No more wizards

Too little, too late

trap gaming meta dnd

Last year, I read through a bunch of books published by Wizards of the Coast, and I wrote reviews about them which I scheduled to publish throughout 2023. I did this because I was reading the books in preparation for some 5e games. I've still got two 5th Edition games running as I write this blog post, and while one's nearing the end, the other is likely to last for several more months. On the whole, though, I'm migrating away from 5th Edition, and certainly away from Wizards of the Coast. The blog posts that I wrote about WotC material will continue to post until November 2023 as scheduled, and from then on I likely won't post about WotC's D&D directly. There may be collateral mentions of it in posts about Kobold Press's Tales of the Valiant system, or Pathfinder 2, or whatever else I write about, but I won't support Wizards of the Coast until they've demonstrated real change.

Down the drain

When Wizard of the Coast attacked its community in December 2022 until January 2023, it unsurprisingly drained most of the energy from its fanbase. I've heard this from several D&D content creators, so I don't think it's just me. When someone you're working with or supporting suddenly threatens you with taxation and maybe litigation, it takes a toll.

You don't earn trust just by not following through on a threat. On the contrary, it's abusive behaviour to threaten someone, and then to expect them to appreciate you for not going through with your threat.

At the time of writing, it's been several months since the attacks ended. It seems that Wizards of the Coast has done everything they intend to do to compensate for their anti-consumer, monopolistic threats. They changed the license of the SRD and promised (again) to never go back on their word, and I guess they expect everyone to believe them.

Whether they think they're telling the truth doesn't matter to me. Because I've lost interest.

Losing interest in something is different than holding a grudge, or from placing something on parole. It's an inactive state of mind. For instance, I'm not buying new Wizards of the Coast content currently because I don't trust the company. That's an active choice. But I'm not reading the books I already own because I've just lost interest.

I don't have a good reason for it. I have lots of reasons it shouldn't matter, in fact. WotC's actions, however vile and disappointing, haven't affected my books. They still contain all the great content I used to love.

For instance, I haven't even read the official Dragonlance book yet. I've been waiting for a Dragonlance release since 5e began. I've been playing homebrew Kinders in 5e for years. I devoured the indie releases Tasslehoff's Pouches of Everything and the Dragonlance Companion before my official book reached me by post. I made a half-hearted effort to poke through the official book, and I played one game of the Warriors of Krynn board game, and then put everything back in the box and put it on a shelf.

It's actually upsetting to me. I don't want WotC to affect my love of the Forgotten Realms or of Krynn, both of which I loved literally before WotC existed. I want to be able to go back to my 2nd Edition books and enjoy them. But right now, instead of reading Drizzt novels, I'd rather reread the Demon War saga. Instead of reading the new Dragonlance, I'd rather read about Golarion.

WotC's actions have, illogical though it may be, deflated my love for the D&D brand and anything adjacent to it. It's annoying, and I feel sabotaged by a company I was actively trying to support, in a delusional effort to reward positive post-4e behaviour. We're well past "once bitten, twice shy", so I'll likely never by another WotC product.

Luckily I happen to have the storage space right now, so I'll give it time and I know that eventually I'll be able to find enjoyment in past D&D materials that I already own. Gaming is a luxury and a hobby. It's not something you're supposed to work at, so I always follow my instincts and my interests unquestioningly when it comes to my hobby. 5th Edition may be dead to me, but I still eagerly look to Kobold Press for new Core Fantasy material, and of course there's always my ongoing interest in everything that Paizo puts out. There are lots of other aspects to the tabletop gaming hobby, too, so there's no shortage of inspiration. Wizards of the Coast, however, doesn't figure into it any more for me.

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