.the ramblings of a radman.

Author: Jared Cash (Page 1 of 41)

Feedback on the proposed OGL 1.2 from Wizards of the Coast

Last week, Wizards of the Coast decided to release a proposed OGL 1.2 in an attempt to undo the damage of their disastrous OGL 1.1 leak. On the surface, this looks like a capitulation to pressure from the community, but the reality is that it is still too restrictive. It’s clear that Hasbro and Wizards leadership care more about extracting more money from the fan base than they do about creating a great product for people to enjoy. Follow the link to the official statement from Wizards over at D&D Beyond here.

Included in the statement is a link to a feedback survey on the contents of the proposed OGL 1.2. I’ve taken the liberty of copying and pasting my answers here. My feelings may not match everyone’s, and I definitely digressed from the questions a times, but I feel strongly that this push by Wizards to turn D&D into just another micro-transaction-laden digital experience will be worse for everyone.

1. Would you like to provide feedback on the content of the proposed OGL 1.2?


2. Now that you’ve read the proposed OGL 1.2, what concerns or questions come to mind for you?

This still feels like a plot by a public company to extract money from its fanbase, rather than an attempt to create a compelling product for its fans to enjoy. I understand that Wizards is owned by Hasbro and Hasbro has a commitment to its shareholders, but this egregious attempt to wring money out of people that have willingly been giving it to you for decades is a bad look, especially in this age of greedy corporations getting gutted by organized people on the Internet.

The OGL 1.0a has allowed Wizards to flourish into a cultural touchstone that is STILL wildly successful compared to most products. The OGL 1.2 is at-best anti-competitive and at worst anti-consumer. We would have gladly supported D&D’s digital future because it would have been the best option with the most access to official content. Yes, other VTTs would have existed and had similar features, and they might have even taken some of your market share (though most would likely have simply collected customers that wouldn’t have wanted your offering in the first place because they couldn’t afford it). This arrogant decision has ruined the reputation that took 30 years to build.

This foolish attempt to extract as much money from your fans as possible is the single dumbest decision you could have ever made. There may be players that desire a digital experience over an in-person or analog one, but there aren’t enough willing to give a team of executives looking for their next bonus to justify this decision. There will be alternatives to whatever digital future you build and your greed will amplify their existence.

3. After reading the proposed OGL 1.2, how has your perception of the future of Dungeons & Dragons changed compared to before reading OGL 1.2?

Much worse

4. What would be needed to improve your perception of Dungeons & Dragons’ future?

A sincere apology to the community, the removal of the executives responsible for this incredibly stupid strategy (maybe let’s start with Chris Cao and work our way up from there), and a focus on a return to respect for players as people and not walking cash piñatas.

5. How would you rate your level of understanding and your level of satisfaction with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International? 5 = High, 1 = Low

Understanding: 5

Satisfaction: 5

6. How would you rate your level of understanding and your level of satisfaction with the content found in the SRD that will be released under Creative Commons? 5 = High, 1 = Low

Understanding: 5

Satisfaction: 3

7. Do you have any other comments about the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International and/or the content that will be released under Creative Commons?

The Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license is a fantastic license and a great start to fixing some of the blunders you’ve made so far in 2023. However, the content being released to CC4.0 is incredibly limited: clearly an attempt to prevent anyone from using what you’ve released to build a competitor. However, what you’ve proposed to release isn’t even protected content in the first place. The methods and mechanics of any version of D&D aren’t protectable, so why not release the entirety of them to CC to show that you actually understand and value your players. You want to protect your IP, and I get that. So, do so by keeping your internal creations out of the CC release, but release the instructions for crafting races, classes, etc. so players can go ahead and homebrew to their heart’s content. The fanbase will be better for and far more forgiving. Especially if your plans to become a micro-transaction-heavy digital playset move forward. Let those of us that have no desire to be a part of that world continue to play the game we love without your capitalist hellscape.

8. How would you rate your level of understanding and your level of satisfaction with the Notice of Deauthorization? 5 = High, 1 = Low

Understanding: 5

Satisfaction: 1

9. Do you have any other comments about the Notice of Deauthorization?

You have lied to our faces about why you wish to deauthorize OGL 1.0a. You have invented a boogeyman in order to manipulate your fanbase into accepting a terrible deal. Yes, hateful content is a threat to any platform, but you have failed to explain how the OGL 1.0a fails to prevent hateful content in the first place. Further, the community already takes care of these issues on our own. We are an inclusive place, focused on building up instead of tearing down. There is no need to create a new OGL for this purpose. This is a lie attempting to prevent the OGL 1.0a from being used by those you view as competitors to continue to exist in this space. Do better. If you don’t like competition, just say so. Stop being cowards and just be honest about it. Trying to manipulate us is a bad look.

