Wizards, Crypto Bros, Thomas Smith discussed on Opening Arguments

Opening Arguments


Modules are all, but you know what? If somebody buys Thomas smith's D&D module, that means they're going to have to buy D&D from us. So great. Everybody wins in a game you just play. No, 'cause you need to know the rules. Also they might buy the rule books. Yeah, they would buy the rule book. Yeah, exactly. Okay. And now, is that totally for free or they charging license? No, that's absolutely 100% for free and right, exactly under the old OJ L one. And spoiler alert under the new 1.1, right? But a weird thing happened. In 2011, that same that allowed you to create a module, a synergistic win win. Allowed a competitor to create a product where you didn't have to buy anything from wizards at all because they took one of the corsets of rules they added a couple new things and concepts. They called the whole thing a different name and then they made tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars selling a competitive product to Dungeons and Dragons. That's not synergistic. So I'm curious about that also. Yeah, yeah, put a pin in that one. So I mentioned this third thing because lots of people are fans of that competitor product. And I want to be completely honest. I think at least part of the reason for wanting to change the one is the ridiculous success that that competitor product had. And I think wizards was like, all right, that was dumb. We're never going to subsidize our direct competitors again. And that's true. So it would be dishonest to pretend that's not a motivator. So those are your three things. Nazis, crypto Bros, and direct competitors. And profit. And I will say. Yes, somewhat of a magic player. There's definitely I think a sour taste in a lot of people's mouths over how monetized magic feels. I mean, it always was, but it feels right now. Like, you know, my great gift for you aside. It does feel like there's so many releases of things that it's like, oh, you could pay for this. You could pay for that. You could pay for that. It feels like, I think people are a bit wary of wizards. Obviously, they're a company. Obviously they're gonna make money. I have no problem with them making money. It feels like maybe they're overstretching in certain ways. And I think that's kind of a general attitude that people have. I have a 100% seen that. I think that's right. So ogio one explicitly reserves the right for wizards to make future changes. They went 23 years without making any changes. Now we have a leaked draft of the 1.1 change and we have the code article. So if you're following along, you're at the computer, I'll make the show notes available to everybody and pull up three things. So this is on page three of my notes. The 1.0. That's available on the wizard's site. The leaked 1.1. That's up on our site, because I uploaded it for you. We didn't leak it, but yeah. No, no, no, no, no, but we have a copy, so it's up there. And then third, koda's article, which you can find at gizmodo, and it is D&D wizards of the coast 1.1 open gaming license. So if you've got those up, let's go through and debunk this article. I'm going to start with the first half sentence. That's not a good sign. The new Dungeons and Dragons open gaming license, a document which allows a vast group of independent publishers to use basic game rules created by D&D owner wizards of the coast. That's all true comma. Significantly restricts the kind of content allowed. And I have to stop here because that is a 100% false. No, it does not one. And 1.1, use exactly the same approach to allowing independent publishers to use D&D content. It's just renamed and made more clear. The content you can use is exactly the same and I'm about to prove that to you. Now, 1.1 changes limits the ways in which you can use that content, right? So specifically says you can't use that to make NFTs. So I don't mean to suggest that it doesn't change the universe, but when you say restricts the kind of content no, it does not. Here's the proof. It just says you can't use it at clan meeting. Around, you know, that kind of. So let's look at OG at one. That starts at paragraph one D and that begins by defining the stuff you as a third party get to use. That's called open game content in the one. And it says, open game content means the game mechanic it includes the methods procedures processes and routines to the extent that such content first does not embody the product identity. We'll get to that. And second is an enhancement over the prior art and any additional content clearly identified as open game content by the contributor that's you and means any work covered by this license, including translations and derivative works under copyright law, but specifically excludes product identity. And you're like, all right, that's a lot of legalese. Oh, how do I know? Well, fortunately, after that definition, comes 402 pages. Of game mechanic Y things. What do I mean by that? I mean things like dwarf characters increase their constitution by plus two. Arcane sword is a 7th level evocation with a range of 60 feet that does three dice ten force damage to the targets and blue dragons can spit lightning breath that does a crap tone in the damage based on their age. Those 402 pages. And I need you to remember this one is called the system reference document or SRD version 5.1. Put a pin in that. Okay. So by the way, site note, Corey doctoral, somebody I respect a lot. I love his nonfiction. I love his fiction. He's argued that the one was kind of a sham. Now this is obviously contradictory to everybody who's like, hey, you're taking away this great thing, like his sort of hot take was. Well, the first thing wasn't so great. I think he's wrong on that too. And this is the same, you know, American Idol versus the voice, right? Like he's saying, I don't see how you could copyright processes. And you can't, right? You can't say, I'm going to copy, I'm going to claim a copyright in song competition where winner gets a record deal. But as long as the unique implementation has minimally creative elements, you can copyright those elements, right? So I think the idea that the character has a fixed number of hit points before they die, that the statistic that modifies it is called constitution, that that score is on a scale of three to 18, and that dwarves get a plus two bonus. That's protectable. Right, like any one of that might not be like obviously hit points are in everything, you know, maybe constitution is a little too big, but like you're saying the system together, it's creating a thing that is a copyrightable work. Is that kind of yeah, yeah. That's right. Like wizards doesn't own the idea of a dragon, right? But right, yeah, exactly. The fact that blue dragon spit lightning. Like that's the I don't know. That's probably minimally distinct and creative. Gotcha. This episode is brought to you by green chef. Oh, I love green chef. And this is a great time. You know, there are lots of people have new year's resolutions based around food. Maybe it's maybe it's not a weight loss thing. Maybe it's just to eat better in general thing. I'll tell you, green chef is a great way to do that.

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