This page is a history of the various interesting things I point out in the blog. It’s listed in chronological order, though it starts with a list of Patreons I’m currently supporting.
First up—my friend and intellectual property lawyer, Robert Bodine, received a cease and desist letter from WotC regarding his One-Stop Stat Block for 5th Edition DND Template. And the message came from Marty Durham at Wizards (who is also a friend of mine). Robert posted the first part of—well—retort, I guess you can call it, on his blog. It’s a great read and gives all sorts of fascinating insights into perils and predations of intellectual property and games. I believe the second part is coming out on Monday, and the final part the Monday after that.
Second, it seems that WotC may have lifted parts of Jennell Jaquays’s Central Casting: Heroes of Legend, published by Task Force Games in 1989, for their “This is your Life Section” of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. Ms. Jaquays posted on her Facebook feed that she has “chatted with the designer, and they are mortified that this happened.” And is drafting a response to Wizards with a proposal for a reasonable solution to the alleged plagiarism. Compare and contrast the arguments for infringement with Robert’s arguments about intellectual property and games, and your mind‘ll be reeling.
Lastly, and on a more upbeat note, a Kickstarter for The Lost City of Gaxmoor for D&D 5e just dropped. This massive, sprawling, sandbox adventure is the brainchild of Ernie and Luke Gygax. So that’s worth checking out.
Robert Bodine has published the second part of his retort to Wizards of the Coast’s cease and desist letter. If you found the last one chunky, you may hit a wall with this one. It’s about spells and at times can seem just as endless and esoteric as an archmage’s spellbook. To be honest, I’m still digesting it, but if you have the time and inclination, it’s well worth the read. And watch out, he’s tackling the OGL this coming Monday. Expect him to dissect that wonderful and strange document to a state that will make your head spin. Here is my guess at a spoiler: that document only gives you permission to do things you could already do legally anyway. Of course, when I say legally, I mean the Platonic form of legality, not the real legality with money, corporations, and those pesky lawyers buzzing about.
The second Interesting thing I’ll point out is a little “gem” called, “The Implied Apocalypse of Dungeons & Dragons” over on the brain leakage blog. As a fella who is very happy that D&D and roleplaying games of their ilk have grown into a larger audience, I try not to look things with my Mr. Cynic hat, but I have to admit that this blog got my goat a little. Really, do you think that early D&D implies a post-apocalyptic setting? You weren’t aware that a considerable chunk of the authors who inspired D&D was struggling with the ramifications of the atomic threat and what might happen to the earth after? Did you not know that the Medieval period itself is, for all intents and purposes, was a post-apocalyptic setting? The fall of fucking Rome?
Okay, okay. I’ll settle down. Maybe I’m too hard on the guy. Perhaps just him name dropping Jeffro Johnson brought back the acid-dipped enema of that writer’s hugely masturbatory and deceptively titled Appendix N: The Literary History of Dungeons & Dragons. That fucking book.
Yeah, Jeffro, I read your book. I want my money back.
But maybe, I’m just feeling overly judgy this week. Just maybe. I’ll let you be the judge.