The Dungeons and Dragons Corporate VTT Nightmare
When you think of VTT Platforms you think of “A place for everyone” but Wizards of The Coast and Hasbro have built a Dungeons and Dragons Virtual Paradox Machine…
We are not strangers to the Virtual Tabletop. Not more than a year ago did we invest in Game Master accounts for the top two we saw fit to back. One, a robust colossal “Everyman” blast-from-the-past hosted on browsers capable of running on PC, Tablet, and Smart phone devices known as Scene Grinder with compatibility in EVERY System and a planned marketplace to make Indi Creators a viable platform for both running games and selling content. The other, a Steam-Based graphic-heavy Modern PC marvel known as RPG Stories.
Because of the Independent push the “Big Dogs” have decided to get into the game. Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast have been “Working on this for a long time” (despite having a 3D Isometric Dungeon-Maker with the original Neverwinter Nights and a short-lived 2D Online Only Dungeon Manager with the release of Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition). “Getting into the game” doesn’t mean they care though. They showed their contempt for the customer-base at large with the OGL 2.0 leaks.
“Why is this VTT bad?”, “It looks good to me?” Are two big questions we got while walking around a virtual chat-room with our avatar carrying a sign that said “Ask me why DnD VTT sucks!” with about 300 people attending a “Virtual Dance Club”. Due to copyrighted music we can’t show the video but we can give the reasons why here:
- Does not support non-Hasbro/WoTC Content.
- Does not support 3rd party models.
- Does not support any other 3rd party RPG system other than Dungeons and Dragons 3.0/4.0/5.0.
- Does not support “Creator Copyrights” which means everything you make in game belongs to them.
- Does not support “Low Spec Hardware” which means if you don’t have the newest systems you won’t be able to render the world.
- Does not support 3rd party sound files/music files or content integration of any kind.
- Requires all users active subscriptions just to play.
- Only supports “importing characters” from DnDBeyond.
- Does not support Homebrewed/Pathfinder content.
- Involved Companies are still in litigation for millions of dollars in damage after the leak of their predatory attempt to subvert and reap profits from “Player Made Content”.
If you don’t see a pattern here then you might want to read all that again. However, we can tell you that this whole thing is a house of cards ready to fall. Intellectual Property belongs to it’s creators weather or not it’s played out in the settings Gary Gygax made.
If there is one thing I will remember WoTC and Hasbro for it’s the never-ending retcon that began with 3rd edition that turned a once humble publisher with integrity to their source material into a “Paper Mill” spewing forth thousands of pages of broken continuities and half-stories of the same tyrant with a different coat of paint every quarter year. Gary hated it but he was under a NDA and a noninterference contract so he kept his mouth shut. I knew. You could tell when he described whatever the “current trending publication from Wizards” was.R.A.G. Rankin, Author/Creator of Eon Legacy on the “Nature of WoTC and Hasbro”