PDA

View Full Version : DDI Exclusives -4e-



Mauril Everleaf
2009-06-02, 05:02 AM
So I was just reading the newest Ampersand in Dragon magazine and this caught my attention:

This month, we kick off a new rollout of exclusive material for the Dungeons & Dragons game that you can only get as a D&D Insider subscriber. This exclusive material won't appear in any core rulebooks or supplements, but it will be totally official and ready to use if you're a D&D Insider subscriber. We start out with the revenant, a new player character race that I predict is going to be all the rage. The revenant is an undead creature who could have been of any other race in life but returns after death as a revenant with a new life and a new purpose. With a connection to the Raven Queen, vague memories of past lives, and some cool undead powers, the revenant provides great opportunities for roleplaying and new approaches to character death because for the revenant, death is only the beginning! Look for the revenant player character race on June 15, exclusively available to D&D Insiders.

It doesn't end there, however. We have more exclusive content on the way, including a new character class available only to D&D Insiders. Wait for it coming in September the original class designed for player characters who wanted to embrace the dark side of being a hero get ready for the assassin! Mike Mearls is putting the finishing touches on the design of this exciting new class (and the new power source it is associated with) even as I type this, and then it will go through the usual development and editing cycle before it shows up for every D&D Insider to use.

A race and a class, the revenant and the assassin. Exclusive material for your D&D game, available only to D&D Insider subscribers. And there's more to come! Watch this space and our usual news items and editorials for additional exclusive material announcements later this summer.

Now, I am all for Dragon and Dungeon publishing things that are not republished in "core" books. And I am very fine with WotC releasing extra content to their customers who pay extra for the privelage. But a class and a race that are exclusive to DDI subscribers just seems wrong to me. A feat or a class feature is one thing, as they are minor tweaks to a character, but an entire class and/or an entire race is a major tweak to a character.

Am I the only one who is a little bothered by this? I am loving 4e and DDI has been an excellent purchase, but this just doesn't sit well with me.

Hal
2009-06-02, 05:40 AM
On a strictly monetary level, it's not so bad.

Let's say you paid retail price for the PHB, $35. There's eight each of races and classes in that book, coming out to around $2.19 each.

If you subscribe to just once month of DDI, for the purpose of getting a singular race/class, they come out to ~$4 each ($8/month, one race and one class). So, that's running you about double the price. If all you're concerned with is the race and class, that's not good. If you're willing to take into account all the other material you get, it's a much better deal.

If it's more the principle that's bothering you . . . I'm having trouble coming up with precedents. Pay-per-view wrestling events?

Yuki Akuma
2009-06-02, 06:00 AM
If a player wants to use either of those options with a DM who doesn't have DDI... well, the player is going to have to give him the info, or miss out.

The information will be common knowledge in a few months. Nothing to worry about.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-06-02, 06:14 AM
So publishing classes and races in non-core sources you must pay for is wrong?

Riiiiight.

Kurald Galain
2009-06-02, 06:44 AM
I find the problem here is that legally speaking, you must keep a DDI subscription for as long as you want playing the character. Also, in the (unlikely) event that WOTC goes bankrupt or stops doing DDI, you can no longer use the character.

Of course, in practice it doesn't work that way because people will write down the necessary stuff on their character sheet anyway; but putting races in DDI only suffers from exactly those reasons why people hate DRM so much.

potatocubed
2009-06-02, 07:17 AM
This exclusive material won't appear in any core rulebooks or supplements, but it will be totally official and ready to use if you're a D&D Insider subscriber.

...unless your GM is not a subscriber, in which case you're probably SOL.

I mean, seriously... if a player came to your game and tried to tell you he was using powers he'd got from a source you couldn't see, would you let it slide? I sure as hell wouldn't.

Yuki Akuma
2009-06-02, 07:28 AM
...unless your GM is not a subscriber, in which case you're probably SOL.

I mean, seriously... if a player came to your game and tried to tell you he was using powers he'd got from a source you couldn't see, would you let it slide? I sure as hell wouldn't.

If he printed it off and gave me a copy? Sure.

Kurald Galain
2009-06-02, 07:48 AM
If he printed it off and gave me a copy? Sure.
While as a DM, I would have no problem with allowing the class in this way, I do believe that printing it and giving me a copy violates the DDI license.

Swordguy
2009-06-02, 08:00 AM
While as a DM, I would have no problem with allowing the class in this way, I do believe that printing it and giving me a copy violates the DDI license.

It does indeed - illegally distributing copyrighted material*. Now, granted, the WotC police aren't likely to come to your house and haul you away in chains for it, but it's extremely frustrating to be placed in a position where you have to break the law, or be forced to buy a service so your players (not even you) can use the service.

Frankly, the easiest solution for a DM who doesn't want to shell out for DDI (and doesn't want to break the law) is simply to ban DDI material wholesale, and I can certainly see people going that route.


*Under Fair Use, the player CAN print out the material, as long as it's a single copy for his/her own use, doesn't claim credit for it, and doesn't profit off of it. It's the moment he shows it to anyone else it becomes illegal (like recording an NFL game and showing it to your friends). This all assumes, of course, that the license agreement you sign doesn't include a clause where you voluntarily negate Fair Use. :smallfrown:

Tengu_temp
2009-06-02, 08:30 AM
Tricks like that only ensure me in my belief that there is nothing morally wrong in my alternate way of obtaining DND materials.

kjones
2009-06-02, 10:19 AM
So publishing classes and races in non-core sources you must pay for is wrong?

Riiiiight.

The difference between releasing new stuff in a sourcebook and releasing new stuff on DDI is that you can show the sourcebook to your DM. Legally, I don't think you're allowed access to DDI material unless you're a subscriber.

Oblig. link to The Right to Read (http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html).

ghost_warlock
2009-06-02, 10:39 AM
I read the article and mostly thought "meh." Neither the exclusive race nor class interest me much so I probably won't even tell my players about them. :smallwink:

This, however, caught my attention:

In July, the psion player character class debuts, complete and fully loaded in the D&D Character Builder so you can dive right in and start making psion characters for your next game session.
For me, how they handle this will make or break 4e.

Remember the last major WotC psionic supplement we saw for 3e? http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z257/kerisrain/other/XD.png

Optimystik
2009-06-02, 11:01 AM
Remember the last major WotC psionic supplement we saw for 3e? http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z257/kerisrain/other/XD.png

You mean Complete Psionic? That had some nice stuff, like Erudite, Lurk and Zerth Cenobite. They even made Soulknife useful (by turning it into Soulbow).

shadzar
2009-06-02, 12:03 PM
...unless your GM is not a subscriber, in which case you're probably SOL.

I mean, seriously... if a player came to your game and tried to tell you he was using powers he'd got from a source you couldn't see, would you let it slide? I sure as hell wouldn't.

No. One of the big problems with 4th edition philosophy is the "everything is core" = "everything is always allowed".

They tried to get rid of the idea of supplements and at one point even tried to say, and still imply, that a DM shouldn't say no to anything.

That is a failing of any game where the "judge" of the game cannot disallow things.

What makes it worse is like you say that people will now NEED a subscription to DDI, since all other material would have been later published in a book for people to buy if they want.

With "magazine"-only material it was the least likely to be allowed in many places wherein the DM and other people did not have access to that material due to being out of print. This will happen to DDI soon when they can figure out how to prevent you form getting issues of Dragon or Dungeon that you didn't pay for that month you were subscribed.

Crunch is the last thing you can have as an online-subscription service unless you want to see it not, and if rarely used.

Also as was mentioned you only have legal rights to use it under the EULA for as long as you are a subscribed since you were not given a physical product.

Also the material should be banned from the RPGA as RPGA is about fair advantage to every player, not just for DDI subscribers to play in an exclusive club.

The action of the people behind 4th edition are contradicting themselves at every turn.

They will have to make this material free for every person at RPGA events with printed out copies in order for it to be allowed there in a level and fair playing field for the players, and then that throws out the idea of being paid for, or even DDI exclusive material....:smallconfused:

Any DM still has the right to ban any material from their game. Even if everything is balanced a DM may not want warforged in their game so they aren't allowed. It goes for true core, and supplemental material alike for ANY and ALL DM/GM run games.

I have no idea what they are thinking with this other than to contradict themselves more and more and lose sight of their goals and focus on what they were trying to accomplish in the first place.

BlckDv
2009-06-02, 12:04 PM
Sorry, not buying the outrage here. One of the most popular selling points for The Dragon (with the definite article) way back in time was the introduction of all new material... especially classes, that were not in the books. In other words, content that you had to pay a subscription fee to get.

Cavalier, Paladin, Anti-paladin (ne Blackguard)... all of these and many many more first entered the D&D family via a magazine article. Then, as now, if you had a subscription and your DM didn't... you'd have to find some way to let him have the info or just not use it. And back in the late 1970's and early 1980's, don't tell me that most D&D players had a copy machine or hand scanner they had easy and free access to. They would either pay up to get the DM a copy (but him that issue, etc.) or let him read over their copy and up or down it.

While the fact that these new "exclusives" (and the D&D brand does not have a strong history of keeping "exclusive" material that way for long) are online may alter some of the specifics and nuances, in the end I just don't see it as being in any way different that subscription print exclusives from earlier years.

Cheers.

RTGoodman
2009-06-02, 12:05 PM
I read the article and mostly thought "meh." Neither the exclusive race nor class interest me much so I probably won't even tell my players about them. :smallwink:

That's kinda how I feel about it. The race isn't one that would see much use, I don't think, unless it had some ridiculously overpowered mechanics (like Oversized) that made people want it. The class (Assassin) is the same kinda thing - I mean, yeah non-subscribers might want it (so they could subscribe to get it), but it's not really something essential, I think, when we already have the Rogue and Avenger classes and numerous Assassin-related Paragon Paths, Multiclass-Only classes, feats, and so on. If they had decided to make, for instance, the Psion into a DDI-exlusive thing, yeah, I'd say that's not cool, but I think this is different.

(Also, if my subscription price is going up, I better be getting some good stuff in return. Full excerpts from future supplements AND web-exclusive stuff is fine by me.)

valadil
2009-06-02, 12:18 PM
Sorry, not buying the outrage here. One of the most popular selling points for The Dragon (with the definite article) way back in time was the introduction of all new material... especially classes, that were not in the books. In other words, content that you had to pay a subscription fee to get.


The difference is that you bought a tangible magazine that you would always have. To keep playing your character using DDI races and classes you'll either have to keep paying for DDI, violate the ToS, or print the material for yourself and hope that the DM doesn't mind you using a class that you got off the internet but can't show him the source material.

I almost bought a DDI account last week. Then I read about how the character tools are windows only and they used the newest .net framework ensuring that linux users couldn't run character tools in wine. I was thinking about setting up a VM just for character tools. Now WotC does stuff like this and I'm less inclined to give them money. I don't care that they're distributing material over DDI, it's the ToS that's psising me off.

Optimystik
2009-06-02, 12:26 PM
Sorry, not buying the outrage here. One of the most popular selling points for The Dragon (with the definite article) way back in time was the introduction of all new material... especially classes, that were not in the books. In other words, content that you had to pay a subscription fee to get.

The difference is that the DMCA doesn't apply to print media. You can show someone your Dragon magazine without breaking the law; not so with DDI. If your DM doesn't have a subscription, you're either a criminal or SOL.

shadzar
2009-06-02, 12:28 PM
Sorry, not buying the outrage here. One of the most popular selling points for The Dragon (with the definite article) way back in time was the introduction of all new material... especially classes, that were not in the books. In other words, content that you had to pay a subscription fee to get.

While Dragon was in printed form mailed to you or picked up physically in your hands form a store, you have the legal right to allow anybody to borrow your personal tangible property.

Now you have a subscription that does not even include permission to print within the e-files that make up Dragon, and you have no legal right to show this material to your DM or other people.

So with Dragon-exclusive material it is only good for those with DDI subscriptions.

So in the past it worked because you COULD SHARE your material, but now you may NOT share material from the DDI subscription.

So how exactly do you legally get your DM to agree to using some race/class/feat/power, that they legally cannot view? Turn your DM into a software pirate and have them start downloading material illegally?

Risk losing your own DDI account due to bringing this material to an RPGA event and sharing it with someone else like the DM of the event that does not have their own?

If I were to hear of a DDI subscriber bringing and sharing this material to an RPGA or any other event I would report them for account sharing to DDI. Not that I have a problem with them doing it, but in an attempt to fix the flawed system they have created with the DDI.

WotC created a system in which you are not allowed to share your gaming material anymore due in part to the medium it is presented in and the TOS for using that medium.

They give the user no real legal leg to stand on when using this material presented.

So if they were to bring back printed magazines or allow for the sharing of material then they go back to what Dragon was by how it worked. They will need to include the proper disclaimers on each page that is allowed to print and share, or place it in the EULA/TOS of DDI that the material can be shared, or print the articles themselves for people to buy.

WotC started a war over piracy with the PDF thing. Now will they uphold to their position or be wishy-washy on it?

What they do and how they do it, could really show their interest in protecting their rights with the material versus someone else claiming it as undefended right and it be deemed public domain.

