim 25% off Critical Role's revenue, which makes it quite likely that the most famous D&D podcast will drop D&D in favor of something else, at least in protest. And Colville already seems to be on a slow divorce trajectory with D&D. What's happening is that online influencers are leaving D&D, and that will have an effect on the most involved players and GMs, who will then discuss it with the rest of their groups, and you have a snowball.

How much of the market will actually drop D&D? I have no clue. But the real awakening point is not if you drop D&D; it's if you visit a website like DriveThru or Itch.

No, I get that.  But what I'm saying is that the downstream effects are impossible to predict.  Other than that we know some slice is going to stick (no matter how badly they are treated) and some slice is going to look for alternatives and jump.  But there is this huge chunk in the middle who are more likely to simply curtail what they do around gaming or get out altogether. 

Therefore, the most likely snowball effect is that the market size craters, as the bulk of the casuals wander off to do something else.  Doesn't mean your scenario is impossible, just that it's not the way to bet at the moment.  Happily, both outcomes are good for us.  If the market craters, but everyone else get significantly increased raw numbers, that helps the smaller guys but is devastating for WotC.  If you are correct, then we get a few medium players in the remains who will spend the next 5 to 10 years hashing out who is going to be the next 800 lb gorilla.  Meanwhile, the smaller guys are still getting more eyeballs anyway.

I am less sold that this is a slam dunk good thing; so much of that depends on Hasbro's involvement and motivation because litigation of smaller creators would probably come from Hasbro, not WotC. Possibly at WotC's request, but it still requires Hasbro corporate to get behind it. Chances are the litigation is largely an empty threat; it's not cost effective and the OGL makes winning difficult, but if Hasbro itself is actually thinking of litigating or harassing smaller publishers with lawsuits, this could be quite bad for the space, at least in the short run.

That said, more likely than not you are correct that this will play out in favor of OSR and non-D&D indie games. It just isn't absolutely sure.

At the end of the day, D&D is a fossil of a game trying to use computer VTT bells and whistles to conceal the fact it's a fossil of a game. Ability scores and ability modifiers are a strange and obtuse distinction, saving throws should have been streamlined out a long time ago, and no game made after 2010 should have something as positively asinine as letting feats conflict so you have multiple possible computations for armor class. D&D Shorts may say that the design team and most individual employees are helpless victims of the upper level managers, but the products themselves say that the WotC employees in question don't actually know that much about the industry, either.

Daddy Warpig

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #49 on: January 23, 2023, 01:56:55 PM »
Very much this. There’s a theory in independent content creation called “1000 true fans” where a content creator can make enough to support themselves (not rich, but paying the bills as their actual job) if they can get a thousand people to buy everything they produce (or these days, pay $1/month on patreon).

Original figure was $100 a year or $10 a month (Net, of course, after taxes).

$1 a month is poverty level. You got more on Social Security (in 2022) and you can't even survive on Social Security.
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Spinachcat

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2023, 02:36:55 AM »
So it takes something pretty seismic to move people off wholesale.  It takes something a lot less significant than that to get people to look.  And that's all everyone else really needs.  If 3% of the current 5E players look, and 2% of those jump, and 1% drop WotC entirely, it's a blip on Wanker's radar but huge for the people where they land.  If the numbers go up from that, adjust accordingly.  I think events so far are already such that more than 3% will look.  10% looking is an earthquake, because that puts us back to mid-TSR days, as far as the size of the market for everyone else.

I can't guess what percentage will look or jump, but I agree this kerfluffle will cause some to look and even if they don't dump D&D, but simply add some 3PP products to their RPG diet, that would be beneficial to the larger hobby.

Though I do wonder how many of the new D&Ders will be looking or jumping versus the older 5e players who used to be players of earlier editions or other RPGs.

Spinachcat

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2023, 03:09:37 AM »
And these evil retards are trying to intimidate or gaslight everyone into not playing, sharing, or publishing TTRPGs any more (not just OGL games). This might not be completely obvious, but their highly weaponized tactics of corporate psychological warfare demonstrate that this is what they are trying to do.

I'm unclear why WotC's actions could intimidate non-OGL publishers. For instance, why would Palladium, RuneQuest or Warhammer care what WotC is demanding of OGL publishers?

I am also unclear that we're seeing corporate psychological warfare from WotC instead of just wild displays of greed, incompetence and arrogance.

And what a wild display of WotC's patriarchial bigotry! Their screed that the OGL 1.2 is mandatory to their sacred quest to protect all non-White, non-male, non-hetero gamers is incredibly telling of how weak and helpless they think their 5e player base is.

Or how dumb WotC believes their fandom is to believe this schtick.