10. How would you rate your level of understanding and your level of satisfaction with the types of content covered by the proposed OGL 1.2? 5 = High, 1 = Low

Understanding: 5

Satisfaction: 3

11. How would you rate your level of understanding and your level of satisfaction with the content ownership rights outlined in the proposed OGL 1.2? 5 = High, 1 = Low

Understanding: 5

Satisfaction: 5

12. Do you have any other comments about the types of content covered and/or the content ownership rights outlined by the proposed OGL 1.2?

Since the OGL 1.2 aims to reduce the number of places we are allowed to use officially licensed content, the SRD 5.1 should include a larger selection of content available for use. The original intention of the SRD was to give players the basic ability to play D&D without purchasing any official books and have enough information to build their own games or at least whet their appetite for more content. Since the new monetization strategy is for all players to either have a digital subscription or be encouraged to spend money on cosmetics for a future digital project via micro transactions, there should be a larger portion of content made available via the SRD. Especially since the SRD will no longer be usable by third-parties making content that Wizards finds to be competitive.

13. How would you rate your level of understanding and your level of satisfaction with the “You Control Your Content” section? 5 = High, 1 = Low

Understanding: 5

Satisfaction: 5

14. How would you rate your level of understanding and your level of satisfaction with the “Warranties And Disclaimers” section? 5 = High, 1 = Low

Understanding: 5

Satisfaction: 2

15. How would you rate your level of understanding and your level of satisfaction with the “Modification Or Termination” section? 5 = High, 1 = Low

Understanding: 5

Satisfaction: 2

16. Do you have any other comments about the “You Control Your Content”, “Warranties And Disclaimers”, or “Modification Or Termination” sections?

I actually appreciate the commitment to preventing hateful content or conduct, except for the part where a faceless corporation is the sole arbiter of what is and isn’t hateful content or conduct and can unilaterally revoke this license without recourse (which is the opposite of “open”, I might add).

“We have the sole right to decide what conduct or content is hateful, and you covenant that you will not contest any such determination via any suit or other legal action.”

If a licensee firmly believes that you are a) over-reacting (a phrase your leadership team has been quick to throw at the fanbase in the last few weeks), or b) disingenuously accuse a competitor of hateful conduct/content in order to remove their content from sale, there is no way to challenge such an abuse of power. Let the fans do as we have always done and remove hateful content from our play space as we always have. Alternatively, allow an independent third-party review system to be utilized, if you insist on having a failsafe to remove licenses.

17. How would you rate your level of understanding and your level of satisfaction with the Virtual Tabletop Policy? 5 = High, 1 = Low

Understanding: 5

Satisfaction: 1

18. Do you have any other comments about the Virtual Tabletop Policy?

Finally, we get to the real reason for this OGL 1.1/1.2 debacle. It is no secret that Wizards has been working on their own VTT solution for years. Sadly, instead of competing to have the best VTT on the market, your plan is to simply cripple the competition so that only you can provide a complete experience. This is, again, the very antithesis of open. Further, it goes against the spirit of D&DG and tabletop RPGs as a whole. When one table comes up with a cool new way of playing, we all benefit. The hobby benefits. YOU benefit. Just because you aren’t making ALL of the money, doesn’t mean you aren’t making ENOUGH money. This is everything wrong with corporate greed. If Hasbro needs to continue to grow to appease shareholders, then they should either make themselves a private company, spin Wizards off as its own private entity, or just stop worrying about making the line go up. Such an asinine way of running a company and shows that leadership at Hasbro have no idea what made D&D successful in the first place.

19. Have you used the OGL 1.0a or previous versions of the OGL to create third party content?


20. Do you want to create third party content for Dungeons & Dragons in the future?


21. Would you be comfortable releasing TTRPG content under the proposed OGL 1.2 as written?


22. Why do you say that?

Because as it stands, the OGL 1.2 is a bad faith agreement that serves to support everything wrong with corporate greed, instead of focusing on the original intention of the OGL 1.0a, which is to grow the hobby and to provide an open collection of content for the fanbase to enjoy in whatever way made the most sense to their group.