I would be all for D&D to be public domain, so I will be watching closely their actions regarding this exclusive DDI content.

ghost_warlock
2009-06-02, 12:31 PM
You mean Complete Psionic? That had some nice stuff, like Erudite, Lurk and Zerth Cenobite. They even made Soulknife useful (by turning it into Soulbow).
I was talking more about the horrible fluff abomination that is the Divine Mind, the complete waste of space in the form of numerous racial feats that are just "you can use X psi-like ability 3/day rather than 1/day," the discontinuity of illithid life cycle (not to mention poor editing on the PrC based on it), a wilder PrC that's actually easier for psions to enter, lack of clarification on power(s) that needed it (e.g., thicken skin), nerfs disguised as buffs (e.g., ectopic form feats), powers that cause negative levels that last for a single round, the "guy with the lightsaber"...okay I'm going to stop there.

The book had a few salvageable things I liked, I'll admit, but I'm honestly surprised Bruce signed his name to the thing.


While the fact that these new "exclusives" (and the D&D brand does not have a strong history of keeping "exclusive" material that way for long) are online may alter some of the specifics and nuances, in the end I just don't see it as being in any way different that subscription print exclusives from earlier years.

"Exclusive" just means "here it is, don't expect us to ever mention it again."

CheshireCatAW
2009-06-02, 12:51 PM
Originally Posted by BlckDv
Sorry, not buying the outrage here. One of the most popular selling points for The Dragon (with the definite article) way back in time was the introduction of all new material... especially classes, that were not in the books. In other words, content that you had to pay a subscription fee to get.


The problem here is some people just don't like breaking the law. It actually bothers them. I won't lie, it doesn't bother me to print stuff like that out (if I were to use it, which I probably wont) and share it with my group of friends. However, I'm in the wrong here, and the way I react to doing things like that should not be considered the way all people should react to it. They should especially not be looked down upon just because they feel morally challenged when using such things.

Edit: A second problem, I suppose, would simply be people who are not familiar with the EULA of DDi; They think that they're playing legally, and thus do not understand why people are unhappy. Even though you use the product in a fashion that, intuitively, seems like the intended purpose, you are still illegally using the product and as it is your responsibility to read every document that you agree to, are just as guilty as the guy who downloaded it from some pirate site. Fun catch, eh?

valadil
2009-06-02, 01:06 PM
The problem here is some people just don't like breaking the law. It actually bothers them. I won't lie, it doesn't bother me to print stuff like that out (if I were to use it, which I probably wont) and share it with my group of friends. However, I'm in the wrong here, and the way I react to doing things like that should not be considered the way all people should react to it. They should especially not be looked down upon just because they feel morally challenged when using such things.

Right. See, I don't mind breaking the law. But I don't want to pay for a product that requires me to break the law if I'm to use it properly. At that point I might as well just circumvent DDI entirely and download the content from elsewhere. I'm sure someone else will put it online as soon as it's released anyway.

Shular
2009-06-02, 01:26 PM
Hmm. What about the character generator? Any character you make with it will have the exclusive class/racial abilities. feats, and powers. You then have the option of printing that character, complete with the power cards, which contain the information.

I don't believe there are any restrictions about showing the character sheet and power cards, and in fact, since dragon material is legal in RPGA, that would be how one must present their character.

In other words, the character generator is the tool which allows you to bring exclusive material to the table.

That being said, there is still something that bothers me, though I can't put my finger on it. I feel like they're turning D&D into a version of the Magic CCG (or other collectable card games) where the haves can stack their decks, and the have nots must play with their starter decks.

Optimystik
2009-06-02, 01:32 PM
If I were to hear of a DDI subscriber bringing and sharing this material to an RPGA or any other event I would report them for account sharing to DDI. Not that I have a problem with them doing it, but in an attempt to fix the flawed system they have created with the DDI.

That's not how you get them to fix it. If you want them to fix DDI, EVERYONE should print it and take it with them.That would convince them that their system is a failure, just like the RIAA were convinced to let iTunes remove DRM from the files in their store.


I was talking more about the horrible fluff abomination that is the Divine Mind, the complete waste of space in the form of numerous racial feats that are just "you can use X psi-like ability 3/day rather than 1/day," the discontinuity of illithid life cycle (not to mention poor editing on the PrC based on it), a wilder PrC that's actually easier for psions to enter, lack of clarification on power(s) that needed it (e.g., thicken skin), nerfs disguised as buffs (e.g., ectopic form feats), powers that cause negative levels that last for a single round, the "guy with the lightsaber"...okay I'm going to stop there.

YMMV. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YourMileageMayVary) I loved Divine Mind and the mantles. I assume the wilder PrC you're referring to is Anarchic Initiate; the book explicitly says psions can pick it up too, but I don't consider blowing a feat to get access to a requirement that wilders get for free to be "easier." And it had nice and flavorful psionic items like the plasma skins. Sure, it wasn't the best "Complete" on the market, but it did well at its job... imo, of course.

Limos
2009-06-02, 01:38 PM
I see why everyone is pissed but I still don't quite understand this "don't like to break the law" business you keep talking about. It's a crummy little magazine article with some crunch that any half decent homebrewer could crank out in a few minutes.

I guess I'm not exactly a good source on issues of morality as I actually am a software pirate and thus have already trampled my conscience into little bloody smears.

Optimystik
2009-06-02, 01:44 PM
I'll support a business model that isn't idiotic. For example, I'm a Pandora One subscriber; not because the ads bothered me, but because I valued the service so much that I felt they deserved my money. The increased sound quality and skips are perks as far as I'm concerned.

When corporations attempt to bludgeon me into fitting their revenue model, however (I'm looking at you Zunepass) then that's when I dig my heels in.

kamuishirou
2009-06-02, 01:54 PM
Tricks like that only ensure me in my belief that there is nothing morally wrong in my alternate way of obtaining DND materials.

I love DDI! And the fact that you need something to tell you that there is nothing morally wrong with obtaining your D&D material...well, I see something wrong with that.

I will admit, I miss my paper Dragon and Dungeon, but they've really shown me what they can do and have impressed me. I'm ok with supporting my habit with DDI. I get a lot more than I did with Everquest or WoW. The Character Builder alone is worth the money to me and getting Dungeon and Dragon every month is just icing.

Of course, this is all just my opinion.

edit: Sorry, I'll get back on topic with the thread.

I've noticed many people mention that WoTC has published that the DM should always say yes. I must have to admit I disagree with that and it's the DM's world and his rules. He doesn't have to accept everything nor follow everything to the 'T'.

My current DM runs the world the way he sees it. I don't agree with him on some things, he still likes to make treasure random, even though the new rules state to give items your players can use. While this does frustrate me a little bit, I'm ok with it. (We've fought Hobgoblins numerous times and I've gotten three magical flails with no one using the flail in the party.)

The world is up to the DM and whether anyone says you have to say yes to something is ridiculous.

It's a game and we all have our own house rules, whether it's for Magic or Monopoly.

ghost_warlock
2009-06-02, 02:20 PM
YMMV. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YourMileageMayVary) I loved Divine Mind and the mantles. I assume the wilder PrC you're referring to is Anarchic Initiate; the book explicitly says psions can pick it up too, but I don't consider blowing a feat to get access to a requirement that wilders get for free to be "easier." And it had nice and flavorful psionic items like the plasma skins. Sure, it wasn't the best "Complete" on the market, but it did well at its job... imo, of course.

Divine Mind mechanics are fine, I don't have a problem with those. Mantles are okay, if a bit stringent on high-level powers (like two of them have a 9th-level power). The fluff for Divine Mind is atrocious, though. Deities granting psionic powers is Grade-A B.S. Psionics are about self-actualization, self-expression, and mastering one's own innate power; not servitude and piety. Psionic power shouldn't be granted by a deity in response to prayer - that's a divine spell slot - psionics are unlocked though self-discovery and reaching towards one's own full potential. A psionics supplement should not have a page wasted to listing every major deity from three different settings. The 'divine power source' has enough material devoted to it in 3e that it shouldn't need to bleed into a psionics supplement.

As for the Anarchic Initiate, what level does a wilder have to be to have 8 ranks in a cross-class skill? Honestly, a psion picking up Overchannel is more natural and commonplace than a wilder jumping through hoops to pick up 8 ranks in Knowledge (the planes). I suppose, either way, it's a problem solved by a single feat, but it still just seems wrong to me.

If you like CP, that's fine, but it's virtually a "wall-banger" for many of us.

On Topic: I honestly don't see what's different about this DDI "exclusive content" compared to the Dragon & Dungeon magazines; considering all but the first three of each have essentially been 'exclusive' content. If someone's downloading recent Dragon or Dungeon magazines they're doing so illegally if they aren't DDI subscribers.

Tiki Snakes
2009-06-02, 02:33 PM
Not to mention a good number of the upcoming 'insider exclusives' are just early-but-finished stuff from next year's PHB3?

shadzar
2009-06-02, 03:03 PM
Hmm. What about the character generator? Any character you make with it will have the exclusive class/racial abilities. feats, and powers. You then have the option of printing that character, complete with the power cards, which contain the information.

As long as the info from CB is included in the free demo version you are OK, but when you print something from CB that is only in Dragon, technically you are violating the law and TOS.

Likewise when you print something form CB and give info to anyone who doesn't own a book like Arcane Power, you are breaking the law and violating the TOS, because you are showing them material they should not otherwise have access to and "sharing" you DDI account with them which is against the TOS of DDI. You are not allowed to share the info, unless the sheets states "reproduction is allowed for personal use" on them.

Which if found out could cost you acces to DDI.

Likewise when you are no logner a subscriber you have no right to continue using the CB and are supposed to delete it.

That is the law of it all.

That is the reason many people want a piece of software they can buy and own, not to rent. Then you can legally continue to use it after your DDI subscription is terminated and you just cannot legally update/patch it anymore.

They are truly trying to do the MMO thing where your use is illegal after you aren't giving them any money, meaning to continue use is akin to hacking sicne you are refusing to delete the product, even though they did not place a timer in the product.

Lorraine Williams tactics anyone? Even if they don't enforce those parts of the TOS, then you are still breaking them, and they CAN enforce them at a later date, once they have collected enough names to prosecute, or just terminate the accounts via some form of watermark like on the former PDFs.

You had better really know and trust the person you are haring material with from ANY portion of the DDI "suite".


That's not how you get them to fix it. If you want them to fix DDI, EVERYONE should print it and take it with them.That would convince them that their system is a failure, just like the RIAA were convinced to let iTunes remove DRM from the files in their store.

True. So for GenCon every person attending should come with printed copies of the Dragon and Dungeon content that is only for DDI subscribers and share it around, and then WotC will either have to ban the content, declare it not-core, or allow sharing of DDI content, which will invalidate DDI-exclusive content due to the distribution method/media they chose as an incorrect one for the product they are trying to deliver.


I see why everyone is pissed but I still don't quite understand this "don't like to break the law" business you keep talking about. It's a crummy little magazine article with some crunch that any half decent homebrewer could crank out in a few minutes.

I guess I'm not exactly a good source on issues of morality as I actually am a software pirate and thus have already trampled my conscience into little bloody smears.

Say Character Builder starts watermarking the printouts with your forum name, or some other identifying mark.

Having a CB printout without this would be illegal. So removing it would mean anyone in possession of unmarked printouts form CB would be in possession of illegal and pirated material.

Multipe people have printouts, but they all share the same watermark, meaning they came formt he same source, a single user. Well these people have legal copies of this printed out material, but are NOT the legal allowed users of it, so again the people in possession have pirated copies. Also in this case the user in which the watermark represents is in violation of TOS, and responsible for distributing illegal copies of the materail to others...again piracy.

All could face legal actions, and the kick in the gonads is the subscriber loses their DDI account for sharing data in violation of the TOS. Since this is a computer crime, that person could also lose access to use any computer, have their personal/business computers seized, and forbidden to even use the internet; all because of their piracy of the material in the printouts from Character Builder given to other people with Dragon-only-exclusive material in it.

:smalleek:

So that crummy little magazine has a whole lot of baggage with it and risk of using the product. Again why people want a product they buy, not rent, so they have more rights to it, including but not limited to: continued use after updating services no longer available, off-line use, ability to print material for personal use (including a DM printing out all his players sheets), etc ,etc ,etc.

WotC recent actions have left them not being very trusted in this manner due to punishing everyone with the loss of PDF sales because they think they can combat piracy.

They have created bad PR for these reasons, and some people are just looking out to make sure the little hobby they enjoy doesn't land them in jail from some knee-jerk company out to make every last penny it can while in its death throws. Including criminal actions against its own fans and the ones who were legally obtaining their products.

Smells like LW to me!

:smallfrown:

Gralamin
2009-06-02, 03:08 PM
May I recommend another answer to the problem? Each Year (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/242070000) They are planning on Publishing Dragon materials to a book. If the class and races appear in there, and the group buys the book, then there isn't any problems except waiting for the published compendium to come out, is there?

Swordguy
2009-06-02, 03:21 PM
May I recommend another answer to the problem? Each Year (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/242070000) They are planning on Publishing Dragon materials to a book. If the class and races appear in there, and the group buys the book, then there isn't any problems except waiting for the published compendium to come out, is there?

Your point doesn't really jive with what WotC is saying.

