A company called Gripnr wants to create their own NFT Dungeons & Dragons market, and I just have no words for how stupid this sounds. But undoubtedly, there will be people who see value in it. I just don't know why. Here's the business proposal in a nutshell that is being talked about. Players will buy a pre-generated D&D character created by a computer or something else. This pre-generated character will exist on the blockchain, which is where NFT's and crypto are all encoded. They will play with this pre-generated character under an approved Gripnr "Dungeon Master," who (I assume) is skilled at running the game. I also think it will be virtual, but you never know with these things. The blockchain "character" will then go through pre-generated adventures that I assume will also be monetized on the blockchain. They will earn experience, level up, and obtain both a history and magical items. Who knows, they may even acquire "land" in a blockchain "fantasy world" set up for D&D. And then, anyone that wants to use your character's likeness or your character's name or anything else would seemingly have to pay you for that right. Additionally, other people could play the character you created but they'd have to pay you for that, because you own it.
I should point out that Gripnr is not a maverick in the Tabletop RPG industry. Rather, it's a pet project attempting to exploit a hobby that I very much enjoy. The thing is...no one is asking for any of this. The TTRPG community has already been monetizing pieces of creative output for years in the form of modules, adventures, books, miniatures, commissioned art, terrain, and dice. So, there's a proven track record that people want to put more of themselves into the game than you can with core assets alone (furnished by the parent company of Dungeons & Dragons called Wizards of the Coast). So the question that pops into my head is: why would I even want to buy an entire character off the Gripnr blockchain when creating and building a new character (for free), watching them grow, and then interacting with a fantasy world created by an imaginative friend is the whole point of Dungeons and Dragons!? Ay carajo!
The world is increasingly becoming a strange place where everyone seems to want to monetize everything. As soon as someone can figure out how to charge us for the air we breathe, that will probably come next. I just get so angry at all the rampant greed that I see everywhere. Anyway, I wanted to finish this little post with a note that Wizards of the Coast is not involved in any of this. You may not know that, but Wizards of the Coast (which is a very good company) owns the rights to Dungeons & Dragons, but it has this "Open Game License" thing which allows tons of people and other companies to use their intellectual property to create stuff. I think this is really neat. So there are all kinds of third party monster manuals and supplements and other things that use the core set of rules that the geniuses at Wizards of the Coast created (and they work really well). It just sucks that a company like Gripnr comes along and wants to use the Open Game License to start some unnecessary crap that ultimately will benefit no one. I actually hope that (if it launches), that it actually fails and is forever known as a terrible business model for a hobby that doesn't need these kinds of transactions.
Chalk this post up to another "Old man shakes fist at sky" thing I suppose.