Spinachcat

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2023, 03:29:41 AM »
Here's what's confusing me.

If OneD&D (idiotic name) is going to be a VTT AI RPG/video game hybrid, why such panic by WotC about what printed tabletop products are produced by 3PP?

Shouldn't the OGL 1.2 really just focus on outlawing any non-tabletop development so they could nuke their potential VTT competitors? Why the need to bring hellfire down on the kids just making paper products for tabletop use?

AKA, why isn't the OGL 1.2 offering the OGL 1.0 benefits to anyone who wants to stick with the "old style" RPGing of human interaction around a table?

Seems to me WotC wants a walled garden around every aspect of 6e.

Sacrificial Lamb

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #53 on: January 24, 2023, 04:16:37 AM »
And these evil retards are trying to intimidate or gaslight everyone into not playing, sharing, or publishing TTRPGs any more (not just OGL games). This might not be completely obvious, but their highly weaponized tactics of corporate psychological warfare demonstrate that this is what they are trying to do.

I'm unclear why WotC's actions could intimidate non-OGL publishers. For instance, why would Palladium, RuneQuest or Warhammer care what WotC is demanding of OGL publishers?

I am also unclear that we're seeing corporate psychological warfare from WotC instead of just wild displays of greed, incompetence and arrogance.

And what a wild display of WotC's patriarchial bigotry! Their screed that the OGL 1.2 is mandatory to their sacred quest to protect all non-White, non-male, non-hetero gamers is incredibly telling of how weak and helpless they think their 5e player base is.

Or how dumb WotC believes their fandom is to believe this schtick.

Maybe I misspoke a little. I do not believe the existing TTRPG publishers who've been around for decades will have a major problem. My concern is with new publishers publishing new games. My point is what happens if you create a new game, and have a VTT alongside it? What happens if you create a game with similarities to D&D, like Rifts/Palladium or Hackmaster 5e? I'm concerned with new publishers, not old ones who've been around for decades.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #54 on: January 24, 2023, 07:48:02 AM »
Here's what's confusing me.

If OneD&D (idiotic name) is going to be a VTT AI RPG/video game hybrid, why such panic by WotC about what printed tabletop products are produced by 3PP?

Shouldn't the OGL 1.2 really just focus on outlawing any non-tabletop development so they could nuke their potential VTT competitors? Why the need to bring hellfire down on the kids just making paper products for tabletop use?

AKA, why isn't the OGL 1.2 offering the OGL 1.0 benefits to anyone who wants to stick with the "old style" RPGing of human interaction around a table?

Seems to me WotC wants a walled garden around every aspect of 6e.

Collective failure, like collective success, is often greater than the sum of its parts.  It's entirely possible for a corporation to achieve stupidity, incompetence, arrogance, and malice--all in one wrapped up package, to a degree that a single person would have trouble sustaining for any length of time.  It can even manage this while having some success.

Valatar

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #55 on: January 24, 2023, 09:25:04 AM »
Here's what's confusing me.

If OneD&D (idiotic name) is going to be a VTT AI RPG/video game hybrid, why such panic by WotC about what printed tabletop products are produced by 3PP?

I don't think they do care, I think it's collateral damage.  In order to shut down other VTTs they need to kill the earlier license and make it as difficult as possible for those VTTs to host D&D.  The fact that killing the license also puts little Billy's self-published D&D campaign in legal jeopardy doubtfully ever crossed their minds.

hedgehobbit

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #56 on: January 24, 2023, 09:34:20 AM »
Here's what's confusing me.

If OneD&D (idiotic name) is going to be a VTT AI RPG/video game hybrid, why such panic by WotC about what printed tabletop products are produced by 3PP?

Shouldn't the OGL 1.2 really just focus on outlawing any non-tabletop development so they could nuke their potential VTT competitors? Why the need to bring hellfire down on the kids just making paper products for tabletop use?

Because One D&D isn't just a VTT game, but will also be a tabletop game. This way you don't need 100% of your audience to transition to VTT as they can keep the tabletop version going for very little money.

Hasbro needs to get rid of the OGL 1.0a to regain control of their IP. That's a strategic objective and is non-negotiable.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 09:39:41 AM by hedgehobbit »

Corolinth

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Re: Noticeable side-effects of the OGL Debacle
« Reply #57 on: Today at 04:48:26 PM »
Hasbro needs to get rid of the OGL 1.0a to regain control of their IP. That's a strategic objective and is non-negotiable.
We have a winner.

WotC is not “making a mistake”. This is not “blowing up in their faces”. This is “going according to the plan”. It’s true this is all costing them money, customers, and goodwill. That’s just the cost of doing business.