From the OP: "This exclusive material won't appear in any core rulebooks or supplements, but it will be totally official and ready to use if you're a D&D Insider subscriber."

So somebody's lying somewhere.

kc0bbq
2009-06-02, 03:26 PM
As long as the info from CB is included in the free demo version you are OK, but when you print something from CB that is only in Dragon, technically you are violating the law and TOS.You are only violating the law if you are not covered by any of the restrictions to copyright, such as fair use, which still exists no matter what people claim.

The ToS isn't as restrictive as that, and if it were it would be null and void. The lawyers who write it aren't going to be so blatant in crossing the boundaries of what they can claim. They may push them and force litigation to set precedents.

Copyright doesn't exactly work like you claim. It doesn't protect things from being seen in most cases, or copying or printing portions. They put the caveat that character sheets in the manual can be copied to let you know you are allowed, not to give you permission. Likewise you don't have to hide any character you print out from the character generator from every non-subscriber's eyes.

It just doesn't work like that.

magellan
2009-06-02, 03:28 PM
okey.... I am not 100% certain of this but somewhere in the 95% range. First time i heard about this particular aspect of DDI

First: ignoring TOS & EULAs is not breaking a law. It's breaking a contract. Those are 2 entirely different beasts.

Second: You can not copyright rules. You can copyright the text explaining the rule, but not the rule itself.

Example: while i could copyright the sentence "Roll a d20 and add your BAB" I could not copyright the principle of rolling d20s and adding a number to it and start demanding license fees from millions of gamers and thousands of game companies.

I obviously haven't read TOS and EULA of DDI, but i can't imagine this holding up in court. what is a consumer who cancels his subscription supposed to do? Forget anything he ever read there? Humans can't do that. Pay the subscription for the rest of his life to not break the contract? such a contract is illegal in most civilized nations.

Optimystik
2009-06-02, 03:30 PM
The fluff for Divine Mind is atrocious, though. Deities granting psionic powers is Grade-A B.S. Psionics are about self-actualization, self-expression, and mastering one's own innate power; not servitude and piety. Psionic power shouldn't be granted by a deity in response to prayer - that's a divine spell slot - psionics are unlocked though self-discovery and reaching towards one's own full potential.

I don't want to derail the thread, but I have to say; you misunderstood Divine Mind completely. Their powers are not "granted" or "prayed for" at all.

Divine Mind class description:


"While a cleric or paladin must make do with whatever powers and abilities a deity decides to provide, a divine mind chooses among the domains of his deity for the ability he most requires to accomplish his goals, whether they are divinely inspired or not."

In other words, his choice of deity influences his mental abilities, but it is not the source of them, as it is for a traditional divine class. Since Divine Minds are supposed to be the 'psionic paladin', that's really as far as they could get from deities while keeping the necessary religious flavor.

It sounds to me like you'd prefer the flavor of the Ardent, who uses mantles and domains but is secular to the point of being atheistic, and can even combine conflicting domains like Good and Evil simultaneously. But given that the Ardent is also in CP, your dislike for the supplement is still confusing to me. As I said before though, YMMV. :smallsmile:


As for the Anarchic Initiate, what level does a wilder have to be to have 8 ranks in a cross-class skill? Honestly, a psion picking up Overchannel is more natural and commonplace than a wilder jumping through hoops to pick up 8 ranks in Knowledge (the planes). I suppose, either way, it's a problem solved by a single feat, but it still just seems wrong to me.

I had actually forgotten the Knowledge requirement, but that's not much of a hoop; all you need is a feat like Education to make K:tP a class skill for Wilders. That's no more difficult to get than it is for a Psion to grab Overchannel, so the PrC requirements are about equal for both. It also has 10/10 manifesting in addition to the other class features, so it's well worth it.


On Topic: I honestly don't see what's different about this DDI "exclusive content" compared to the Dragon & Dungeon magazines; considering all but the first three of each have essentially been 'exclusive' content. If someone's downloading recent Dragon or Dungeon magazines they're doing so illegally if they aren't DDI subscribers.

There shouldn't be, but since WotC is releasing it electronically, it's subject to the DMCA from the get-go. The fault isn't with WotC (or at least, not ONLY with them), the fault lies in the outdated laws that govern such transmission. Wizards has to pursue violators zealously or have weakened recourse in court if they ever have to defend the DDI copyright in earnest.

In short, the DMCA is to blame more than Wizards.

shadzar
2009-06-02, 04:02 PM
May I recommend another answer to the problem? Each Year (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/242070000) They are planning on Publishing Dragon materials to a book. If the class and races appear in there, and the group buys the book, then there isn't any problems except waiting for the published compendium to come out, is there?

Then it wouldn't be DDI-exclusive because it would appear in something other than DDI, and like everything else WotC has done, would be screwing over those people paying for DDI. DDI would lose its exclusive content, and it would just become first-run content.

If it is DDI only, then it must not appear in anything but DDI lest they plan on it no logner being DI only... :smallconfused:


You are only violating the law if you are not covered by any of the restrictions to copyright, such as fair use, which still exists no matter what people claim.

The ToS isn't as restrictive as that, and if it were it would be null and void. The lawyers who write it aren't going to be so blatant in crossing the boundaries of what they can claim. They may push them and force litigation to set precedents.

Copyright doesn't exactly work like you claim. It doesn't protect things from being seen in most cases, or copying or printing portions. They put the caveat that character sheets in the manual can be copied to let you know you are allowed, not to give you permission. Likewise you don't have to hide any character you print out from the character generator from every non-subscriber's eyes.

It just doesn't work like that.

Sadly WotC doesn't understand most of that even if we do, and that is where the problem lies. With most thin gs in EULA and TOS for software, you could easily agree to using it and give up your rights to fair-use in order to continue using the product.

If you then continue using the product after giving up fair-use rights then you are breaking the law as well risk discontinuation/termination of service rights....


okey.... I am not 100% certain of this but somewhere in the 95% range. First time i heard about this particular aspect of DDI

First: ignoring TOS & EULAs is not breaking a law. It's breaking a contract. Those are 2 entirely different beasts.

Also obtaining goods by false pretense and fraud are crimes. If you violated the TOS/EULA in order to commit fraud or obtaining goods by false pretense, I wouldn't put it past WotC to claim those grievances through loss of sales and income for grounds for the criminal charges.

When on person shared material in opposition to the TOS, they have potentially caused WotC the loss of sale of a new subscriber because that person no longer needs to subscribe. Such as the claims on the PDF debacle regarding PHBII.

It is something they can enforce stronger since you are dealing with electronic products versus personal tangible property products.

I don't trust WotC enough after recent events that I would get involved of the situation or even use their free CB demo.

People are just out right getting stupid with EULAs and such and this country (USA) is getting ridiculous with allowing it with no checks in place to protect consumers.

Remember you can spill coffee on yourself and sue McDonalds for selling hot coffee and getting burned and be awarded several million dollars for personal negligence and stupidity that you just blame on someone else, rather than taking responsibility for your own actions into your own hands.

That is all what laws are about now, placing blame on someone other than yourself for screwing up. :smallconfused:

kc0bbq
2009-06-02, 04:14 PM
Sadly WotC doesn't understand most of that even if we do, and that is where the problem lies. With most thin gs in EULA and TOS for software, you could easily agree to using it and give up your rights to fair-use in order to continue using the product.

If you then continue using the product after giving up fair-use rights then you are breaking the law as well risk discontinuation/termination of service rights....No, you do not. Just because a ToS exists and you sign it doesn't make it binding. It's also not a law, it's a contract.

All they can do if you violate a ToS is take away your access, but not your rights. You're confusing two things here.

Fair use is fair use is fair use. Well, in the US at least, other countries have other terms for the same thing.

Reverent-One
2009-06-02, 04:30 PM
So, in the interest of trying to clarify this, an open set of questions about what I can/can't do by TOS.

Assuming I am a DDI suscriber
1)Can I show DDI material I'm using to my DM, who is not a DDI subscriber, so that he knows I'm not making it up?
2) Can I let other non-DDI subscribers see the DDI content I'm using, say a feat I took from the dragon magazine?

If I let my subscription laspe can I..
3) Use feats/powers/classes from the online magazines that I downloaded as a subscriber and/or from the character builder?

shadzar
2009-06-02, 04:32 PM
No, you do not. Just because a ToS exists and you sign it doesn't make it binding. It's also not a law, it's a contract.

All they can do if you violate a ToS is take away your access, but not your rights. You're confusing two things here.

Fair use is fair use is fair use. Well, in the US at least, other countries have other terms for the same thing.

When you violate that contract for criminal purposes like fraudulent acces to DDI content via sharing either online or printed materials, you think that isn't breaking the law, and the suits at WotC, would come down on it?

Ask Emas about those character sheets and how far fair-use will get you.

Ask anyone selling GW products online, oh wait they don't have the rights to use personal images of their personal tangible property to sell GW products online, because it violates GW rights to the artistic attributes of both the miniatures and the packaging for you to use images of even the product you own and want to sell and took yourself with your own camera.

This country has lost its mind in lawsuit crazy hysteria, and D&D has been something big for lawsuits to revolve around, so I wouldn't trut WotC lawyers to not pull the wool over someones eyes and use some back-alley logistics to push a simple TOS violation into a criminal act.

Long ago Dragon offered to give away programs to people and let people make their own Character Builders, but now if you do it then WotC cannot because you are competing with them for a product you have no rights to, even if you give it away only to make character and not be enough to play the game or make use of the full products they sell.

0 CLS

Then think clearly on the way they have acted lately, and the words and actions taken in regards to the DDI, and just think how they would love another reason to put themselves in the spotlight of those dangerous customers that WotC must be protected from for stealing things from them as a good little game company that only wants to make people happy with fun games.

I am darn sure they would use any excuse and means to make more money right now especially with the things going on at HASBRO, like Cranium disolved and all employees layed off, hiring freeze, etc. They are trying to suck up as much money a possible and a TOS violation would be just another avenue for them to do so, while maintaining their copyrights by NOT allowing others to reproduce any material, even DDI-exclusive content, without express written permission to do so.

this is why so many still fight for "permission to print" to be in the Dragon and Dungeon articles and compilations for fear of prosecution by someone at Kinkos or something that thinks they are trying to print pirated material.

Also why the DDM stat cards all have that "permission to print" notice on them.

Why does one take it but the other doesn't? Because DDI is meant to be used online, not in print format.

What normally should be is not what to expect from WotC. Again I remind people of LW.

So, in the interest of trying to clarify this, an open set of questions about what I can/can't do by TOS.

Assuming I am a DDI suscriber
1)Can I show DDI material I'm using to my DM, who is not a DDI subscriber, so that he knows I'm not making it up?
2) Can I let other non-DDI subscribers see the DDI content I'm using, say a feat I took from the dragon magazine?

If I let my subscription laspe can I..
3) Use feats/powers/classes from the online magazines that I downloaded as a subscriber and/or from the character builder?

1 & 2
You are not allowed to share content or acces of your DDI subscription with ANYONE.

3
This one people are unsure of, but the EULA states you must discontinue use of the product when you are no longer a subscriber, so by the words you cannot use anything even printed material from the time you were a subscribed if/when your subscription lapses. Unless said material is also in the Demo for Character Builder which has a free to use all the time license. I think that ammounts to CB being able to be used for PHBI, PHBII, MMI, Manual of the Planes, FR something, and Dragon issues #364, 369, and 372 currently that is included in the demo version.

That is my guess. People on WotC forums have been asking these questions for months with little ot no answers provided.

Swordguy
2009-06-02, 04:33 PM
No, you do not. Just because a ToS exists and you sign it doesn't make it binding. It's also not a law, it's a contract.

All they can do if you violate a ToS is take away your access, but not your rights. You're confusing two things here.

Fair use is fair use is fair use. Well, in the US at least, other countries have other terms for the same thing.

All true, except that Fair Use includes NO rights to distribute. You can make copies for your own private use, but you can't show them to other people (like your DM).

Archival institutions are a specific exception, which is how libraries can operate. You are not an archival institution.

Fair Use does not help us in any way here.

kc0bbq
2009-06-02, 04:50 PM
All true, except that Fair Use includes NO rights to distribute. You can make copies for your own private use, but you can't show them to other people (like your DM).There are multiple points being made and some of my points aren't meant to be blanket points. People have been saying things about how if you end your subscription and you've printed things out you're somehow a criminal. But Fair Use isn't the only limit on copyright, there are other forces at work, too.

And Shadzar, it's not a criminal act. Stop saying that, it's not correct. Criminal copyright violation is an entirely different animal.

Nightson
2009-06-02, 05:08 PM
If you copy something and show it to your DM you are theoretically opening yourself up to civil action on WotC point. Of course WotC is never going to bring a suit for you, and even if they did they'd have a hell of a time getting it past a judge and jury, not to mention the amazing, amazing backlash it would cause.

shadzar
2009-06-02, 05:21 PM
And Shadzar, it's not a criminal act. Stop saying that, it's not correct. Criminal copyright violation is an entirely different animal.

Fraud is a criminal act and the events could be twisted to it. Do you deny this?

