I won’t spend a lot of words talking about a subject already so thoroughly discussed in so many places… But I have a few thoughts about the Insidious problem. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, check out the Underdark Gazette.
It seems a foregone conclusion that WotC would need to go after these guys. I mean, if I released a movie called “Advanced Star Wars” it wouldn’t protect me from the wrath of Lucas. Just because they added (or put back…) the word “Advanced” they are still using the terminology “Dungeons and Dragons” which WotC clearly owns and is actively using. Overall, this just seems like a bad case of feeling like they had the right to do something and not worrying about the backlash.
But something that I haven’t seen mentioned as much is the fact of what happens if they get away with it. I mean, this is so small time that WotC can just let it slide right? Well, let’s say that’s true. And let’s say this adventure is good and does well. Then it creates a really interesting problem. What happens when every little publisher out there jumps on this bandwagon and starts throwing out “AD&D” stuff again. What if most of it is awful? Suddenly, the whole brand, “D&D” looks bad. Including the guys with the bright idea of doing it first. I mean, this problem creeps out into the larger community with surprising ease. Everyone wants a quick boost to success and sales, right?
But even worse… if WotC doesn’t let it slide, then it might mean that instead of just punishing the guilty, they’ll do what we’ve come to expect from big groups and over-react. Which could mean wholesale changes to the OGL. This was basically, at best, a stupid decision. At worst, these guys just don’t care and think they can do whatever they want. Since they actually took the time to consider the OGL, I’ll assume it’s the first.
The actions of this company have been pretty strongly blasted by the community (as far as I’ve seen). I certainly hope the situation gets resolved peaceably and with a minimum of fall out. I may not be able to make heads or tails of the OGL, but I certainly wouldn’t want to see others punished for one person’s bad decision.
If you aren’t already talked out on this one, take a look at the links and let me know what you think. I’d love to talk about it.
Thanks for reading.