23. How would you rate your interest in using the Content Creator Badge as part of your third party works? 5 = High, 1 = Low


24. Do you have any other comments about Content Creator Badges?

If I thought creating and sharing third party works was a good investment of my time under a less-restrictive and self-serving OGL, I might be interested. But as it stands, the Content Creator Badge is just a symbol of willingness to serve Wizards rather than the community at large.

What other feedback do you have for us (related to the Open Games License or otherwise)?

I desperately hope enough people have similar feedback to encourage Hasbro and Wizards to rethink their priorities in this matter. I have loved D&D for more than half of my lifetime. I have spent more time in the last two weeks researching alternative solutions to continuing one of my favorite hobbies than I have ever spent in the last two decades. This poor executive vision has severely damaged the brand value of D&D and I really hope it’s not the death of it. But if this aggressive plan to monetize everyone through terrible business practices continues, I can’t continue to be a part of this community.

Guess it’s time to reroll all my characters

I didn’t want to cancel my D&D Beyond Subscription, but I really feel like I have no other choice but to vote with my wallet.

I held off on this until I knew I could get my characters saved. I don’t know where I go next. I’m looking for tools that will work as seamlessly as D&D Beyond, but even if I can’t find one, I just can’t support Hasbro or Wizards of the Coast at this time.

I want to keep my campaign alive, but I can’t do it in a way that funds this greed. I was really looking forward to D&D Beyond’s upcoming VTT, but I guess I’m going to FoundryVTT, now. Or just back to pencil & paper.

On the bright side, I guess I have an excuse to check out a new system. I’ve always wanted to give Warhammer Fantasy RPG a try, and there are a ton of great options out there with a heavier focus on role-playing and faster combat.

And I guess the world I’ve been building will one day adopt a different open license, instead.

23 Books in 2023: Book 2 – I Hate Hamlet

Book 2 of 2023 complete.

I Hate Hamlet by Paul Rudnick

I’ve had this sitting on my nightstand for months when a friend of mine cleaned out her library and asked everyone at a party to take something home. It’s a Broadway play from 1991 with a cast of recognizable faces from the early and mid-2000s. I’ve attached the cast list photo below. I don’t read plays often. For years, it reminded me of homework (I love theatre, I love reading, but I have always hated assigned reading). The whole house went to bed early last night, so I figured I had time to burn through the whole thing and check it off my list.

The play is about a young TV star who moves to New York, moves into John Barrymore’s old apartment, and is visited by the ghost of Barrymore when he is cast in a theatre-in-the-park production of Hamlet. While reading, I wondered if I’m just barely old enough to remember who John Barrymore was and whether anyone 5-10 years younger than me would even care. But it was funny. I think it would be a lot of fun to stage.

Most importantly, it was quick and easy to read, which allowed me to relax and exercise making reading a habit again—while considering whether I want to try to finish The Ship of Theseus (the novel at the center of JJ Abrams’s S.) or Bats of the Republic, both of which I’ve started but been distracted by in the past.

Ultimately, finishing two books in the first two weeks of 2023 gives me hope that I will blow past my goal of 23 books this year (something that seemed impossible considering how many books I’ve read in the past 5 years).

23 Books in 2023: Book 1 – The Starless Sea

Book 1 of 2023 complete.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

What a blessing it was to receive this book as a birthday gift. I devoured it. It is everything I love about fiction and reads like a love letter to storytelling. I need to sit with it for a bit, but at this moment in time, it is in my top five favorite books.

If you like urban fantasy mixed with myths—ancient and ageless stories intermingling with our modern lives—read it.

During my initial read, I often thought of both The Sorcery Hall Trilogy (urban fantasy about a young girl using a violin to save Manhattan from an ancient evil) and A Wrinkle In Time (it is directly referenced, but I could see similarities well before). Both are stories that have stayed with me long after I read them. Of course, The Neverending Story kept nagging at my mind throughout, as well. The way Morgenstern connected familiar elements from these ancient and familiar stories we love with a world so entirely new was intoxicating.

I will read this again. And again.

And again and again and again.