@Nightson: You mean like the PDF debacle backlash? WotC doesn't care about bad publicity as long a they are getting free publicity. :smallwink:

Asbestos
2009-06-02, 06:03 PM
If you copy something and show it to your DM you are theoretically opening yourself up to civil action on WotC point. Of course WotC is never going to bring a suit for you, and even if they did they'd have a hell of a time getting it past a judge and jury, not to mention the amazing, amazing backlash it would cause.

This, a thousand times this. Does the NFL really come after people that TiVo games? I don't think so.


Anyway, I seriously doubt that this 'exclusive' content is as exclusive as they say. The new race and class reek heavily of the much talked about 'Shadow' power source. Heck, they even say that this new class, the 'Assassin' (I hope they change the name) brings in a new power source. Well, if it isn't Martial, Arcane, or even Psionic (the monk already 'introduced' that) what do people think its going to be? I think the safe bet is on Shadow. Now, why does this matter about how exclusive it is or isn't? Because they've already re-printed 'exclusive' Dragon stuff in books (see the Illusion Wizard in Arcane Power, the upcoming Warforged stuff in Eberron, and the Minotaur on the cover of the PHB3) and the PHB4 will quite possibly have the Shadow power source in it. My bet is that the Revenant and the Assassin will both be part of that book. Of course this makes the 'Exclusive' DDI content somewhat less exclusive, but its still DDI only for months and months, so the people that really want it will have already spent money to see it and will probably be less ticked about its reprinting since they've had it for so long.

shadzar
2009-06-02, 06:22 PM
This, a thousand times this. Does the NFL really come after people that TiVo games? I don't think so.

Yeah but also it states any recording or public viewing is unlawful. So if you TiVo it and can take your TiVo to the bar to let people watch it somehow didn't see it before, like and VCR or DVD stored version, you would be in violation of federal law. 15 years and up to $250,000 per instance...that whole FBI wanring thing on programs also appears at the start of sporting events.

Then if it is pay-per-view it gets tricky since it is hard to say who paid what portion of the program and how much each was allowed to watch at once.

Recall someone was trying to get VCRs banned as well as DVD recording devices since their creation for violating copyright as their intended purpose.

Again, WotC isn't afraid of backlash because they have nothing to lose. Everyone there today will probably be laid off in the next 3 years and replaced anyway. Shareholders only care about the current quarter dividends. Anything that gets the product name out to more people to spend a little bit of money on is a good thing to them.

WotC plays the celebrity card and wears it like a bad suit.

Tiki Snakes
2009-06-02, 06:35 PM
The Scary Wizards will NOT chase down people for looking at DnD insider matirial without having paid the subscription. You know it, I know it. It wouldn't even begin to serve their purposes.

It would hurt DnD as a brand, it would hurt DnD insider as a service. People using subscriber stuff in normal games, such as the shiny character builder and the exclusive and/or collected information is really, really good promotion for DnD insider.

If no-one is using it, how will anyone know there IS exclusive matirial?

The whole point behind the Exclusive content is to give people an incentive to keep subscribing. Sure, you can sign up, download all the magazines, and get your fix of dnd character buildups, then unsubscribe. Bully for you. No PHB3 pre-release stuff. No Assassin, no undead pc race, no dragon magazine 377, etc etc. Sure, you *could* cancel, but with the constant stream of genuinely good stuff....why would you?

I really don't see that people continuing to use the insider stuff during periods of laxed subscription is ever really going to be a major problem. Everyone I know personally who can afford to try insider is either now signed up for a year, or seriously considering doing so.

So, let's not play with straw wizards, eh? They may just catch fire, and then we've got flames. ;)

Asbestos
2009-06-02, 06:38 PM
Again, WotC isn't afraid of backlash because they have nothing to lose. Everyone there today will probably be laid off in the next 3 years and replaced anyway. Shareholders only care about the current quarter dividends. Anything that gets the product name out to more people to spend a little bit of money on is a good thing to them.

They have everything to lose if they start bringing lawsuits against players over such petty nonsense.

Tiki Snakes
2009-06-02, 06:39 PM
Again, WotC isn't afraid of backlash because they have nothing to lose. Everyone there today will probably be laid off in the next 3 years and replaced anyway.

Let's assume this is the case. (God knows. I certainly don't.)

They are going to need to start looking for a job in about two to two and a half years, then. Maybe sooner. Which is more likely to get them a job; Being part of a successful company with massive good-will in the industry and community, or being part of a rabidly litigious company that is allowing it's brands to stagnate and it's standing evaporate on account of you and your colleges are involved in a slash-and-burn sabotage mission?

Merely being likely to not hold onto your job forever does not mean you have no stake in the company. I'd have thought, anyway.

shadzar
2009-06-02, 07:20 PM
Let's assume this is the case. (God knows. I certainly don't.)

They are going to need to start looking for a job in about two to two and a half years, then. Maybe sooner. Which is more likely to get them a job; Being part of a successful company with massive good-will in the industry and community, or being part of a rabidly litigious company that is allowing it's brands to stagnate and it's standing evaporate on account of you and your colleges are involved in a slash-and-burn sabotage mission?

Merely being likely to not hold onto your job forever does not mean you have no stake in the company. I'd have thought, anyway.

What are the following people doing now?

Dave Noonan, Jonathan Tweet, Mike Lescault, Randy Beuhler

They were a part of the good-will company that is successful but were dumped from it as scapegoats for the things the company (Greg Leeds, Bill Slavecsik, Scott Rouse, Chris Youngs, etc) did. Likewise Gary Gygax faulted for TSR after he was thrown out by LW.

When you can prove working for WotC has done anything good for anyone, then I may be willing to think they have a future in gaming. Otherwise it was only those working for TSR that had gaming careers in their future. Names like:
Erik Mona
Tracy Hickman
Ed Greenwood
Rich Baker (his buddy Bill won't fire him.)
and those other people that made thier own company after leaving WotC-version of TSR.

Working for WotC is a death sentence for anyone wanting into gaming careers thanks to NDAs and giving up all rights to your creative works and not being able to use any of those ideas elsewhere, as wl probably a non-compete clause preventing you form working in another gaming company for a term, of X years that you are pretty much out of the gaming industry.

You think they would give customers any more respect than they give their own employees?

@Asbestos:

WotC has nothing to lose because Peter already sold it to HASBRO, and like Cranium, HASBRO could close the doors on WotC tomorrow. HASBRO loses nothing but potential competition. There are no shareholders of WotC stock, because WotC is no longer a publicly traded company.

HASBRO also doesn't get hit with any of the negative publicity by allowing WotC to operate semi on its own as a subsidiary and can use WotC as a shield against itself and bad publicity. "The subsidiary did this and that and we have now dissolved it and the product lines from them causing any more harm to consumers." I can hear HASBRO saying that.

WotC has already lost it all with the exception of minor control to meet revenue demands. WotC is already sitting on thin ice as a company and the best thing for a profit turn around would be dumping D&D and anything else outside of Star Wars and Magic the Gathering that costs less to make and gets higher revenue from.

The players of D&D are of little concern to the HASBRO lawyers. You give them money they will be smiling at you until they have it, after that you mean squat!

That is the whole problem with the DDI exclusives. How do you know what you are really getting for your money when they refuse to even say what level of support it will be other than the recent "all Dragon material is core" from Bill in a previous & article?

What level of confidence can you place in them that cannot even get their systems and websites running to think they wouldn't continue to blame the users for the systems faults?

WotC_Cort gonna insult more tech-savvy people again telling everyone they are dumb and don't know how a database works?

WotC_Trevor still giving little to no answer to questions until after the fact and things have broken so people cannot help fix problems before they occur?

"Insider" to me sounds like another term for sucker as far as WotC is concerned.

What have they done to instill trust in you that you blindly accept this exclusive material without any reservations of current/future failure to deliver quality balanced material?

Tiki Snakes
2009-06-02, 07:37 PM
If new matirial drys up, I unsubscribe. They lose more than me. *shrug*
So far, they've had a steady stream of quality stuff, including half a class from a book that isn't even out till next year.

They seem to have listened to the problems with 3.5, got their act together as a creative team, and are to the best of my perception listening to what people are saying as they develop, including rigorous and sometimes even open playtesting.

Also, they've shown time and again that they are actively working on most of the matirial that is scheduled to be released over the next calender year, and to top it off, apparently have a whole heap of stuff coming out over that calender year.

Sure, nothings free in this world. But so far, they seem to be running the whole 4th ed project pretty well, and with a refreshingly 'good faith' feel to it all.

I really don't understand what you mean by 'what level of support you'll be getting', to be honest. It's been a long day, I'm going to pass on that issue.
I also really don't see this whole 'best idea would be to dump DnD' thing. It seems to be doing pretty damn well in the real world, if they're not managing to make money out of it, then, well, I'd be staggered frankly. I doubt you honestly expect to see WOTC drop Dungeons and Dragons anytime soon. Ditto Hasbro and WOTC.

So, I guess MY question would be, what exactly have they done that's got you all fired up like this? Perhaps its the exhaustion flavouring my perception, or the ungodly (for the uk) heat, but you do rather seem to have a personal grudge going on with Wizards. That's a lot of aggression you have there.

shadzar
2009-06-02, 08:34 PM
So, I guess MY question would be, what exactly have they done that's got you all fired up like this? Perhaps its the exhaustion flavouring my perception, or the ungodly (for the uk) heat, but you do rather seem to have a personal grudge going on with Wizards. That's a lot of aggression you have there.

For one, one of the developers coming on their forums and pretty much saying that nobody on the WotC forums knows anything about programming or databases. Flat out insulted the customers, on top of the mountain of lies they spew forth, and on top of that my general dislike of Bill Slavecsik; and the fact that someone like him is in charge of R&D and doesn't get the R(esearch) part of it. (You know the guy who wanted to kill D&D with his[and Rich Baker's] space version called Alternity.)

I have no like for any company that treats its customers like waste products or a commodity to be used once and thrown away such as was done with 3nd edition players, and including 3.x players (please note I do not even like 3.x).

I just don't like people who treat other people like trash just for money. :smallfurious:

Especially when they are smiling at you in the face and feeling around for your wallet the whole time.

It disgusts me that they control the D&D game, more than when LW was in control over it. At least she was honest about not liking gamers, and stayed prety much out of it and let some decent things be made in the process against her own wishes. WotC on the other hand is just using the customers and D&D to make a quick buck and throw them all away with deceitful, unethical, and fraudulent business practices.

Reverent-One
2009-06-02, 08:59 PM
For one, one of the developers coming on their forums and pretty much saying that nobody on the WotC forums knows anything about programming or databases.

You've mentioned this a couple of times, and I'm curious about it and don't hang out on the official forums much, when exactly did this happen, and do you have a link to the thread?

shadzar
2009-06-02, 09:27 PM
You've mentioned this a couple of times, and I'm curious about it and don't hang out on the official forums much, when exactly did this happen, and do you have a link to the thread?

I would gues it was starting here (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=16637264#post16637264) and went downhill from there.

The intent may have been they "cannot discuss the methods used in DDI", but each time came across as "you don't know what you are talking about."


the sorts need to be "smarter" than that (i.e. they need to do things like understand the heirarchy of powers, which is not a simple alphabetical thing).

Sorting is simple when adding new sort fields for one mistake there.

I was glad to be gone (read banned for saying someone in Spain didn't understand the order of Magic card sets released in NA because they were not the same as in Spain. This was when there were still non-American mods and thus I was banned for putting down another nationality. :smallconfused:) prior to that thread, or I would have had a few choice words for that developer in charge of Rules Compendium.

Reverent-One
2009-06-02, 09:44 PM
I would gues it was starting here (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=16637264#post16637264) and went downhill from there.

The intent may have been they "cannot discuss the methods used in DDI", but each time came across as "you don't know what you are talking about."



Sorting is simple when adding new sort fields for one mistake there.

I was glad to be gone (read banned for saying someone in Spain didn't understand the order of Magic card sets released in NA because they were not the same as in Spain. This was when there were still non-American mods and thus I was banned for putting down another nationality. :smallconfused:) prior to that thread, or I would have had a few choice words for that developer in charge of Rules Compendium.

Seriously? You're getting all riled up over that? There was none of the snubbing of other people you mentioned, he even says that he'll generally look over other people's posts. Sure he says there's a lot of stuff "under the hood" as it were that he can't talk about, but that's to be expected. And it's true. People outside the company can't know the exact requirements employer's have for their tech's work, and all sorts of other variables that affect their options. It's not a insult, it's a fact of life.

shadzar
2009-06-02, 09:58 PM
Seriously? You're getting all riled up over that? There was none of the snubbing of other people you mentioned, he even says that he'll generally look over other people's posts. Sure he says there's a lot of stuff "under the hood" as it were that he can't talk about, but that's to be expected. And it's true. People outside the company can't know the exact requirements employer's have for their tech's work, and all sorts of other variables that affect their options. It's not a insult, it's a fact of life.

That was the only thread that still exists to my knowledge. WotC_Cort no longer posts on the WotC forums, and rarely does Dieder Moner(sp) aka WotC_DM. The only one seeming to post over there these days is the new Community liaison (replacing Mike something (from the MtG forums) that replaced, Jenifer page, that replaced Mike Lescault) WotC_Trevor...Trevor Kidd I think.

