Ongoing Bad Faith Actions of Wizards of the Coast

An Ongoing Attempt to Shift the Legal Field Beneath Creators

This is the enigma of ideology. It operates behind our backs and without our consent yet still requires our free action, our complicity with it. We know that ideology is not true, yet we still believe.

Because of Wizards of the Coast (WotC 📖)’s chicanery regarding the Open Game License (OGL 📖) I considered removing Open Game Content (OGC 📖) from Take on Rules. However, I have as of decided not to do that.

Why? I encourage you to read Bat in the Attic’s The new OGL 1.2, What is Victory? and Foundry Virtual Tabletop’s OGL 1.2 Response and Feedback.

The pernicious part called out by Foundry Virtual Tabletop is as follows:

There is a particularly dangerous combination of statements in OGL 1.2 which, unless corrected by Wizards of the Coast, may result in creators unknowingly and non-consensually accepting the terms of this new license.

“By using Our Licensed Content, you agree to the terms of this license.

DRAFT: OGL 1.2, pg. 1”

“Our Licensed Content. This license covers any content in the System Reference Document (SRD 📖) 5.1 (or any subsequent version of the SRD we release under this license) that is not licensed to you under Creative Commons. You may use that content in your own works on the terms of this license.

DRAFT: OGL 1.2, 1.a.i”

If a creator uses content from the SRD version 5.1 - the current version of the SRD which has been available since May 2016 - they implicitly agree to the terms of the OGL 1.2 license. This means that simply by publishing content that was developed under 1.0a and SRD version 5.1, many creators will unknowingly accept the 1.2 terms. This could be avoided with an explicit grace period for ongoing projects and an obvious version number increase to the SRD which makes it clear that by using that game content you are accepting OGL 1.2.

That’s one of many egregious issues with the latest round.

But all of this is expected in a corporate-backed public relations war of attrition. WotC will continue to set forth configurations; each with their own poison pill different in some way. Eventually, they’ll pull the trigger.

The crux of all of this is they are not looking to make a clean break from the OGL 1.0a content; and instead looking to shove everyone through a door and then close it behind them. Their efforts continue that single desired action.

Why Write This?

I’m not planning on purchasing anything *Dungeons and Dragons*™ related again; these antics are too much. Yet I’ll play d-n-d again; Old School Essentials 📖 or Worlds without Number 📖 or Apocalypse World 📖 or Trophy Gold 📖 or Dungeon Crawl Classics 📖 or Whitehack 📖 or Pathfinder or any other system in this bountiful ecosystem.

However, I want to continue to highlight the chicanery of WotC. I will not go through their door.