Anthony Ronda and the League of Extraordinary Foundry VTT Developers, games, and Open Source

Today, we have an amazing guest, Anthony Ronda, who is one of the leaders in the League of Extraordinary Foundry VTT Developers. Foundry Virtual Tabletop is a standalone application built for experiencing multiplayer tabletop RPGs, which helps you play games like Dungeons and Dragons and other games virtually.

Anthony fills us in on the history of the League, the background of Foundry, and the open source module that was created. He also tells us about a really cool game he made, how he found it easier to make friends through the league, more about the Open Game License, and advice on how you can get started in this community. Go ahead and download this episode to find out more cool stuff!

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Hey y’all! Thanks so much @RichardLitt for asking me to guest on this! In true tabletop industry-form, I would like to release some errata for this episode :laughing:

  1. Foundry VTT was released in May 2020, not March 2020.

  2. To clarify, Foundry VTT itself is a commercial program, while the package ecosystem is 90% open source, and the League’s initiatives are open source by default. It’s extremely rare for open source game engines to create a developer following or release any mainstream open source titles: as Richard mentioned in his spotlight, id Software’s Doom and Quake engines are what people tend to think of. Godot Engine is a very promising one with a thriving community. The Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation also does a great job fostering community around their open source engines.

  3. I sound positive overall on the state of open game content under the stewardship of Wizards of the Coast, but like all things open source there are a few complicating factors that make my current outlook “mixed.”

  • Wizards of the Coast has created content platforms with their partners that make many believe they plan to leave the OGL behind once again.
  • In private conversations I’ve heard instances of Wizards taking undue action against certain game developers trying to use open game content for video games (the license doesn’t restrict fields of endeavor, so this would be a violation of the terms).
  • Most damningly, they don’t use the license to collaborate and accept contributions with their community, which I believe Tobie Langel calls Open In Name Only (I’d love an update to this tweet Tobie!).
  • The good news is that forks exist, and I really like the community-inspired direction I’m seeing from Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition. It’s at least a little closer to what we’d normally expect from an open source community.
  1. Due to a miscommunication, my prepared land acknowledgement wasn’t used. Here it is:

I live on the stolen, unceded land of the Lenape, whose forced removal led them across the continent to Oklahoma where many of them now live as the Delaware tribe of Indians and the Delaware Tribe of West Oklahoma. I am early in my personal journey in recognizing indigenous genocide, and so I pledge to reach out to the local Ramapough Lenape Nation and inquire about a voluntary land tax for my region, and to help them in their fight for US gov recognition.

Beyond that, here’s a tweet thread I wrote yesterday as an overview of some of our community initiatives. There’s also a Youtube overview that visually shows off what the software does and what we make with it.

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Thanks for the errata, Anthony! Interesting to hear that WotC are/may be backtracking on that. I’m not surprised, but it seems sad. Level Up sounds great.

Apologies about the lack of the land acknowledgement. Thanks for sharing that link on voluntary land tax - a lot for me to think about, there. I’m trying to move beyond just using land acknowledgements, too.