You would have to search through the vitriol on both sides to find the WotC people attitudes that should have ben defusing the initial situation rather than aggravating it at the time when many were already taken aback by the events surrounding DDI when it started and lack of communication that carried over from GamerZer0's tenure as Community Manager.

The old threads I may have been a part of are probably in the locked forum that used to be "Concerns & Criticisms".

But if they were looking for feedback, you don't slap the person in the face for offering it and for help like was done in that post, and act like people on forums don't know how to use computers. Scott Rouse never (that I have seen) has insulted someone on a forum personally or insulted their intelligence by assuming they know nothing about his job classification.

Many diverse types of people play D&D, so odds are there is someone out there that does what any of those WotC employees do.

Just not something I approve of from those supposedly carrying the torch for D&D. :yuk: The LW/Blume years were bad enough to see them happen all over again, even if I don't like the product that WotC puts out calling it D&D. It and its creators deserve better, as do the customers.

Reverent-One
2009-06-02, 10:02 PM
But if they were looking for feedback, you don't slap the person in the face for offering it and for help like was done in that post, and act like people on forums don't know how to use computers.

But he didn't do either of those things! :smallconfused:

Colmarr
2009-06-02, 11:03 PM
So in the past it worked because you COULD SHARE your material, but now you may NOT share material from the DDI subscription.

I'm curious about this. I am a lawyer (though not a specialist in copyright by any means) and my understanding of Australian law is that it is not legal to "share" printed material with someone else, particularly if that "sharing" involves copying*.

Before you (all) go up in arms about this, are you sure about your understanding of past copyright law ("how things were") and the DDI user licence/agreement ("how things are")?

It seems to me that nothing has really changed.

*There are some exceptions, particularly involving research material and proper citing of source material.

EDIT: It seems that others have raised similar questions, and made similar points. Sorry for any duplication.

shadzar
2009-06-02, 11:13 PM
I'm curious about this. I am a lawyer (though not a specialist in copyright by any means) and my understanding of Australian law is that it is not legal to "share" printed material with someone else, particularly if that "sharing" involves copying*.

Before you all go up in arms about this, are you sure about your understanding of past copyright law ("how things were") and the DDI user licence/agreement ("how things are")?

*There are some exceptions, particularly involving research material and proper citing of source material.

No. I mean when you opened your mailbox and found a copy of Dragon in the plastic bag, you could hand it to a friend and say "Here read this article on Tucker's Kobolds!". You share it with them even though they paid nothing. Fair-use didn't play into it because of personal property rights. Not copying out pages for others.

But with DDI version of Dragon, you are not given permission to transfer any rights to even view the material as you do not physically own it and have no personal tangible property that you can hand to someone else.

The thing with the REAL magazine was that you would be deprived of it, even for only a short amount of time, while the other person was sharing it.

Are you saying in Australia you cannot loan a mate a magazine/book to read? :smallconfused: :smalleek:

Colmarr
2009-06-02, 11:27 PM
No. I mean when you opened your mailbox and found a copy of Dragon in the plastic bag, you could hand it to a friend and say "Here read this article on Tucker's Kobolds!".

This is exactly my point. Could you?

A lot of the objections to DDI seem to be based on the assertion that you could, but I've never (in this or other arguments concerning copyright) seen any real authoritive statement on the issue.


Are you saying in Australia you cannot loan a mate a magazine/book to read? :smallconfused: :smalleek:

Like I said, I'm not a copyright specialist, so I don't know. I think the answer is yes, but that depends entirely on what "publish" means in the Australian Copyright Act. I'm not about to launch into that research for the purposes of this thread :smallsmile:

Suffice to say that it's not unarguable that showing a written work to another person constitutes publishing that work. If that's right, then "sharing" Dragon would have been a breach of the Copyright Act.

Lamech
2009-06-02, 11:33 PM
No. I mean when you opened your mailbox and found a copy of Dragon in the plastic bag, you could hand it to a friend and say "Here read this article on Tucker's Kobolds!". You share it with them even though they paid nothing. Fair-use didn't play into it because of personal property rights. Not copying out pages for others.

But with DDI version of Dragon, you are not given permission to transfer any rights to even view the material as you do not physically own it and have no personal tangible property that you can hand to someone else. Not a physical object? What? I thought all "electronic" information was stored on a disk using configurations of electrons (or maybe protons and neutrons)... you know a type of physical matter. Why wouldn't it be just like a book? Its matter just like a book. At least they shouldn't be treated differently.

shadzar
2009-06-02, 11:49 PM
This is exactly my point. Could you?

A lot of the objections to DDI seem to be based on the assertion that you could, but I've never (in this or other arguments concerning copyright) seen any real authoritive statement on the issue.

Like I said, I'm not a copyright specialist, so I don't know. I think the answer is yes, but that depends entirely on what "publish" means in the Australian Copyright Act. I'm not about to launch into that research for the purposes of this thread :smallsmile:

Suffice to say that it's not unarguable that showing a written work to another person constitutes publishing that work. If that's right, then "sharing" Dragon would have been a breach of the Copyright Act.

In the US you have rights to personal tangible property. One of those right is to loan something to someone else because you own it. You cannot reproduce it in terms of IP or patents, but you can share or loan your personal tangible property to someone else. Those are your rights to property.

I don't know how in the hell anyone can claim that loaning a book to someone else is considered publishing it as you created nothing in the process, nor do you claim yourself as the creator of said work.

I will never visit Australia for sure, and if ever forced to I won't ever ask to borrow a newspaper if that is the case.

I would rather get kicked by a roo than bother with stupid laws that say you cannot loan a book to someone because you are then publishing it. :smallconfused:


Not a physical object? What? I thought all "electronic" information was stored on a disk using configurations of electrons... you know a type of physical matter. Why wouldn't it be just like a book? Its matter just like a book. At least they shouldn't be treated differently.

As above with personal property you can, but the thing is you do not have any rights to what is stored on the disk or any rights to make it in the US other than as a backup.

It would be no different to upload a D&D PDf copy that was sold at RPGNow to Scribed (as the lawsuit is all about and the pulling of PDFs), than it would to mail out a copy of the same PDF to your friends. You are making a copy, wherein the physical magazine mailed to you is only one physical item.

That is the nuts and bolts of the piracy and copyright debate as it stands now.

So you do have permission to loan a book to someone else as while they are in possession of it you are deprived of it, and for both to make full use of it you would need to either make a copy and share it (dipping into copyright issues that may or may not be dealt with by the law), or you must both own the thing.

Take a hammer for example. You need it but loaned it to your neighbor, so you have to do without.

That is where the big difference in physical vs digital "property" comes into play.

With physical property you bought a physical thing you can do certain things with it that you are not allowed to do under that Digital protection act with digital media.

I can wipe my windows with an old Dragon and the cannot do anything about it. I can take it apart and place it under windshield wipers and may get charged with littering. I could not print out page X from DDI Dragon 374 and place it under windshield, because I had no right to make those copies.

So when you buy something you can put your hands on you can do certain things with it that the law protects your rights to do, including but not limited to letting someone else use it while you are not. Thus why you can sell your own personal tangible property, and you cannot legally sell your EverQuest/WoW/RuneQuest character.

The game second Life on the other hand takes the approach that you are the copyright holder of the thing you created in the digital world, and MAY sell it to other people and make as many copies as the game can allow to do so. But with EQ you could not sell your character or items to anyone else, because the dataset is the property of SCEA and you are only allowed to use it in compliance with the terms of use and while on their proprietary servers.

Lamech
2009-06-03, 12:11 AM
As above with personal property you can, but the thing is you do not have any rights to what is stored on the disk or any rights to make it in the US other than as a backup.How are they differant? "Stored on a disk"; how is that differant than "stored on a table" or "stored in a box"? I think that it is a bad law that makes a distinction between the two things. They are the same.


As above with personal property you can, but the thing is you do not have any rights to what is stored on the disk or any rights to make it in the US other than as a backup.

It would be no different to upload a D&D PDf copy that was sold at RPGNow to Scribed (as the lawsuit is all about and the pulling of PDFs), than it would to mail out a copy of the same PDF to your friends. You are making a copy, wherein the physical magazine mailed to you is only one physical item.Mailing out copies of a PDF would be making copies. That would violate copyright law if regardless of if you copied a book or computer file. I don't see the problem with that.


With physical property you bought a physical thing you can do certain things with it that you are not allowed to do under that Digital protection act with digital media.That makes no sense. Why are they differant? Thats a dumb law then. Why are we treating something differant just because it is smaller?



So when you buy something you can put your hands on you can do certain things with it that the law protects your rights to do, including but not limited to letting someone else use it while you are not. Thus why you can sell your own personal tangible property, and you cannot legally sell your EverQuest/WoW/RuneQuest character.

The game second Life on the other hand takes the approach that you are the copyright holder of the thing you created in the digital world, and MAY sell it to other people and make as many copies as the game can allow to do so. But with EQ you could not sell your character or items to anyone else, because the dataset is the property of SCEA and you are only allowed to use it in compliance with the terms of use and while on their proprietary servers. You don't have rights to a WoW character because they don't sell you it. They are a service provider, and you are using their servers and what not. Just like you are using your ISP's internet stuff to use stuff over the internet.

ghost_warlock
2009-06-03, 12:19 AM
In other words, his choice of deity influences his mental abilities, but it is not the source of them, as it is for a traditional divine class. Since Divine Minds are supposed to be the 'psionic paladin', that's really as far as they could get from deities while keeping the necessary religious flavor.

It sounds to me like you'd prefer the flavor of the Ardent, who uses mantles and domains but is secular to the point of being atheistic, and can even combine conflicting domains like Good and Evil simultaneously. But given that the Ardent is also in CP, your dislike for the supplement is still confusing to me. As I said before though, YMMV. :smallsmile:
That's just it, after reading through the ardent there's no reason whatsoever that the Divine Mind needs any connection with various deities, let alone an entire page given to listing associated mantles. Being a champion of a cause doesn't require association with a deity, hence organizations such as the ACLU, various other human-rights groups, and even PETA. For that matter, moral outrage is also independent of divine inspiration, a good example being the controversy surrounding the main topic of this thread. :smallwink: The divine connection is unneccesary and a waste of space in a psionic supplement; we didn't need a rehashing of information that's more appropriate to the Complete Divine or Complete Champion. The divine mind could have easily been fluffed philosophically like the ardent, called the 'champion' or 'mindknight,' and been done with it. The list of deities and associated mantles seems like it would fit better as an alternate version of the class for Complete Champion.


I had actually forgotten the Knowledge requirement, but that's not much of a hoop; all you need is a feat like Education to make K:tP a class skill for Wilders. That's no more difficult to get than it is for a Psion to grab Overchannel, so the PrC requirements are about equal for both. It also has 10/10 manifesting in addition to the other class features, so it's well worth it.
Yeah, just a feat cost either way. It's just strange since snagging overchannel as a psion is a fairly common practice whereas wilders have less feat slots to blow on a few skill ranks.


There shouldn't be, but since WotC is releasing it electronically, it's subject to the DMCA from the get-go. The fault isn't with WotC (or at least, not ONLY with them), the fault lies in the outdated laws that govern such transmission. Wizards has to pursue violators zealously or have weakened recourse in court if they ever have to defend the DDI copyright in earnest.

In short, the DMCA is to blame more than Wizards.
So basically the same rules apply to the magazines as apply to the revenant and assassin since they're all electronically distributed. The same questions whether a player can use a revenant when their DM isn't a subscriber apply to information from a Dragon magazine, since this information is only legally obtainable through the DDI contract.

The issue, here, is just people making a big deal out of the 'exclusive content' wording. All of the DDI content has always been 'exclusive,' meaning that only DDI subscribers have legal permission to download and use it. What WotC means by 'exclusive' for the revenant and assassin, however, is just that it won't appear in another publication (and probably won't get much, if any, support after it's been presented).

Asbestos
2009-06-03, 12:20 AM
Solution? Bring your computer to your gaming group or your gaming group to your computer. No copying is done, its just letting people read the material off of your screen.

Question:
If I print out my character sheet with DDI stuff on it... and someone else uses it (say I miss a game and someone fills in for me), have I violated copyright law? Does anyone care?

shadzar
2009-06-03, 12:27 AM
How are they differant? "Stored on a disk"; how is that differant than "stored on a table" or "stored in a box"? I think that it is a bad law that makes a distinction between the two things. They are the same.

Mailing out copies of a PDF would be making copies. That would violate copyright law if regardless of if you copied a book or computer file. I don't see the problem with that.

That makes no sense. Why are they differant? Thats a dumb law then. Why are we treating something differant just because it is smaller?


You don't have rights to a WoW character because they don't sell you it. They are a service provider, and you are using their servers and what not. Just like you are using your ISP's internet stuff to use stuff over the internet.

You cannot go and buy a CD with DDI on it. If you could then you could loan that CD to anyone like you could loan a real magazine.

When you make a CD to loan to someone you have made a copy without the permission of the copyright holder.

That is what piracy is. That is what hurt the RIAA because people said to hell with your prices we will just share it and stop buying your CDs. The RIAA then found a way to sell things for a price people wanted and they stopped illegally sharing the electrons.