No One Rides the Bus for Free

For Halloween this year, my wife came up with the idea to “reverse Trick-or-Treat” our neighbors, so we dressed up tiny liquor bottles as ghosts and carried them around to share. I decided I also wanted to take a Bluetooth speaker and a travel mug full of mulled cider with me, which meant I was going to be literally short-handed.

So, to make sure I could carry everything with us, I pulled out the stroller and started pushing it along, sans kids. Of course, it didn’t take long before the children decided they didn’t need to walk anywhere, because there was a perfectly good stroller just not being used for anything. The first time they climbed aboard, I let it slide (because I’m a pretty nice dad and uncle). But, the second time a child decided they didn’t want to walk, I figured I’d make sure they really wanted that ride (plus, I wanted them to be on their own feet as much as possible).

I told them they could only ride the bus if they paid the toll: the candy toll, that is. My nephews didn’t even hesitate. My youngest joined in as soon as he saw his cousins doing it. And I started stuffing my pockets full of goodies. Every time they got off the stroller, they paid me as soon as they got back. Multiple times they would get off for one house and pay me their just-earned goodies as they climbed back on.

As the night went on, the pocket of my hoodie was overflowing, so my wife said I should use the empty “ghost liquor” bucket.

All I’m saying is that I probably earned more Halloween candy than most parents ever have and all I had to do was something I was going to do for free anyway. Pro tip, parents: charge your kids to be lazy. It pays dividends.


This morning, my Clay app suggested I “reconnect” with a rather surprising email address: a long-defunct Google Group I setup for the Apple Stores in Kansas City to use as a social organization tool to plan group events, share news and info, or otherwise connect with our peers. When I left the store, the membership of the group stagnated and grew stale, as did its use (I didn’t know the new people to add to the group, and no one else seemed interested in maintaining the group).

Eleven years ago, two years after the group’s creation, it stopped being used. Until today, I had forgotten it existed (honestly, when I got the notification today, I assumed it had been shut down by Google). I was surprised to discover that it’s still out there, sitting dormant (much like some of the friendships I made at Apple).

I look back fondly on those years as some of the most enjoyable of my life. The people I worked with remain some of the most dear to me. I wish life hadn’t dragged us so far apart, but I’m grateful I can remain connected with some of them in various ways.

Anyway, for those interested, the Clay app is a personal CRM I use that runs on my iPhone and Mac and connects with various social media accounts and emails to help me manage personal connections. I prefer it just for helping me remember birthdays and to be mindful of relationships that need rekindled. My ADHD means that a long-dormant friendship feels just as fresh as the day it started, so there are a lot of friendships needing rekindled. It has been really helpful in managing those relationships I sometimes forget need attention. I highly recommend it.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll find a long-forgotten group chat or relationship or two, as well.

Hold my peas

Last week, my wife decided to have an emergency appendectomy.

Okay, “decided” isn’t really the right word. And technically, the appendectomy was this week, but the whole ordeal started last week. It’s a long story, but that’s not what I’m here to tell you about today. Today’s story is about a circumstance that only occurred because she had surgery.

On Friday, two days after my wife got out of the hospital, I had a vasectomy performed. Knowing full well that we would both be unable to lift anything, sprint after children, or be generally capable of more than lounging for a couple days, we smartly stayed home and did nothing.

Shortly before dinner, my wife decided she wanted ice cream—in her words, as a “reward for doing nothing all day and taking a nap”—so we decided to go to Sonic for treats after dinner. We loaded up the toddler, my daughter, and ourselves into the car to go get her “reward”.

While waiting for our ice cream, my toddler declared, “I have to go potty.” My wife, chuckled at the timing and said, “You’ll have to hold it.”

As expected, my youngest would have none of it. “I’m going to potty my seat!” came the urgent reply from the backseat.

My wife and I shared a glance. “There are some trees over there.” She tilted her head toward the opposite edge of the parking lot. I reached into my shorts to remove the bag of peas cradling my business and handed them to her. I could only imagine how it would look if I crossed the parking lot escorting my toddler with one hand, the other holding my crotch. “Hold my peas,” I requested and climbed out of the driver’s seat.

(In hindsight, I should have said, “Hold my pee peas,” but I didn’t. If you want, you can pretend that I did, since it makes me sound funnier.)

I opened the back door of the car to let my barefoot, shirtless toddler—whose chest was covered in face paint depicting a snowman—climb down from the backseat. I couldn’t lift him for at least another day, so we walked hand-in-hand across the asphalt to the bushes. He did his business with the steadfast determination of a 3-year-old that has been told he should single-handedly water all the trees in the world. Meanwhile, I’m looking around to make sure we’re not being filmed and no one is calling the police.

