Posted by: NiTessine | August 8, 2009

WotC’s Releases Fan Site Kit to Widespread Ridicule

I am trying to find something to say about WotC’s fan site kit and its terms of use, but I’m drawing a blank. Everything has already been said, by other bloggers such as mxyzplk at Geek Related or d7 at The Seven-Sided Die, or by me in one of the previous instances they did something like this.

Their kit is a small collection of images, mostly of the covers of their products, and some very confusing terms of service. There’s a lot of suspicious content that I am unable to decipher, but it does appear to forbid you from posting modules and web applications on your fan site.

Which sorta makes sense. They’re the two things WotC has repeatedly screwed up with in recent times, so they wouldn’t want a freebie someone knocked off on their lunch break to make them look bad. That’s what their marketing and legal departments are for.

My memory fails as to how long ago this thing was first announced, but I am tempted to say late 2007, and no later than when the GSL came out in June 2008. Over a year in the works and this is the result. Hooray.

The nice thing about it all is that you don’t need to use it. The kit doesn’t contain anything special and certainly nothing worth the fear, uncertainty and doubt of their legalese.

It all just rubs me the wrong way philosophically. A major part of roleplaying games is the creation of your own material. That’s a significant part of their attraction and the thing that really sets roleplaying games apart from board games and computer games. This runs counter to that, and at the worst is a direct attack against the very core of the hobby, at the least yet another illustration that the market leader Does Not Get It.

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Responses

  1. It’s always interesting to me when WotC releases, well, anything. You can get an excellent feel for what is going on without having to fully investigate it yourself, just from the Network here. Once again, the only people that seem to be terribly upset, posting long rants and going on the attack are the old school grognards (especially, as always d7 and mxy) for whom this has no effect anyway. It’s just another chance to rant about the demons at WotC and express their limitless, tiring nerd rage. Looking over the content from the actual 4e blogs (the know, the ones that would actually be affected), I don’t see anyone complaining wildly about this.

    They’ve all been too busy enjoying the latest tool from D&DI, the rather great Monster Builder.

  2. Yeah, Points of Light loved it, too: http://daegames.blogspot.com/2009/08/wotc-fansite-kit.html


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