If you loaned someone your hard drive it likely wouldn't work int heir computer for one, and for two it is still against the TOS to share your access with another person to the DDI. If they press it as some criminal act would be up to WotC to decide what to do about.


Solution? Bring your computer to your gaming group or your gaming group to your computer. No copying is done, its just letting people read the material off of your screen.

Question:
If I print out my character sheet with DDI stuff on it... and someone else uses it (say I miss a game and someone fills in for me), have I violated copyright law? Does anyone care?

As above it would violate the TOS to share your access to DDI material.

I didn't right the EULA or TOS for DDI, nor do I agree with it, just repeating what it and WotC officials have said that "no sharing is allowed".

Violated copyright law? Depends on the spin WotC puts on it, but they can spin some pretty good lies. You more than likely did violate the DDI TOS.

Does anyone care? There is no telling what WotC will do in this economy and the way that they are doing anything right now. I personally wouldn't trust anyone there to be able to tie their own shoes.

Lamech
2009-06-03, 12:36 AM
If you loaned someone your hard drive it likely wouldn't work int heir computer for one, and for two it is still against the TOS to share your access with another person to the DDI. If they press it as some criminal act would be up to WotC to decide what to do aboutAh, this is why we have juries to glare at people like that. I don't think the average person would give a guilty verdict. Also thats utterly silly I would never buy say a hammer if I had to put up with that. So no DDI for me or (if I ever DM) my players.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-06-03, 12:41 AM
Question:
If I print out my character sheet with DDI stuff on it... and someone else uses it (say I miss a game and someone fills in for me), have I violated copyright law? Does anyone care?
Arguably not, since you are (likely) not distributing your copy; if you left the printout on a bus and someone else took it and used it, you wouldn't have violated copyright law.

Naturally, judges are smart folks, so placing a big stack of print-outs in a public place and then "forgetting" to take them with you won't fly.

Not that anyone is going to notice, unless you make a big enough deal about it :smalltongue:

Oh, and to clarify - even making your personal printout violates copyright, unless the copyright holder explicitly gives you the right to make that copy; only Libraries have any right to make unauthorized copies (and even then, under tight restrictions). Of course, you can avail yourself of the Fair Use affirmative defense - and probably win - but it is still a violation.

Asbestos
2009-06-03, 12:46 AM
Oh, and to clarify - even making your personal printout violates copyright, unless the copyright holder explicitly gives you the right to make that copy; only Libraries have any right to make unauthorized copies (and even then, under tight restrictions). Of course, you can avail yourself of the Fair Use affirmative defense - and probably win - but it is still a violation.

So, to clarify... printing out my character sheet is a violation of copyright law. Again... who can honestly say that they have never violated copyright law? Seriously.


@Lamech: You not being a DDI subscriber, totally fine. If you have a player that pays for DDI and prints out a character sheet using material from it and then allows you to check over said character sheet for approval and THEN you disallow it, that's fine. But flat out telling people they can't use something that you haven't seen, that's a little extreme isn't it?

Colmarr
2009-06-03, 02:39 AM
In the US you have rights to personal tangible property. One of those right is to loan something to someone else because you own it. You cannot reproduce it in terms of IP or patents, but you can share or loan your personal tangible property to someone else. Those are your rights to property.

Same in Oz, but we're not talking about the book (which is tangible property), we're talking about the information in the book (which is intangible property).


I don't know how in the hell anyone can claim that loaning a book to someone else is considered publishing it as you created nothing in the process, nor do you claim yourself as the creator of said work.

Forget the book. The copyright doesn't exist in the book. It exists in the information in that book.

As for publishing, don't get tied up in knots about what a book publisher does. Publishing might be as simple as making information known and/or available. Like I said, it depends on the definition.*

If I knew (through legitimate and legal means) KFC's 11 secret herbs and spices and went down Main Street with a megaphone blurting them out to the world, it's pretty safe to say that I've just published that information and would be in serious trouble.

Sharing my copy of Dragon? Same principle, but obviously a different degree.

My point? Don't assume that you have the rights you think you do.


I will never visit Australia for sure

*Shrug* Your loss :smallbiggrin:

But all of that aside, you didn't actually address my original point; that I haven't seen any sort of authorative statement of the American law in that regard. I still haven't. That isn't necessarily isn't an indictment of you or other posters. I assume you're not American copyright lawyers. But it's a little irresponsible IMO to be making statements about what people can/can't/could/couldn't do without the requisite legal training.

* Although it's not directly relevant, I know for a fact from past research that the term "publication" under the New South Wales Defamation Act includes speaking to another person, so it's not completely impossible that "publish" might include showing someone a book.

Ninetail
2009-06-03, 03:01 AM
That is what piracy is. That is what hurt the RIAA because people said to hell with your prices we will just share it and stop buying your CDs. The RIAA then found a way to sell things for a price people wanted and they stopped illegally sharing the electrons.


Um... funny, I don't remember them stopping.

Some people are willing to steal things to get what they want. Generally these people are more willing to steal intangible property than tangible property, because they find it easier to justify as "not hurting anyone" or some such.



If you loaned someone your hard drive it likely wouldn't work int heir computer for one, and for two it is still against the TOS to share your access with another person to the DDI. If they press it as some criminal act would be up to WotC to decide what to do about.


Violation of the TOS does not constitute a criminal act. TOSs and EULAs are not laws. Furthermore, they may not even be civilly enforceable -- to the best of my knowledge, software EULAs have never been broadly tested in court. Software companies tend to prefer to prevent them from being tested in court, in fact.



I didn't right the EULA or TOS for DDI, nor do I agree with it, just repeating what it and WotC officials have said that "no sharing is allowed".


They can say the sky is plaid, but that doesn't make it so. While I'm not about to do a legal analysis of the DDI TOS/EULA, it is questionable to what extent such a provision could be enforced. (That doesn't mean it can't be, mind. A court could uphold the whole thing. But it could also reject the thing wholesale, and I suspect the truth is likely somewhere in the middle.)

Ninetail
2009-06-03, 03:10 AM
If I knew (through legitimate and legal means) KFC's 11 secret herbs and spices and went down Main Street with a megaphone blurting them out to the world, it's pretty safe to say that I've just published that information and would be in serious trouble.


Actually, you wouldn't be. That's not copyright, it's a trade secret. If you discover a trade secret through legitimate and legal means, you're free to share that information with whomever you wish, because it's not legally protected in any way.

Many recipes are trade secrets, not copyright. Coke's formulation, for instance.

Why would companies do this? Because copyright expires. If Coke had copyrighted its formula, it would now be in the public domain. Because Coke kept it a trade secret instead, Coke's competitors cannot exactly duplicate its formula.



My point? Don't assume that you have the rights you think you do.


He's pretty accurate on this point; the ability to lend a book is pretty well established in American case law. Although publishers are always trying to find ways around that.

Relatively recently, I recall some concern about an attempt to stamp media (DVDs, I think, though it might have been CDs, or maybe even books on tape) "For individual use only; not for lending libraries" or something similar. There was some concern that book publishers might take to printing similar statements within books, if that held up.

Right now, there's simply a disconnect between how physical and digital media are treated. Digital media is a new thing, and the law is slow to catch up. It'll work itself out eventually, but in the meantime it's a mess.

Waspinator
2009-06-03, 03:21 AM
Since I'm not a DDI subscriber, I have a question: I assume that the information is presented online, in web page format, and that you can print it? Then, as a side note, one nice alternative to having to remain a subscriber to retain access to older material you've already paid for is that there are any number of "print-to-PDF" programs out there that let you turn anything you can print into a PDF document of how the printed version would look.

Kurald Galain
2009-06-03, 04:35 AM
Many recipes are trade secrets, not copyright. Coke's formulation, for instance.

Why would companies do this? Because copyright expires. If Coke had copyrighted its formula, it would now be in the public domain. Because Coke kept it a trade secret instead, Coke's competitors cannot exactly duplicate its formula.
You're thinking of patents here, not copyright.

You do not choose to copyright something (that's a common misconception). You automatically own copyright over whatever things you write, paint or otherwise design. Copyright applies to texts and so forths. Patents apply to ideas, and mean you have to legally register the idea, and then nobody can use it for X years without your permission. But registering includes telling exactly what it is.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-06-03, 09:41 AM
So, to clarify... printing out my character sheet is a violation of copyright law. Again... who can honestly say that they have never violated copyright law? Seriously.
Such is life in the 21st Century :smallsigh:

Though, to be fair, the TOS agreement of DDI may allow for some copying of your Character Building sheet; I've never looked at it myself. But the default is "no copying."

Saying that the Copyright Act needs reform is a vast understatement.

shadzar
2009-06-03, 01:50 PM
Same in Oz, but we're not talking about the book (which is tangible property), we're talking about the information in the book (which is intangible property).

Forget the book. The copyright doesn't exist in the book. It exists in the information in that book.

Impossible. That was my whole point. When dragon came as a book the publisher had no control over who you lent that book to. That is the point.

Versus, now when you agree to not share the new Dragon with anyone as part of the user agreement and terms of service.

The book was the key to he comparison of the rights you had.

Book you can hold, you can give away or loan to someone in the past, digital acces and info you don'r have any permision to share or loan to anyone as per what you agreed to.

There was nothing in any previous magazine subscription I have ever seen that said you are not allowed to let anyone else read your magazine. I have never seen anything like that in any print product. That is the whole point that you CAN loan a book to someone. You aren't loaning them the words or making more of those words, you are handing over your collection of those words.

Yeah. I wouldn't mind visiting if you can bring the continent closer so I can travel by land because I don't fly and ain't taking no boat that far! :smallbiggrin:


Since I'm not a DDI subscriber, I have a question: I assume that the information is presented online, in web page format, and that you can print it? Then, as a side note, one nice alternative to having to remain a subscriber to retain access to older material you've already paid for is that there are any number of "print-to-PDF" programs out there that let you turn anything you can print into a PDF document of how the printed version would look.

No. Dragon is presented, strangely enough after recent events; in PDF format. You must download it to read it unless you have a BHO that reads PDF files through your browser.

The Rules Compendium is a half-assed search engine to a database that allows levels of access. (It is pathetic in design and deployment of its abilities for how simple a thing it is to make.)

Subscribers can see the full text output, while non-subscribers are only given partial output such as names, and the rest of the text say something like "Subscribe Now!"

Character Builder is a downloadable program with several versions.
-Beta: Levels 1-3 PHB, DMG, MM
-Demo: Levels 1-3, PHB, PHBII, DMG, MM, a few Dragon articles, a Forgotten Realms book
-Full: Everything printed minus the last 30 days worth of material released in DDI or book format.

Monster Builder, Encounter builder, Ability score generator are little flash programs.

The content will be in Dragon which is single articles in PDF, and compiled at the end of the month or beginning of the next month. You already get it in PDF format. Which is funny considering WotC fears PDF is hurting its sales so pulled all PDFs and claimed to no longer going to be using PDF format. :smallconfused:

BlckDv
2009-06-03, 02:12 PM
Colmarr, Asbestos, and Oracle_Hunter all seem to pretty much be getting what I was trying to say in my original post.

To restate my original point; I am not advocating anyone engage in illegal activity. I am pointing out that while the introduction of "the internet" may attach all kinds of fun new acronyms to the issue; it is still the same issue that it was thirty years ago, even if you didn't think about it back then. If you have a legal, personal copy of "exclusive" game content and wish to use it in a game with players or a DM that does not have said legal copy... many people will end up, in some manner and possibly with no intent, violating the copy rights or use agreements of/with the original content developer.

In the real non-paranoid world, absolutely nothing will happen to them, then or now. The owner of The Dragon then, and DDI now would be happy to make money for their product. They would like for people to see the content they gain from them as a value to enjoy at game, not a legal hot potato too dangerous to risk using.

If they shot down players with legal injunctions for using the very same material they claim gives their product value in games with their buddies, they would have a much harder time selling the product, even if they were well within their legal rights.

I'll summarize, I am not saying that you *should* violate any law, contract, or agreement you have made. I am saying that in the past, it happened, in the present it will happen, and I don't think that rampant lawsuits will happen any more now than then, even if you accept as dogma that employee XYZ at WoTC is a jerk.

shadzar
2009-06-03, 02:56 PM
If they shot down players with legal injunctions for using the very same material they claim gives their product value in games with their buddies, they would have a much harder time selling the product, even if they were well within their legal rights.

I'll summarize, I am not saying that you *should* violate any law, contract, or agreement you have made. I am saying that in the past, it happened, in the present it will happen, and I don't think that rampant lawsuits will happen any more now than then, even if you accept as dogma that employee XYZ at WoTC is a jerk.

They kind of already did that though to people providing character sheets online that help do the math because they want to be the sole people to be able to provide software that has calculators. Things that can add up your bonuses for you but do not allow you to play the full game.

Any time anyone photocopied anything to five to someone else they probably violated copyrights. WotC just gives you character sheets, but others are not allowed to help with power cards or character generators like in the past because WotC wants to sell them now.

Oddly AD&D Core Rule CD-ROM software sells for nearly $200 and was selling good while products could still be bought and character sheets could be obtain free via "permission to photocopy allowed for personal use"; and at that time people didn't have problems with online character generators, just ANYTHING online about AD&D was a non-no to punish the fans.