Mission accomplished, we begin the steady trek back to the car. He climbs back into his seat and his sister buckles him back in. All the while, Autumn is struggling to breathe and holding her incisions as tight as she dares as silent laughter rolls over her. for a brief moment, I thought we might be returning to the hospital to have her surgical glue reapplied, but she managed to recover before that bill became necessary.

So, yeah… if you’d like to know how my June is going, I hope this provides some much needed clarification.

Canadian Hug, or Mama’s Maple Mounty Mix

A few weeks ago, I created another Jumprope explaining how to make a new cocktail. But, I only just found the time to sit down and actually post it here. So, if you are looking for a way to keep yourself warm during this frigid week we’re having in the Midwest, give this a try.

As always, follow me on Jumprope to see my other tutorials or go make your own!

Dirty Chocolate Nog: a holiday coffee drink recipe

It has been around 2 years since I first downloaded Jumprope, an app for iOS and Android that allows you to quickly and easily create how-to videos and share them with the world. After several discarded drafts, I finally found a setup I liked enough to complete one. I created this recipe on a whim the other day when experimenting with a cup of coffee. I liked how it turned out, so I decided this would be my inaugural post.

If you like the way this turned out, follow me on Jumprope to see more (hopefully, as soon as I can come up with some other ideas). Or make your own and get to sharing!

The emotional weight of Ted Lasso

My wife and I have watched much of the content on Apple TV+ since it launched, and have liked most of it. See was a bit far-fetched, but has such a fun concept that suspension of disbelief is pretty easy. Plus, the action sequences are incredibly choreographed. The Morning Show was also pretty great, if a little predictable at times. It wasn’t until Little Voice came out that I was really sucked in by a show on the service, thanks to the incredible music and ensemble of new and burgeoning talent.

But I was wholly unprepared for Ted Lasso.

For those that don’t remember, Ted Lasso was a character created for a series of NBC Sports promos in 2013 to advertise the Premier League coming to the network. The premise is that of a Kansas football coach (the American kind) getting hired to coach football (the rest-of-the-world kind) in England. Of course, he knows nothing of the sport and hilarity ensues. As soon as I heard they were making a show, I was sold. I didn’t care if it was going to be possible to make the show good or not. I just wanted to enjoy Jason Sudeikis playing a goofball on my TV. Worst case scenario, I’ll have a few laughs and the show will get canceled.

What I did not expect was a heartfelt, character-driven dramedy that takes the time to give all the major players (and several minor ones) their own story arc that showed growth and change for them all. What I did not expect was to hear inspirational quotes from a fictional coach that made me want to get out on that pitch and make him proud of me. What I did not expect was for numerous moments in the series to move me to tears.

Here’s the thing: I’m not afraid to feel things. I get choked up in the theater all the time. The hero moment at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy still gives me goosebumps and I have to get a speck of dirt out of my eye every time. I still get choked up when Gandalf and Boromir died in Fellowship of the Ring (SPOILERS). “I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I—” absolutely wrecked me and my wife had to console me while I bawled like a baby in the theater. So, it’s not surprising that a show manages to make me feel something. Catharsis is why I became an actor in college. It’s why I still care so deeply about quality storytelling. But all that aside, I started “Ted Lasso” expecting some fish-out-of-water oddball comedy and Sudeikis and Hunt snuck in and under my radar to deliver a heartwarming tale with the most optimistic, generous, and kind-hearted protagonist in a long time.

I just finished my first rewatch of the show on Monday night (the series’ first season wrapped up on Friday) and I found so much more to love the second time ’round. I really hope that the next season continues to build on the foundation they’ve started, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Roy Kent.

If you have Apple TV+ and you haven’t started it yet, you should. And if you don’t have Apple TV+, it’s worth a month (or free trial) just to watch this show. Please give it a viewing or three and, when you’re finished, be a goldfish.

Also, if you have Apple Music, you should totally check out the playlists from this show. They are both fantastic.

Music From 'Ted Lasso' Ted’s Locker Room Jams

So, if you’re looking for something to watch, want to rep KC, or just need a reminder that a show about hope doesn’t have to be satire, check it out. And until season 2:

Onward. Forward.


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