Hello friends! I hope your 2023 is going well!
What a crazy time to be an avid fan of D&D, eh? (I'm assuming anyone reading this blog knows a thing or two about the recent saga of Hasbro/WotC's plans/attempts to alter the Open Game License, but if not, no worries...I'd recommend throwing some stuff like "new OGL" and "OGL 1.1" and "OGL debacle" into Google and reading a little bit about the storm that's been raging. You can also check out this Ars Technica article which summarizes some of the details.)
And now, my long-awaited* response to the fiasco:
So, I get to say this from the privileged perspective of not having my livelihood rely upon the actions of a soulless corporation, but it's difficult to not be entertained by the magnitude of the misstep Hasbro has taken in this whole thing. I mean...they were on top of the world with D&D. Big industry leader again after the previous misstep that was Fourth Edition...recognizable and arguably "cool" in modern pop culture...big-$$$ movie on the way. And then they drop a bomb that alienates a LOT of their biggest customers and supporters. It's remarkable, really, and while I hate to just jump in the boat with folks who can't wait to say "the damage is done"...there probably is some amount of damage here that simply can't be recovered without some drastic steps (that WotC is unlikely to take).
I still love many aspects of the core D&D experience, Magic: The Gathering is still probably my favorite game ever, and I've been spending a lot of time lately thinking about gaming with G.I. Joe figures...so Hasbro is almost sure to keep getting some portion of my disposable income. BUT now we've seen that putting too much faith in the corporate overseers opens us up to having the rug pulled out when we aren't expecting it. Even if WotC makes everything "right," what happens in another 20-something years when there are different head honchos making decisions, who want to revisit some legalese and see if they can squeeze a few more bucks out of the property? We, as players, do own the D&D experience, but this was a nice reminder that we don't own Dungeons & Dragons the trademark.
And I guess that's okay. I do hope that the publishers who have quite understandably depended upon the OGL are able to weather this, and who knows, maybe come out stronger on the other side. One positive from my perspective: The shift to Creative Commons licensing for some of the core D&D rules seems like an "about time" sort of change, and while I understand that, legally, it may change nothing, it is a nice result of this. I mean...I think.
So, how's your Dungeon23 going? To the surprise of no one, I've already fallen behind on more than one occasion, but I do actually have something in the works! Here's the first day, and then first full week (as laid out in the planner I'm using):
The plan is for this to be a headquarters for a Cobra-style organization that serves as the villain for a fantastical military setting. I'm thinking maybe the Brigade to Advance the Destruction of Government, Environment, and Resources. And this is their version of the Terror Drome. Like I said, I've been thinking a LOT about gaming with G.I. Joe figures, and this is playing into that effort. Hope to share more soon! (That "more" will include subsequent weeks of my Dungeon23 work...once I finish some more...)
Would love to converse regarding the OGL and your Dungeon23 project if you feel like it! Talk to y'all soon!
* By my mother