3rd opened up to allow for things and made less problems for fans because how open it was, probably too open....

But 4th has returned to suing the fans and sending them C&D orders for helping each other.

So I wouldn't put it past them to try it with this exclusive stuff either. Just watch and you will start to see DDI accounts being banned for sharing and some many have already been so because of the WotC forums. Users banned form the forums also mean banned form DDI now that all account info is linked.

They are punishing their paying customers and crying piracy. Just because a group wants to get a DDI account for the group, as they would a book, and WotC says EACH person must get his own DDI account.

So they have already made it harder for people to enjoy the game with threats. Whether they follow through with any kind of lawsuit WotC has already done the damage with its actions and not understanding its customer base, right?

Like MMOs each person must have a subscription, and that is the same model for DDI, but it doesn't function that way, so you should be able to get an account for a group to share, just like you could buy one DMG for the whole group and split the cost.

That is how many do D&D, and not everyone buys every book.

I agree with what you say, but don't think following their recent actions is being paranoid when they are doing just that and hurting customers, the product, and themselves by tainted itself as a company that doesn't understand or care about its customers.

So I think it will start happening more as the economy is not doing so well and they will have to pinch every penny any way they can get it. Also many may not have played through the LW era and know and may end up causing it.

Times have changed but some at WotC don't understand how they have changed.

I would just be on my toes if I was anyone using DDI, and would not in the least think them paranoid for doing so.

Optimystik
2009-06-03, 03:00 PM
That's just it, after reading through the ardent there's no reason whatsoever that the Divine Mind needs any connection with various deities, let alone an entire page given to listing associated mantles. Being a champion of a cause doesn't require association with a deity, hence organizations such as the ACLU, various other human-rights groups, and even PETA. For that matter, moral outrage is also independent of divine inspiration, a good example being the controversy surrounding the main topic of this thread. :smallwink: The divine connection is unneccesary and a waste of space in a psionic supplement; we didn't need a rehashing of information that's more appropriate to the Complete Divine or Complete Champion. The divine mind could have easily been fluffed philosophically like the ardent, called the 'champion' or 'mindknight,' and been done with it. The list of deities and associated mantles seems like it would fit better as an alternate version of the class for Complete Champion.

The list of deities is there for convenience. You can be a Divine Mind of a "cause" just as easily as you can be a cleric of one; the deity list gives guidelines on what kind of domains would be available to you based on which deity is closely aligned to that cause. For example, if I devoted my Divine Mind to the concept of Magic, then I'd probably get to choose between mantles from Boccob, Mystra, Vecna and others.

And it couldn't have been fluffed like the Ardent. The Ardent doesn't care about divinity at all, but the Divine Mind does. The Divine Mind's power source is the mental state brought on by feelings of piety (rather than the piety itself, like a cleric's or paladin's.) To contrast, the Ardent is more like a monk than a cleric or paladin in his mindset - deities are worthy of contemplation, but ultimately developing the ego is the highest priority.


So basically the same rules apply to the magazines as apply to the revenant and assassin since they're all electronically distributed. The same questions whether a player can use a revenant when their DM isn't a subscriber apply to information from a Dragon magazine, since this information is only legally obtainable through the DDI contract.

The issue, here, is just people making a big deal out of the 'exclusive content' wording. All of the DDI content has always been 'exclusive,' meaning that only DDI subscribers have legal permission to download and use it. What WotC means by 'exclusive' for the revenant and assassin, however, is just that it won't appear in another publication (and probably won't get much, if any, support after it's been presented).

The rules aren't completely the same; you can let someone read your Dragon magazine, but not any of your DDI-obtained documents. The licenses, both explicit and implicit, are very different, and we have the DMCA to thank for it.

Yora
2009-06-03, 03:04 PM
[QUOTE=Mauril Everleaf;6202816]We start out with the revenant, a new player character race that I predict is going to be all the rage. The revenant is an undead creature who could have been of any other race in life but returns after death as a revenant with a new life and a new purpose. With a connection to the Raven Queen, vague memories of past lives, and some cool undead powers, the revenant provides great opportunities for roleplaying and new approaches to character death because for the revenant, death is only the beginning!/QUOTE]
So the Forsaken come to D&D? Sweet!
The first time I heard of the Raven Queen, I had to think of Silvanas.
But that's not really a totaly new approach. I think it's like 6 years old now.

Of course, that does not imply that there would be any WoW in 4th Ed.

Ninetail
2009-06-03, 04:36 PM
You're thinking of patents here, not copyright.

You're correct, of course. That's what I get for posting about legal matters that early in the morning.

The point remains true, though. You don't get in trouble for sharing KFC's recipe, assuming you discovered it legally. (If you discover it illegally, you're still liable for whatever crimes you committed, naturally.)

Copyright doesn't apply to recipes... although it applies to a particular expression of a recipe, such as the exact phrasing of the instructions printed in a cookbook.

Ninetail
2009-06-03, 04:45 PM
They kind of already did that though to people providing character sheets online that help do the math because they want to be the sole people to be able to provide software that has calculators. Things that can add up your bonuses for you but do not allow you to play the full game.


No, they did that to people charging money for providing character sheets and various other copyrighted material straight out of their books online.

As far as I know, they haven't done anything to people providing, for free, character sheets of their own design online.

kc0bbq
2009-06-03, 04:59 PM
What are the following people doing now?

Dave Noonan, Jonathan Tweet, Mike Lescault, Randy BeuhlerI'm not sure about the others, but I'm pretty sure Jon went back to doing what he was doing before being brought into WotC for a *single* project, the blanket 3e project. The project ended, and they moved on to new blood for a new project. He's the only one I really have any personal interest in, and it's because of stuff unrelated to D&D. I've only ever spoken to him because of his uncanny ability to find the one or two individuals at big cons wearing OtE:CCG T-shirts.

How their employment status reflects on this topic I'll never know. No one at any gaming publisher has much expectation of lifelong employment.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-06-03, 04:59 PM
As far as I know, they haven't done anything to people providing, for free, character sheets of their own design online.
Now, I'm not up on the niceties of Game Copyright Law, but there were a series of cases that established you can't copyright arrangements of data, or (IIRC) even blank forms.

Actually, that's a good point - can you copyright a system of rules (as opposed to a particular text that displays said rules)? Any Gaming IP Lawyers out there?

shadzar
2009-06-03, 05:25 PM
No, they did that to people charging money for providing character sheets and various other copyrighted material straight out of their books online.

As far as I know, they haven't done anything to people providing, for free, character sheets of their own design online.

:smallconfused:

http://www.emass-web.com

Reverent-One
2009-06-03, 06:28 PM
:smallconfused:

http://www.emass-web.com

As ninetails said


No, they did that to people charging money for providing character sheets and various other copyrighted material straight out of their books online.

Emphasis mine.

shadzar
2009-06-03, 06:57 PM
As ninetails said


Emphasis mine.

You cannot make a character sheet for any game without using copyrighted materials.

You cannot offer a fanmade spell sheet without the spells listed on it.

While the powers function different form spells in several ways, every clas has them making them less innocuous to include than previous ediitons where a list with spell names and checkmarks are included; as well they have special keywords with them.

I downloaded the sheet with the list of powers with their keywords.

The thing it WotC wanted people to buy their power cards, after SOME people, I think myself included, suggested WotC to sell power cards would be helpful. Heck I might have originated the discussion about WotC making and selling power cards, I don't remember. But others wanted a power sheet list.

WotC was always going to offer some type of card for powers as indicated with the character sheets and what was included in them. So the cards only offered those who wanted cards something, while Emass provided the missing thing for people that were used to, liked, or just preferred a sheet with a list of powers.

Still it is the same arguement for those existing other tools and programs out there. Several websites have the same tools as DDI offers as bonus tools for encounter building and monster design/adjustment.

How can these programs exist that circumvent the need for the monster manual, while a character sheet cannot exist that does not circumvent the need for a PHB, or any other book that has rules in it not presented in the character sheet maker and requires those books containing the same class/race info on it?

The reason because WotC wants you to rent their character sheet making program.

Watch when the Campaign Tool come out how quickly WotC targets these other site that offer other aids for the DM because WotC wants to be the only one that can offer something for D&D players.

If they were going to target Emass for a sheet just because it listed powers, then shouldn't they send C&D letters to everyone else in this thread (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1081766) for using copyright material without permission? (including but not limited to the terms listed for creating characters and the feats/skills/etc that appear on the official WotC 4th edition character sheet.)

Since they all violate copyright, then why are some allowed and others not when there is no fansite policy, and none of the online sources have signed a SOA for the GSL, which doesn't even cover or allow for digital products?

EDIT:

You know what I am not even going to give you time to answer since it was rhetorical, and will answer it myself. The reason some site and fans were targeted over others is because those sites/persons had created something better than the WotC products, and WotC was threatened by their skill and WotC's own inability to create something as useful for their own customers.

They cannot sell their crappy overpriced character sheet pack because Emass and other were making them better, and even if people wanted the WotC one they could download it from here (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/DnD_4Echaractersheet.zip) for free.

Reverent-One
2009-06-03, 07:20 PM
EDIT:

You know what I am not even going to give you time to answer since it was rhetorical, and will answer it myself. The reason some site and fans were targeted over others is because those sites/persons had created something better than the WotC products, and WotC was threatened by their skill and WotC's own inability to create something as useful for their own customers.

They cannot sell their crappy overpriced character sheet pack because Emass and other were making them better, and even if people wanted the WotC one they could download it from here (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/DnD_4Echaractersheet.zip) for free.

No, they took down emass because 1) emass was selling access and thus, making money, off of the material, and 2) emass had text for the powers themselves, from the PHB, martial power, Ect. Emass also used their logo, but I would doubt that was the main reason for the C&D. You will notice that Mythweavers, which does not make money off providing character sheets, and does not provide the power's text, is not shut down.

shadzar
2009-06-03, 07:34 PM
No, they took down emass because 1) emass was selling access and thus, making money, off of the material, and 2) emass had text for the powers themselves, from the PHB, martial power, Ect. Emass also used their logo, but I would doubt that was the main reason for the C&D. You will notice that Mythweavers, which does not make money off providing character sheets, and does not provide the power's text, is not shut down.

No I saw nothing of Emass taking money, and know nothing of MythWeavers because I am not signing up to an unknown site that shows nothing of what it is used for no has any kind of privacy policy.

So Emas started taking money after 4th was released? :smallconfused:

Reverent-One
2009-06-03, 07:38 PM
So Emas started taking money after 4th was released? :smallconfused:

Yes, apparently Emass at least charged for storage space to store character sheets, and said character sheets also included material from the 4e books, powers text and the like. Or so I gather from the massive debate over the C&D being delivered.

shadzar
2009-06-03, 07:52 PM
Yes, apparently Emass at least charged for storage space to store character sheets, and said character sheets also included material from the 4e books, powers text and the like. Or so I gather from the massive debate over the C&D being delivered.

I can imagine the sides....

"Emass was only charging for storage space and the sheets were free!"

"Emass was selling WotC sheets with the powers on them!"

And it probably went on from there.

Glad my preferred character sheet is still free until WotC decides to claim copyright for notebook paper. :smallconfused:

Panda-s1
2009-06-03, 09:49 PM
I can imagine the sides....

"Emass was only charging for storage space and the sheets were free!"

"Emass was selling WotC sheets with the powers on them!"

And it probably went on from there.

Glad my preferred character sheet is still free until WotC decides to claim copyright for notebook paper. :smallconfused:

No, Ema was selling his own character sheets with material from WotC books on them (both 4e and 3.5), that is an issue. In fact, I remember someone mentioning there was a full character builder on the way that you had to pay to use. That's probably the straw that broke the camel's back for WotC.

The same happened to 4e Powercards not too long after. I loved that website a lot, but it was a short lived romance as it got a C&D from WotC about two weeks after I found it. But I wasn't upset, I couldn't not agree with shutting it down, I mean it was basically a free 4e class power database. And by the sounds of it, Ema would agree:


I'm sorry to inform you that this site is no more.
Wizards of the Coast asked me to take it down, and I complied.

I'm sorry for all the fans who will miss it - I will miss it, too - but it was the right thing to do.

Time to move on...

Ema.

shadzar
2009-06-03, 09:56 PM
Ema would agree:

That doesn't actually say anything. C&D isn't really asking but the first steps of a legal threat. So the "right thing to do" if you fear losing against any legal action due to actual wrongdoing or not as well funded as HASBRO to support any court case.

Also most C&Ds sent to hosting sites don't even give the account holder any chance to respond and due to fear the hosting site just shuts it down then and there. At least that is how GoDaddy is. They don't even check into whether the C&D sent is from real people. :smallconfused:

Now who is paranoid?

I see this thread made it over to the WotC forums, and still there are no real answers there except for "seek a lawyer". :smallbiggrin:

When you have to seek a lawyer before using game material in a game...there is something very wrong with the company and consumer relations.

Panda-s1
2009-06-03, 10:40 PM
That doesn't actually say anything. C&D isn't really asking but the first steps of a legal threat. So the "right thing to do" if you fear losing against any legal action due to actual wrongdoing or not as well funded as HASBRO to support any court case.

