Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Came, I Saw, I Signed

I'm not thrilled I had to sign a play test agreement.  As others have pointed out, Pathfinder never asked for such, nor did Dungeon Crawl Classics.  Just because WotC says it's standard, doesn't mean it's true.

That being said, I'm free to discuss the play test experience prior and the current materials.

As part of your participation as a DnD Next Playtester, you will receive Playtest materials that are proprietary and highly confidential to Wizards.  You agree not to copy, excerpt, distribute (either in physical or digital format), publish, display, disseminate, release and/or transmit, in whole or in part, or create derivative materials from any of the Playtest Materials provided to you.  You further agree that you will not use the Playtest Materials for your own benefit (other than to participate in the play test) or to the benefit of any third party.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, you may publicly discuss your thoughts regarding the D&D Next Playtest Materials and your play testing experience.  If you have previously executed a Nondisclosure Agreement with Wizards related to D&D Next play testing, the terms and conditions of that NDA are still effective regarding the content of the Playtest Materials, however, Wizards releases you from any and all confidentiality requirements related to your thoughts regarding the D&D Next Playtest Materials and your play testing experience.


  1. Every company I have ever worked with in the last 12 years has had an NDA. I have a stack of them I have had to sign and either fax or scan in with a signature.
    Pazio is the exception. So yeah, it is the industry standard.

  2. standard for an "open" play test"?

    closed play tests and betas i've also signed for i the past, but usually "open" means open ;)

  3. ITYM "Just because WotC says it's standard, doesn't mean it's true."

  4. I would have been shocked if they hadn't provided an NDA....this is standard, albeit not in the impoverished RPG industry. Paizo was playtesting an OGL doc which already was available in various forms on the market and for free download; this isn't quite that. Maybe I'm just jaded, working in an industry where I sign non-compete agreements, NDAs and other legal docs every day, but WotC's dinky little bit of IP protection didn't bug me at all.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Any time there is an IP that someone wants to protect then there is an NDA.

    Pathfinder was the exception becuase frankly the amount of new material vs the SRD was minimal.

    I know people love to paint WotC like they are "teh Evil" but that is not the case here.

    EDITED: typo.

  7. I've participated in many playtests for Steve Jackson Games; they never used an NDA, either.

  8. i think it's clear that NDAs are not "always" used, even by the bigger players.

    What is SOP for WotC isn't the necessarily the same for other companies in the industry.

  9. I have them from Eden, Green Ronin, Mongoose, Cube7, WotC, Necromancer, Citizen Games (now dead), GoO (also dead), Battlefield Press, Other World Creations, Morrigan Press (also dead) and that's off the top of my head. There are more I am sure. I seem to recall about 20 files in my PlayTest root folder.

    I thought SJG had one, but that was a different deal.

    I think this is a non-issue of signing an NDA really.

  10. NDAs aren't the same as IP Protection - it seems pointless to have an NDA on a document that everyone in the world can download (a free, unverified account at a public website is not a reasonable obstacle to public disclosure).

    Much of this agreement is actually just IP Protection stuff anyways.

    It otherwise seems fairly hastily thrown together and probably imposed by a Hasbro general counsel that is unaware of what wizards is actually doing.


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