Also most C&Ds sent to hosting sites don't even give the account holder any chance to respond and due to fear the hosting site just shuts it down then and there. At least that is how GoDaddy is. They don't even check into whether the C&D sent is from real people. :smallconfused:

Now who is paranoid?
C&D is the legal version of "asking". And considering the use of "right thing to do" and the tone of the message he wrote, I think he does mean from the perspective that shutting down the website was the right thing to begin with.


I see this thread made it over to the WotC forums, and still there are no real answers there except for "seek a lawyer". :smallbiggrin:

When you have to seek a lawyer before using game material in a game...there is something very wrong with the company and consumer relations.

I have to seek a lawyer? Well dear heavens, I've been going 6 months on a DDI subscription without a lawyer, WotC legal is sure taking their dear sweet time to prosecute me :P

Shadow_Elf
2009-06-03, 10:40 PM
I got tired of the debated legal lingo, so excuse me if this has been said...

But how does WotC know I printed off "Playing Shadar-Kai" for my friend who wants to use a spiked chain? Its not like they can monitor my print jobs, right? My emails? Right? If I want to use the Character Builder to get access to some, say, Arcane Power Stuff I don't own, and my subscription expires while I'm playing my Prescient Bard, do I have to stop playing that character? Honestly, how would they know I was still playing that character? (It would seriously screw with a campaign's plot, that's for sure. "Oh, Theren spontaneously combusted because the gods don't own the write to his build scheme")

If they've found out that you broke the EULA or the TOS, then its likely you'll have grounds to say "and how did you get that information?" if they stupidly decide to bring it to court.

Well, this looks like a job for... Tin Foil Hats!

Panda-s1
2009-06-03, 10:51 PM
I got tired of the debated legal lingo, so excuse me if this has been said...

But how does WotC know I printed off "Playing Shadar-Kai" for my friend who wants to use a spiked chain? Its not like they can monitor my print jobs, right? My emails? Right? If I want to use the Character Builder to get access to some, say, Arcane Power Stuff I don't own, and my subscription expires while I'm playing my Prescient Bard, do I have to stop playing that character? Honestly, how would they know I was still playing that character? (It would seriously screw with a campaign's plot, that's for sure. "Oh, Theren spontaneously combusted because the gods don't own the write to his build scheme")

If they've found out that you broke the EULA or the TOS, then its likely you'll have grounds to say "and how did you get that information?" if they stupidly decide to bring it to court.

Well, this looks like a job for... Tin Foil Hats!
Exactly! Places like Emass or those guys who were torrenting 4e PDFs have made clear legal violations, they're easy to sue.

But me printing off an article from Dragon and showing to my friends? Kinda hard to track. More than that, it seems like a huge morass of legal contradictions to prove that I broke copyright law by the looks of this thread, it's definitely not worth their time.

And I live in the Seattle area. In theory, I am more likely to be sued for showing an article to a non-subscriber.

shadzar
2009-06-03, 10:52 PM
If they've found out that you broke the EULA or the TOS, then its likely you'll have grounds to say "and how did you get that information?" if they stupidly decide to bring it to court.

Well, this looks like a job for... Tin Foil Hats!

Just like with the PDFs they could give away all the secrets (this time WotCs rather than OBS) of how the watermarks or something work, and then have to take down CB for a time to switch to a new DMCA method and delay updates. They will certainly not be afraid of telling how they found out, because those costs and lost sales would be passed on to the ones being charged as part of the injury caused by them for having to take the website down and losing sales because of it. :smallconfused:

Funny how the legal system works. Maybe you could put the tin foil hats on the WotC knee jerks to make them a little more firm and stable rather than having bad reflexes that over-react? :smallwink:

How they would find out is they could check the IP of each person logging in to DDI when you sign-up and any additional IP addresses connecting to try to get info that didn't sign-up and are getting updates, must have pirated the CB and must be pirating the updates, as well as getting content from some other user.

They don't even have to know which account until someone complains, because all they have to do is an IP ban from connecting to their servers. When that person complains about having a dynamic IP on the forums ~kachink~ they have the user name to ban the account as well until such time as it is sorted out. That time being however long they wish to take, and no refunds due to any users during this time even if it goes beyond the length of the subscription.

Not to mention you have arses out there that would like to see WotC or 4th edition fail that may go to stores and come to the WotC forums and report people for sharing information, or report them to the store manager to collect the RPGA number to in turn report to WotC for piracy/etc.

4th edition ruffled many feathers, and there are plenty of finger pointers out their working for WotC on the forums, so what is to say some of those people wouldn't put the shoe on the other foot, and likewise report things to WotC for those who are not intending to do anything wrong, but likewise would see damage done to 4th by causing WotC the loss of customers and sales.

I would gladly report people in suspect violation of the DDI TOS to WotC, just to put an end to a bad company. The best thing they did in the course of 4th edition was Solace in their forums, and then fired her because she was actually... :smalleek: ... helping WotC customers! :eek:

Starbuck_II
2009-06-03, 10:55 PM
So the Forsaken come to D&D? Sweet!
The first time I heard of the Raven Queen, I had to think of Silvanas.
But that's not really a totaly new approach. I think it's like 6 years old now.

Of course, that does not imply that there would be any WoW in 4th Ed.

Really, when the 4th edition PHB came out you instantly thought Silvanas..do you play WoW alot or something?

I thought: Wee Jas got a new look (she is the death Goddess in 3.5).

Reverent-One
2009-06-03, 10:57 PM
How they would find out is they could check the IP of each person logging in to DDI when you sign-up and any additional IP addresses connecting to try to get info that didn't sign-up and are getting updates, must have pirated the CB and must be pirating the updates, as well as getting content from some other user.

Or they have a laptop are at some wi-fi hotspot, or some other reasonable explination.

Seriously, WoTC isn't "the evilz!" you're try to make it out to be.

Lamech
2009-06-03, 11:07 PM
I got tired of the debated legal lingo, so excuse me if this has been said...

But how does WotC know I printed off "Playing Shadar-Kai" for my friend who wants to use a spiked chain? Its not like they can monitor my print jobs, right? My emails? Right? If I want to use the Character Builder to get access to some, say, Arcane Power Stuff I don't own, and my subscription expires while I'm playing my Prescient Bard, do I have to stop playing that character? Honestly, how would they know I was still playing that character? (It would seriously screw with a campaign's plot, that's for sure. "Oh, Theren spontaneously combusted because the gods don't own the write to his build scheme")

If they've found out that you broke the EULA or the TOS, then its likely you'll have grounds to say "and how did you get that information?" if they stupidly decide to bring it to court.

Well, this looks like a job for... Tin Foil Hats!So what if they have no realiable method of tracking it. Then they argue that they should, or someone turns you in 'cause they hate you, or its used against you because the police don't like you. If you need to break the law to use a service then the service is a worthless piece of crap.

Panda-s1
2009-06-03, 11:16 PM
How they would find out is they could check the IP of each person logging in to DDI when you sign-up and any additional IP addresses connecting to try to get info that didn't sign-up and are getting updates, must have pirated the CB and must be pirating the updates, as well as getting content from some other user.
Or they have a laptop are at some wi-fi hotspot, or some other reasonable explination.

Seriously, WoTC isn't "the evilz!" you're try to make it out to be.

Yeah, most of his argument is pretty much incredibly cynical/paranoid speculation about WotC (and I still would like an explanation of why Bill Slavicek is a bad person).


But silly me! This thread is about things exclusive to DDI!

I am definitely looking forward to the assassin class in September. I just really hope they don't have the silly (a term I'm using kinda loosely here) alignment restriction of having to be evil.

Revenant on the other hand isn't something I'm too crazy about, but that's just 'cause I'm not a fan of the undead. Though someone on 4chan brought up a good question: why is a race of the undead tied to the Raven Queen? That article better have a good explanation....

I'd look forward to the psion, but I honestly know jack about psions in 3.x, but I'm gonna trust it'll be good.

As for it being exclusive to Dragon, I honestly can't see how it's different than if it were published in the print version of Dragon (aside from the printing and sharing argument, but as stated highly unlikely to ever result in revocation or legal action).

Panda-s1
2009-06-03, 11:18 PM
So what if they have no realiable method of tracking it. Then they argue that they should, or someone turns you in 'cause they hate you, or its used against you because the police don't like you. If you need to break the law to use a service then the service is a worthless piece of crap.

I have to break the law to use it? How?

Nightson
2009-06-03, 11:19 PM
So what if they have no reliable method of tracking it. Then they argue that they should, or someone turns you in 'cause they hate you, or its used against you because the police don't like you. If you need to break the law to use a service then the service is a worthless piece of crap.

Well it's a good thing you don't have to break the law to use it. Nor do you have to break the law to show it to your DM. Nor will any of this tinfoil hat conspiracy nonsense ever become true.

Printing an article out and sharing it is not a crime. WotC will never sue you for it. Even if they did the judge would throw it out. Even if the judge wouldn't they'd never get by the jury.

Reverent-One
2009-06-03, 11:22 PM
Revenant on the other hand isn't something I'm too crazy about, but that's just 'cause I'm not a fan of the undead. Though someone on 4chan brought up a good question: why is a race of the undead tied to the Raven Queen? That article better have a good explanation....

It's already been said that the Raven Queen will take some of the more worthy souls to pass away and make warriors and the like from them, the honor of becoming one of these critters is one of the things Shardar-Kai fight to earn. Revenants will probably be something along these lines.

Lamech
2009-06-03, 11:38 PM
I have to break the law to use it? How?
Or break the ToS or EULA. I remember a case about someone who broke the terms of service for myspace or somesuch and she was convicted of fraud for this. (Probably the reason the prosecutor took it up and the jury convicted her was she joined to make a fake account and harass someone; which led to the victim's suicide, but the crime was fraud.) And WotC could certainly try to intimidate people and legitimately bring it to court if such things don't have clear legal grounding. (I'm just assuming that if no one has ruled if you can sue over something you won't get in trouble if you do.) Most people will have to roll over since they don't have the money for laywers, or they will be too scared.

Now I'm mainly going off of what shadzar says I don't know anything about DDI's terms of service or laws regarding "digital" media. Hence me starting this by asking a bunch of questions. Maybe he is wrong and WotC has no power to pull any of this crap and the ToS would be thrown out if they were ever brought up in court.

Edit: Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Lori_Drew) is the case on wiki. Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megan_Meier) is some more detail if you scroll down if you scroll down to "federal" under investigation. It apperantly wasn't fraud. But someother obscure charge... still breaking ToS = crime.

ghost_warlock
2009-06-04, 12:54 AM
The list of deities is there for convenience. You can be a Divine Mind of a "cause" just as easily as you can be a cleric of one; the deity list gives guidelines on what kind of domains would be available to you based on which deity is closely aligned to that cause. For example, if I devoted my Divine Mind to the concept of Magic, then I'd probably get to choose between mantles from Boccob, Mystra, Vecna and others.

And it couldn't have been fluffed like the Ardent. The Ardent doesn't care about divinity at all, but the Divine Mind does. The Divine Mind's power source is the mental state brought on by feelings of piety (rather than the piety itself, like a cleric's or paladin's.) To contrast, the Ardent is more like a monk than a cleric or paladin in his mindset - deities are worthy of contemplation, but ultimately developing the ego is the highest priority.
Once again, there's no reason whatsoever that the divine mind can't be philosophical like the ardent rather than being anchored to the piety fluff; there's no need for it to care about divinity at all.

The class would work just as well1 if it was dubbed the 'mindknight' and the default position was a 'cause' rather than "feelings of piety." The fluff could read "motivated by a sense that the world is not as it should be, the mindknight dedicates herself to championing a set of philosophical truths in the hopes that her efforts and example will build a world more closely aligned with her values." That's all the fluff you'd need to justify the class, identify it as different than the psychic warrior2, and save a more than a page of space for psionics information that doesn't belong in Complete Divine. Then, in Complete Champion, or (even better3) as a web enhancement, use a line saying something like "some mindknights devote themselves to specific deities who they perceive as powerful champions of the mindknight's chosen cause," then publish the list of deities and mantles there.

Really, the issue is that I see it as wasting page count for something that's more appropriate to a different supplement. What could they have done with a page of extra stuff? Well, rules clarifications for wonky powers, more feats that aren't "use X racial ability more often," or even just a cool full-page picture of a few psionic characters locked in mortal battle against some monster. :smallcool:

1Better, imo, for issues relating to limited page count if nothing else.
2I'm not as concerned about differentiating it as much from the ardent because, really, there's not all that much that differentiates a cleric from a paladin. And in the description of the ardent it even states that ardents are sometimes confused for clerics or paladins; there's no particular reason that wouldn't also be the case for divine minds/mindknights.
3Better as a web enhancement because page count is a major limiting factor for what should be included in Complete Champion, too. I'm all about efficiency, you see. :smalltongue:

Anyway, yeah, /tangent.

Oracle_Hunter
2009-06-04, 01:25 AM
Printing an article out and sharing it is not a crime. WotC will never sue you for it. Even if they did the judge would throw it out. Even if the judge wouldn't they'd never get by the jury.
Actually, it is if you don't have the copyright holder's permission.

There is a world of difference between "what is against the law" and "what you will get prosecuted for." :smallsmile: